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New online edition: The Poetry of Sidney A. Alexander, ed. Terry Meyers

In Books, Digital resources on February 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

The full text of a new edition of The Poetry of Sidney A. Alexander, edited by Terry Meyers, is available here (scroll to the bottom):

http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/research/current-projects/poetry-sidney-alexander

The Poetry of Sidney A. Alexander

Bust of Sidney Alexander Image reproduced by permission of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral.


Not all to that Bright Station: The Poetry of Sidney A. Alexander rescues from oblivion the works, largely unpublished, of a Victorian poet who abandoned his nascent literary ambitions. Alexander (1866-1948) won the prestigious Newdigate Prize for poetry at Oxford, and began to place his poetry in periodicals. His last appearance in those was in 1891, after which he began a rise in the Anglican Church that led to prominence, if not fame.

As a student at St. Paul’s School, Alexander distinguished himself by winning a number of prizes and awards, accomplishments he repeated as an Exhibitioner at Trinity College, Oxford. In 1887, he read his winning Newdigate Poem, “Sakya-Muni: The Story of Buddha,” in the presence of Robert Browning. Several of his poems were accepted by leading periodicals of the day; some were reprinted in America.

But from about 1891, Alexander turned his attention to his ecclesiastical career, which culminated in his appointment as a canon at St. Paul’s Cathedral. His position as Treasurer included fundraising and responsibility for the fabric of the cathedral; he was successful in both areas, helping to protect the structure from damage from commercial development in the City and from German bombs during the Blitz. His accomplishments, however, did not lead to what Alexander devoutly wished, appointment as Dean of St. Paul’s.

The works in this edition, mostly unpublished, come from a notebook where Alexander transcribed fair copies of his work. Though the juvenilia may be of little interest, Alexander’s sensibilities and capabilities as a poet do develop, and his later works, especially the narrative poems, have a certain power. His works will interest especially those drawn to Victorian religious poetry.

The poems are presented as scans of Alexander’s holograph transcriptions accompanied by a typescript transcription and explanatory notes. The last pages of the notebook offer the evidence for Alexander’s contemplating a more sustained poetical career. The editorial matter includes a biographical sketch of Alexander and, in the appendices, his Newdigate poem, an unrecorded printing of a St. Paul’s prize poem, and several works from much later in his career. See too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_A._Alexander

New Ashgate Titles in 19th-Century Studies (2011)

In Books on June 17, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Ashgate Publishing is pleased to present its most recent titles in Victorian scholarship.

Please visit  www.ashgate.com for more details.

  • Jane Austen’s Anglicanism, by Laura Mooneyham White, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

February 2011     228 pages              Hardback
978-1-4094-1863-4

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-1864-1
www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409418634

  • The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857: Entrepreneurs, Connoisseurs and the Public, by Elizabeth A. Pergam, Dian Woodner Collection, New York

Includes 12 color and 53 b&w illustrations

May 2011              396 pages              Hardback
978-1-4094-1830-6
www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409418306

  • Media, Technology, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century: Image, Sound, Touch, edited by Colette Colligan and Margaret Linley, both at Simon Fraser University

The Nineteenth Century Series
Includes 45 b&w illustrations

March 2011          316 pages              Hardback
978-1-4094-0009-7

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-3113-8
www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409400097

  • Pirates and Mutineers of the Nineteenth Century: Swashbucklers and Swindlers, edited by Grace Moore, University of Melbourne, Australia

Includes 10 b&w illustrations

March 2011          314 pages              Hardback
978-0-7546-6433-8
www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754664338

  • Poetics of Luxury in the Nineteenth Century: Keats, Tennyson, and Hopkins, by Betsy Winakur Tontiplaphol, Trinity University, Texas

The Nineteenth Century Series

May 2011              222 pages              Hardback
978-1-4094-0489-7

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-0490-3
www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409404897

  • Reimagining the Transatlantic, 1780-1890, by Joselyn M. Almeida, University of Massachusetts,Amherst

Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies

June 2011             294 pages              Hardback
978-0-7546-6967-8

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-0-7546-9761-9
www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754669678

  • Sir John Gilbert: Art and Imagination in the Victorian Age, edited by Spike Bucklow and Sally Woodcock

A Lund Humphries Book

Includes 100 color and 75 b&w illustrations

March 2011          264 pages              Hardback
978-1-84822-079-9
www.lundhumphries.com/isbn/9781848220799

  • Victorian Jewelry, Identity, and the Novel: Prisms of Culture, by Jean Arnold, California State University, San Bernardino, California

Includes 10 b&w illustrations

June 2011             182 pages              Hardback
978-1-4094-2127-6

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-2128-3
www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409421276

  • Victorian Transformations: Genre, Nationalism and Desire in Nineteenth-Century Literature, edited by Bianca Tredennick, SUNY College of Oneonta

The Nineteenth Century Series

Includes 4 b&w illustrations

April 2011             214 pages              Hardback
978-1-4094-1187-1

This title is also available as an eBook, ISBN 978-1-4094-1188-8
www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409411871

Romantic and Victorian Scholarship from Cambridge University Press: New Books

In Books on January 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm
Some new and forthcoming books in the field from Cambridge UP:
Blake's Gifts

Blake’s Gifts

Poetry and the Politics of Exchange
  • Sarah Haggarty
  • Hardback (ISBN-13: 9780521117289)
  • Publication date: October 2010
  • Subject: English literature 1700-1830

The Cambridge Introduction to Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • John Worthen
  • Paperback (ISBN-13: 9780521746434)
  • View other formats:

  • Publication date: October 2010
  • Subject: English literature 1700-1830

The Cambridge Introduction to William Wordsworth

The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism

  • 2nd Edition
  • Stuart Curran
  • Paperback (ISBN-13: 9780521136051)
  • View other formats:

  • Publication date: August 2010
  • Subject: English literature 1700-1830

Commonplace Books and Reading in Georgian England

  • David Allan
  • Hardback (ISBN-13: 9780521115346)
  • View other formats:

  • Publication date: August 2010

Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination

Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination

  • Katherine Byrne
  • Hardback (ISBN-13: 9780521766678)
  • Publication date: January 2011
  • Subject: English literature 1830-1900

The Cambridge Introduction to Charles Dickens

  • Jon Mee
  • Paperback (ISBN-13: 9780521676342)
  • View other formats:

  • Publication date: November 2010
  • Subject: English literature 1830-1900

Thinking about Other People in Nineteenth-Century British Writing

  • Adela Pinch
  • Hardback (ISBN-13: 9780521764643)
  • View other formats:

  • Publication date: August 2010
  • Subject: English literature 1830-1900

CFP (collection): “Virtual Victorians: Networks, Connections, Technologies”

In Articles, Books on April 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

CFP: Virtual Victorians: Networks, Connections, Technologies.

(5/15/10; DEADLINE EXTENDED; proposed collection)

Virtual Victorians: Networks, Connections, Technologies

The proposed multi-disciplinary collection seeks to illuminate connections
between Victorian and twenty-first century technologies, as well as ask how
we might consider “virtuality” in relation to Victoriana. It will explore
the networks and connections facilitated by technology by combining
close-reading, broad theoretical questions, project descriptions, and
pedagogical methods.

I invite proposals for original essays on the Victorian art, literature, and
history that answer such questions as: How does the “digital revolution”
replicate technological developments in the Victorian era?  What Victorian
innovations most resemble twenty-first century networks and connections? How
can we best represent Victorian literature electronically?  What new reading
practices are facilitated by current (and emerging) digital technologies?
How does the virtual world change the way we teach Victorian art, history,
and literature?

Consider John. A Walsh’s, “Multimedia and Multitasking: A Survey of Digital
Resources for Nineteenth-Century Literary Studies”:

“The industrial revolution of the nineteenth century is the closest analog to
the rapid technological and social change of the digital age. And many
features of the nineteenth century — increased literacy rates, the
beginnings of mass media, the decreasing costs of publishing — led to
ever-increasing volumes of information and the need for ever more
sophisticated and flexible technologies for representing and managing that
information. Chronologically, technologically, and figuratively, the
nineteenth century and the industrial revolution are in large part the
parents of the digital age.”

Suggested topics may include:

- Victorian technologies

- visualization and remediation

- steampunk

- theoretical questions on how to best represent Victoriana electronically

- Victorian science fiction

- twenty-first century digital reading practices of Victorian literature

- pedagogies

Please send abstracts of 500 words, accompanied by a brief bio, to
mbtimney@uvic.ca

The deadline for abstracts is 15 May 2010.

Completed essays will be due on 1 September 2010.

Email enquiries are welcome.


Dr. Meagan Timney
Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory
Department of English
University of Victoria
Victoria, BC

Web: http://corpora.ca
Email: mbtimney@uvic.ca
Phone: 250-472-5401

Victorian Working-Class Women Poets Archive
http://wcwp.corpora.ca

New Books in 19th-Century Studies from Pickering and Chatto

In Books on February 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

The following titles relevant to Nineteenth-Century Studies have recently been published by Pickering and Chatto:

Blasphemy in Britain and America, 1800-1930
www.pickeringchatto.com/blasphemy

The Collected Letters of Ellen Terry
www.pickeringchatto.com/terry

New Woman Fiction, 1881-1899
www.pickeringchatto.com/newwoman

Regionalizing Science: Placing Knowledges in Victorian England
www.pickeringchatto.com/regionalizing

Rural Unwed Mothers: An American Experience, 1870-1950
www.pickeringchatto.com/unwed

The Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning
www.pickeringchatto.com/barrettbrowning

The Language of Whiggism: Liberty and Patriotism, 1802-1830
www.pickeringchatto.com/whiggism

English Catholics and the Education of the Poor, 1847-1902
www.pickeringchatto.com/englishcatholics

Public Execution in England, 1573-1868
www.pickeringchatto.com/execution

Fictions of Dissent: Reclaiming Authority in Transatlantic Women’s
Writing of the Late Nineteenth Century
www.pickeringchatto.com/dissent

New Palgrave Title on 19th-Century Visual Culture

In Books on December 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm

To be released on December 11, 2010, a new book from Palgrave:

Illustrations, Optics and Objects in Nineteenth-Century Literary and Visual Cultures

Palgrave Macmillan

Through a close encounter with material objects and cultural experiences this book transforms the way we read the literary and the visual in the nineteenth century. The photograph, the illustrated magazine and the collection became centres of multisensorial perception through looking, reading, handling, sharing and writing. Attention to these embodied practices helps flesh out forms of perception and circulation which deferred and transformed desire and pleasure across media. Capturing the historically specific modes in which such objects were produced, encountered, and conceptualised, the essays in this collection argue against the separation of the senses and rethink the manner in which visuality touches the beholder both literally and metaphorically. Through early and late nineteenth-century episodes in the cultures of viewing, reading, and collecting this book makes new and sometimes surprising connections between Romanticism and the fin de siècle. Through its exploration of a material aesthetic this book offers fresh and original readings of works by William Wordsworth, Percy Shelley, Henry James, and Oscar Wilde, among others.

Foreword; H.Fraser
Introduction: Nineteenth-Century Objects and Beholders; L.Calè & P. Di Bello

PART I: BLINDING VISIONS
Ekphrasis and Terror: Shelley, Medusa, and the Phantasmagoria; S.Thomas
Wordsworth’s Glasses: the Materiality of Blindness in the Romantic Vision; H.Tilley

PART II: PHOTOGRAPHS AND THEIR PLEASURES
The Wont of Photography, or the Pleasure of Mimesis; L.Smith
Aesthetic Encounters: the Erotic Visions of John Addington Symonds and Wilhelm Von Gloeden; S.Evangelista

PART III: ILLUSTRATIONS AND LATENT IMAGES
‘Latent Preparedness’: Literary Association and Visual Reminiscence in Daisy Miller; G.Smith
A Modern Illustrated Magazine: The Yellow Book Poetics of Format; L.J.Kooistra

PART IV: PRECIOUS OBJECTS
Dandyism, Visuality and the ‘Camp Gem’: Collections of Jewels in Huysmans and Wilde; V.Mills
The Book Beautiful: Reading, Vision, and the Homosexual Imagination in Late Victorian Britain; M.Hatt

Bibliography
Index

Two New Books on 19th-Century Book History: Piper and Ferris/Keen (eds.)

In Books on December 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Two notable books have recently appeared on the relationship of books and book history to our understanding of the nineteenth-century.

The first is Andrew Piper’s Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age (University of Chicago, 2009).  This looks like an extremely interesting book, and I’ll be reviewing it next year for Studies in Romanticism. Here is Piper’s description:

“At the turn of the nineteenth century, publishing houses in London, New York, Paris, Stuttgart, and Berlin produced books in ever greater numbers. But it was not just the advent of mass printing that created the era’s “bookish” culture. According to Andrew Piper, romantic writing and romantic writers played a crucial role in adjusting readers to this increasingly international and overflowing literary environment. Learning how to use and to want books occurred through more than the technological, commercial, or legal conditions that made the growing proliferation of books possible; the making of such bibliographic fantasies was importantly a product of the symbolic operations contained within books as well.

“Examining novels, critical editions, gift books, translations, and illustrated books, as well as the communities who made them, Dreaming in Books tells a wide-ranging story of the book’s identity at the turn of the nineteenth century. In so doing, it shows how many of the most pressing modern communicative concerns are not unique to the digital age but emerged with a particular sense of urgency during the bookish upheavals of the romantic era. In revisiting the book’s rise through the prism of romantic literature, Piper aims to revise our assumptions about romanticism, the medium of the printed book, and, ultimately, the future of the book in our so-called digital age.”

Piper’s book also has its own blog, or booklog, available here.

The second book of note is a collection of what look to be fascinating essays, Bookish Histories, edited by Ina Ferris and Paul Keen; can’t wait to see this:

Bookish Histories
Books, Literature, and Commercial Modernity, 1700-1900
Edited by Ina Ferris and Paul Keen
Palgrave Macmillan

Introduction: Towards a Bookish Literary History; I.Ferris & P.Keen

PART ONE: RECONFIGURING LITERARY HISTORY
Wild Bibliography: The Rise and Fall Book History in Nineteenth-Century Britain; J.Klancher
‘Uncommon Animals’: Making Virtue of Necessity in the Age of Authors; P.Keen
Making Literary History in the Age of Steam; W.McKelvy

PART TWO: BOOKS IN THE EVERYDAY
Canons’ Clockwork: Novels for Everyday Use; D.Lynch
Book-Love and the Remaking of Literary Culture in the Romantic Periodical; I.Ferris
The Art of Sharing: Reading in the Romantic Miscellany; A.Piper
Getting the Reading Out of London Labor; L.Price

PART THREE: REMAPPING THE LITERARY FIELD
Reading Collections: The Literary Discourse of Eighteenth-Century Libraries; B.M.Benedict
Imagining Hegel: Bookish Form and the Romantic Synopticon; M.Macovski
‘The Society of Agreeable and Worthy Companions’: Bookishness and Manuscript Culture after 1750; B.A.Schellenberg
The Practice and Poetics of Curlism: Print, Obscenity, and the Merryland Pamphlets in the Career of Edmund Curll; T.Keymer
Charlatanism and Resentment in London’s Mid-Eighteenth Century Literary Marketplace; S.During

The Year’s Work in Victorian Poetry: General Materials

In Books on November 23, 2009 at 10:11 am

Erik Gray’s elegant and evocative new study, Milton and the Victorians (Cornell Univ. Press, 2009) takes up the question of Milton’s influence in the wake of the Romantic agon diagnosed by Harold Bloom. Paying closest attention to Christina Rossetti, Arnold, Tennyson, and George Eliot, Gray offers variations on a double theme: the obvious yet diffuse nature of the Miltonic in Victorian writing and the roots of this model of influence in the work of Milton himself. Unlike the Romantics who struggle insistently and Satanically with Milton as their precursor, the Victorians accept him as a “classic”—meaning he is both everywhere, taken for granted, and yet strangely obscure, occluded in ways that nevertheless express his power as an influence. Christina Rossetti’s biblical allusions, for example, keep turning to Milton in a way that quietly demonstrates the pervasiveness of his poetry. In the central portion of the book, Gray chooses a particular rubric for individual authors. Arnold is drawn to “the Might of Weakness” in Milton: the tendency for power to get expressed paradoxically through retreat or self-limitation. This provides a model for Arnold’s own poetry and its frequent yet oblique allusions to Milton. Similarly, Tennyson adopts Miltonic modes of “Diffusive Power,” limiting his scope, trading in understatement, and emphasizing the earthly, mortal beauty in Milton rather than the sublime. George Eliot thematizes “Troubled Transmissions” in Middlemarch, drawing on David Masson’s then-recent biography to invoke a Milton both great and “subject to inevitable distortion” (p. 151). Each section of Gray’s book leads into a series of readings of related texts, brought to life by the critic’s fine ear and sure touch, his real ease with language and perhaps more crucially, with the more subtle range of human emotion. His previous book, The Poetry of Indifference, was also devoted to the understated and the oblique, yet his own habits of mind are anything but slack. In a characteristically witty move, Gray entitles his new book’s conclusion, “The Heirs of Milton,” and it dwells tellingly, amusingly, and finally movingly on Milton’s hair—and human hair generally—as a way of thinking about influence via self-possession and dispersal. Readers may not accept all of Gray’s suggestive formulations, but they cannot fail to be impressed by his nuanced mode of proceeding and the winning style of his prose. Milton and the Victorians provides valuable new ways of thinking about Milton, about the [End Page 533] relationship of Romantic to Victorian literature, about the specific authors and works it takes up, and about the nature of influence itself. It reveals an impressive literary critic at work.

In Electric Meters: Victorian Physiological Poetics (Ohio Univ. Press, 2009), Jason Rudy asks us to re-imagine the history of Victorian poetry by placing the Spasmodics at its center. In such a narrative, the prosodic experiments of Sydney Dobell and Alexander Smith represent an extreme version of what motivated Victorian poets across the board: the struggle to forge a “rhythmic epistemology,” involving “the communication of knowledge and feeling through physiological pulses” conveyed via the reading of verse (p. 80). Using the debates over Spasmody as a lens, Rudy reveals patterns of engagement with “embodied poetic form” as characteristic of the age of electricity and the telegraph. He argues that while the poets of Sensibility (for example, the Della Cruscans) and the Romantics had some allegiance to the idea of electric communication of emotion, it was the Victorians who moved beyond mere intellectual processing and metaphorical deployment: they wanted verse to work directly upon the body. One might argue with the quick dispatch of Romanticism along these lines, particularly the sidelining of Coleridge, but Rudy is looking ahead to Tennyson’s early work, and particularly The Princess, as involved with the telegraph and the physiological effects of electric sensation. That these effects could have socio-political consequences meant that the debate over embodied poetics was conducted at a nervous pitch. Rudy has Tennyson swerve from a commitment to this type of poetry as “too extreme, too extravagant, and ultimately, in a time of national unease [i.e., Chartism], too dangerous” (p. 75). In a chapter on the Spasmodic poets, Dobell is a culture hero, championing a “universalized notion of feeling” (p. 80) and relocating sympathy “from the isolated, thinking brain to the body at large” in pursuit of a “communal poetics” (p. 96). Another chapter presents both Patmore and Hopkins confronting “electric poetics” as a “foil, a style of writing to be avoided” (p. 112), even as their work is profoundly shaped by concerns with meter and physiology. Rudy presents Swinburne and Mathlida Blind as rejecting mere spasm for its more sublime sibling, something he terms “rapture,” which “fuses emotional affect with structural poetics” (p. 168), and he concludes with a look at Victorian spiritualist poetry as an emblem for the commerce between poetry and the embodied world. The book is filled with valuable insights and connections as Rudy pursues the discourse of poetry’s physiological modes of affect in the nineteenth-century. Readers will have different takes on the overall argument. On one hand, almost every poet treated here has deep reservations about the conceptions of the Spasmodics that supply Rudy with his paradigm; this is mostly a book about why the Victorians turned away from physiological poetics and rhythmic irregularity. On the other, Rudy makes clear that Victorian poetry was profoundly influenced by these ideas, and he [End Page 534] illuminates its attempts to rework Romantic aeolian communication in the age of the electric telegraph. One appreciates the valuable close reading and metrical analysis found in Electric Meters (I wished for even more of the latter), as well as the attention to lesser-studied figures like Dobell and Blind. Rudy has written a book that will reorient our attention towards the language of pulse and shock in the period, and will get us thinking about aesthetic and social consequences as we take the measure of Victorian poetry.

Virginia Zimmerman makes an important contribution to the study of relations between Victorian science and literature in her new book, Excavating Victorians (State Univ. of New York Press, 2008). As geology and archaeology made great strides in the nineteenth century, she argues, the Victorians were confronted not only with new matter for interpretation (e.g., fossils, the remains of lost cities) but with new questions about their own relationship to time and loss. The “dreadful hammers” of Ruskin’s geologists and the equally disruptive excavations of the archaeologists produced anxieties of insignificance that authors met with complex meditations and ultimately with visions of hope. Zimmerman makes use of “excavation” as a guiding trope in her study, finding in it a model for contextual interpretation and archival recovery of the significant trace. Indeed, it seems that interpretation was the primary means by which the Victorians reasserted the primacy of the individual in the face of annihilation and “the dark and backward abysm of time.” She presents geologists Charles Lyell and Gideon Mantell as storytellers exercising interpretive authority over time and materiality. Tennyson’s Princess is offered similarly as domesticating an indifferent nature via narrative. The book’s second half moves to archaeology, and really comes into its own there. Zimmerman has illuminating things to say about the Victorian reception of Pompeii, Assyria, Egypt, and ancient London, weaving together works by Bulwer-Lytton, Hemans, Dante Rossetti, and Dickens with contemporary journalism and visual images that evoke a distinct period of excavatory anxiety. Engagingly written and thoroughly researched, Excavating Victorians has riches to offer: not only its well-chosen representations of Victorian geology and archaeology but also its own interpretive power and moments of insight. The book begins and ends with Arnold’s “Dover Beach,” wherein the individual voice is pitted against the roar of pebbles that, as Zimmerman writes, “closes up time like a fan” (p. 178). She argues that the Victorians found hope and meaning in that contest, asserting the power of articulation that is called forth by traces of the past.

Kathryn Ledbetter’s British Victorian Women’s Periodicals: Beauty, Civilization, and Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) makes a spirited case for the importance of poetry in nineteenth-century periodicals for women. Working against the habitual dismissal of these “women’s magazines” and the sentimental poetry that filled them, Ledbetter asks her readers to attend more [End Page 535] closely. By reading such poems within their original contexts of publication and with a sympathetic understanding of the cultural system in which they operated, she argues, we can gain a purchase on the Victorian transactions of gender, identity, and power. Herself highly attuned to the range and complexity of Victorian periodicals and sensitive to gender politics, Ledbetter moves through a large number of examples with a deft hand. The central argument here is that “women’s periodicals expressed a domestic and feminine power centered in the home” (p. 206), while also encouraging them to become poets, thereby consolidating the feminization of poetry that was underway. Ledbetter uses this general rubric to organize “a sample of meanings from a sample of women’s periodicals” (p. 17) under general themes: women’s work in chapter one (including motherhood and authorship); “moral themes and exhortations” in chapter two (including piety, philanthropy, and missionary subjects); beauty in chapter three; and the interplay between magazine editors and female poets in the final chapter. Far from confirming a neat thesis, the book instead demonstrates the value of avoiding monolithic ideas about anything happening in the Victorian periodical press. The critical method of the book is in some sense reflective of the periodicals upon which it is engaged: various, capacious, darting, miscellaneous. Ledbetter likes to unfold new examples for us, and it is these well-informed acts of selection and explication that prove most valuable. Ledbetter’s extensive experience with Victorian periodicals has led her to produce a growing body of such illuminating work, including her recent Tennyson and Victorian Periodicals: Commodities in Context. In British Victorian Women’s Periodicals, this trajectory continues; the book illustrates the rich contingency and signifying power of women’s poetry in the annuals and journals of the Victorian era.

Second Sight: The Visionary Imagination in Late Victorian Literature (Manchester Univ. Press, 2008) by Catherine Maxwell is not another study of Victorian visual culture or optical technologies. Rather, it focuses on the late Victorian inheritance of the Romantic imagination and its visionary supplements in the face of absence and loss. It could be said to chart the course that lies between the Romantic sublime and the Modernist epiphany; it investigates the late-Victorian investment in the Romantic Image. Maxwell has chosen six representative authors whose lives were connected in various ways—Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Walter Pater, Vernon Lee and her brother Eugene Lee-Hamilton, Theodore Watts-Dunton, and Thomas Hardy—and shows how each was drawn to the borderlands of the invisible world. Accordingly, uncanny revelations, bittersweet visitations, and rich hauntings come to characterize their work, typically prompted by “lost or elusive women” (p. 17). Maxwell proceeds by means of substantial and subtle intertextual readings, looking to biography or psychoanalytic theory when necessary while maintaining a focused interest in matters literary-historical and aesthetic. She emphasizes Rossetti’s fusion [End Page 536] of the mystical and fleshly, and shows the importance of magnetism in his evocations of female figurae, especially Proserpine. Pater is also attracted to Persephone as a fusion of the worlds of life and death; the goddess becomes an emblem of the embodied transcendence that he admires in art, especially sculpture, which allows us to “arrest the elusive phantasm of an essence” (p. 80). Lee and Lee-Hamilton are “given to images of burial and submersion, disinterment, emergence, and discovery” (pp. 114-115), and Maxwell focuses on the their common allusions to the Venus de Milo as a touchstone for the sublime. Watts-Dunton’s Aylwin reveals its allegiance to Coleridge (and Rossetti) with its emphasis on the mesmerizing, self-replicating femme fatale, and Hardy’s poetry is rife with ghosts, a window onto a phantasmal space not unlike a page of printed verse. Maxwell’s Second Sight asks us to take another look at Victorian literature with an eye for its phantoms, the occult revenants that signify a yearning for the visionary fusion of the seen and unseen. For these Victorian poets in the Romantic tradition, Maxwell shows us, such emergent figures are the essence of the imagination.

New Books in 19th-Century Studies: Wilson, M. Sanders, V. Sanders, Thornton, Malton, Schoenfield, Gubar, Waldman

In Books on October 19, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Some notable new books in the field have recently been reviewed at NBOL-19: Nineteenth-century Books OnLine:

Cheryl A. Wilson
LITERATURE AND DANCE IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY BRITAIN: JANE AUSTEN TO THE NEW WOMAN

(Cambridge, 2009) vii + 202 pp.
Reviewed by Alisa Clapp-Itnyre on 2009-09-18.

Mike Sanders
THE POETRY OF CHARTISM: AESTHETICS POLITICS, HISTORY

(Cambridge, 2009). ix + 299 pp.
Reviewed by John Plotz on 2009-10-16.

Sara Thornton
ADVERTISING, SUBJECTIVITY AND THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY NOVEL: DICKENS, BALZAC, AND THE LANGUAGE OF THE WALLS

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), xi + 214 pp.
Reviewed by Nicholas Mason on 2009-09-25.

Sara Malton
FORGERY IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY LITERATURE AND CULTURE: FICTIONS OF FINANCE FROM DICKENS TO WILDE

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) x + 187 pp.
Reviewed by Leeann D. Hunter on 2009-10-15.

Valerie Sanders
THE TRAGI-COMEDY OF VICTORIAN FATHERHOOD

(Cambridge, 2009) xii + 246 pp.
Reviewed by Eileen Gillooly on 2009-09-25.

Marah Gubar
ARTFUL DODGERS: RECONCEIVING THE GOLDEN AGE OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

(Oxford, 2009) xiv + 264 pp.
Reviewed by James Eli Adams on 2009-09-01.

Mark Schoenfield
BRITISH PERIODICALS AND ROMANTIC IDENTITY: THE LITERARY “LOWER EMPIRE”

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) viii + 296 pp.
Reviewed by Nikki Hessell on 2009-09-01.

Suzanne B. Waldman
THE DEMON AND THE DAMOZEL: DYNAMICS OF DESIRE IN THE WORKS OF CHRISTINA ROSSETTI AND DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI

(Ohio, 2009) 211 pp.
Reviewed by Kathleen O’Neill Sims on 2009-09-01.

FRANKENSTEIN: Charles Robinson’s New Edition

In Books on August 31, 2009 at 8:15 pm

The Hoarding is especially pleased to note the appearance of a paperback edition of Charles Robinson’s landmark Bodleian edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Here is his message, as posted to the NASSR list:

“On Mary Shelleys birthday [she was born 30 August 1797], I take the opportunity of announcing that my Bodleian hardbound edition of The Original Frankenstein is available in the United States and Canada as a Vintage paperback for $14 [official publication date is 8 September 2009]. The edition of 448 pages contains two texts of the novel [the first uses italics for the words that PBS wrote into MWSs Draft of the novel; the second removes all of these PBS words and restores MWSs more colloquial words that he had canceled; and the second uses running foots to allow for comparisons between the two texts].

“This edition, based on the Bodleian Draft manuscripts, also retains the original structure of the novel in 2 volumes with 33 chapters [much faster paced than the first edition in 3 volumes and 23 chapters].

“Anyone interested in an examination copy for courses may contact

Keith Goldsmith
Executive Director of Academic Marketing
The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
(212) 572-2597
kgoldsmith@randomhouse.com

“Placing the ISBN of 978-0307474421 into google will yield descriptions, etc., at Amazon and other places.

“If you wish to send this email to your librarian for order, the url for the book is at

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307474421

Thank you.”

Charles E. Robinson

University of Delaware

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