Ben Jonson is, in many ways, the figure of greatest centrality to literary study of the Elizabethan and Jacobean period. He wrote in virtually every literary genre: in drama, comedy, tragedy and masque; in poetry, epigram, epistle and lyric; in prose, literary criticism and English grammar. He became the most visible poet of his age, honored more than even William Shakespeare, and his dramatic works, in particular his major comedies, continue to be performed today. This Companion brings together leading scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to provide an accessible and up-to-date introduction to Jonson's life and works. It represents an invaluable guide to current critical perspectives, providing generous coverage not only of his plays but also his non-dramatic works. The volume is informed by the latest development in Jonson scholarship and will therefore appeal to scholars and teachers as well as newcomers to his work.
George Orwell is regarded as the greatest political writer in English of the twentieth century. The massive critical literature on Orwell has not only become extremely specialized, and therefore somewhat inaccessible to the nonscholar, but it has also attributed to and even created misconceptions about the man, the writer and his literary legacy. For these reasons, an overview of Orwell's writing and influence is an indispensable resource. Accordingly, this 2007 Companion serves as both an introduction to Orwell's work and furnishes numerous innovative interpretations and fresh critical perspectives on it. Throughout the Companion, which includes chapters dedicated to two of Orwell's major novels, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, Orwell's work is placed within the context of the political and social climate of the time. His response to the Depression, British imperialism, Stalinism, World War II, and the politics of the British Left are also examined.
From the myths and legends that fashioned the identities of ancient city-states to the diversity of literary performance in contemporary cities around the world, literature and the city are inseparably entwined. The international team of scholars in this volume offers a comprehensive, accessible survey of the literary city, exploring the myriad cities that authors create and the genres in which cities appear. Early chapters consider the literary legacies of historical and symbolic cities from antiquity to the early modern period. Subsequent chapters consider the importance of literature to the rise of the urban public sphere; the affective experience of city life; the interplay of the urban landscape and memory; the form of the literary city and its responsiveness to social, cultural and technological change; dystopian, nocturnal, pastoral and sublime cities; cities shaped by colonialism and postcolonialism; and the cities of economic, sexual, cultural and linguistic outsiders.
London has provided the setting and inspiration for a host of literary works in English, from canonical masterpieces to the popular and ephemeral. Drawing upon a variety of methods and materials, the essays in this volume explore the London of Langland and the Peasants' Rebellion, of Shakespeare and the Elizabethan stage, of Pepys and the Restoration coffee house, of Dickens and Victorian wealth and poverty, of Conrad and the Empire, of Woolf and the wartime Blitz, of Naipaul and postcolonial immigration, and of contemporary globalism. Contributions from historians, art historians, theorists and media specialists as well as leading literary scholars exemplify current approaches to genre, gender studies, book history, performance studies and urban studies. In showing how the tradition of English literature is shaped by representations of London, this volume also illuminates the relationship between the literary imagination and the society of one of the world's greatest cities.
Lyn Pykett looks at Collins's long and varied career in relation to the changing circumstances of his own life, a changing literary marketplace, and the changing worlds of nineteenth-century Britain, as well as his enduring legacy for modern writers and interpreters.The book includes a chronology of Collins's life and times, suggestions for further reading, websites, illustrations, and a comprehensive index.
A harsh satire of Eighteenth Century London life, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera is a piece well known by students of literature and music. Gay's composition spawned a new genre of musical works called ballad opera whose popularity rapidly caused the decline of Italian opera in London. These well-received ballad operas dominated London's musical theatre from 1728 until the middle of the Eighteenth Century. No other author has looked beyond The Beggar's Opera to analyze the plots of any of these imitative works and their music.
Inside Pepys' London reveals a vivid picture of London at a critical point in history - poised to become a major centre of international commerce and culture. It provides accounts of all aspects of contemporary life, from the arts and entertainment, to politics and religion. Though no king or great general, thanks to his diary Samuel Pepys is one of the most interesting characters in history. This book takes Pepys' diary, which he kept almost daily from 1660-1669, as its central resource, but also includes a range of other contemporary sources to provide a fascinating and vivid picture of the times.
Eleanor Ty's convincing argument, arrived at through close readings of ten key texts, is an important addition to the recent spate of publications which bring to the fore neglected women authors whose fascinating lives and works greatly enrich our understanding of the late eighteenth century and British Romanticism.
Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802-1838) was one of the leading women poets of the second generation of English Romantic writers. This book analyses Landon's poetics, with particular reference to the close relationship between the narrative poem as literary genre and its gender implications.
COURSE LIBRARIAN: MARTA DEYRUP
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Providing a compact literary history of the twentieth century in England, Cities of Affluence and Anger studies the problematic terms of national identity during England's transition from an imperial power to its integration in the global cultural marketplace.
This sweeping literary encounter with the Western idea of the city moves from the early novel in England to the apocalyptic cityscapes of Thomas Pynchon. Along the way, Richard Lehan gathers a rich entourage that includes Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, Emile Zola, Bram Stoker, Rider Haggard, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Raymond Chandler. The European city is read against the decline of feudalism and the rise of empire and totalitarianism; the American city against the phenomenon of the wilderness, the frontier, and the rise of the megalopolis and the decentered, discontinuous city that followed.
This study examines the importance of space for the way contemporary novelists experiment with style and form, offering an account of how British writers from the past three decades have engaged with landscape description as a catalyst for innovation. David James considers the work of more than fifteen major British novelists to offer a wide-ranging and accessible commentary on the relationship between landscape and narrative design, demonstrating an approach to the geography of contemporary fiction enriched by the practice of aesthetic criticism. Moving between established and emerging novelists, the book reveals that spatial poetics allow us to chart distinctive and surprising affinities between practitioners, showing how writers today compel us to pay close attention to technique when linking the depiction of physical places to new developments in novelistic craft.
"Metropolis and Experience: Defoe, Dickens, Joyce offers a close reading of the major texts of Defoe, Dickens, and Joyce, in their respective historical contexts and in comparison with their intertextual companions, from seventeenth-century "character" pamphlets through Baudelaire to Calvino. In doing so, it challenges the quietist complacency of specialization prevalent in current academia to contribute to a critique of urban modernity in the tradition of Simmel, Benjamin, and Lefebvre.
The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale is an example of Conrad's later political writing, which moved away from his earlier, seafaring tales. The spy Mr. Verloc moves through London where he encounters anarchism, terrorism and revolutionary groups. Conrad also deals with the notion of exploitation. The novel's treatment of terrorism caused it to be one of the three most cited works of literature in the American media post Spetember 11, 2001.
In this era of pandemic fears, the gripping tale of the Great Plague that brought Europe to its knees in the mid-1600s is a surprisingly timely read. Defoe's fictionalized account of life in plague-stricken 1665 London is a harrowing and suspenseful page-turner.
There are few authors whose names can be as immediately identified by a large international public as that of Charles Dickens. Indisputably, to both his own time and all since, he is the greatest literary figure of Victorian England. To many readers, he is equally the English novelist par excellence. Indeed, part of the general significance of Dickens is that he, more than anyone else in the English-speaking world, ensured the triumph of the novel as the most highly regarded and widely read of literary genres, a position it has retained ever since. This edition of Dickens' major works includes, as a matter of course, all the novels and the most significant shorter fiction (Christmas books and stories, Sketches by Boz, etc.). It also includes two volumes of travel writing, considerable selections from Dickens' periodical writing, and his entire output of verse. CSP are particularly pleased to include in this edition, by permission of the editor's estate, the entirety of Prof. Ken Fielding's edition of Dickens's speeches, acknowledged as the standard edition but which has now been out of print for over twenty years.
I have often been asked how I first came to be a regular opium-eater, and have suffered, very unjustly, in the opinion of my acquaintance from being reputed to have brought upon myself all the sufferings which I shall have to record, by a long course of indulgence in this practice purely for the sake of creating an artificial state of pleasurable excitement. This, however, is a misrepresentation of my case. True it is that for nearly ten years I did occasionally take opium for the...
A enthralling story about the inequalities of the 19th-century English legal system Bleak House is one of Charles Dicken's most multifaceted novels. Bleak House deals with a multiplicity of characters, plots and subplots that all weave in and around the true story of the famous case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, a case of litigation in England's Court of Chancery, which starts as a problem of legacy and wills, but soon raises the question of murder.