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

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

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Reveals how the literary voice of the Victorian age gives expression to a culminating crisis of the Western conscience. This work demonstrates how the power of Victorian literature lies in its gift of asking questions about society and the individual, democracy and industrialism, the existence of God, and the purpose of human life.
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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 Phillip Davis

Inaugurating a major new series, successor to the Oxford History of English Literature but excitingly new in its emphasis on 'literary history', 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. The series will enlighten and inspire not only everyone studying, teaching, and researching in English Literature, but all keen readers of English fiction.

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

General volumes of literary history rarely offer themselves as serious and original criticism, and never as good reads. Philip Davis's Victorian contribution to The Oxford English Literary History is an exception on all counts. Seemingly at ease through what seems the whole range of Victorian thought and literature, so that the most complex ideas emerge under his presentation as lucid and interesting, Davis is particularly impressive in the way he punctuates the work with detailed and convincing readings of dozens of works. And while his broad picture of Victorian literary culture is forcefully and coherently worked out, he is quite remarkably sensitive to the particulars of language and the subtle movement of literary writings. * Nineteenth-Century Literature *
Victorian literature here is not simply an object of professional study: Davis really likes it; more, he respects it. This shows both in the quality of his criticism and in the fullness and fairness of its coverage. * Nineteenth-Century Literature *
Each section concludes with brilliantly sensitive readings of particular novels, poems, dramas, or nonfiction prose works. * Nineteenth-Century Literature *
... presents, to beginners and advanced scholars alike, a remarkable portrait of a literature reimagining itself through enormous changes - intellectual, social, political - that are reflected (and created) by brilliant (and sometimes grotesque) experiments in language and form. * Nineteenth-Century Literature *
Davis has written an excellent guide to the major Victorians. The achievement of this accessible, superbly readable survey is to allow the multiplicity and complexity of Victorian literature to emerge ... His kind of literary history is refreshingly energetic' * Alice Jenkins, THES, *

About Phillip Davis

Jon 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. He is also writing 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

The Oxford English Literary History: Volume 8: 1830-1880: The Victorians by Phillip Davis
Phillip Davis
Used - Very Good
Oxford University Press
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