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Literature and Dissent in Milton’s England

The England of John Milton’s great poems was the England of Dissenters, those who refused to join the state church after the return of monarchy in 1660 and were seen as dangerous outcasts and rebels. Sharon Achinstein reveals how a literary tradition of dissent was produced by those who suffered political defeat and religious exclusion […]


Foundlings: Lesbian and Gay Historical Emotion before Stonewall

What is it like to “feel historical”? In Foundlings Christopher Nealon analyzes texts produced by American gay men and lesbians in the first half of the twentieth century—poems by Hart Crane, novels by Willa Cather, gay male physique magazines, and lesbian pulp fiction. Nealon brings these diverse works together by highlighting a coming-of-age narrative he calls “foundling”—a […]


The Making of Chaucer’s English: A Study of Words

This book is a study of Chaucer’s words. It describes how these words became evidence for calling Chaucer the “father of English poetry” but, also, why that label is wrong. It shows that Chaucer’s language is, in fact, traditional and argues that his linguistic innovation was as much performance as fact. It provides a thorough […]


Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production

In this provocative and wide-ranging study, Douglas Mao argues that a profound tension between veneration of human production and anxiety about production’s dangers lay at the heart of literary modernism. Focusing on the work of Virginia Woolf, Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Wallace Stevens, Mao shows that modernists were captivated by physical objects, which, regarded as objects, […]


To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature

This powerful book argues that white culture in America does not exist apart from black culture. The revolution of the rights of man that established this country collided long ago with the system of slavery, and we have been trying to reestablish a steady course for ourselves ever since. To Wake the Nations is urgent […]


Sexualities in Victorian Britain

An introduction to Victorian sexualities and a survey of current critical methods, these essays will energize reflection on the complexity of human sexuality and on the many different arrays of meaning that it has generated. Contributors are James Eli Adams, Joseph Bristow, Jonathan Dollimore, Margaret Homans, Rosemary Jann, Andrew H. Miller, Thas E. Morgan, Ornella […]


Novels behind Glass: Commodity Culture and Victorian Narrative

Drawing on recent work in critical theory, feminism, and social history, this book explains the relationship between the novel and the emergent commodity culture of Victorian England, using the image of the “display window”. Novels Behind Glass analyzes the work of Thackeray, Eliot, Dickens, Trollope, and Gaskell, to demonstrate that the Victorian novel provides us […]


Romantic Correspondence: Women, Politics and the Fiction of Letters

The literary importance of letters did not end with the demise of the eighteenth-century epistolary novel. In the turbulent period between 1789 and 1830, the letter was used as a vehicle for political rather than sentimental expression. Against a background of severe political censorship, seditious Corresponding Societies, and the rise of the modern Post Office, […]


Faulkner: The House Divided

A determined study of the political evidence, of contemporary literature and of sociological documents.