Transatlantic Sensations: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Transatlantic Sensations

1st Edition

By John Cyril Barton, Kristin N. Huston, a Preface by David S. Reynolds

Edited by Jennifer Phegley


302 pages

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Bringing together sensation writing and transatlantic studies, this collection makes a convincing case for the symbiotic relationship between literary works on both sides of the Atlantic. Transatlantic Sensations begins with the 'prehistories' of the genre, looking at the dialogue and debate generated by the publication of sentimental and gothic fiction by William Godwin, Susanna Rowson, and Charles Brockden Brown.Thus establishing a context for the treatment of works by Louisa May Alcott, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Dion Boucicault, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, George Lippard, Charles Reade, Harriet Beecher Stowe and George Thompson, the volumetakes up a wide range of sensational topics including sexuality, slavery, criminal punishment, literary piracy, mesmerism, and the metaphors of foreign literary invasion and diseased reading. Concluding essays offer a reassessment of the realist and domestic fiction of George Eliot, Charlotte Yonge, and Thomas Hardy in the context of transatlantic sensationalism, emphasizing the evolution of the genre throughout the century and mapping a new transatlantic lineage for this immensely popular literary form. The book's final essay examines an international kidnapping case that was a journalistic sensation at the turn of the twentieth century.


’Transatlantic studies and sensationalism are currently vibrant areas in C19th studies. This volume explores their intersection, gathering together an exciting and original selection of essays. With a welcome emphasis on popular culture, the contributors highlight the many ways in which borrowings, serializations, textual piracy and adaptations reflected social and political differences on either side of the Atlantic, and created new channels of communication between English and American reading publics. This is essential reading for those working in the growing field of transatlanticism.’ Kate Flint, Rutgers, University of Southern California, USA 'Scholars of the sensational will find significant information on the cultural anxieties about the foreign, the exotic, the radical, and the enslaved, and students will find thorough scholarship presented in accessible language. This is a valuable addition to the literature on transatlantic literary connections. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-and upper-division undergraduates; graduate students; researchers; general readers.' Choice '… indicated exciting new paths into a rich and fascinating field of research.' Rivista di Studi Vittoriani 'Transatlantic Sensations will be a valuable resource to scholars of sensation fiction, genre fiction more broadly, and those who study British-American publishing and literary influence, which are the collection's central methodological approaches.' BARS Review … 'the editors have done a fine job of crystallizing how the transatlantic dimensions of sensationalist fiction, predicated as the subgenre was upon a process of commercial marketing and exchange, formed a central component of the nineteenthcentury novel in both Britain and America.' Victorian Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface, David S. Reynolds; Introduction: 'an age of sensation…across the Atlantic', John Cyril Barton and Jennifer Phegley; Irresponsible acts: the transatlantic dialogues of William Godwin and Charles Brockden Brown, Christopher Apap; Daughters of the American Revolution: sensational pedagogy in Susanna Rowson's Charlotte Temple, Holly Blackford; 'Raw pork steaks with treacle': 19th-century American sensationalism and Oliver Twist, David Bordelon; Radical sensationalism: George Lippard in his transatlantic contexts, David S. Reynolds; The scourge of 'foreign vagabonds': George Thompson and the influence of European sensationalism in popular antebellum literature, Alexander Moudrov; Charles Reade: the British Harriet Beecher Stowe and the affect of sensation, Dorice Williams Elliott; Women in white: the tragic mulatta and the rise of British sensation fiction, Kimberley Snyder Manganelli; Slavery, sensation, and transatlantic publishing rights in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's The Octoroon, Jennifer Phegley; Business sense and sensation: the transatlantic trade in domestic drama, Kate Mattacks; Transatlantic magnetism: Eliot's The Lifted Veil and Alcott's sensation stories, Susan David Bernstein; Botanical brews: tea, consumption and the exotic in Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret and Alcott's Behind a Mask, Narin Hassan; Transatlantic sensationalism in Victorian domestic fiction: failed settler narratives in Charlotte Yonge's The Trial, Tamara S. Wagner; The Return of the Native as transatlantic sensation, or Hardy sensationalized, Julia McCord Chavez; Violent passions: Anglo-American sensationalization of the Balkans, Ana Savic Moturu; Index.

About the Authors/Editor

Jennifer Phegley is Professor of English, John Cyril Barton is Assistant Professor of English, and Kristin N. Huston is a doctoral student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA.

About the Series

Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies

Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies

Focusing on the long nineteenth century (ca. 17501900), this series offers a forum for the publication of scholarly work investigating the literary, historical, artistic, and philosophical foundations of transatlantic culture. A vital field of interdisciplinary investigation, transatlantic scholarship contextualizes its objects of study in relation to exchanges, interactions, and negotiations that occurred between and among authors and other artists hailing from both sides of the Atlantic. As a result, transatlantic research calls into question established disciplinary boundaries that have long functioned to segregate various national or cultural literatures and art forms, challenging as well the traditional academic emphasis upon periodization and canonization. By examining representations dealing with such topics as travel and exploration, migration and diaspora, slavery, aboriginal culture, revolution, colonialism and anticolonial resistance, the series offers new insights into the hybrid or intercultural basis of transatlantic identity, politics, and aesthetics. Please note, this series is done commissioning and will no longer be taking submissions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature