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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2022
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Book description

Thomas Love Peacock (1785‒1866) is one of the most distinctive prose satirists of the Romantic period. The Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock offers the first complete text of these works to appear for more than half a century. Headlong Hall (1816), Peacock's earliest work of dialogic and satirical fiction, was the most popular of his tales during his lifetime and considered his signature novel. An episodic plot and a country house setting provide the framework for a sparkling intellectual comedy that embraces music, gastronomy, philosophy, politics, craniology, painting, and landscape gardening. This edition supplies an authoritative text and a comprehensive introduction tracing the genesis, composition, publication, reception, and revision of the novel. Extensive explanatory notes throw light on the Welsh backdrop to the fiction as well as on the literary, political, social, and intellectual contexts of Peacock's innovative topical satire.


‘With their meticulous notes, rigorous documentation of textual variants and generous contextual appendices (including two unperformed, unpublished farces that Peacock drew on for Headlong Hall), these fine new volumes in the Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock get us closer than ever to the nuances of his satire.’

Thomas Keymer Source: the Times Literary Supplement

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