Hilary Fraser provides a comprehensive and thorough survey of English prose in the nineteenth century which draws from a wide variety of fields including art, literary theory and criticisim, biography, letters, journals, sermons, and travel reportage. Through these works the cultural, social, literary and political life of the twentieth century - a period of great intellectual activity - can be charted, discussed and assessed.
For the first time, an inclusive critical survey of nineteenth-century non-fiction is presented, that traces the century's ideological and cultural upheavals as they are registered in the literary textures of some of its most widely read and influential writings.The book explores the relations between writers who are generally perceived as occupying different discursive spheres, for example between John Stuart Mill, Florence Nightingale and Mrs Beeton; between Cardinal Newman, Elizabeth Gaskell and Hannah Cullwick; and between Charles Darwin, David Livingstone and Henry Mayhew. The establishment and development of different genres and their interactions over the century are clearly mapped.
The genre of the periodical essay, a distinctively modern and flexible form catering to the mass readership, is the subject of the introduction, and then more specialist fields are discussed, covering scientific writing, travel and exploration literature, social reportage, biography, autobiography, journals, letters, religious and philosophical prose, political writing and history.
Table of Contents
Preface Introduction: History and Genre: The Periodical Essay Part One: 1. Scientific Writing 2. Travel and Exploration Literature 3. Social Reportage Part Two: 4. Biography 5. Autobiography 6. Journals and Letters
Part Three: 7. Intellectual Formations 8. Writing and Culture 9. Criticism Chronology General Bibliographies Individual Authors Index