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British literature

Related: literature - UK

Titles: Robinson Crusoe (1719) - Pamela (1740) - Fanny Hill (1750) - Tristram Shandy (1760-1770) - Flatland (1884)

Genres: Amatory fiction - Gothic novel - penny dreadful - revenge tragedy - Sensation novel - Sentimental novel

British literature and philosophy: Martin Amis - Iain Banks - Glen Baxter - Arnold Bennett - William Blake - Wilkie Collins - Edmund Curll - Daniel Defoe - Charles Dickens - Lawrence Durrell - H.R. Haggard - John Fowles - David Hume - James Joyce - Hanif Kureishi - Delarivier Manley - Alan Moore - Mervyn Peake - Dennis Potter - Ann Radcliffe - Samuel Richardson - Sax Rohmer - Jonathan Swift - Horace Walpole - Evelyn Waugh - Oscar Wilde - John Wilmot

Publishers: Creation Books - Grub street

The English novel's beginnings were not entirely prestigious

The English novel's beginnings were not entirely prestigious. Due to the public's disapproval of "invented" stories, Daniel Defoe, Tobias Smollett, Henry and Sarah Fielding and their contemporaries labeled their fictions as "histories," "lives," "memoirs," "voyages," "travels" and "adventures." A number of these works were indeed based upon truth, but so greatly embellished that the appeal was the same as that of total imagination.

In addition, the inept efforts of Grub Street literary hacks and talented, but starving, artists lent credence to the proposal that prose fiction was dangerous and frivolous. These people wrote rapidly and badly, yet they achieved real popularity, expanding the early audience for fiction. Eventually, with the rise of major British writers and with the influx of the higher quality (and better written) French and Spanish prose, the novel gained acceptance as an art form. --http://www.gale.com/servlet/ItemDetailServlet?region=9&imprint=000&titleCode=PSM85&type=4&id=N270 [Nov 2005]

Vurt (1993) - Jeff Noon

Vurt (1993) - Jeff Noon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Jeff Noon (born in 1957 in Droylsden, England) is a novelist, short story writer and playwright whose works make extensive use of wordplay and fantasy. Although sometimes associated with the science fiction genre, Noon's books actually have stronger ties with the works of such literary figures as Lewis Carroll and Jorge Luis Borges. Prior to his recent relocation (around the year 2000) to Brighton, Noon set most of his stories in some version of his native city of Manchester. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Noon [Jan 2006]

See also: cyber - British literature - science-fiction literature - 1993

Three Men in a Boat (1899) - Jerome K. Jerome

Three Men in a Boat (1899) - Jerome K. Jerome [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Jerome K. Jerome, to his consternation, was known exclusively as "the author of Three Men In A Boat", his comic novel published in 1899 about a trip down the Thames taken by three friends and their dog.

Jerome Klapka Jerome (May 2, 1859–June 14, 1927) was an English author, best known for the humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_K._Jerome [May 2006]

Muriel Spark

In search of Muriel Spark

The Driver's Seat (1970) - Muriel Spark
[FR] [DE] [UK]

Very early on in her 1970 novel The Driver's Seat, Muriel Spark lets us know that the heroine, Lise, an office worker on vacation somewhere in Southern Europe, is going to die.

The Driver's Seat (1974) - Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
[FR] [DE] [UK]

Starring Elizabeth Taylor and Andy Warhol… . This film is based on the best-selling Muriel Spark novel. Elizabeth Taylor, in one of her least-known performances, stars as a deranged, psychotic spinster looking for a man to whom she can give herself - completely (see above). Set in Italy’s romantic and tragedy-filled Rome, she embarks on a series of chilling adventures as she seeks to keep a date with a mystery lover…but when she finds him, she demands much more than love... She demands murder. (for similar storylines about a character who demands to be murdered see Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Martin Amis's London Fields) [Sept 2006]

See also: Italian cinema - 1974 film - Andy Warhol

Victorian literature

Whilst many great writers were at work at the time, the large numbers of voracious but uncritical readers meant that poor writers, producing salacious and lurid novels or accounts, found eager audiences. Many of the faults common to much better writers were used abundantly by writers now mostly forgotten: over-sentimentality, unrealistic plots and moralising obscuring the story. Although immensely popular in his day, Edward Bulwer-Lytton is now held up as an example of the very worst of Victorian literature with his sensationalist story-lines and his over-boiled style of prose. Other writers popular at the time but largely forgotten now are: Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Charlotte Mary Yonge, Charles Kingsley, Charles Kingsley and R. D. Blackmore. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_literature [Nov 2005]

Elizabethan literature

The Elizabethan Era was a very violent age and that the high incidence of political assassinations in Renaissance Italy (embodied by Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince) did little to calm fears of popish plots. As a result, representing that kind of violence on the stage was probably more cathartic for the Elizabethan spectator. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_literature#Elizabethan_literature [Dec 2005]

Modernism, Romance and the Fin de Siècle : Popular Fiction and British Culture, 1880-1914 (2000) - Nicholas Daly

Modernism, Romance and the Fin de Siècle : Popular Fiction and British Culture, 1880-1914 (2000) - Nicholas Daly [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"...a first-rate and much-needed model for work on the genre for years to come...While thus offering a highly original reading of modernism, Daly's book is nonetheless at its most impressive when tracing the intricate ideological maneuvers of the only apparently thin-whitted romances of Stoker and his peers...Daly both sets a new standard for work on this genre and requires that those working elsewhere-on domestic fiction, modernism, the history of the middle classes-reconsider it." Victorian Studies

"I nonetheless find The Spectale of Intimacy a stimulating and satisfying book... One of the satisfying qualities of The Spectale of Intimacy is that it preserves a nice balance between the general and the specific enough but not too much of either- that nicely replicates the very method of their exploration of the relationship between the public and the private in Victorian society." Studies in the Novel

Book Description
In Modernism, Romance, and the Fin de Siecle Nicholas Daly explores the popular fiction of the 'romance revival' of the late Victorian and Edwardian years, focusing on the work of such authors as Bram Stoker, H. Rider Haggard and Arthur Conan Doyle. Rather than treating these stories as Victorian Gothic, Daly locates them as part of a 'popular modernism'. Drawing on recent work in cultural studies, this book argues that the vampires, mummies and treasure hunts of these adventure narratives provided a form of narrative theory of cultural change, at a time when Britain was trying to accommodate the 'new imperialism', the rise of professionalism, and the expansion of consumerist culture. Daly's wide-ranging study argues that the presence of a genre such as romance within modernism should force a questioning of the usual distinction between high and popular culture.

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