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History of English Literature, Volume 3

From the Metaphysicals to the Romantics

Franco Marucci

For ordering the hardcover version of this book, please contact order@peterlang.com (Retail Price: £90.00, $135.90).

‘Franco Marucci’s History of English Literature is unique in its field. There is no other book that combines such erudition and authority in such a compact format. An indispensable work of reference.’

— J. B. Bullen, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 3 begins with Jacobean poetry and prose, explores Milton’s great biblical epic and moves on to the licentious court poetry of the Restoration period. The early and mid-eighteenth century came then to be dominated by the Neo-Classical and the Augustan style. A few decades later, the novel debuted with Defoe and underwent a rapid development with a range of proposals of astonishing difference and divergence, such as those of Swift, Fielding and Sterne. At the end of the century the Romantic poets gave rise to the densest period of great figures and great works in English literature since the Elizabethan age.

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History of English Literature, Volume 1

Medieval and Renaissance Literature to 1625

Franco Marucci

For ordering the hardcover version of this book, please contact order@peterlang.com (Retail Price: £90.00, $135.90).

‘Franco Marucci’s History of English Literature is unique in its field. There is no other book that combines such erudition and authority in such a compact format. An indispensable work of reference.’

— J. B. Bullen, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 1 begins by discussing Anglo-Saxon literature before focusing on the three major Middle English poets of the late fourteenth century: Gower, Langland and Chaucer. It then engages with the sixteenth-century prose romances of Sidney, the epic and lyrical poetry of Spenser, and Donne’s love and religious poems. Full coverage is devoted to the legendary fifty-year blossoming of the Elizabethan theatre (excluding Shakespeare, the object of Volume 2), from Kyd and Marlowe up to Jonson, Webster, Middleton, Ford and Shirley. The final part addresses the sixteenth-century prose works of Lyly, Greene and Nashe, homiletics by Hooker and others, and Elizabethan travel literature and historiography.

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History of English Literature, Volume 4

Early and Mid-Victorian Prose and Poetry, 1832–1870

Franco Marucci

For ordering the hardcover version of this book, please contact order@peterlang.com (Retail Price: £100.00, $181.85).

‘Franco Marucci’s History of English Literature is unique in its field. There is no other book that combines such erudition and authority in such a compact format. An indispensable work of reference.’

— J. B. Bullen, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 4 begins with a focus on the pivotal function of religion in the mid-nineteenth century and explores the resulting oscillation between Romantic escape, sceptical solipsism and social responsibility in the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Tennyson, Browning, Clough and Matthew Arnold. The aegis of religion was only broken by the advent of Pre-Raphaelitism. This trajectory is reflected in a series of well-known enigmatic masterworks by the Rossettis.

In addition to these key works, space is also devoted to often neglected poets and poetry such as Patmore and Adelaide Procter, nonsense verse and Lear’s limericks, the dialect poet William Barnes, and the Victorian ‘poetesses’. Finally, the author rescues from critical oblivion the Spasmodics, honours the minor prose masterpiece Dreamthorp by Alexander Smith, and registers the revival of drama with Taylor, Boucicault and Robertson.

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History of English Literature, Volume 5

Early and Mid-Victorian Fiction, 1832–1870

Franco Marucci

For ordering the hardcover version of this book, please contact order@peterlang.com (Retail Price: £100.00, $151.85).

‘Franco Marucci’s History of English Literature is unique in its field. There is no other book that combines such erudition and authority in such a compact format. An indispensable work of reference.’

— J. B. Bullen, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 5 focuses on the fiction of the early and mid-Victorian period. After acknowledging the pioneering work of Disraeli, Bulwer Lytton and Ainsworth, the author turns to the masterworks of Dickens, Thackeray and Trollope. Significant attention is also dedicated to the work of the Brontë sisters and of Elizabeth Gaskell. Along with these major figures, novelists soon forgotten in their time and only now rediscovered – such as Yonge, Oliphant, Mulock Craik, Wood, Borrow, Blackmore, the ‘muscular’ Kingsley and his followers, and the sensationalists Wilkie Collins, Reade and Le Fanu – are discussed extensively. The final sections evaluate George Eliot’s and Meredith’s formidable oeuvres.

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Franco Marucci

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 2 offers a general assessment of all of Shakespeare’s works, summarizes the critical reception since its onset, traces a tentative biography of the playwright, discusses the youthful poems and the sonnets, and analyses the plays one by one. The plays are divided into the traditional thematic and chronological subsets – such as historical dramas, comedies, tragedies and romances – but they are further assessed in terms of their «experimental» or «mature» characteristics.

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History of English Literature, Volume 6

From the Mid-Victorian Age to the Great War, 1870–1921

Franco Marucci

For ordering the hardcover version of this book, please contact order@peterlang.com (Retail Price: £100.00, $151.90).

‘Franco Marucci’s History of English Literature is unique in its field. There is no other book that combines such erudition and authority in such a compact format. An indispensable work of reference.’

— J. B. Bullen, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 6 addresses the literature of the ‘Victorian twilight’ (1870–1901), which is marked by the shared theme, ‘a world to be saved’. In the wake of the Paris Commune of 1871, some British writers retreated to the status quo and the desire for an ordered cosmos. Here works such as the Idylls of the King, the later poems by Browning, the second series of Essays in Criticism by Arnold, Fors Clavigera by Ruskin, Trollope’s novels of rural feudalism, the bold apologia of Judaism in Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, and Hardy’s nostalgic novels on closed communities are gathered together. The next literary stage of the Victorian twilight here explored is that of the divided absorption of ‘art for art’s sake’ – of Gautier, Baudelaire and Flaubert – by figures such as Pater, Wilde, Swinburne and Hopkins. The twenty years 1901–1921 see the comeback of drama after a centuries-old lethargy, thanks to Ireland’s decisive contribution with Synge, Yeats and Shaw. And authors like Kipling and Conrad bring new perspectives to Britain from abroad.

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History of English Literature, Volume 8

From the Late Inter-War Years to 2010

Franco Marucci

For ordering the hardcover version of this book, please contact order@peterlang.com (Retail Price: £100.00, $151.90).

‘Franco Marucci’s History of English Literature is unique in its field. There is no other book that combines such erudition and authority in such a compact format. An indispensable work of reference.’

— J. B. Bullen, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 8 continues with the 1920s and the 1930s, when the Depression, the Spanish Civil War, Fascist dictatorships, and the threat of a second war challenged apolitical Modernism. Poets led by Auden, novelists like Orwell and figures such as Lawrence of Arabia defined the period. By the end of the Second World War, a realist, satirical or comic tradition resurfaces in the novel, while in poetry the affirmation of a pre-war neo-Romantic vein, especially with Dylan Thomas, is reacted against by various movements that lead poetry back to the common man. Two important years are 1953, when Waiting for Godot by Beckett is staged, and 1956, when Look Back in Anger by Osborne gives life to the ‘angry’ novel and theatre. Extensive discussions not only of writers now become classics (Doris Lessing, Iris Murdoch, Heaney, Hill and Ted Hughes) but also of other leading ones (such as Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and Ian McEwan) are included.

Restricted access

Franco Marucci

For ordering the hardcover version of this book, please contact order@peterlang.com (Retail Price: £100.00, $151.90).

‘Franco Marucci’s History of English Literature is unique in its field. There is no other book that combines such erudition and authority in such a compact format. An indispensable work of reference.’

— J. B. Bullen, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 7 is dedicated to the four main figures of English Modernism. It opens by discussing ‘interstitial’ novelists, such as Galsworthy, Bennett, Wells and Forster; essayists like Chesterton; and the war poets. The study then turns to a close analysis of the key writers of the period: T. S. Eliot is looking for ‘roots’ and the anchors for a modern society facing dissolution; D. H. Lawrence is the exponent of a Modernism of contents rather than of forms, which undermines the aesthetics of the movement; Joyce is the builder of a ‘palace of art’, with an archetypal plot each time updated and stylistically more refined; and Virginia Woolf is, finally, the writer who pursues the utopia of the finished work, the metaphor of her life.

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History of English Literature, Volume 1

Medieval and Renaissance Literature to 1625

Franco Marucci

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 1 begins by discussing Anglo-Saxon literature before focusing on the three major Middle English poets of the late fourteenth century: Gower, Langland and Chaucer. It then engages with the sixteenth-century prose romances of Sidney, the epic and lyrical poetry of Spenser, and Donne’s love and religious poems. Full coverage is devoted to the legendary fifty-year blossoming of the Elizabethan theatre (excluding Shakespeare, the object of Volume 2), from Kyd and Marlowe up to Jonson, Webster, Middleton, Ford and Shirley. The final part addresses the sixteenth-century prose works of Lyly, Greene and Nashe, homiletics by Hooker and others, and Elizabethan travel literature and historiography.

Restricted access

History of English Literature, Volume 3

From the Metaphysicals to the Romantics

Franco Marucci