1st Edition

Narrative in the Professional Age Transatlantic Readings of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, and George Eliot

By Jennifer Cognard-Black Copyright 2004
    216 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    Challenging previous studies that claim anxiety and antagonism between transatlantic Victorian authors, Jennifer Cognard-Black uncovers a model of reciprocal influence among three of the most popular women writers of the era. Combining analyses of personal correspondence and print culture with close readings of key narratives, this study presents an original history of transatlantic authorship that examines how these writers invented a collaborative aesthetics both within and against the dominant discourse of professionalism.

    1. Introduction 2. 'You are as Thoroughly Woman as you are English': Strong Femininity and the Making of George Eliot 3. 'The Wild and Distracted Call for Proof': Harriet Beecher Stowe's Lady Byron Vindicated and the New Professionalism 4. 'A More Living Interest': George Eliot's Daniel Deronda and the Politics of American Reception 5. 'Proclaiming the Royal Lineage to the Average Mind': high-Art Aesthetics, the Novel, and Competing Femininities in Elizabeth Stuart Phelps' The Story of Avis Afterward


    Jennifer Cognard-Black teaches in the Department of English Language and Literature at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

    "Cognard-Black’s study engages and extends transatlantic studies in significant ways. She resists the ‘antagonist thesis’ of Robert Weisbuch and other critics who argue that nineteenth-century American writers felt a sense of inferiority to their British counterparts, suffering a sort of Bloomian ‘anxiety of influence.’ Cognard-Black argues instead that the transatlantic relationships of Stowe, Eliot, and Phelps were not simply examples of British influence on American writers..., but demonstrate literary collaboration and interdependence.... Narrative in the Professional Age demonstrate[s] the range, flexibility, and necessity of transatlantic literary studies..., [contributing] to the growing body of transatlantic literary, cultural, and intellectual history."Whitney Womack Smith, Miami University, USA