Literature and Culture
Edited by Gordon Collier
Occasional Prose 1957-1974
Edited by Christopher Balme and Gordon Collier
Sources and Developments in the Gothic Tradition
Edited by Valeria Tinkler-Villani, Peter Davidson and Jane Stevenson
Edited by Bouwe Postmus
Ever since the reappraisal of Gissing’s works began to get under way in the early 1960s through the publication of many new editions of the works and ground-breaking critical studies by Arthur Young, Jacob Korg and Pierre Coustillas, it has become impossible to ignore the high status he now enjoys by rights, which resembles the position granted to him long ago by his contemporaries, as one of the leading English novelists of the late nineteenth century.
This collection of essays is remarkable for its emphasis on women’s issues addressed in Gissing’s novels, ranging from the inadequate education of women to the struggle for greater female independence, within and without marriage. Several contributors seek to define the precise nature and quality of Gissing’s achievement and his place in the canon and, in the process, they open up fascinating, new opportunities for future research.
Mª Lourdes López Ropero
This chapter traces the motif of the female flâneur in a selection of autobiographical works by Janet Frame and Doris Lessing set in the 1950s, the 1960s and contemporary London. It argues that flânery has not only allowed Frame and Lessing to assert their visibility in the modern city as women and as authors, but has provided them with rich materials for their writing. My analysis emphasises the impact of their colonial background on their urban visions, an issue which has been overlooked or inadequately emphasised in recent flâneur scholarship.
Edith Wharton was eager to follow Henry James’s advice when he famously suggested she “Do New York” in 1902, and the result of her subsequent endeavours was The House of Mirth (1905). This chapter considers the function of forms of space in Wharton’s text, and draws on the work of economist Thorstein Veblen, author of the seminal The Theory of the Leisure Class: an Economic Study in the Evolution of Institutions (1899). By re-reading The House of Mirth in terms of the consumer politics of the Gilded Age, and analysing how the central protagonist Lily Bart is able to manipulate areas of public space, it is possible to explore how women are consistently relegated to the status of products for male consumption. Wharton’s scathing critique of the leisure class, exemplified through Lily’s hazardous journey from attractive product to impoverished producer, illustrates the narrow options available to the single woman of the time. By exploring the utilisation of consumerism and the use of different forms of space in Wharton’s bestseller, this analysis intends to understand better the changing role of women within a materialist-centred culture.
The Spectacle of Incest in English Renaissance Tragedy
Negotiating Historical and Medial Difference Between Shakespeare and Verdi
These are among the questions tackled in this study. It provides the first in-depth comparison of Shakespeare’s and Verdi’s Macbeth that is written expressly from the perspective of current Shakespearean criticism whilst striving to do justice to the topic’s musicological dimension at the same time. Exploring to what extent the play’s matrix of possible readings is distinct from Verdi’s two operatic versions, the book seeks to relate such differences both to the historical contexts of the works’ geneses and to their respective medial conditions. In doing so, it pays particular attention to shifting negotiations of witchcraft, gender, madness, and kingship. The study eventually broadens its discussion to consider other Shakespearean plays and their operatic offshoots, reflecting on some possible relations between historical and medial difference.
The Literary Lives of Cardinal Wolsey, Tudor England’s ‘Other King’
Gavin E. Schwartz-Leeper
The author traces the development of these characterizations from the satires of John Skelton to Shakespeare and Fletcher’s Henry VIII, and offers new considerations of canonical and lesser-known texts by George Cavendish, John Foxe, and Raphael Holinshed. This study brings together multidisciplinary analyses to demonstrate how Wolsey’s literary lives reveal much about the contemporary shaping of this period, and argues for new ways to understand uses of the past in early modern England.