A History of Victorian Literature
Blackwell History of Literature
1. Edition March 2009
478 Pages, Hardcover
A History of Victorian Literature offers a wide-ranging narrative overview of literature in Great Britain between 1830 and 1900 exploring the extraordinarily varied literary production and reception of the Victorian age, with fresh considerations of major figures and new attention to neglected and less familiar careers. Drawing on a broad range of contemporary scholarship, this book analyzes the development of literary forms-the novel, poetry, drama, autobiography and critical prose-in conjunction with major developments in social and intellectual history.
Incorporating a broad range of contemporary scholarship, A History of Victorian Literature presents an overview of the literature produced in Great Britain between 1830 and 1900, with fresh consideration of both major figures and some of the era's less familiar authors. Part of the Blackwell Histories of Literature series, the book describes the development of the Victorian literary movement and places it within its cultural, social and political context.
* A wide-ranging narrative overview of literature in Great Britain between 1830 and 1900, capturing the extraordinary variety of literary output produced during this era
* Analyzes the development of all literary forms during this period - the novel, poetry, drama, autobiography and critical prose - in conjunction with major developments in social and intellectual history
* Considers the ways in which writers engaged with new forms of social responsibility in their work, as Britain transformed into the world's first industrial economy
* Offers a fresh perspective on the work of both major figures and some of the era's less familiar authors
Note on Citations.
Introduction: Locating Victorian Literature.
1. "The Times are Unexampled": Literature.
in the Age of Machinery, 1830-1850.
2. Crystal Palace and Bleak House: Expansion.
and Anomie, 1851-1873.
3. The Rise of Mass Culture and the Specter.
of Decline, 1873-1901.
"This elegant and far-reaching book offers a surprising source of optimism to those working in the humanities in Higher Education." (Dickens Quarterly, 2010)
"Throughout his prose is clear and unpretentious--in short, entirely appropriate for his intended audience. Though specialists may quibble over what Adams chooses to omit from this concise account, this book is a remarkable achievement." (CHOICE, October 2009)
"...its breadth of coverage is staggering. It includes all the major figures and genres of the age, hosts of relatively minor authors and works, and all the important subgenres. Also, by placing the individual works in their ever-shifting literary and cultural milieus, it provides a depth of insight lacking in more narrowly conceived studies.... Also, it may well stimulate an exploration of the work of such important but neglected authors as Ainsworth, Disraeli and Bulwer-Lytton, not to mention such utterly forgotten authors as Catherine Gore. Adams, in fact, seems to have read so much of the relatively minor and currently neglected literature of the entire period, and writes about it with such gusto and infectious enthusiasm that he extends the breadth and depth of the entire field of Victorian studies and will doubtless inspire specialists as well as less advanced students of the period to read works they might otherwise have viewed as expendable. The book is indeed so replete with valuable insights into so many works and authors that the reader who has taken in its chronological sweep by reading from the introduction through the epilogue will undoubtedly return over and over again via the index to review the readings of particular works" (New Books Online, September 2009)