1st Edition

Re-Reading the Age of Innovation Victorians, Moderns, and Literary Newness, 1830-1950

Edited By Louise Kane Copyright 2022
    256 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The period of 1830–1950 was an age of unprecedented innovation. From new inventions and scientific discoveries to reconsiderations of religion, gender, and the human mind, the innovations of this era are recorded in a wide range of literary texts. Rather than separating these texts into Victorian or modernist camps, this collection argues for a new framework that reveals how the concept of innovation generated forms of literary newness that drew novelists, poets, and other creative figures working across this period into dialogic networks of experiment. The 14 chapters in this volume explore how inventions like the rotary print press or hot air balloon and emergent debates about science, trade, and colonialism evolved new forms and genres. Through their examinations of a wide range of texts and writers—from well-known novelists like Conrad, Dickens, Hardy, and Woolf, to less canonical figures like Charlotte Mew, Elías Mar, and Walter Frances White—the chapters in this collection re-read these texts as part of an age of innovation characterized not by division and divide, but by collaboration and community.

    Louise Kane

    Part I: Inventing and Innovating: Science, Technology, Formal Experiment

    Chapter 1
    The Sky as Heterotopia in Dickens, Gissing, and Woolf

    Claes E. Lindskog

    Chapter 2
    The Rise and Fall of the Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (1881–1930)

    Jayme Yahr

    Chapter 3
    Balloonomania: Flying Machines, Periodicals, and the Trajectory of World Literature

    Louise Kane

    Chapter 4

    A Metaphysical Theatre: Abstract Painting, Color Music, and Futurist Experiments in
    Avant-Garde Film
    Christopher Townsend

    Part II: Changing Landscapes: Empire, Trade, Ecology

    Chapter 5

    Histories Yet to Come: Adventure Fiction and the Ideologies of Free Trade

    Keith Clavin

    Chapter 6

    Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim and the Failure of Empire

    Camelia Raghinaru

    Chapter 7
    Uncertainty, Doubt, and Belief in the Poetic Landscapes of T.S. Eliot and Thomas Hardy
    Anna Bedsole

    Part III: Navigating Feeling: the Self, Empathy, Human Character

    Chapter 8

    F. Mabel Robinson, Vernon Lee, and George Moore: the Aesthetics of Sympathy
    and Texts of Transition

    Kathryn Laing

    Chapter 9

    Racial Exposé and the Empathic Mind in Walter Francis White's The Fire in the Flint

    Masami Sugimori

    Chapter 10

    A Writerly Communion: Browning, Balzac, and Catholicism in Edith Wharton’s
    "The Duchess at Prayer"
    Nancy Von Rosk

    Part IV: Blurring Boundaries: Gender, Sexuality, Desire

    Chapter 11
    "Disposed to Daring Innovation": New Modernism, New Woman Fiction, and New Motherhood
    Elizabeth Podnieks

    Chapter 12

    "Sometimes I Pose, but Sometimes I Pose as Posing": Stella Benson’s Early Fiction

    Nicola Darwood

    Chapter 13

    Parsing Between-ness: Love, Looking Backward and Forward, in Charlotte Mew’s Short Fiction

    Kristen Renzi

    Chapter 14

    The Spirit of Contemporary Life: Icelandic Queer Modernism

    Ásta Kristín Benediktsdóttir


    Regenia Gagnier


    Louise Kane is Assistant Professor of Global Modernisms at the University of Central Florida. She is a General Editor of the forthcoming Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Global Modernist Magazines series and Editor of the James Joyce Literary Supplement.