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The Victorian Revolution in Letter Writing
Although "snail mail" may seem old fashioned and outdated in the twenty-first century, Catherine Golden argues that the creation of the Penny Post in Victorian England was just as revolutionary in its time as e-mail and text messages are today.
Until Queen Victoria instituted the Postal Reform Act of 1839, mail was a luxury affordable only by the rich. Allowing anyone, from any social class, to send a letter anywhere in the country for only a penny had multiple and profound cultural impacts.
Golden demonstrates how cheap postage--which was quickly adopted in other countries--led to a postal "network" that can be viewed as a forerunner of computer-mediated communications. Indeed, the revolution in letter writing of the nineteenth century led to blackmail, frauds, unsolicited mass mailings, and junk mail--problems that remain with us today.
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What does hospitality have to do with Romanticism? What are the conditions of a Romantic welcome? Romantic Hospitality and the Resistance to Accommodation traces the curious passage of strangers through representative texts of English Romanticism, while also considering some European philosophical “pre-texts” of this tradition. From Rousseau’s invocation of the cot-less Carib to Coleridge’s reception of his Porlockian caller, Romanticisms encounters with the “strange” remind us that the hospitable relation between subject and Other is invariably fraught with problems.
Drawing on recent theories of accommodation and estrangement, Peter Melville argues that the texts of Romantic hospitality (including those of Rousseau, Kant, Coleridge, and Mary Shelley) are often troubled by the subject’s failure to welcome the Other without also exposing the stranger to some form of hostility or violence. Far from convincing Romantic writers to abandon the figure of hospitality, this failure invites them instead to articulate and theorize a paradoxical imperative governing the subject’s encounters with strangers: if the obligation to welcome the Other is ultimately impossible to fulfill, then it is also impossible to ignore. This paradox is precisely what makes Romantic hospitality an act of responsibility.
Romantic Hospitality and the Resistance to Accommodation brings together the wide-ranging interests of hospitality theory, diet studies, and literary ethics within a single investigation of visitation and accommodation in the Romantic period. As re-visionary as it is interdisciplinary, the book demonstrates not only the extent to which we continue to be influenced by Romantic views of the stranger but also, more importantly, what Romanticism has to teach us about our own hospitable obligations within this heritage.
Vol. 38 (2005) through current issue
Victorian Periodicals Review has developed a large and far-reaching audience. VPR has evolved into a review with an annual index, member questionnaires, and one of a projected series of guides to major research libraries and their holdings, lists of forthcoming articles, obituaries of members who played a substantial role, and informative articles on a wide range of topics from a variety of disciplines. VPR is the only refereed journal that concentrates on the editorial and publishing history of Victorian periodicals. Its emphasis is on the importance of periodicals for an understanding of the history and culture of Victorian Britain, Ireland, and the Empire. Special issues have been devoted to Dickens, Macmillan s Magazine, Art, Theory, American Periodicals, Women Critics and Editors, and the Athenaeum. Published quarterly.
Vol. 38 (2000) through current issue
Founded in 1962 to further the aesthetic study of the poetry of the Victorian period (1830-1914) in Britain, Victorian Poetry today publishes articles from a broad range of theoretical/critical angles, including but not confined to new historicism, feminism, and social/cultural issues. The journal has expanded its purview from the major figures of Victorian England (Tennyson, Browning, the Rossettis, etc.) to a wider compass of poets of all classes and gender indentifications in nineteenth-century Britain and the Commonwealth.
Vol. 35 (2009) through current issue
Victorian Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Victorian Studies welcomes submissions in all areas of Victorian studies. Our mandate is to publish the best original international research in this interdisciplinary field, as well as to provide critical reviews of new books in Victorian studies by experts from around the world. Finally, our regular Victorian Review forum provides a unique venue in which diverse scholarly voices may address a topic from multiple points of view.
Vol. 42, no. 2 (1999/00) through current issue
Victorian Studies, which began publication in 1956, is devoted to the study of English culture of the Victorian period. It includes interdisciplinary articles on comparative literature, social and political history, and the histories of education, philosophy, fine arts, economics, law, and science.