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Introduction: Walter Scott’s tales of chivalry and adventure inaugurated a masculinized Scottish romance tradition that celebrated a sublime and heroic version of Scotland. Nineteenth-century Scotswomen responded to Scott’s influence by establishing a countertradition of unromantic or even antiromantic representations of Scotland. Their novels challenge the long-standing claim that Scotland lacked any equivalent to the English realist novel. In turning from the past to the present and from the sublimity of Scott’s Highland landscapes to farmhouses, factories, and suburban villas, Scottish women writers brought romance to everyday life, illuminating the magnificence of the mundane. Drawing on the evangelical discourses emerging from the splintering of the Presbyterian Church in 1843, they represented fiction as a form of spiritual comfort, an antidote to the dreary monotony and petty frustrations of daily existence.
CH 5: The novels of O. Douglas (Anna Buchan) have been overlooked by scholars because of their apparent artlessness and simplicity. By contrast, those of her contemporary Catherine Carswell are celebrated as examples of Scottish literary modernism. Yet Douglas’s and Carswell’s novels are not in fact as different as their disparate reception might lead us to expect. They challenge Free Church ambivalence toward the indulgence of aesthetic pleasure by representing everyday beauty as a source of happiness and of moral and intellectual amelioration. When Douglas’s characters learn to appreciate and create instances of everyday beauty, they become reconciled to the ordinariness of middle-class, evangelical Scottish society, which they realize is not so ordinary after all. In Carswell’s novels, the appreciation of everyday beauty becomes the modernist epiphany, a moment in which the everyday is transformed and the confines of middle-class, evangelical Scottish society are left behind. Reading Carswell’s novels together with Douglas’s suggests that it is perhaps more useful to conceive of the middlebrow and modernism, or popular literature and high art, as a continuum than as an opposition.
Walter Scott's tales of chivalry and adventure inaugurated a masculinized Scottish romance tradition that celebrated a sublime and heroic version of Scotland. Nineteenth-century Scotswomen responded to Scott's influence by establishing a counter-tradition of unromantic or even anti-romantic representations of Scotland. Their novels challenged the long-standing claim that Scotland lacked any equivalent to the English realist novel. In turning from the past to the present and from the sublimity of Scott's Highland landscapes to farmhouses, factories, and suburban villas, Scottish women writers brought romance to everyday life, illuminating the magnificence of the mundane. Drawing on the evangelical discourses emerging from the splintering of the Presbyterian Church in 1843, they represented fiction as a form of spiritual comfort, an antidote to the dreary monotony and petty frustrations of daily existence. This volume introduces the previously overlooked tradition of nineteenth-century Scottish women's writing, and corrects previously male-dominated histories of the Scottish novel.
The Field of Dreams began as the fictional backdrop for a twenty-page short story written by a forty-three-year-old Canadian graduate student studying literature at a midwestern American university. It’s now scheduled to be the actual site of a Major League Baseball game to be played in the 2021 season. What an amazing story! Could W. P. Kinsella really have been such a remarkable visionary to have so clearly foreseen how such a modest prelude would evolve into such a grand finale – all unfolding in the rustling cornfields of Iowa? Readers can decide for themselves. I’ll unspool the spellbinding saga from short story, to novel, to screenplay, to the silver screen, to a tourist venue, and finally to a Major League ballfield. Context, consequence, and coincidence feature prominently in this account.
Mass-gathering events (MGEs) occur regularly throughout the world. As people congregate at MGEs, there is an increased risk of transmission of communicable diseases. Novel respiratory viruses, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-1 (SARS-CoV-1), Influenza A Virus Subtype H1N1 Strain 2009 (H1N1pdm09), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), or Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), may require specific infection prevention and control strategies to minimize the risk of transmission when planning MGEs. This literature review aimed to identify and analyze papers relating to novel respiratory viruses with pandemic potential and to inform MGE planning.
This paper used a systematic literature review method. Various health care databases were searched using keywords relating to MGEs and novel respiratory viruses. Information was extracted from identified papers into various tables for analysis. The analysis identified infection prevention and control strategies used at MGEs to inform planning before, during, and following events.
In total, 27 papers met the criteria for inclusion. No papers were identified regarding SARS-CoV-1, while the remainder reported on H1N1pdm09 (n = 9), MERS-CoV (n = 15), and SARS-CoV-2 (n = 3). Various before, during, and after event mitigation strategies were identified that can be implemented for future events.
This literature review provided an overview of the novel respiratory virus epidemiology at MGEs alongside related public health mitigation strategies that have been implemented at these events. This paper also discusses the health security of event participants and host communities in the context of cancelling, postponing, and modifying events due to a novel respiratory virus. In particular, ways to recommence events incorporating various mitigation strategies are outlined.
Mental illness is not strictly divisible from physical for much of the long eighteenth century: many mental disorders were thought to originate from physical causes and were treated by similar methods. But this category of disease had an enormous influence on literary productions throughout the period. In the early years, in Swift, for example, and in Pope and in adaptations of Shakespeare, being mad, or eccentric, tended to figure largely, while after the rise of the novel, and of sensibility in particular, the figure of the madman, and especially madwoman, featured prominently as a means of arousing fine feelings, as in Richardson, Sterne, and Henry Mackenzie. Similar currents developed within medicine and psychiatry, not least the movement towards ‘moral management’, taking the mad more seriously, and identifying them as a specialist branch of scientific understanding and treatment. These tendencies reached their height within the Romantic period, with madness being seen by Wordsworth, for example, as one danger of the heightened imagination, but also being valorised, as by Blake, as an exceptionally sensitive and privileged condition. This chapter analyses the major types of mental illness that dominated during the period and the ways in which they were discussed and represented.
Late-Victorian novelists responded variously to experimental physiology during a period of disciplinary upheaval in the mental sciences. In the 1860s, leaders in this field included polymathic philosophers such as Herbert Spencer and George Henry Lewes. By contrast, later researchers tended to be university-trained scientists using specialized techniques. In the 1870s, British neurologist David Ferrier and John Hughlings Jackson used clinical studies and controversial animal experiments to link parts of the brain with specific movements, emotions, and behaviors.
Some novelists reacted positively to these scientific developments. French naturalist Émile Zola embraced both evolutionary theory and experimental physiology, opining that novelists must ‘dissect piece by piece’ their fictional characters. Zola’s British admirers and imitators included George Gissing, George Moore, and Thomas Hardy.
Authors of genre fiction responded more ambivalently. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Grant Allen, and H. G. Wells favored literary forms that mimicked the scientific method. Wells’s scientific romances tested an imaginary hypothesis (say, human invisibility) against a series of controls, while Allen’s and Doyle’s detective fiction borrowed diagnostic techniques from Victorian medicine. Late-Victorian Gothic novels, meanwhile, explored anxieties accompanying scientific ‘progress’. Taken together, these examples suggest how Victorian fictions responded productively, if sometimes critically, to experimental practices.
Stoppard’s one novel, Lord Malquist and Mr Moon, is an often-overlooked work which explores the actuality of a historical crisis in national identity. The novel is an imaginative appropriation of contemporary attitudes and tropes. It deserves attention as the work of a writer whose cultural and political antennae are as finely tuned as his literary sensibility.
What is style, and why does it matter? This book answers these questions by recovering the concept of 'stylistic virtue,' once foundational to rhetoric and aesthetics but largely forgotten today. Stylistic virtues like 'ease' and 'grace' are distinguishing properties that help realize a text's essential character. First described by Aristotle, they were integral to the development of formalist methods and modern literary criticism. The first half of the book excavates the theory of stylistic virtue during its period of greatest ascendance, in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when belletristic rhetoric shaped how the art of literary style and 'the aesthetic' were understood. The second half offers new readings of Thackeray, Trollope, and Meredith to show how stylistic virtue changes our understanding of style in the novel and challenges conventional approaches to interpreting the ethics of art.
The British Enlightenment grappled with the concept of “modern history”: what it should contain and what kind of guide to the world it should be. This chapter examines the decline of neoclassical assumptions about history writing in the context of Britain’s rapid social transformation and the emergence of its robust commercial society. A new pressure for historiography to acknowledge this modern world led historians to profound questions about the relation between present and past. How was the eighteenth-century world different from what came before it? When and where did its modernity begin? Asking and answering these questions produced not only new kinds of history writing but also new readers and writers of history. Setting aside the history of great men, new kinds of histories made clear that everyone is a historical actor, opening the door for women and men who would never be statesmen to tell their stories. New histories took many forms, and the chapter’s sections focus on the different answers to questions about the past—and how to represent it-- provided by philosophical history writing, antiquarianism, and the novel.
This essay presents a historical and critical overview of the antebellum plantation romance, or novels written by southerners and those sympathetic to the slaveholding South that deliberately manage the representation of the plantation space for a broader reading public. These representations, in their attempts to shape the image of the U.S. South around the idea of a unified, pastoral community, are reliant on the networks that made plantation culture possible in the first place: global trading, the rise of industrialism, and, of course, slavery. As such, the plantation in works such as John Pendleton Kennedy’s Swallow Barn (1832), George Tucker’s The Valley of Shenandoah (1824), Maria J. McIntosh’s The Lofty and the Lowly (1852), and William Gilmore Simms’s Woodcraft (1852/54) emerges as a heterogeneous entity. With these dynamic elements at play, despite its perceived regional limitations, the genre of the southern plantation romance reveals the conflicting forces that were the main currents in nineteenth-century culture and society.
This chapter shifts to the island of Cuba and the La Escalera conspiracy in the mid-1840s. As this chapter reveals, this conspiracy between free and enslaved people of color in the Spanish colony to overthrow their oppressors takes center stage in the later novels of Martin Delany and Andrés Avelino de Orihuela, each of whom turns to La Escalera in order to develop a particular vision of Black revolution in the hemisphere.
This chapter considers Bahktin’s theories of the novel not only as heteroglossic but as defining this as a genre of overhearing or snooping about private life in a public form. It contributes to an emergent body of scholarship on the sonic in African American literature that newly attends to the ways in which other literary texts not merely were models in a by-now thoroughly debunked dismissal of Black aesthetics as imitative but were inscribed as “overhead.” Both the early African American novel and slave narratives politicized this defining generic characteristic, exposing the “compromised privacy and surveilled speech” endemic to slavery as preconditions of “insurgent listening.” Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents of the Life of a Slave Girl, Frederick Douglass’s The Heroic Slave, Frank Webb’s The Garies and Their Friends, Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig, and Hannah Crafts’s The Bondwoman’s Narrative are read through an attention to the sonic and overhearing that reveals the novel as both a contested genre and a way of “representing contested space and power.” Overhearing stages a dialectical politics of withholding and risky disclosure, the policing and violations the aural made possible, and the emergence of the early African American novel from this nexus of “a space of ‘conflicted listening.’”
This chapter examines the publication of “Theresa” in Freedom’s Journal, a short story about women’s wartime heroism into the broader history of the Haitian Revolution. “Theresa” paints an image of mixed-race womanhood that was not insignificant for both this American venue and for a larger transatlantic context. Like the anonymously written British epistolary novel, The Woman of Colour, A Tale (1808), “Theresa” shows mixed-race women who are aligned with Black racial uplift rather than white assimilation. Moreover, both of these texts present images of mixed-race heroines who differ significantly from those of the “tragic mulatta” genre that would gain popularity during the antebellum period. Instead, “Theresa” frames its mixed-race heroines as models not only of racial solidarity but also of radical abolitionist action. In this, “Theresa” anticipates postbellum mixed-race heroines, through foregoing mixed-race women’s heterosexual union with Black men with their political action alongside them. The chapter offers an analysis of early nineteenth-century texts such as Laura Sansay’s Secret History; or, the Horrors of St. Domingo (1808) and Zelica the Creole (1820), which make the safety of white women the priority of their mixed-race characters.
Over the last decade, the Iraq War (2003-2011) has become a common subject in mainstream literary fiction. In this chapter, I analyze three key examples of veteran-authored novels: Nico Walker’s Cherry (2018), Michael Pitre’s Fives and Twenty-Fives (2014), and Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds (2012). I argue that it is important to read these novels not only as war literature but also as significant cultural representations of contemporary white masculinity. I show how, through their representations of the soldier as both a laboring white body and (as veteran) the traumatized bearer of witness to combat violence, these novels place their white, male protagonists in an exceptional space in which they are insulated from accountability. As such, they illustrate how trauma is used to shore up a particular version of white masculinity that is vulnerable in many ways but still claims a particular kind of authority and narrative control.
Situated at the intersection of law and literature, nineteenth-century studies and post-colonialism, Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination draws on original archival research to shed new light on Victorian literature. Each chapter explores the relationship between the shared cultural logic of law and literature, and considers how this inflected colonial sociality. Leila Neti approaches the legal archive in a distinctly literary fashion, attending to nuances of voice, character, diction and narrative, while also tracing elements of fact and procedure, reading the case summaries as literary texts to reveal the common turns of imagination that motivated both fictional and legal narratives. What emerges is an innovative political analytic for understanding the entanglements between judicial and cultural norms in Britain and the colony, bridging the critical gap in how law and literature interact within the colonial arena.
Chapter 2 connects histories of the English Bible to histories of the English novel. When culture is understood to be a kind of secular scripture, the intellectual problems involved in telling the origins of the English novel – that is, the change that occurs in English prose fiction during the eighteenth century – do not get resolved so much as displaced by other problems, such as the rise of the middle class (Ian Watt) or the twin crises of truth and virtue (Michael McKeon) or the advent of the print-media entertainment industry (William Warner). This chapter discusses a recent exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library commemorating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, two passages from Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative (1789), and Bruno Latour’s actor–network theory to suggest how we might approach culture differently in literary studies and how we might thereby reassemble the secular at the origins of the English novel in a way that opens up new questions about novelistic realism. The chapter ends with a brief discussion of why it matters to think through the postsecular and the postcritical together.
Literary histories of the novel tend to assume that religion naturally gives way to secularism, with the novel usurping the Bible after the Enlightenment. This book challenges that teleological conception of literary history by focusing on scenes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century fiction where the Bible appears as a physical object. Situating those scenes in wider circuits of biblical criticism, Bible printing, and devotional reading, Seidel cogently demonstrates that such scenes reveal a great deal about the artistic ambitions of the novels themselves and point to the different ways those novels reconfigured their readers' relationships to the secular world. With insightful readings of the appearance of the Bible as a physical object in fiction by John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Sarah Scott, Frances Sheridan, and Laurence Sterne, this book contends that the English novel rises with the English Bible, not after it.
Sade was a reader, writer and critic deeply immersed in the prose fiction of his time. His own oeuvre brings together diverse traditions of storytelling ranging from anecdotes, whore dialogues and libertine novels to philosophical contes, sentimental fiction and the Gothic novel. While works such as Thérèse philosophe offered him a model for the 120 Days of Sodom and the Histoire de Juliette, Richardson’s Clarissa provided him with a template of virtue in distress which he would repeatedly exploit in novels ranging from Justine to his later historical fiction such as La Marquise de Gange. This chapter explores some of the key tropes Sade borrows from these antecedents, and the ways in which he recycles these tropes – often to very different ends – within a diverse novelistic corpus still viewed too narrowly by critics and publishers alike.