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In her novels and short stories, May Laffan Hartley (1849–1916) depicts the religious and political controversies of late nineteenth- century Ireland. Helena Kelleher Kahn reintroduces us to Laffan’s vivid, witty fiction, rich in political and social commentary. Laffan did not offer clear-cut approval to one side or the other of the social and religious divide but weighed both and often found them wanting. She adds a missing dimension to the Irish world of Wilde, Shaw, Moore and Joyce. A woman of the age subtly embroiders the acute challenges and divisions of middle-class Ireland. As Kahn says, “she chose to write about the alcoholic ex-student, the impecunious solicitor, the farmer or merchant turned politician, and their often resentful wives and children. On the whole her world view was pessimistic. Rural Ireland was a beautiful intellectual desert. Dublin was a place to leave, not to live in.” This account of her life and work will be of interest to students of Anglo-Irish literature and history, as well as women’s studies.
Dorothy Richardson Annotated
Dorothy Richardson's thirteen-volume Pilgrimage is crowded with references from the last decade of the Victorian era and the first decade of the twentieth century. The interests of the protagonist Miriam Henderson are wide-ranging, from ecology to economics, from fiction to philosophy, from the mores of the family to the morals of the nation. Pilgrimage's stream-of-consciousness narrative evokes these references and interests in elusive, complex ways. Even accomplished readers, following in the wake of the heroine's personal revelations, are hard-pressed to understand aspects of the more public scene from turn-of-the-century England. Notes on 'Pilgrimage' , by identifying historical persons, events, ideas, quotations and writings that underpin Richardson's story, illuminates these factual details and enriches understanding of the narrative. A translation of all foreign words and phrases, a record of textual misprints and a thorough index add to the value of the book.
A Supplement to "Oscar Wilde Revalued"
Oscar Wilde: Recent Research updates and reconceptualizes the bibliographic objectives of the earlier Oscar Wilde Revalued. This new volume surveys research on Wilde from 1992 to 2000, but in a much more explicitly evaluative manner. The opening chapter, “Wilde in the 1990s,” traces the main directions of Wilde research over the past decade. Critical material is then reviewed under three broad categories. The first, Biography, is concerned with the continuing fascination with Wilde’s life, and its emphasis on how critics have moved on from dissatisfaction with Richard Ellmann’s Oscar Wilde (1987). Recent Critical Paradigms evaluates research channelled through master-narratives that have emerged in the 1990s, ways of describing Wilde’s work: the “gay” Wilde, the “Irish” Wilde, and “Wilde and Consumerism.” Wilde the Writer, the third category, centres on an important trend in research during the last decade, what might be thought the less glamorous aspects of the oeuvre—from the seriousness with which Wilde took his role as a poet, to the sheer amount of time he devoted to writing journalism, to the complexities of the production and staging of the plays. Oscar Wilde: Recent Research also contains sections devoted to sources and intertexts, to thematic studies, to essay collections, and to critical monographs which take Wilde as their sole subject. The book includes information about new research resources, and about manuscript discoveries and letters. It concludes with an extensive bibliography organized alphabetically and in terms of Wilde’s works and an index of critics.
An Essay on New Materials and Methods of Research
In Oscar Wilde Revalued, Ian Small chronicles the significant changes in Wildean critcism and suggests that a "demythologized" Wilde is surfacing from innovative but scattered research by scholars working in areas as distinct as women's studies, textual scholarship and theatre history. The book places the scholarship in an authoritative context, makes explicit changes that have occurred since E. H. Mikhail's bibliography, corrects earlier bibliographical inaccuracies, and provides a census and description of the manuscripts available.
Over the years, Pilgrimage (1915-1967) has been viewed as early Modernism's great documentary novel, as daring experimental fiction, as spiritual autobiography and pioneer of cinematographic technique. No matter what critical viewpoint readers use, Pilgrimage's reputation as a demanding text persists. Like James Joyce's Ulysses, Richardson's 2000 intricately woven pages have challenged readers for decades. Reader's Guide meets these difficulties with a detailed account of the time scheme of the narrative, and a precise chronology of events keyed to the novels by page number for easy reference. Relationships among the principal persons of the story are followed throughout, and all the characters are placed in context in an alphabetically arranged descriptive directory. The book concludes with a select annotated secondary bibliography.
Life, Love, and Art
This is William Dillingham’s third book studying the relationship between Rudyard Kipling’s inner life and his writings. The focus is on major short stories, mainly from Kipling’s later period, beginning with an earlier work, “‘The Finest Story in the World,’” and concluding with the last story he wrote, “‘Teem’—a Treasure Hunter.” Rudyard Kipling: Life, Love, and Art analyzes stories that are not only among Kipling’s most accomplished but also demonstrably in need of a fresh, thorough reassessment, furnishing insights into how such intricately complex works as “‘Wireless,’” “Mrs. Bathurst,” “The Bull That Thought,” and “The Wish House” were conceived and how they reflect Kipling’s most cherished beliefs, including his commitments and his fears. As Professor Dillingham says, “we find that frequently at their core are matters that deal with the heart of his craft and subjects that pervade his writings: life, how it should and should not be lived; love, what is healthy about it and what is perilous; and Art, what it is in broad terms ‘proper work’ and how crucially important it is to one’s sense of identity.”
A Second Book of Words
A Book of Words, Kipling’s own selection of his speeches published in 1928, reflects a variety of topics and audiences. He spoke to schoolboys about literature, to Brazilians about “the spirit of the Latin,” to the Royal Geographical Society about travel, to navy men about sailors, to ship owners about shipping, to university students about independence. Many of his speeches have remained uncollected and virtually unknown. A Second Book of Words collects what Kipling left uncollected. The speeches in this new book date from 1884 to 1935. We see Kipling at different moments before different audiences. We hear how he talked to his Sussex neighbors, or how he addressed a parliamentary committee, or a South African election meeting, or a club of London doctors, or his fellow honorary degree recipients at Cambridge. The more substantial, formal speeches are equally various, marked by Kipling’s mastery of language, a few passing over into a violent extravagance of feeling—the attack on the Liberal government in the speech of 16 May 1914 or the speech on war aims of 15 February 1918. Usually, however, the tone is urbane, the artistic aim to instruct through delight. Kipling knew that the maker of speeches and the poet were subject to the same law: “Unless they please they are not heard at all.” A Second Book of Words adds another forty-eight speeches to the thirty-eight that Kipling chose to make public, printing all the known uncollected speeches—long or short, carefully meditated or spontaneous, tendentious or diplomatic. Another twenty-five for which no text has so far been found are identified, as are the speeches that he is known to have written for members of the royal family.
Tales of Unrest
The life of the Anglo-African writer Ernest Glanville (1855–1925) was the stuff of fiction. As a young colonist he took long, lonely treks in the border country of the Eastern Cape, absorbing the superstitions and folklore of the Xhosa. He served as a war correspondent for the London Daily Chronicle in the Zulu War, riding with Basutos, Boers, colonials, mounted infantry, and regular cavalry scouts. After the war the venturesome Glanville wrote for and edited several London-based and South African publications, most notably the oldest newspaper in that part of the British empire, Cape Argus. Throughout his seventeen adventure novels and several collections of short fiction he wrote of what he had seen, done, or heard from eyewitnesses. Historical facts are mixed with supernatural elements of local myth and magic not merely to give his tales a powerful exoticism but to explore the borderland spaces of his time and place.
History, Criticism, and Myth
Studying Oscar Wilde: History, Criticism, and Myth takes issue with many assumptions current in Wilde scholarship. It sets an engaging course in exploring Wilde’s literary reputation. In particular, Professors Guy and Small are interested in the tension between Wilde’s enduring popularity with the general reading public as a perennially witty entertainer and his status among academics as a complex, politicized writer attuned to the cultural and philosophical currents associated with modernity. Their argument focuses initially on the prominence of biographical readings of Wilde’s literary works, drawing attention to the contradictions in the ways biographers have described his life and to the problems of seeing his writing as a form of self-disclosure. Subsequent chapters assess the usefulness of other forms of academic scholarship to understanding works that are not, on the surface, “difficult.” Here a number of commonly held views are challenged. To what extent is De Profundis autobiographical? How sophisticated is the learning exhibited in Intentions? In what ways are the society comedies “about” homosexuality? And how does The Picture of Dorian Gray relate to Wilde’s “mature” style? The volume also examines some of Wilde’s lesser-known, unfinished works and scenarios, including The Cardinal of Avignon, La Sainte Courtisane, and A Florentine Tragedy (all printed as appendices), arguing that these “failed” works provide important insight into the reasons for Wilde’s popular success. Since Guy and Small have authored numerous articles and books on Wilde, Studying Oscar Wilde: History, Criticism, and Myth will be a must read for scholars, but it is also written in a jargon-free language that will speak to that wider audience of readers who enjoy Oscar Wilde.
Transparencies of Desire
The "Conclusion" to The Renaissance advises the responsive critic to consider carefully "the various forms of intellectual activity which together make up the culture of an age." Transparencies of Desire brings together twenty-one varied, contentious, informative essays that confirm Pater's ongoing power to captivate and challenge readers. The interdisciplinary breadth of the collection demonstrates that the critical culture of Pater studies is always multifaceted--inviting diverse theoretical perspectives yet also demanding that any paradigm of analysis (feminist, new historicist, aesthetic, queer theory, formalist, biographical, Foucauldian) be tested and redefined. Scholars from five different countries reconsider Pater's career and canon, the reception of his works, the intersections of genre, gender, and aesthetics, and the implications of Pater's writings--in aesthetics, fiction, philosophy, archaeology, art history--for contemporary cultural studies.