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Elizabeth Gaskell and the Art of the Short Story


Edited By Francesco Marroni, Renzo D'Agnillo and Massimo Verzella

This volume presents a collection of original and interconnected essays which aim to chart Elizabeth Gaskell’s literary imagination by focusing on diverse aspects of her short stories. It includes the papers read at the conference on «Elizabeth Gaskell and the art of the short story», organized by the Centre for Victorian and Edwardian Studies (CUSVE, «G. d’Annunzio» University, Pescara, 2010), to celebrate the bicentenary of her birth. While offering fresh insights into Gaskell’s shorter fiction, this collection provides an introduction to the many issues that absorbed her literary attention. Most importantly, by considering the growing significance of some neglected aspects of her works and the cultural and ideological context in which she lived, the contributions collectively delineate Gaskell’s artistic tensions, ethical sensibility and social commitment in a rapidly changing world. In their overall critical design, the contributors intend to shed light on the complex web of dialogic suggestions underlying her fiction, while at the same time revealing the extraordinary and multifaceted inventiveness of one of the most important Victorian writers.


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Notes on Contributors RAFFAELLA ANTINUCCI is Lecturer in English Literature at the Parthenope University in Naples. She took her doctorate in English Studies at the “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara. Her main areas of research include Victorian culture and fiction, literature and cinema and comparative literatures. She is the author of Sulle orme del gentiluomo: percorsi letterari ed episteme vittoriana (2009). BENEDETTA BINI is Professor of English Literature at the University of Tuscia (Viterbo). She has written extensively on English and American authors, on artists and writers in the second part of the XIXth century, on the imaginary portrait in fin de siècle literature and various aspects of decadent culture (Trasformazioni. Figure della fin de siècle, 2011), on women writers. She has edited and translated Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, Henry James’s The Europeans and The Figure in the Carpet, Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier and Gertrude Stein’s Blood on the Dining Room Floor. IAN CAMPBELL was born in Lausanne and educated there and in Scotland, at Aberdeen (MA) and Edinburgh (PhD) Universities, and has been with the English Department at Edinburgh since 1967. He retired in 2009 and is Emeritus Professor and Teaching Fel- low. He is one of the Senior Editors of the Duke-Edinburgh edition of the Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle. ALLAN C. CHRISTENSEN is Professor Emeritus of English at John Cabot University, Rome. His numerous articles deal mainly with nineteenth-century English literature but also consider works from other...

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