Dialect and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Dialect and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century

1st Edition

Edited by Jane Hodson


184 pages

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pub: 2017-02-20
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The nineteenth century witnessed a proliferation in the literary uses of dialect, with dialect becoming a key feature in the development of the realist novel, dialect songs being printed by the hundreds in urban centres and dialect poetry becoming a respected form. In this collection, scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, including dialectology, literary linguistics, sociolinguistics, literary studies and the history of the English language, have come together to examine the theory, context and ideology of the use of dialect in the nineteenth century. The texts considered range from the Cumberland poetry of Josiah Relph to the novels of Frances Trollope and Elizabeth Gaskell, and from popular Tyneside song to the dialect poetry of Alfred Tennyson. Throughout the volume, the contributors debate whether or not 'authenticity' is a meaningful category, the significance of metalanguage and paratext in the presentation of dialect, the differences between 'literary dialect' and 'dialect literature', the responses of 'insider' versus 'outsider' audiences and whether the representation of dialect is a hegemonic or resistant strategy. This is the first book to focus on practices of dialect representation in literature in the nineteenth century. Taken together, the chapters offer an exciting overview of the challenging work currently being undertaken in this field.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction

    Jane Hodson, University of Sheffield

  2. Nineteenth-century Dialect Literature and the Enregisterment of Urban Vernaculars

    Joan Beal, University of Sheffield

  3. "I expect that I prefer them horses considerable beyond the oxen": American English in British fiction 1800-1836

    Jane Hodson, University of Sheffield

  4. "An' I 'oäps as 'e beänt booöklarn'd: but 'e dosn' not coom fro' the shere": Alfred Tennyson’s dialect poetry and insider/outsider readers and writers

    Gunnel Melchers, Stockholm University

  5. The textual history of Josiah Relph’s Cumberland poems: inventing dialect literature in the long nineteenth century

    Alex Broadhead, University of Liverpool

  6. Dialect Poetry as an Indicator and Reflector of Popular Communal Activity in Lancashire during the Long Nineteenth Century

    Brian Hollingworth

  7. The functional significance of dialect in Frances Trollope’s The Life and Adventures of Michael Armstrong, Factory Boy (1840)

    Suzanne Pickles, University of Sheffield

  8. Language, Differentiation and Convergence: The Shifting Ideologies of Tyneside Dialect Song in the Nineteenth Century

    Rod Hermeston, Sheffield Hallam University

  9. Linguistic Self-Fashioning in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton

    Taryn Hakala, University of California, Merced

  10. The Depiction of the Non-Native Speaker in Two Versions of the Madame Butterfly Story

    Richard Steadman-Jones, University of Sheffield


About the Editor

Jane Hodson is Senior Lecturer in the School of English at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 19th Century