Place and the Scene of Literary Practice: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Place and the Scene of Literary Practice

1st Edition

By Angharad Saunders


224 pages

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The act of writing is intimately bound up with the flow and eddy of a writer’s being-within-the-world; the everyday practices, encounters and networks of social life. Exploring the geographies of literary practice in the period 1840-1910, this book takes as its focus the work, or craft, of authorship, exploring novels not as objects awaiting interpretation, but as spatial processes of making meaning. As such, it is interested in literary creation not only as something that takes place - the situated nature of putting pen to paper - but simultaneously as a process that escapes such placing.

Arguing that writing is a process of longue durée, the book explores the influence of family and friends in the creative process, it draws attention to the role that travel and movement play in writing and it explores the wider commitments of authorial life, not as indicators of intertextuality, but as part of the creative process. In taking this seventy year period as its focus, this book moves beyond the traditional periodisations that have characterised literary studies, such as the Victorian or Edwardian novel, the nineteenth-century or early twentieth-century novel or Romanticism, social realism and modernism. It argues that the literary environment was not one of watershed moments; there were continuities between writers separated by several decades or writing in different centuries. At the same time, it draws attention to a seventy year period in which the value of literary work and culture were being contested and transformed.

Place and the Scene of Literary Practice will be key reading for those working in Human Geography, particularly Cultural and Historical Geography, Literary Studies and Literary History.

Table of Contents


The Place and the Scene of Literary Practice

Part 1: The Place of Writing

1. Interpretations on an Interior

2. Holland Park, West Kensington, London

3. Posting over Seas: author, audience and the narration of place

Part 2: Writingscapes: writers at work

4. Bennett’s Writingscape

5. Trollope’s Work Plans: crafting The Bertrams (1859)

6. Writing-through: making The Man of Property (1906)

Part 3: En-route Writing

7. Trollope’s en-route writing

8. Galsworthy’s Epistolary Practices: the relational making of Fraternity (1909)

Epilogue: travelling objects

About the Author

Angharad Saunders is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of South Wales, UK. Her research interests revolve around the literary and cultural geographies of the late Victorian and Edwardian period. In particular, she is interested the relationship between writing practice, as something more than a situated undertaking, and the imaginative worlds of the novel.

About the Series

Studies in Historical Geography

Studies in Historical Geography
Historical geography has consistently been at the cutting edge of scholarship and research in human geography for the last fifty years. The first generation of its practitioners, led by Clifford Darby, Carl Sauer and Vidal de la Blache presented diligent archival studies of patterns of agriculture, industry and the region through time and space. Drawing on this work, but transcending it in terms of theoretical scope and substantive concerns, historical geography has long since developed into a highly interdisciplinary field seeking to fuse the study of space and time. In doing so, it provides new perspectives and insights into fundamental issues across both the humanities and social sciences. Having radically altered and expanded its conception of the theoretical underpinnings, data sources and styles of writing through which it can practice its craft over the past twenty years, historical geography is now a pluralistic, vibrant and interdisciplinary field of scholarship. In particular, two important trends can be discerned. First, there has been a major 'cultural turn' in historical geography which has led to a concern with representation as driving historical-geographical consciousness, leading scholars to a concern with text, interpretation and discourse rather than the more materialist concerns of their predecessors. Secondly, there has been a development of interdisciplinary scholarship, leading to fruitful dialogues with historians of science, art historians and literary scholars in particular which has revitalised the history of geographical thought as a realm of inquiry in historical geography. Studies in Historical Geography aims to provide a forum for the publication of scholarly work which encapsulates and furthers these developments. Aiming to attract an interdisciplinary and international authorship and audience, Studies in Historical Geography will publish theoretical, historiographical and substantive contributions meshing time, space and society.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography