'Ouida,' the pseudonym of Louise Ramé (1839-1908), was one of the most productive, widely-circulated and adapted of Victorian popular novelists, with a readership that ranged from Vernon Lee, Oscar Wilde and Ruskin to the nameless newspaper readers and subscribers to lending libraries. Examining the range and variety of Ouida’s literary output, which includes journalism as well as fiction, reveals her to be both a literary seismometer, sensitive to the enormous shifts in taste and publication practices of the second half of the nineteenth century, and a fierce protector of her independent vision. This collection offers a radically new view of Ouida, helping us thereby to rethink our perceptions of popular women writers in general, theatrical adaptation of their fiction, and their engagements with imperialism, nationalism and cosmopolitanism. The volume's usefulness to scholars is enhanced by new bibliographies of Ouida's fiction and journalism as well as of British stage adaptations of her work.
Jane Jordan is Senior Lecturer in English at Kingston University, UK, and Andrew King is Professor of English Literature and Literary Studies at the University of Greenwich, UK.
’Packed full of rich detail about one of Victorian literature’s most colourful and complex personalities, this new collection encourages readers to rethink the scope and variety of Ouida’s career on all kinds of levels. It is set to become one of the first ports of call for anyone wanting to understand the novelist and the professional world in which she and her female contemporaries had to work’. Andrew Maunder, University of Hertfordshire, UK '... nineteenth-century scholars must be grateful to [Ashgate] for its willingness to bring out volumes like this one, which few if any other academic publishers would consider financially feasible. Full in its coverage, useful for scholars and students interested in popular culture and nineteenth-century women writers, this collection of essays belongs in all research libraries.' NBOL-19 ’This consideration of Ouida and Victorian popular culture is meticulously researched and organised, and in its invitation to new modes of reading, brings renewed vitality to discussions of Ouida’s achievement and that of her popular contemporaries.’ SHARP News 'Jordan and King's desire to place Ouida in context is promoted visually and compellingly by the images from her books that begin each chapter. Ashgate wisely includes footnotes, not endnotes, making investigation easy and pleasant for readers. I hope this will become a trend. All in all, Ouida and Victorian Popular Culture is an important book about a writer too long considered unimportant, and a valuable adition to Victorian studies.' Women's Writing