The nineteenth century witnessed unprecedented expansion in the reading public and an explosive growth in the number of books and newspapers produced to meet its demands. These specially commissioned essays examine not only the full range and variety of texts that entertained and informed the Victorians, but also the boundaries of Victorian literature: the links and overlap with Romanticism in the 1830s, and the roots of modernism in the years leading up to the First World War. The Companion demonstrates how science, medicine and theology influenced creative writing and emphasizes the importance of the visual in painting, book illustration and in technological innovations from the kaleidoscope to the cinema. Essays also chart the complex and fruitful interchanges with writers in America, Europe and the Empire, highlighting the geographical expansion of literature in English. This Companion brings together the most important aspects of this prolific and popular period of English literature.
With austerity biting hard and fascism on the march at home and abroad, the Britain of the 1930s grappled with many problems familiar to us today. Moving beyond the traditional focus on 'the Auden generation', this book surveys the literature of the period in all its diversity, from working class, women, queer and postcolonial writers to popular crime and thriller novels. In this way, the book explores the uneven processes of modernization and cultural democratization that characterized the decade. A major critical re-evaluation of the decade, the book covers such writers as Eric Ambler, Mulk Raj Anand, Katharine Burdekin, Agatha Christie, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Christopher Isherwood, Storm Jameson, Ethel Mannin, Naomi Mitchison, George Orwell, Christina Stead, Evelyn Waugh and many others.
Many twentieth-century literary writers were directly involved in political parties and causes, and many viewed their writing as part of their activism. This book explores literature's direct relationship to politics, offering new ways of thinking about the troubled relationship between literature and politics.
Set at the beginning of the Second World War, Coming Up for Air describes suburban insurance agent George Bowling's return to his birthplace, a sedate Oxfordshire village. This new edition of one of George Orwell's early pre-war works explores the historical and political context of the novel.
This Companion provides an engaging and expansive overview of gustation, gastronomy, agriculture and alimentary activism in literature from the medieval period to the present day, as well as an illuminating introduction to cookbooks as literature. Bringing together sixteen original essays by leading scholars, the collection rethinks literary food from a variety of critical angles, including gender and sexuality, critical race studies, postcolonial studies, eco-criticism and children's literature. Topics covered include mealtime decorum in Chaucer, Milton's culinary metaphors, early American taste, Romantic gastronomy, Victorian eating, African-American women's culinary writing, modernist food experiments, Julia Child and cold war cooking, industrialized food in children's literature, agricultural horror and farmworker activism, queer cookbooks, hunger as protest and postcolonial legacy, and 'dude food' in contemporary food blogs. Featuring a chronology of key publication and historical dates and a comprehensive bibliography of further reading, this Companion is an indispensible guide to an exciting field for students and instructors.
Investigating the relationship between literature and climate, this Companion offers a genealogy of climate representations in literature while showing how literature can help us make sense of climate change. It argues that any discussion of literature and climate cannot help but be shaped by our current - and inescapable - vantage point from an era of climate change, and uncovers a longer literary history of climate that might inform our contemporary climate crisis. Essays explore the conceptualisation of climate in a range of literary and creative modes; they represent a diversity of cultural and historical perspectives, and a wide spectrum of voices and views across the categories of race, gender, and class. Key issues in climate criticism and literary studies are introduced and explained, while new and emerging concepts are discussed and debated in a final section that puts expert analyses in conversation with each other.