Becoming Modern: New Nineteenth-Century Studies

Published by: University of New Hampshire Press

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Becoming Modern: New Nineteenth-Century Studies

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Transatlantic Conversations

Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Encounters with Italy and the Atlantic World

Beth L. Lueck

This unique interdisciplinary essay collection offers a fresh perspective on the active involvement of American women authors in the nineteenth-century transatlantic world. Internationally diverse contributors explore topics ranging from women’s social and political mobility to their authorship and activism. While a number of essays focus on such well-known writers as Margaret Fuller, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Eliot, Louisa May Alcott, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, other, perhaps lesser-known authors are also included, such as E. D. E. N. Southworth, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Elizabeth Peabody, Jeannette Hart, and Laura Richards.

These essays show the spectrum of interests and activities in which nineteenth-century women were involved as they moved, geographically and metaphorically, toward gaining their independence and the right to control their lives. Traveling far and wide—to Italy, France, Great Britain, and the Bahamas—these writers came into contact with realities far different from their own. On topics ranging from homeopathy and literary endeavors to politics and revolution, they conversed with others, reaching and inspiring transnational audiences with their words and deeds, and creating a space for self-expression in the rapidly changing transatlantic world.

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Transatlantic Women

Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Great Britain

Beth L. Lueck

In this volume, fifteen scholars from diverse backgrounds analyze American women writers’ transatlantic exchanges in the nineteenth century. They show how women writers (and often their publications) traveled to create or reinforce professional networks and identities, to escape strictures on women and African Americans, to promote reform, to improve their health, to understand the workings of other nations, and to pursue cultural and aesthetic education. Presenting new material about women writers’ literary friendships, travels, reception and readership, and influences, the volume offers new frameworks for thinking about transatlantic literary studies.

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Wordsworth and the Green Romantics

Affect and Ecology in the Nineteenth Century

Lisa Ottum

Situated at the intersection of ecocriticism, affect studies, and Romantic studies, this collection breaks new ground on the role of emotions in Western environmentalism. Recent scholarship highlights how traffic between Romantic-era literature and science helped to catalyze Green Romanticism. Closer to our own moment, the affective turn reflects similar cross-disciplinary collaboration, as many scholars now see the physiological phenomenon of affect as a force central to how we develop conscious attitudes and commitments. Together, these trends offer suggestive insights for the study of Green Romanticism.

While critics have traditionally positioned Romantic Nature as idealized and illusory, Romantic representations of nature are, in fact, ambivalent, scientifically informed, and ethically engaged. They often reflect writers’ efforts to capture the fleeting experience of affect, raising urgent questions about how nature evokes feelings, and what demands these sensations place upon the feeling subject. By focusing on the affective dimensions of Green Romanticism, Wordsworth and the Green Romantics advances a vision of Romantic ecology that complicates scholarly perceptions of Romantic Nature, as well as popular caricatures of the Romantics as naïve nature lovers.

This collection will interest scholars and students of Romanticism, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, ecocriticism, affect studies, and those who work at the intersection of literature and science.

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