A History of Victorian Literature (Blackwell History of by James Eli Adams

By James Eli Adams

Incorporating a huge variety of up to date scholarship, A background of Victorian Literature offers an outline of the literature produced in nice Britain among 1830 and 1900, with clean attention of either significant figures and a few of the era's much less accepted authors. a part of the Blackwell Histories of Literature sequence, the ebook describes the improvement of the Victorian literary move and areas it inside of its cultural, social and political context.A wide-ranging narrative review of literature in nice Britain among 1830 and 1900, taking pictures the intense number of literary output produced in this eraAnalyzes the improvement of all literary types in this interval - the unconventional, poetry, drama, autobiography and demanding prose - at the side of significant advancements in social and highbrow historyConsiders the ways that writers engaged with new types of social accountability of their paintings, as Britain remodeled into the world's first business economyOffers a clean point of view at the paintings of either significant figures and a few of the era?s much less commonplace authors

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In this apotheosis of devotion (“wreathing fires …wrapped the ship in splendour wild” [ll. 28–9]; Hemans 2002) Hemans discovers heroism in traditionally feminine virtues – to such an extent that the self-immolation seems eerily akin to suttee. But that echo, unsettling as it may be, hints at some of the stresses increasingly associated with the demands facing Victorian woman, who were likewise expected to wait on voices that might never reply. This plangent note was widely observed, and meant much to Letitia Landon or “L.

Indd 18 12/26/2008 6:14:31 PM Introduction: Locating Victorian Literature 19 The Situation of Poetry For many commentators in 1830, poetry seemed in a desperate state, despite its cultural cachet. The extraordinary popularity of their immediate predecessors – Byron and Scott, above all, although pirated editions of Shelley were popular among working-class readers – indicated that poetry retained its long-standing centrality in English culture. Throughout the early decades of the era, many readers still composed verse to commemorate public or private events of special moment, suggesting that poetry retained a distinctly elevating and solemnizing force.

Mankind have outgrown old institutions and old doctrines, and have not yet acquired new ones” (Mill 1963–91: xxii. 230). 228). Such was Mill’s faith in the irresistible logic of reform – “The superior capacity of the higher ranks for the exercise of worldly power is now a broken spell” (xxii. 231) – that he overlooked a third category in his partition of mankind: those men at home in neither the present nor the past, who are themselves in a state of transition. Carlyle’s diagnosis emphasized precisely this middle state.

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