By James Eli Adams

ISBN-10: 0631220828

ISBN-13: 9780631220824

Incorporating a huge diversity of latest scholarship, A historical past of Victorian Literature provides 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 wide-spread authors. a part of the Blackwell Histories of Literature sequence, the publication describes the improvement of the Victorian literary circulate and areas it inside of its cultural, social and political context.A wide-ranging narrative evaluate of literature in nice Britain among 1830 and 1900, shooting the intense number of literary output produced in this eraAnalyzes the advance of all literary varieties in this interval - the unconventional, poetry, drama, autobiography and important prose - at the side of significant advancements in social and highbrow historyConsiders the ways that writers engaged with new varieties of social accountability of their paintings, as Britain reworked into the world's first commercial economyOffers a clean standpoint at the paintings of either significant figures and a few of the era?s much less widely used authors

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One of the great successes of the 1860s, Our American Cousin, netted the manager of the Haymarket Theatre the fabulous sum of 20,000 pounds (the annual income of Britain’s wealthiest nobility); its author, Tom Taylor, received 150 pounds. In the 1830s the standard fee for a first-run drama at minor theaters was between 50 and 70 pounds – which put great pressure on dramatists to be prolific (and to borrow heavily from foreign sources) but made it almost impossible for them to live comfortably through playwriting alone.

In 1831 Carlyle undertook a work of his own in the broad vein of Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, a central example of the German Bildungsroman, or novel of development. 174). The book began as an attack on the dandy, the icon of an enervated aristocracy oblivious to the suffering around it. But Carlyle also saw in the trope of clothing and fashion a figure for the force of history, in particular, the incessant transformation of human beliefs and institutions. Humankind is always struggling to find adequate vesture, in Carlyle’s terms, for its beliefs – vesture which culminates in their conception of divinity.

Hence the appeal of figures of radical alienation: St John the Baptist, Ahab, Ishmael. Yet Carlyle’s growing audience ultimately embraced such estrangement as a warrant of integrity. As his admiring biographer J. A. 402). indd 29 12/29/2008 3:15:55 PM 30 Literature in the Age of Machinery, 1830–1850 writer, in other contexts vilified as an unprincipled hack, became a model of detachment from party, tradition, and unreflective “allegiance” of all kinds. Here was the realm of the man of letters – a space that would come to be associated with the work of “culture” and criticism generally.

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


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