A Reader's Guide to Edwardian Literature by Anthea Trodd

By Anthea Trodd

A survey of the variations of Edwardian writing and the way they healthy into literary and cultural swap. This publication covers writers equivalent to Conrad, Forster, Wells, Bennett, Shaw, Kipling, Tressell, Hardy, Yeats and Woolf. Modernists comparable to Lawrence and Mansfield also are incorporated. the writer combines literary feedback of writing within the Edwardian interval with cultural checks (for instance, she examines imperialism and patriarchy), and units her paintings in an historic context.

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At the upper end the volumes of the Cambridge History Page 2 of English Literature appeared between 190716. The Oxford Book of English Verse first appeared in 1900, moving the major Victorian anthology, The Golden Treasury, into second place. Thomas Hardy's remark that 'his only ambition, so far as he could remember, was to have some poem or poems in a good anthology like the Golden Treasury' 2 is suggestive of a new kind of literary consciousness. Keats had speculated 'I think I shall be among the English poets at the time of my death',3 but Hardy's remark suggests a more precisely formulated idea of how this placing was recognised.

To be manly was to be impervious to the emotionalism and excitability of those defined as inferior by race. This idea evolved from the needs of a ruling class to whom the imperial experience introduced ideas of cultural relativism, and who were anxious to justify English hegemony with concepts of English racial and moral superiority. However, manliness did not simply require exclusion of inferior qualities. The nineteenth century developed a science of racialism, and in fiction this was represented by the frequent requirement that the hero show knowledge of, even empathy with, his inferiors.

K.  .  . 21 Arnold Bennett persistently referred to her in his writings as the type of a fussy, artless Victorianism. 'She was too preoccupied by moral questions to be a first-class creative artist. And she was a woman',22 he declared, and later, 'artistic ambition overweened in Page 9 the unhappy lady and she wrote Middlemarch'.  . worse than George Eliot's. '24 The academic defenders of English literature, asserting the new prestige of a discipline once seen as a lower form of cultivation for female students, were equally urgent on the equation of literature with masculinity.

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