Read e-book online A History of Victorian Literature (Blackwell History of PDF

By James Eli Adams

ISBN-10: 0631220828

ISBN-13: 9780631220824

Incorporating a extensive variety of latest 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 popular authors. a part of the Blackwell Histories of Literature sequence, the publication describes the advance of the Victorian literary flow and areas it inside its cultural, social and political context.A wide-ranging narrative evaluate of literature in nice Britain among 1830 and 1900, shooting the extreme number of literary output produced in this eraAnalyzes the improvement of all literary kinds in this interval - the radical, poetry, drama, autobiography and significant prose - at the side of significant advancements in social and highbrow historyConsiders the ways that writers engaged with new kinds of social accountability of their paintings, as Britain remodeled 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 ordinary authors

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Carlyle’s personal history made him better prepared than Mill to appreciate the struggle for new belief, which became the focus of his greatest work. Mill was born into a radical, free-thinking, middle-class intellectual community in London, and from his father he secured comfortable employment at the East India Company, a position that provided him a steady income and abundant time for writing. Carlyle, the son of a stonemason, had to struggle for nearly two decades to make a living by his writing, and to hammer out a faith to replace the strenuous Calvinism of his parents, who had hoped he would become a minister in the Scottish Kirk.

The trope has a long literary history – witness King Lear – but it took on added topicality through the revolutionary sans-culottes in France, a precedent still haunting England in 1832. Here was a radical questioning of the existing fabric of belief gone horribly wrong. How could present-day England envision a new set of clothing nobler, more truly spiritual, than that of the dandy? Hence the enigmatic title of Carlyle’s volume: Sartor Resartus, the tailor retailored. Sartor Resartus is a rare amalgam of genres: sentimental romance, autobiography, sermon, Bildungsroman, theological treatise, all subjected to withering parody yet cohering into a deeply felt, multi-layered narrative of spiritual crisis and resolution.

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.

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


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