A reader's guide to Edwardian literature by Anthea Trodd

By Anthea Trodd

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

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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. 25 Clearly there was little place for female readers, let alone writers, in this patriarchal tradition. Quiller-Couch's colleague, Professor Sir Walter Raleigh, who in 1904 became the first holder of the Chair of English Literature at Oxford, took a more dangerously provocative line in manliness.

Dell and Elinor Glyn. The Search for an Audience Corelli's audience far exceeded that of any of the critically regarded writers of the period. Her 1895 bestseller, The Sorrows of Satan, carried a triumphant note announcing that no review copies had been sent out; the author was addressing the public directly. Such success contributed to the picture of a reading public divided Page 11 between a cultured masculine élite and a mass readership predominantly female and catered for by females. In 1895 James summarised this in a short story, 'The Next Time', in which a best-selling female novelist attempts to produce something of aesthetic value that will be beyond her mass readership, while her brother-in-law, a genius recognised by a small, discriminating public, tries to prostitute himself to a mass audience.

Kurtz's African mistress represented the feared and therefore excluded female sexuality. But in becoming the emblem and justification of imperialism, European women could also sometimes be identified as the cause of imperialist oppression. The presence of the memsahib came to be seen as the principal explanation for imperial severity in India. 23 The well-meaning aunt who gets Marlow his Congo job, and the three knitters in the Brussels office who oversee his departure, are parodic versions of the female idealism which sends Kurtz to his destruction.

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