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The Oxford English Literary History: Volume 8: 1830-1880: The Victorians By Philip Davis (Reader in English Literature, University of Liverpool)

The Oxford English Literary History: Volume 8: 1830-1880: The Victorians

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Looks at both canonical and non-canonical writings in their historical context. This book is for students and scholars. It demonstrates how the power of Victorian literature, not just the riches of its novels and poetry, but also non-fiction writings from Darwin to Ruskin and Mill, lies in its gift of asking questions with a personal insistence.
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The Oxford English Literary History: Volume 8: 1830-1880: The Victorians Summary


The Oxford English Literary History: Volume 8: 1830-1880: The Victorians by Philip Davis (Reader in English Literature, University of Liverpool)

Heralding a new era in literary studies, the Oxford English Literary History breaks the mould of traditional approaches to the canon by focusing on the contexts in which the authors wrote and how their work was shaped by the times in which they lived. Each volume offers a fresh, ground-breaking re-assessment of the authors, their works, and the events and ideas which shaped the literary voice of their age. Written by some of the leading scholars in the field, under the general-editorship of Jonathan Bate, the Oxford English Literary History is essential reading for everyone studying, teaching, and researching in English literature. This volume covers the flowering of Victorian literature, from the decade when Tennyson started writing In Memoriam and Darwin embarked on the Beagle to the publication of Hardy's first great novels and the death of George Eliot. The Victorian era produced a literature of diversity and experimentation, engaged with powerful controversies and heartfelt arguments that lie at the centre of the formation of the modern world. It has often been misrepresented, either as an age of dull and rigid certainty or one of anxious and depressive morbidity, but what distinguishes the writing of the period - from its origins in the 1830s to its crisis point around 1880 - is its power of serious inquiry. It poses questions about the relation between society and the individual, the rival claims of market and morality, the form and function of democracy, and, above all, the existence or non-existence of God and the purposes of human life. Such concerns make this a time in which literature has a new urgency and vitality, and lies close to the heart of a culminating crisis of the Western conscience. less tied to the canonical authors and much more interested in placing both canonical and non-canonical writings in their historical context. These are books that every serious student and scholar of the period will need on their shelves.

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The Oxford English Literary History: Volume 8: 1830-1880: The Victorians Reviews


... the personal interrelations and literary filiations of the novelists and main prose writers are wonderfully evoked, so that one gets a good idea, for example, of their takes on one another. The cultural feel of whole communities is conveyed. Davis organises it all magisterially: the inwardness with which he grasps aims and achievements suggests the impressions of a contemporary. * Essays in Criticism *
By insisting that what synthesizes the Victorians is their search for a synthesis, Davis's first-rate book, for all that it is often compellingly immersed in the matter of particular texts and local discourses, triumphantly attains a balloon's-eye view of their literary achievements. * The Review of English Studies *
... skilfully demonstrates how the social and intellectual ructions of the period affected literary form. * The Review of English Studies *
... The volume is especially noteworthy for the generous place granted to the voices of contemporary writers and thinkers. * Virginia Quarterly Review *
Davis presents a neat survey of the key social, economic, and intellectual trends which shaped the Victorian period's literature. * Virginia Quarterly Review *
The Victorians is a magnificent achievement. Teachers, students and serious readers will return frequently to it guided by Davis's comprehensive learning and subtle readings of one of the richest periods of literature in our history. * Reference Reviews *
One feature of the book that is of particular significance to librarians is the author's awareness of publication matters. * Reference Reviews *
... all readers will be impressed by the new knowledge and insights the author offers, and will return to the texts refreshed. * Reference Reviews *
Davis writes with clarity and forthrightness and his comprehensive knowledge and the subtlety of his critical views, his incorporation of some new developments in literary criticism, and his enthusiasm for the achievements of the Victorians, are features that will impress readers. * Reference Reviews *
... a rich, critical discussion of case studies and a wide survey of works of diverse literary genres ... it "informs" us and fleshes out what could otherwise be dry and remote. * Reference Reviews *
For the student or general reader who is relatively new to the period, The Victorians offers a lucid, informative, and entertaining account of a richly various and complex literary culture. * Reviews in History (online) *
... one of the undoubted merits of Davis's volume is that the reader is never allowed to forget that literary works are special sorts of documents; his attention to questions of form and language, so often forgotten in broad-stroke literary histories, is especially commendable. * Reviews in History (online) *
Davis wears his learning lightly, moving elegantly between his various source materials to provide an informative and highly readable narrative. * Reviews in History (online) *
The Victorians is a magnificent achievement. Teachers, students, and serious readers will return frequently to it guided by Davis's comprehensive learning and subtle readings of one of the richest periods of literature in our history. * Bronte Studies *
... a rich, critical discussion of case studies and a wide survey of works of diverse literary genres ... [Davis's] comprehensive knowledge and the subtlety of his critical views, his incorporation of some new developments in literary criticism, and his enthusiasm for the achievements of the Victorians, are unlikely to leave many of his readers unimpressed: he will send most of them back to savour the new knowledge and insight he offers. * Bronte Studies *
Highly impressive. * The Tennyson Research Bulletin *
The Victorians, one of the first volumes to appear in the new series, is a brilliant book. It would be a pity if contemporary scepticism about literary history meant that Philip Davis doesn't get the credit he deserves for dealing in such a masterly way with the vast quantity of material he tackles ... Anyone with a serious interest in the period will find it immensely rewarding. * Charlotte Mitchell, The Spectator *
Is it possible to contain the literary history of the Victorians within a single volume? Philip Davis has risen to the challenge with passionate energy. Authors, texts, ideas and observations crowd the pages of this dense book ... Running through Philip Davis's scholarship is a winningly partisan advocacy of the moral seriousness of Victorian writing. He does not stand aloof from the challenges he describes. The result is a book that animates a bank of information with the force of personal commitment. It will stand as a persuasive affirmation of why the Victorians are still worth reading. * Dinah Birch, Times Literary Supplement *
This is an imaginative, penetrating, often idiosyncratic history, written with brio ... Davis has written a book of breathtaking depth as well as breadth. * Ben Schwarz, Atlantic Monthly *
[A] magnificent work of literary engagement and partisanship ... The development and mission of realism in the novel make up only one of the areas on which Davis sheds light, and he has marvelous chapters on nature, mind, religion, publishing, theatre, and poetry. His prose possesses an insistent spiritual vigor and is free of the ham-fisted parlance and empty cunning of `lit-crit'.' * Katherine Powers, Boston Globe *

About Philip Davis (Reader in English Literature, University of Liverpool)


Jonathan Bate (General Editor): FBA, Professor of English Literature, Warwick University, well known as a scholar of Shakespeare and the Renaissance, and of the Romantic period. The UK s leading exponent of ecocriticism . Most recent books: Shakespeare and Ovid, the Arden Titus Andronicus, The Genius of Shakespeare, a novel about William Hazlitt called The Cure for Love and The Song of the Earth. General editor of the Oxford English Literary History, for which he is writing the volume on the Elizabethans, and he is also engaged in a major biography of John Clare.

Table of Contents


Illustrations ; Introduction ; 1. Rural to Urban 1830-1850 ; 2. Nature ; 3. Religion ; 4. Mind ; 5. Conditions of Literary Production ; 6. The Drama ; 7. Debatable Lands: Variety of Form and Genre in the Early Victorian Novel ; 8. Alternative Fictions ; 9. High Realism ; 10. Lives and Thoughts ; 11. Poetry ; Conclusion ; Author Bibliographies ; Suggestions for Further Reading ; Index

Additional information

GOR003615719
The Oxford English Literary History: Volume 8: 1830-1880: The Victorians by Philip Davis (Reader in English Literature, University of Liverpool)
Philip Davis (Reader in English Literature, University of Liverpool)
Oxford English Literary History
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Oxford University Press
2002-11-01
648
0198184476
9780198184478
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.