Literature in Britain and Ireland: A History

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April 2010



Literature in Britain and Ireland is a survey of literature on the British Isles since the time of the Anglo-Saxons. Despite this wide angle, the linguistic, regional and ethnic differentiations in each particular period are being emphasised. Because of its combination of traditional and innovative components of English Studies, this history of literature is useful as a study book accompanying courses as well as an incentive for discoveries while reading. The chapters are systematically structured to allow profiles along the history of genres. In addition to poetry, drama, short stories and the novel, different forms of non-fictional prose are being highlighted, too. Innovative tendencies in teaching English literature are taken into account beyond the consideration of popular and contemporary literature.


Introduction IX

1 Medieval Literature (up to c.1500) 1

1.1 Literature from Anglo-Saxon England 1

1.2 Middle English Literature 7

1.3 Celtic Contexts 20

Guiding Questions and Exercises 25

2 Renaissance Literature (c.1500 ?1660) 27

2.1 Renaissance Contexts 27

Guiding Questions and Exercises 36

2.2 Theatre and Drama 36

2.2.1 The Renaissance Stage 36

2.2.2 Romans and Roses: Elizabethan History Plays 41

2.2.3 Tragedies 55

2.2.4 (Tragi-)Comedies and Humours 70

Guiding Questions and Exercises 78

2.3 Renaissance Poetry 79

2.3.1 Poets, Poetic Styles and Themes 79

2.3.2 The Sonnet Craze 93

2.3.3 Epic Poetry and Other Long Poems 105

Guiding Questions and Exercises 112

2.4 Utopia and Other Prose Writings 113

Guiding Questions and Exercises 125

3 The Long Eighteenth Century:

Neoclassicism and Romanticism (1660 ? c.1830) 127

3.1 Literary Communication in Britain between 1660 and the 1830s . 127

Guiding Questions and Exercises 144

3.2 Performance Culture: Drama, Orality and Oratory 145

VI Contents

3.2.1 Dramatic Genres and Genre Theory 145

3.2.2 Popular Politics in Songs and Speeches 159

Guiding Questions and Exercises 162

3.3 Neoclassicist and Romantic Poetry 162

3.3.1 Translations, Imitations, Mock-Epic and Verse Satire 162

3.3.2 From Gray's "Elegy" to the Odes of Keats, from

the Ballad Revival to the Return of the Sonnet 168

3.3.3 Poetry and Gender Relations: 'Love, Honour and Obey'? 182

Guiding Questions and Exercises 191

3.4 From Manuscript to Print: Adaptation to a

New Medium, and New Forms of Writing 192

3.4.1 Romantic Poets and the Continuum of Recital,

Manuscript and Print 192

3.4.2 'Letter Writing' in Various Forms 196

3.4.3 Familiar, Formal and Periodical Essays 200

3.4.4 Writing Lives 203

3.4.5 The Literature of Travel 207

3.4.6 The Children's Book: Literature for a New Audience 216

Guiding Questions and Exercises 221

3.5 'The Rise of the Novel': A Series of Experiments 222

3.5.1 Robinson Crusoe and Its Relation to Individualism,

Religion and Colonialism 222

3.5.2 Male Novelists and Their Female Heroines:

Gender Relations, Materialism and Morality in

Moll Flanders, Pamela, and Fanny Hill 225

3.5.3 The Novels of Fielding and Sterne 230

3.5.4 'Mothers of the Novel': Women Writers before

and beside Jane Austen 236

3.5.5 Oriental Tales and Gothic Romances: Other

Worlds in an Age of Reason 242

3.5.6 Fiction and Nation-Building in Scott's Historical

Novels 247

Guiding Questions and Exercises 253

4 The Literature of the Victorian Age and of the

Early Twentieth Century (c.1830 ? c.1920) 255

4.1 Authors, Publishers and Readers: The Changing Face

of Literary Communication in Britain and Ireland 255

Guiding Questions and Exercises 268

4.2 'Victorian Values': Materialism, Morals and Mentalities

in the Literature of the Period 269

4.2.1 Utilitarianism, Darwinism and Religious Belief

in the Victorian Age 269

4.2.2 The Impact of the Empire 277

4.2.3 'The Angel in the House' vs. the Fallen Woman:

Gender Roles and Their Impact on Literature 291

Guiding Questions and Exercises 304

4.3 Drama and Performance: From Music Hall and

Melodrama to the Plays of Wilde, Shaw, Yeats and Synge 304

Guiding Questions and Exercises 326

4.4 Poetry from Tennyson to Yeats: Forms and Themes 327

Guiding Questions and Exercises 350

4.5 The Development of Fiction from Dickens to

Lawrence 351

4.5.1 Charles Dickens and the Breakthrough of the Novel 351

4.5.2 History and Social Realism in Fiction by

Dickens's Rivals and Contemporaries 361

4.5.3 Regional and Sensational Elements in the Novel

from Wilkie Collins and Thomas Hardy to

D. H. Lawrence 378

4.5.4 Devils, Doubles and Detectives:

The Development of Short Fiction in Ireland,

Scotland and England 390

4.5.5 From Workhouse to Wonderland: The Child in

Fiction, and Fiction for Children 400

Guiding Questions and Exercises 419

5 Modernism and Beyond (c.1920 to the Present) 421

5.1 New Developments in Poetry 421

5.1.1 From Yeats's Later Poetry to Radical Modernism . 422

5.1.2 Tradition and the Individual Talent: More

Moderate Forms of Experiment and Innovation . 431

5.1.3 Englishness in English Verse since the 1960s 448

5.1.4 Scottish, Welsh and Irish Poetry since the 1960s 458

5.1.5 Summing Up a Century in Sonnets 465

Guiding Questions and Exercises 468

5.2 Drama and Theatre 469

5.2.1 New Spaces for Performance and New Media 469

5.2.2 Well-Made Plays and Verse Plays 477

5.2.3 Absurdity, Anger and After 486

5.2.4 Irish Drama and Theatre since the 1920s 501

5.2.5 Drama and Theatre since the 1980s 512

Guiding Questions and Exercises 517

5.3 Fiction 518

5.3.1 Mainstream Writing up to the 1960s,

and a Concern with History Well Beyond 520

5.3.2 Forms of Popular Fiction 526

5.3.3 Modernist and Postmodernist Experiments 542

5.3.4 Gender and Region 554

5.3.5 Residues of Empire and Transcultural Fiction in Britain 566

5.3.6 Intertextuality and Intermediality in

Contemporary Fiction 586

Guiding Questions and Exercises 593

References and Further Reading 595

Subject Index 620

Name Index 623


Prof. Dr. Helge Nowak ist Professor am Department für Anglistik und Amerikanistik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
EAN: 9783825231484
ISBN: 3825231488
Untertitel: 'Uni-Taschenbücher M'. zahlreiche s/w Abbildungen, diverse Tabellen. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: UTB GmbH
Erscheinungsdatum: April 2010
Seitenanzahl: 640 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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