Victorian Turns, NeoVictorian Returns: Essays on Fiction and Culture

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9781847186621: Victorian Turns, NeoVictorian Returns: Essays on Fiction and Culture

Victorian Turns, NeoVictorian Returns: Essays on Fiction and Culture brings together essays by scholars of international reputation in nineteenth-century British literature. Encompassing new work on Victorian writers and subjects as well as later readings, rewritings, and adaptations, the two-part arrangement of this collection highlights an ongoing dialogue. Part One: Victorian Turns focuses principally on some of the major novelists of the periodâGeorge Eliot, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontà «âwhile placing them in a wide cultural context, in particular that provided by the intellectual journals to which many of the novelists contributed. Reflecting the diversity of debate in the Victorian period, contributorsâ essays range across key topics of the day, including the âwoman questionâ , class relations, language, science, work, celebrity, and travel. English writersâ consciousness of the challenging contemporary developments in French literature forms a significant and persistent theme. In Part Two: NeoVictorian Returns, the rich and varied afterlife of Victorianism is touched on. NeoVictorianism in contemporary literature and film demonstrates an ongoing and productive engagement with an age which established the social and cultural directions of the modern world. In rewritings, appropriations, and colonial writings-back, and in the persistent power of nineteenth-century images and stories in modern cinema, the periodâs social, cultural and political modernity continues to flourish.

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About the Author:

Penny Gay is Professor in English Literature and Drama at the University of Sydney. Her publications include Jane Austen and the Theatre; As She Likes It: Shakespeare's Unruly Women; and The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare's Comedies. Judith Johnston is Associate Professor, English and Cultural Studies, at the University of Western Australia. Publications include George Eliot and the Discourses of Medievalism; Gender and the Victorian Periodical (with Hilary Fraser and Stephanie Green); The Journals of George Eliot (edited with Margaret Harris); and Anna Jameson: Victorian, Feminist, Woman of Letters. Catherine Waters is Senior Lecturer in English, University of New England. Her publications include Dickens and the Politics of the Family, and Commodity Culture in Dickens's Household Words: The Social Life of Goods.

Review:

An exceptionally distinguished and innovative collection of essays, Victorian Turns, Neo-Victorian Returns explores some of the many ways in which the Victorians turned their world in new directions, creating imaginative patterns that continue to intrigue and inspire. The particular strength of the volume lies in its double perspective, as it brings fresh critical insight to a wide range of Victorian texts and authors, and demonstrates the multiplicity of their cultural reach, while pointing to the continuing vitality of the period as a source of imaginative energy for contemporary readers. Neo-Victorianism is now generating much critical interest, and these essays amount to a significant contribution to this expanding field. It is a powerful reminder of why it is still worth returning to the legacies of Victorian literary thought. --Professor Dinah Birch, School of English, University of Liverpool

Bringing together some of the best contemporary American, Australasian and British scholars, this volume presents a view of nineteenth-century literature as ever in dialogue with its own cultural milieu, and its own cultural heritage, but also with the future, in its own turn. As such it constitutes an apt return to Professor Margaret Harris for her tireless promotion, over many years, of critical dialogue about the Victorians and their afterlives. --Professor Hilary Fraser, Geoffrey Tillotson Chair in Nineteenth-Century Studies, Birkbeck University of London.

A rich and varied collection which offers multiple perspectives on the ways in which nineteenth-century British novelists responded to and shaped a relatively new literary form and their world, and on the returns and reshaping of their fictions in the cultural forms in the twentieth and twenty first centuries. --Professor Lyn Pykett, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Aberystwyth University

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