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Nostalgia and the Victorian Historical Novel
Author:
Twilight Histories explores the relationship between nostalgia and the Victorian historical novel, arguing that both responded to the turbulence brought by accelerating modernisation. Nostalgia began as a pathological homesickness, its first victims seventeenth-century soldiers serving abroad. Only gradually did it become the sentimental memory we understand it as today. In a striking parallel to nostalgia’s origin, the historical novel emerged in the tumultuous early-years of the nineteenth century, at a time when the Napoleonic Wars once again set troops on the move, creating a new wave of homesick soldiers. In the historical novels of Gaskell, Thackeray, Dickens, Eliot and Hardy, nostalgia offered a language in which to describe the experience of living through changing times as a homesickness for history.

Twilight Histories has been included in Oxford Bibliographies’ Historical Novel category, where it has been reviewed as “[a]n illuminating study of mid-Victorian novels of the recent past—the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.”
Volume Editors: and
This is the first-time publication of long-lost letters by a crucial figure in modernist publishing. Carefully edited and extensively contextualised, they document Beach’s unwavering, all-embracing support for Joyce’s art by publishing his controversial Ulysses in Paris in 1922 and other efforts such as getting fragments of Work in Progress published. They also reveal her difficulties with his uncompromising and demanding personality, as it is vividly illustrated in the Frankfurter Zeitung affair. The edition moreover includes all extant letters to Paul Léon, her successor after their break-up following severe disagreements over the American edition of Ulysses. Joyceans and scholars of modernism will find this an indispensable resource for further research.
Contemporary Reviews and Observations
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Conrad’s Drama: Contemporary Reviews and Observations collects both book reviews and performance reviews of Conrad’s three plays: The Secret Agent, One Day More, and Laughing Anne. These reviews and observations show how Conrad’s plays were received by his contemporaries. More than this, however, Conrad’s Drama reveals the larger conversations surrounding his plays: the state of British drama in the early 20th century, the role the drama critic has in a play’s reception, and the difficulty most fiction writers experience in trying to write for the stage. No other reference work exists for those studying Conrad’s plays, and this volume should prove to be an indispensable reference work for those working on this topic.

Conrad’s Drama received an Honorable Mention in the Joseph Conrad Society of America’s Adam Gillon Book Prize in Conrad Studies for books published 2018-2020.
Author:
In The Popular Front Novel in Britain, 1934-1940, Elinor Taylor provides the first study of the relationship between the British novel and the anti-fascist Popular Front strategy endorsed by the Comintern in 1935. Through readings of novels by British Communists including Jack Lindsay, John Sommerfield, Lewis Jones and James Barke, Taylor shows that the realist novel of the left was a key site in which the politics of anti-fascist alliance were rehearsed. Maintaining a dialogue with theories of populism and with Georg Lukács’s vision of a revived literary realism ensuing from the Popular Front, this book at once illuminates the cultural formation of the Popular Front in Britain and proposes a new framework for reading British fiction of this period.
Comic Subversions and Unlaughter in Contemporary Historical Re-Visions
This volume highlights humour’s crucial role in shaping historical re-visions of the long nineteenth century, through modes ranging from subtle irony, camp excess, ribald farce, and aesthetic parody to blackly comic narrative games. It analyses neo-Victorian humour’s politicisation, its ideological functions and ethical implications across varied media, including fiction, drama, film, webcomics, and fashion. Contemporary humour maps the assumed distance between postmodernity and its targeted nineteenth-century referents only to repeatedly collapse the same in a seemingly self-defeating nihilistic project. This collection explores how neo-Victorian humour generates empathy and effective socio-political critique, dispensing symbolic justice, but also risks recycling the past’s invidious ideologies under the politically correct guise of comic debunking, even to the point of negating laughter itself.


"This rich and innovative collection invites us to reflect on the complex and various deployments of humour in neo-Victorian texts, where its consumers may wish at times that they could swallow back the laughter a scene or event provokes. It covers a range of approaches to humour utilised by neo-Victorian writers, dramatists, graphic novelists and filmmakers – including the deliberately and pompously unfunny, the traumatic, the absurd, the ribald, and the frankly distasteful – producing a richly satisfying anthology of innovative readings of ‘canonical’ neo-Victorian texts as well as those which are potential generic outliers. The collection explores what is funny in the neo-Victorian and who we are laughing at – the Victorians, as we like to imagine them, or ourselves, in ways we rarely acknowledge? This is a celebration of the parodic playfulness of a wide range of texts, from fiction to fashion, whilst offering a trenchant critique of the politics of postmodern laughter that will appeal to those working in adaptation studies, gender and queer studies, as well as literary and cultural studies more generally."
- Prof. Imelda Whelehan, University of Tasmania, Australia
British literature underwent profound changes in the period 1900-1940. What role did audiences and channels of book distribution play in this? In this wide-ranging collection, the influence of publishers, distributors, librarians and readers come to the foreground to open up new perspectives on literature and print culture. Rooted in original archival research, chapters include studies of the engagement of canonical writers and bestsellers with the literary marketplace; the influence of international and mobile audiences; publishing practices involving genre, promotion, and censorship; and the significance of spaces of reading including bookshops, circulating libraries and on-board passenger ships. Through a series of detailed case-studies that focus on under-explored aspects of distribution and readership, the contributors open up new perspectives on literature and the British book trade.
Volume Editor:
‘Celtic’ and ‘Gothic’: both words refer today to both ancient tribes and modern styles. ‘Celtic’ is associated with harp music, native knitwear, and spirituality; ‘Gothic’ with medieval cathedrals, rock bands, and horror fiction. The eleven essays collected together here chart some of the curious and unexpected ways in which the Celts and the Goths were appropriated and reinvented in Britain and other European countries through the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries – becoming not just mythologised races, but lending their names to abstract principles and entire value systems.

Contributed by experts in literature, archaeology, history, and Celtic studies, the essays range from broad surveys to specific case-studies, and together demonstrate the complicated interplay that has always existed between ‘Celticism’ and ‘Gothicism’.

Contributors are: John Collis, Robert DeMaria, Jr., Tom Duggett, Tim Fulford, Nick Groom, Amy Hale, Ronald Hutton, Joep Leerssen, Dafydd Moore, Joanne Parker, Juan Miguel Zarandona.
Experimental and Unconventional Irish Drama since the Revival
Volume Editors: and
When W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory set out in 1897 to create an Irish theatre, they expressed their openness to dramatic experimentation. However, the Abbey Theatre that was their legacy increasingly came to resist non-traditional dramaturgy. Ranging over a period of more than a century, the essays in Beyond Realism focus on theatre that has challenged what came to be perceived as the dominance of realism in Irish drama. The contributors demonstrate that, in the first half of the twentieth century, playwrights such as George Fitzmaurice, Sean O’Casey, and Jack B. Yeats produced unconventional theatre that challenged the norm of realism; they show that Irish dramatists since the 1980s, including Thomas Kilroy, Vincent Woods, and Patricia Burke Brogan further broadened the range of theatrical methods. The concluding essays on contemporary works that use multiple techniques, technology, and site-specific locations suggest that non-realistic, highly theatrical approaches are no longer the exception in Irish drama.