Recognizing the Romantic Novel

New Histories of British Fiction, 1780-1830

Edited by Jillian Heydt-Stevenson and Charlotte Sussman

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ISBN: 9781846315022

Publication: August 13, 2010

Series: Liverpool English Texts and Studies 53

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The British Romantic era was a vibrant and exciting time in the history of the novel. Yet, aside from a few iconic books —Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein—it has been ignored or dismissed by later readers and critics. Bringing this rich but neglected body of works to the fore, Recognizing the Romantic Novel: New Histories of British Fiction, 1780-1830 challenges us to rethink our ideas of the novel as a genre, as well as our long-held assumptions about the literary movement of Romanticism. Ranging from pre-Revolution to post-Waterloo, this volume celebrates the experimental drive and revisionary spirit of the Romantic novel. With essays on authors ranging from Burney to Austen to Hogg, it argues that the Romantic-era novel can be understood as a field, not simply a heterogeneous mass of fictional forms—a field, furthermore, that can hold its own against more widely read eighteenth-century and Victorian novels. Eleven essays by prominent scholars in the field demonstrate that previously unexplored contexts can help us recognize even familiar Romantic-era novels in new and fuller ways. These essays thoughtfully explore such varied concerns as the critique of Enlightenment ideals, the close affiliation between poetry and prose, a fraught engagement with politico-ethical issues, the limits of our access to and understanding of the past, and a rethinking of communities outside the conventions of the marriage plot.

Charlotte Sussman is Associate Professor of English at Duke University and the author of Consuming Anxieties: Consumer Protest, Gender, and British Slavery, 1713-1833 (Stanford University Press, 2000)

Jillian Heydt-Stevenson is Associate Professor of English and of Comparative Literature and Humanities at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the author of Austen’s Unbecoming Conjunctions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

Acknowledgements Notes on Contributors Preface - Jillian Heydt-Stevenson and Charlotte Sussman 1. ‘Launched Upon the Sea of Moral and Political Inquiry’: The Ethical Experiments of the Romantic Novel - Jillian Heydt-Stevenson and Charlotte Sussman 2. Bad Marriages, Bad Novels: The ‘Philosophical Romance’ - Laura Mandell 3. Enlightenment or Illumination: The Spectre of Conspiracy in Gothic Fictions of the 1790s - Markman Ellis 4. Burney’s Conservatism: Masculine Value and ‘the Ingenuous Cecilia’ - Helen Thompson 5. ‘All Agog to Find Her Out’: Compulsory Narration in The Wanderer - Suzie Asha Park 6. A Select Collection: Barbauld, Scott, and the Rise of the (Reprinted) Novel - Michael Gamer 7. Austen, Empire and Moral Virtue - Saree Makdisi 8. Fanny Price’s British Museum: Empire, Genre, and Memory in Mansfield Park - Miranda Burgess 9. Between the Lines: Poetry, Persuasion, and the Feelings of the Past - Mary Jacobus 10. Scholarly Revivals: Gothic Fiction, Secret History, and Hogg’s Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner - Ina Ferris 11. Sympathy, Physiognomy, and Scottish Romantic Fiction - Ian Duncan Works Cited Index

These essays cover new ground, providing a fuller picture of the Romantic novel's generic diversity and interventions in debates over empire, women and society.
  Modern Language Review, vol. 104.2

...they offer us a lens through which we may recognize the Romantic novel as it has never been recognised before.

Format: Paperback

Size: 234 x 156 mm

288 Pages

ISBN: 9781846315022

Publication: August 13, 2010

Series: Liverpool English Texts and Studies 53

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