November 1925 found David and Frieda Lawrence on the Italian Riviera, looking for sun, sea air, and health. The Lawrences were exhilarated by life in their rented villa, set amid olive groves and vineyards, with a view of the sparkling Mediterranean. The drab English winter couldn’t have been farther away.
But before long Frieda found herself irresistibly attracted to their landlord, a dashing Italian army officer, and the resulting affair served as the background for Lawrence’s writing: while in the villa, he turned out two stories, “Sun” and “The Virgin and the Gypsy,” both prefiguring Lady Chatterley’s Lover in their depiction of women fatally drawn to earthy, muscular men.
Built on the unpublished, and previously unexplored, letters and diaries of Rina Secker, the Anglo-Italian wife of Lawrence’s publisher, and featuring never-before-published letters from Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Villa reconstructs the drama of the tempestuous marriage, and the ways it fired Lawrence’s creativity. Along the way, Richard Owen offers a new accounting of Lawrence’s passion for Italy, tracing his travels along the coasts and islands and his deep engagement with Italian culture. This exploration of a little-studied, but crucial period of the writer’s life will be a must for Lawrence’s many fans.
Jasper Cragwall The Ohio State University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PR468.R44C73 2013 | Dewey Decimal 820.9382
Lake Methodism: Polite Literature and Popular Religion in England, 1780-1830, reveals the traffic between Romanticism’s rhetorics of privilege and the most socially toxic religious forms of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The “Lake Poets,” of whom William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge are the most famous, are often seen as crafters of a poetics of spontaneous inspiration, transcendent imagination, and visionary prophecy, couched within lexicons of experimental simplicity and lyrical concision. But, as Jasper Cragwall argues, such postures and principles were in fact received as the vulgarities of popular Methodism, an insurgent religious movement whose autobiographies, songs, and sermons reached sales figures of which the Lakers could only dream.
With these religious histories, Lake Methodism unsettles canonical Romanticism, reading, for example, the grand declaration opening Wordsworth’s spiritual autobiography—“to the open fields I told a prophecy”—not as poetic self-sanctification, but as a means of embarrassing Methodism, responsible for the suppression of The Prelude for half a century. The book measures this fearful symmetry between Romantic and religious enthusiasms in figures iconic and unfamiliar: John Wesley, Robert Southey, Wordsworth, Coleridge, as well as the eponymous scientist of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and even Joanna Southcott, an illiterate servant turned latter-day Virgin Mary, who, at the age of sixty-five, mistook a fatal dropsy for the Second Coming of Christ (and so captivated a nation).
As David Matless argues in this book—updated in this accessible, pocket edition—landscape has been central to definitions of Englishness for centuries. It is the aspect of English life where visions of the past, present, and future have met in debates over questions of national identity, disputes over history and modernity, and ideals of citizenship and the body. Extensively illustrated, Landscape and Englishness explores just how important the aesthetics of Britain’s cities and countryside have been to its people.
Matless examines a wide range of material, including topographical guides, health manuals, paintings, poetry, architectural polemics, photography, nature guides, and novels. Taking readers to the interwar period, he explores how England negotiated the modern and traditional, the urban and rural, the progressive and preservationist, in its decisions over how to develop the countryside, re-plan cities, and support various cultures of leisure and citizenship. Tracing the role of landscape to Englishness from then up until the present day, he shows how familiar notions of heritage in landscape are products of the immediate post-war era, and he unveils how the present always resonates with the past.
This book is about lives lived out on the borderlands, lives for which the central interpretative devices of the culture don't quite work. It has a childhood at its centre - my childhood, a personal past - and it is about the disruption of that fifties childhood by the one my mother had lived out before me, and the stories she told about it.'
Intricate and inspiring, this unusual book uses autobiographical elements to depict a mother and her daughter and two working-class childhoods (Burnley in the 1920s, South London in the 1950s) and to find a place for their stories in history and politics, in psychoanalysis and feminism.
'Provocative and quite dazzling in its ambitions. . . Beautifully written, intellectually compelling'.' Judith Walkowitz
'Carolyn Steedman's 1950s South London childhood was shaped by her mother's longing: "What she actually wanted were real things, real entities, things she materially lacked, things that a culture and a social system withheld from her... When the world didn't deliver the goods, she held the world to blame." When Carolyn Steedman grows up and begins to look for reflections of her and her mother's lives in history, theory, and literature, she finds that "the tradition of cultural criticism that has employed working-class lives, and their rare expression in literature, has made solid and concrete the absence of psychological individuality - of subjectivity." Through an in-depth comparison of personal experience and prevailing political and social science theory on the psychology and attitudes of working-class people, Landscape for a Good Woman challenges an intellectual tradition that denies "its subjects a particular story, a personal history, except when that story illustrates a general thesis." In this poignantly written and thoroughly researched work, the common theoretical conclusion that the survival struggles of working-class people precludes the time necessary for more genteel "elaboration of relationships" is shot full of delightfully life-affirming holes.' -
--From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen.
Landscape, Nature, and the Body Politic explores the origins and lasting influences of two contesting but intertwined discourses that persist today when we use the words landscape, country, scenery, nature, national. In the first sense, the land is a physical and bounded body of terrain upon which the nation state is constructed (e.g., the purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain, from sea to shining sea). In the second, the country is constituted through its people and established through time and precedence (e.g., land where our fathers died, land of the Pilgrims’ pride). Kenneth Robert Olwig’s extended exploration of these discourses is a masterful work of scholarship both broad and deep, which opens up new avenues of thinking in the areas of geography, literature, theater, history, political science, law, and environmental studies.
Olwig tracks these ideas though Anglo-American history, starting with seventeenth-century conflicts between the Stuart kings and the English Parliament, and the Stuart dream of uniting Scotland with England and Wales into one nation on the island of Britain. He uses a royal production of a Ben Jonson masque, with stage sets by architect Inigo Jones, as a touchstone for exploring how the notion of "landscape" expands from artful stage scenery to a geopolitical ideal. Olwig pursues these contested concepts of the body politic from Europe to America and to global politics, illuminating a host of topics, from national parks and environmental planning to theories of polity and virulent nationalistic movements.
In the late 1970s, Barbara Taylor, then an acclaimed young historian, began to suffer from severe anxiety. In the years that followed, Taylor’s world contracted around her illness. Eventually, her struggles were severe enough to lead to her admission to what had once been England’s largest psychiatric institution, the infamous Friern Mental Hospital in North London.
The Last Asylum is Taylor’s breathtakingly blunt and brave account of those years. In it, Taylor draws not only on her experience as a historian, but also, more importantly, on her own lived history at Friern— once known as the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum and today the site of a luxury apartment complex. Taylor was admitted to Friern in July 1988, not long before England’s asylum system began to undergo dramatic change: in a development that was mirrored in America, the 1990s saw the old asylums shuttered, their patients left to plot courses through a perpetually overcrowded and underfunded system of community care. But Taylor contends that the emptying of the asylums also marked a bigger loss, a loss of community. She credits her own recovery to the help of a steadfast psychoanalyst and a loyal circle of friends— from Magda, Taylor’s manic-depressive roommate, to Fiona, who shares tips for navigating the system and stories of her boyfriend, the “Spaceman,” and his regular journeys to Saturn. The forging of that network of support and trust was crucial to Taylor’s recovery, offering a respite from the “stranded, homeless feelings” she and others found in the outside world.
A vivid picture of mental health treatment at a moment of epochal change, The Last Asylum is also a moving meditation on Taylor’s own experience, as well as that of millions of others who struggle with mental illness.
The challenge of opening Africa and Australia to British imperial influence fell to a coterie of proto-professional explorers who sought knowledge, adventure, and fame but often experienced confusion, fear, and failure. The Last Blank Spaces follows the arc of these explorations, from idea to practice, intention to outcome, myth to reality.
Small and isolated in the Colony of Natal, Fort Napier was long treated like a temporary outpost of the expanding British Empire. Yet British troops manned this South African garrison for over seventy years. Tasked with protecting colonists, the fort became even more significant as an influence on, and reference point for, settler society. Graham Dominy's Last Outpost on the Zulu Frontier reveals the unexamined but pivotal role of Fort Napier in the peacetime public dramas of the colony. Its triumphalist colonial-themed pageantry belied colonists's worries about their own vulnerability. As Dominy shows, the cultural, political, and economic methods used by the garrison compensated for this perceived weakness. Settler elites married their daughters to soldiers to create and preserve an English-speaking oligarchy. At the same time, garrison troops formed the backbone of a consumer market that allowed colonists to form banking and property interests that consolidated their control.
In Fiona MacCarthy’s riveting account, Burne-Jones’s exchange of faith for art places him at the intersection of the nineteenth century and the Modern, as he leads us forward from Victorian mores and attitudes to the psychological, sexual, and artistic audacity that would characterize the early twentieth century.
Laughing at the Devil is an invitation to see the world with a medieval visionary now known as Julian of Norwich, believed to be the first woman to have written a book in English. (We do not know her given name, because she became known by the name of a church that became her home.) Julian “saw our Lord scorn [the Devil's] wickedness” and noted that “he wants us to do the same.” In this impassioned, analytic, and irreverent book, Amy Laura Hall emphasizes Julian's call to scorn the Devil. Julian of Norwich envisioned courage during a time of fear. Laughing at the Devil describes how a courageous woman transformed a setting of dread into hope, solidarity, and resistance.
Francis Beckett Haus Publishing, 2006 Library of Congress PN2598.O55B43 2005
In the 1930s he established himself as a wide-ranging Shakespearean actor. His marriage in 1940 to Vivien Leigh (his second wife) seemed to complete the image of the romantic star. From the mid-40s he excelled in directing himself in Shakespeare on film, such as his dramatically-shot Henry V (1944), with its timely excesses of patriotism. When the new wave of British drama began in the late 1950s, Olivier was immediately part of it. As an actor of such wide range, and a successful producer and director, Olivier was a natural choice to bring the National Theatre into existence in 1963. Together with his new wife Joan Plowright (they had married in 1961), he built up a brilliant company and repertoire at the Old Vic. Olivier became the first actor to be given a peerage.
The Law of the Other is an account of the English doctrine of the "mixed jury". Constable's excavation of the historical, rhetorical, and theoretical foundations of modern law recasts our legal and sociological understandings of the American jury and our contemporary conceptions of law, citizenship, and truth.
The "mixed jury" doctrine allowed resident foreigners to have law suits against English natives tried before juries composed half of natives and half of aliens like themselves. As she traces the transformations in this doctrine from the Middle Ages to its abolition in 1870, Constable also reveals the emergence of a world where law rooted in actual practices and customs of communities is replaced by law determined by officials, where juries no longer strive to speak the truth but to ascertain the facts.
Identifying “lessons learned” is not new—the military has been doing it for decades. However, members of the worldwide intelligence community have been slow to extract wider lessons gathered from the past and apply them to contemporary challenges. Learning from the Secret Past is a collection of ten carefully selected cases from post-World War II British intelligence history. Some of the cases include the Malayan Emergency, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Northern Ireland, and the lead up to the Iraq War. Each case, accompanied by authentic documents, illuminates important lessons that today's intelligence officers and policymakers—in Britain and elsewhere—should heed.
Written by former and current intelligence officers, high-ranking government officials, and scholars, the case studies in this book detail intelligence successes and failures, discuss effective structuring of the intelligence community, examine the effective use of intelligence in counterinsurgency, explore the ethical dilemmas and practical gains of interrogation, and highlight the value of human intelligence and the dangers of the politicization of intelligence. The lessons learned from this book stress the value of past experience and point the way toward running effective intelligence agencies in a democratic society.
Scholars and professionals worldwide who specialize in intelligence, defense and security studies, and international relations will find this book to be extremely valuable.
Invariably, armies are accused of preparing to fight the previous war. In Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife, Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl—a veteran of both Operation Desert Storm and the current conflict in Iraq—considers the now-crucial question of how armies adapt to changing circumstances during the course of conflicts for which they are initially unprepared. Through the use of archival sources and interviews with participants in both engagements, Nagl compares the development of counterinsurgency doctrine and practice in the Malayan Emergency from 1948 to 1960 with what developed in the Vietnam War from 1950 to 1975.
In examining these two events, Nagl—the subject of a recent New York Times Magazine cover story by Peter Maass—argues that organizational culture is key to the ability to learn from unanticipated conditions, a variable which explains why the British army successfully conducted counterinsurgency in Malaya but why the American army failed to do so in Vietnam, treating the war instead as a conventional conflict. Nagl concludes that the British army, because of its role as a colonial police force and the organizational characteristics created by its history and national culture, was better able to quickly learn and apply the lessons of counterinsurgency during the course of the Malayan Emergency.
With a new preface reflecting on the author's combat experience in Iraq, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife is a timely examination of the lessons of previous counterinsurgency campaigns that will be hailed by both military leaders and interested civilians.
In Left of Karl Marx, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones (1915–1964), a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical intellectual, dedicated communist, and feminist. Jones is buried in London’s Highgate Cemetery, to the left of Karl Marx—a location that Boyce Davies finds fitting given how Jones expanded Marxism-Leninism to incorporate gender and race in her political critique and activism.
Claudia Cumberbatch Jones was born in Trinidad. In 1924, she moved to New York, where she lived for the next thirty years. She was active in the Communist Party from her early twenties onward. A talented writer and speaker, she traveled throughout the United States lecturing and organizing. In the early 1950s, she wrote a well-known column, “Half the World,” for the Daily Worker. As the U.S. government intensified its efforts to prosecute communists, Jones was arrested several times. She served nearly a year in a U.S. prison before being deported and given asylum by Great Britain in 1955. There she founded The West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean News and the Caribbean Carnival, an annual London festival that continues today as the Notting Hill Carnival. Boyce Davies examines Jones’s thought and journalism, her political and community organizing, and poetry that the activist wrote while she was imprisoned. Looking at the contents of the FBI file on Jones, Boyce Davies contrasts Jones’s own narration of her life with the federal government’s. Left of Karl Marx establishes Jones as a significant figure within Caribbean intellectual traditions, black U.S. feminism, and the history of communism.
In the early 1980s both the British Labour Party and the West German Social Democrats (SPD), confronted with serious internal challenges from the political left, experienced an erosion of support that resulted in the emergence of new political parties—the British Social Democratic Party and the West German Green Party. Explicitly comparative, this study presents a theoretically innovative analysis while offering a sophisticated understanding of the political confrontations between social democrats, the new left, traditional socialists, and trade unionists in both Britain and West Germany. By focusing on the established parties rather than on external developments, Koelble departs from conventional methodology regarding the fortunes of political parties. In examining the fundamental processes of decision making and coalition building within the SPD and the Labour Party, he argues that it is the organizational structures within parties that shape political results by setting limits, creating opportunities, and determining strategies.
From 1716 to 1845 Scottish banks were among the most dynamic and resilient in Europe, effectively absorbing economic shocks that rocked markets in London and on the continent. Tyler Beck Goodspeed explains the paradox that Scotland’s banking system achieved this success without the regulations Adam Smith considered necessary for economic stability.
Gay Wachman provides a critical new reading of sexually radical fiction by British women in the years during and after the First World War. She contrasts works by Sylvia Townsend Warner, Virginia Woolf, Rose Allatini, and Evadne Price with more politically and narratively conservative novels by Radclyffe Hall and Clemence Dane. These writers, she states, formed part of an alternative modernist tradition that functioned both within and against the repressive ideology of the British Empire, using fantasy as a means of reshaping and critiquing a world fragmented by war.
Wachman places at the center of this tradition Sylvia Townsend Warner's achievement in undermining the inhibitions that faced women writing about forbidden love. She discusses Warner's use of crosswriting to transpose the otherwise unrepresentable lives of invisible lesbians into narratives about gay men, destabilizing the borders of race, class, and gender and challenging the codes of expression on which imperialist patriarchy and capitalism depended.
Moving beyond views of European Romanticism as an essentially poetic development, Lessons of Romanticism strives to strengthen a critical awareness of the genres, historical institutions, and material practices that comprised the culture of the period. This anthology—in recasting Romanticism in its broader cultural context—ranges across literary studies, art history, musicology, and political science and combines a variety of critical approaches, including gender studies, Lacanian analysis, and postcolonial studies. With over twenty essays on such diverse topics as the aesthetic and pedagogical purposes of art exhibits in London, the materiality of late Romantic salon culture, the extracanonical status of Jane Austen and Fanny Burney, and Romantic imagery in Beethoven’s music and letters, Lessons of Romanticism reveals the practices that were at the heart of European Romantic life. Focusing on the six decades from 1780 to 1832, this collection is arranged thematically around gender and genre, literacy, marginalization, canonmaking, and nationalist ideology. As Americanists join with specialists in German culture, as Austen is explored beside Beethoven, and as discussions on newly recovered women’s writings follow fresh discoveries in long-canonized texts, these interdisciplinary essays not only reflect the broad reach of contemporary scholarship but also point to the long-neglected intertextual and intercultural dynamics in the various and changing faces of Romanticism itself.
Contributors. Steven Bruhm, Miranda J. Burgess, Joel Faflak, David S. Ferris, William Galperin, Regina Hewitt, Jill Heydt-Stevenson, H. J. Jackson, Theresa M. Kelley, Greg Kucich, C. S. Matheson, Adela Pinch, Marc Redfield, Nancy L. Rosenblum, Marlon B. Ross, Maynard Solomon, Richard G. Swartz, Nanora Sweet, Joseph Viscomi, Karen A. Weisman, Susan I. Wolfson
Accounts of women's transgressive behavior in eighteenth-century literature and social documents have much to teach us about constructions of femininity during the period often identified as having formed our society's gender norms. Lewd and Notorious explores the eighteenth century's shadows, inhabited by marginal women of many kinds and degrees of contrariness. The reader meets Laetitia Pilkington, whose sexual indiscretions caused her to fall from social and literary grace to become an articulate memoirist of personal scandal, and Elizabeth Brownrigg, who tortured and starved her young servants, propelling herself to an infamy comparable to Susan Smith's or Myra Hindley's. More awful women wait between these covers to teach us about society's reception (and construction) of their debauchery and dangerousness.
The authors draw upon a rich range of contemporary texts to illuminate the lives of these women. Astute analysis of literary, legal, evangelical, epistolary, and political documents provides an understanding of 1700s womanhood. From lusty old maids to murderous mistresses, the characters who exemplify this period's vision of women on the edge are essential acquaintances for anyone wishing to understand the development and ramifications of conceptions of femininity.
We take liberalism to be a set of ideas committed to political rights and self-determination, yet it also served to justify an empire built on political domination. Uday Mehta argues that imperialism, far from contradicting liberal tenets, in fact stemmed from liberal assumptions about reason and historical progress. Confronted with unfamiliar cultures such as India, British liberals could only see them as backward or infantile. In this, liberals manifested a narrow conception of human experience and ways of being in the world.
Ironically, it is in the conservative Edmund Burke—a severe critic of Britain's arrogant, paternalistic colonial expansion—that Mehta finds an alternative and more capacious liberal vision. Shedding light on a fundamental tension in liberal theory, Liberalism and Empire reaches beyond post-colonial studies to revise our conception of the grand liberal tradition and the conception of experience with which it is associated.
Margaret Storm Jameson (1891–1986) is primarily known as a compelling essayist; her stature as a novelist and champion of the dispossessed is largely forgotten. In Life in the Writings of Storm Jameson, Elizabeth Maslen reveals a figure who held her own beside fellow British women writers, including Virginia Woolf; anticipated the Angry Young Women, such as Doris Lessing; and was an early champion of such European writers as Arthur Koestler and Czeslaw Milosz. Jameson was a complex character whose politics were grounded in social justice; she was passionately antifascist—her novel In the Second Year (1936) raised the alarm about Nazism—but always wary of communism. An eloquent polemicist, Jameson was, as president of the British P.E.N. during the 1930s and 1940s, of invaluable assistance to refugee writers. Elizabeth Maslen’s biography introduces a true twentieth century hedgehog, whose essays and subtly experimental fiction were admired in Europe and the States.
The Life of Kingsley Amis
Zachary Leader Northwestern University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PR6001.M6Z77 2011 | Dewey Decimal 828.91409
Kingsley Amis was not only the finest comic novelist of his generation, but also a dominant figure in post–World War II British writing as a novelist, poet, critic, and polemicist. Zachary Leader’s definitive, authorized biography conjures in vivid detail the life of one of the most controversial figures of twentieth-century literature, renowned for his blistering intelligence, savage wit, and belligerent fierceness of opinion.
In The Life of Kingsley Amis, Leader, the acclaimed editor of The Letters of Kingsley Amis, draws not only on published and unpublished works and correspondence, but also on interviews with a wide range of Amis’s friends, relatives, fellow writers, students, and colleagues, many of whom have never spoken publicly before. The result is a compulsively readable account of Amis’s childhood, school days, and life as a student at Oxford, teacher, critic, political and cultural commentator, professional author, husband, father, and lover. Neither evading nor sensationalizing the more salacious aspects of Amis’s life, Leader explores the writer’s phobias, self-doubts, and ambitions; the controversies in which he was embroiled; and the role that drink played in a life bedeviled by erotic entanglements, domestic turbulence, and personal disaster.
Here is the biography that its subject deserves. Like Amis himself, it is incisive and unsentimental, deeply appreciative of aesthetic achievement, and a great source of amusing anecdotes. Dazzling for its thoroughness, psychological acuity, and elegant style, The Life of Kingsley Amis is exemplary: literary biography at its very best.
In Lighting the Shakespearean Stage, 1567–1642,R. B. Graves examines the lighting of early modern English drama from both historical and aesthetic perspectives. He traces the contrasting traditions of sunlit amphitheaters and candlelit hall playhouses, describes the different lighting techniques, and estimates the effect of these techniques both indoors and outdoors.
Graves discusses the importance of stage lighting in determining the dramatic effect, even in cases where the manipulation of light was not under the direct control of the theater artists. He devotes a chapter to the early modern lighting equipment available to English Renaissance actors and surveys theatrical lighting before the construction of permanent playhouses in London. Elizabethan stage lighting, he argues, drew on both classical and medieval precedents.
Born on the same day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were true contemporaries. Though shaped by vastly different environments, they had remarkably similar values, purposes, and approaches. In this exciting new study, James Lander places these two iconic men side by side and reveals the parallel views they shared of man and God.
While Lincoln is renowned for his oratorical prowess and for the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as many other accomplishments, his scientific and technological interests are not widely recognized; for example, many Americans do not know that Lincoln is the only U.S. president to obtain a patent. Darwin, on the other hand, is celebrated for his scientific achievements but not for his passionate commitment to the abolition of slavery, which in part drove his research in evolution. Both men took great pains to avoid causing unnecessary offense despite having abandoned traditional Christianity. Each had one main adversary who endorsed scientific racism: Lincoln had Stephen A. Douglas, and Darwin had Louis Agassiz.
With graceful and sophisticated writing, Lander expands on these commonalities and uncovers more shared connections to people, politics, and events. He traces how these two intellectual giants came to hold remarkably similar perspectives on the evils of racism, the value of science, and the uncertainties of conventional religion.
Separated by an ocean but joined in their ideas, Lincoln and Darwin acted as trailblazers, leading their societies toward greater freedom of thought and a greater acceptance of human equality. This fascinating biographical examination brings the mid-nineteenth-century discourse about race, science, and humanitarian sensibility to the forefront using the mutual interests and pursuits of these two historic figures.
Traditionally, social scientists have assumed that past imperialism hinders the future development prospects of colonized nations. Challenging this widespread belief, Matthew Lange argues in Lineages of Despotism and Development that countries once under direct British imperial control have developed more successfully than those that were ruled indirectly.
Combining statistical analysis with in-depth case studies of former British colonies, this volume argues that direct rule promoted cogent and coherent states with high levels of bureaucratization and inclusiveness, which contributed to implementing development policy during late colonialism and independence. On the other hand, Lange finds that indirect British rule created patrimonial, weak states that preyed on their own populations. Firmly grounded in the tradition of comparative-historical analysis while offering fresh insight into the colonial roots of uneven development, Lineages of Despotism and Development will interest economists, sociologists, and political scientists alike.
The eccentric, manic, and often moving collaborative explorations of London’s hidden streets, cemeteries, parks, canals, pubs, and personalities by photographer Marc Atkins and writer Iain Sinclair were first recorded in Sinclair’s highly acclaimed 1997 book Lights Out for the Territory, praised in the Guardian as “one of the most remarkable books ever written on London.” Liquid City is a splendid follow-up—presented here in an updated format and with a new introduction and additional images—documenting Atkins and Sinclair’s further peregrinations through the city’s eastern and south-eastern quadrants, famous as London’s grittier but culturally rich quarters.
An array of famous and lesser-known writers, booksellers, and film-makers slip in and out of Sinclair’s annotations, as do memories and remnants of the East End’s criminal mobs and physical landmarks as diverse as the Thames barrier and Karl Marx’s grave in Archway cemetery. All of it is documented in Atkins’s striking, atmospheric photographs and Sinclair’s impressionistic prose that marries psychology with geography. Cued by the title, readers will follow the Thames as it flows silently through the photographic and textual narrative, traversing a city that is always fluid, full at once of continuities and surprises.
The Lisle Letters
Edited by Muriel St. Clare Byrne University of Chicago Press, 1981 Library of Congress DA335.L5L57 | Dewey Decimal 942.05
The Lisle Letters consist of the personal, official, and business correspondence of the household of Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, the illegitimate but acknowledged son of Edward IV, during the years 1533 to 1540 when he was Lord Deputy of Calais. These seven critical years in English history were marked by the rise, ascendency, and fall of Thomas Cromwell and the letters reflect the mixture of passion, terror, and politics that was the court of Henry VIII. They also present the everyday concerns of the Lisle household. No other source provides such an abundance of detail about daily life - marriage, child rearing, education, clothing, food, and furnishing. The Lisle Letters are the Tudor world in microcosm.
In a one-volume abridgement, these sixteenth-century letters paint a magnificent portrait of family life amidst the intrigue, terror, and politics of the court of Henry VIII. The culmination of Lord Lisle's imprisonment in the Tower of London.
In a series of intriguing routes through the English countryside, Professor Robert Cooper notes those attractions that the casual tourist might unknowingly pass by, such as the house where Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities, or the windswept quay where John Fowles's French Lieutenant's woman walked. Maps and information about restaurants and accommodations give the traveler the opportunity of having pints of “half and half” where Jane Austen dined or visiting the pub where Blake’s scuffle led to his trial for treason.
This newly revised and updated edition of Robert Cooper's acclaimed handbook combines the utility of current travel information with the appeal of literary history, biography, and anecdote in a leisurely and flavorful guide to the broad sweep of southern England outside of London. A rich and reliable guide to the landscape that fostered one of our most cherished cultures, The Literary Guide and Companion to Southern England is an indispensable resource for those who wish to experience literature firsthand.
The period between the World Wars was one of the richest and most inventive in the long history of British literature. Interwar literature stood apart by virtue of the sheer intelligence of the enquiries it undertook into the technological mediation of experience. After around 1925, literary works began to examine the sorts of behavior made possible for the first time by virtual interaction. And they began to fill up, too, with the look, sound, smell, taste, and feel of the new synthetic and semi-synthetic materials that were reshaping everyday modern life.
New media and new materials gave writers a fresh opportunity to reimagine both how lives might be lived and how literature might be written. Today, such material and immaterial mediations have become even more decisive. Communications technology is an attitude before it is a machine or a set of codes. It is an idea about the prosthetic enhancement of our capacity to communicate. The writers who first woke up to this fact were not postwar, postmodern, or post-anything else: some of the best of them lived and wrote in the British Isles in the period between the World Wars.
Long before Citizens United and modern debates over corporations as people, such organizations already stood between the public and private as both vehicles for commerce and imaginative constructs based on groups of individuals. In this book, John O’Brien explores how this relationship played out in economics and literature, two fields that gained prominence in the same era.
Examining British and American essays, poems, novels, and stories from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries, O’Brien pursues the idea of incorporation as a trope discernible in a wide range of texts. Key authors include John Locke, Eliza Haywood, Harriet Martineau, and Edgar Allan Poe, and each chapter is oriented around a type of corporation reflected in their works, such as insurance companies or banks. In exploring issues such as whether sentimental interest is the same as economic interest, these works bear witness to capitalism’s effect on history and human labor, desire, and memory. This period’s imaginative writing, O’Brien argues, is where the unconscious of that process left its mark. By revealing the intricate ties between literary models and economic concepts, Literature Incorporated shows us how the business corporation has shaped our understanding of our social world and ourselves.
"The Lives of Machines is intelligent, closely argued, and persuasive, and puts forth a contention that will unsettle the current consensus about Victorian attitudes toward the machine."
---Jay Clayton, Vanderbilt University
Today we commonly describe ourselves as machines that "let off steam" or feel "under pressure." The Lives of Machines investigates how Victorian technoculture came to shape this language of human emotion so pervasively and irrevocably and argues that nothing is more intensely human and affecting than the nonhuman. Tamara Ketabgian explores the emergence of a modern and more mechanical view of human nature in Victorian literature and culture.
Treating British literature from the 1830s to the 1870s, this study examines forms of feeling and community that combine the vital and the mechanical, the human and the nonhuman, in surprisingly hybrid and productive alliances. Challenging accounts of industrial alienation that still persist, the author defines mechanical character and feeling not as erasures or negations of self, but as robust and nuanced entities in their own right. The Lives of Machines thus offers an alternate cultural history that traces sympathies between humans, animals, and machines in novels and nonfiction about factory work as well as in other unexpected literary sites and genres, whether domestic, scientific, musical, or philosophical. Ketabgian historicizes a model of affect and community that continues to inform recent theories of technology, psychology, and the posthuman.
The Lives of Machines will be of interest to students of British literature and history, history of science and of technology, novel studies, psychoanalysis, and postmodern cultural studies.
Cover image: "Power Loom Factory of Thomas Robinson," from Andrew Ure, The Philosophy of Manufactures (London: Charles Knight, 1835), frontispiece.
DIGITALCULTUREBOOKS: a collaborative imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the University of Michigan Library
Dashingly told and meticulously researched, this double biography of D. H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda von Richthofen is the first to draw fully on Frieda’s unpublished letters and on interviews with people who knew her well. It explores their collision with an industrial world they hated and chronicles the stormy relationship between husband and wife. The strong sexual vitality that inspired Lawrence’s art brought both joy and anguish to his marriage. Here, the Lawrences emerge as proud but not conceited in their unconventional lives, staunch in the face of fierce opposition from a conformist society. Living at the Edge follows the separate lives of Lawrence and Frieda up to their first meeting in 1912. Tracing their new life together, it depicts their grateful escape from the English Midlands; their discovery of exotic places where they made temporary homes—Italy, Cornwall, Australia, New Mexico, and Mexico; Lawrence’s courageous battle against illness; and, after his death in 1930, Frieda’s success in recreating the simple life on ranches near Taos, New Mexico, where she died in 1956.
At the center of their story is Lawrence’s literary career. Biographers Squires and Talbot see Lawrence’s major novels—The Rainbow, Women in Love, Lady Chatterley’s Lover—as a fresh way to understand his turbulent and conflicted life. They reveal the extreme care with which he rewrote his personal experience to satisfy his deepest needs, and they introduce the many influential people who entered the Lawrences’ lives and work. The rich materials from Frieda’s letters reveal a different Lawrence—more difficult as a man but more interesting as an artist; they also reveal a different Frieda—more vibrant as a woman, more substantial as a companion. This superb biography gives both Lawrence and Frieda striking new dimensions.
In the mid-Victorian era, liberalism was a practical politics: it had a party, it informed legislation, and it had adherents who identified with and expressed it as opinion. It was also the first British political movement to depend more on people than property, and on opinion rather than interest. But how would these subjects of liberal politics actually live liberalism?
To answer this question, Elaine Hadley focuses on the key concept of individuation—how it is embodied in politics and daily life and how it is expressed through opinion, discussion and sincerity. These are concerns that have been absent from commentary on the liberal subject. Living Liberalism argues that the properties of liberalism—citizenship, the vote, the candidate, and reform, among others—were developed in response to a chaotic and antagonistic world. In exploring how political liberalism imagined its impact on Victorian society, Hadley reveals an entirely new and unexpected prehistory of our modern liberal politics. A major revisionist account that alters our sense of the trajectory of liberalism, Living Liberalism revises our understanding of the presumption of the liberal subject.
In future the UK's energy supplies, for both heat and power, will come from much more diverse sources. In many cases this will mean local energy projects serving a local community or even a single house. What technologies are available? Where and at what scale can they be used? How can they work effectively with our existing energy networks? This book explores these power and heat sources, explains the characteristics of each and examines how they can be used.
London: A History in Verse
Mark Ford Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PR1195.L6L64 2012 | Dewey Decimal 821.0080358421
London has long been understood through the poetry it has inspired. Mark Ford has assembled the most capacious and wide-ranging anthology of poems about London to date, from Chaucer to Wordsworth to the present day, providing a chronological tour of urban life and of English literature. The volume includes an introductory essay by the poet.
London Fashion Week is the pinnacle of the fashion season, and it features an array of native designers, from Burberry and Vivenne Westwood to Alexander McQueen and Nicole Farhi. The roots of London’s place as the international epicenter of haute couture and prêt-à-porter stretch back centuries, and they are explored here by Alistair O’Neill.
Arguing that fashion was central to the impact of modernity in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century London, O’Neill maps the progress of fashion against the city’s neighborhoods and streets. Carnaby Street, Soho, Jermyn Street, and King’s Road each get their turn in London, along with many others, revealing the intersection between London’s urban history and the development of fashion. O’Neill’s analysis is not merely confined to clothing—from the popularity of tattooing in the 1890s to the diverse uses of chintz in the 1980s design aesthetic, he traces the history of fashion in its various manifestations and explores how particular figures were key to disseminating fashion throughout British and international cultures. Participating in fashion, Londonshows, was not only a pleasurable aspect of modern urban life, but also a fundamental element of contemporary cultural sensibilities. London unearths vital moments of revolution in fashion that reflect deeper changes in London’s history and culture, contending that these historic changes are unfairly marginalized in accounts of transformation in the city’s culture.
A fascinating look at style and urbanism, London offers an intriguing reconsideration of the role of fashion in city life and fills in long overlooked gaps in the history of London and modern design.
City of cities, the modern world’s first great metropolis, London has shaped everything from clothing to youth culture. It has a unique place in the world’s memory, even as its role has changed from the capital of the planet to its playground, and as its lived history has mutated into the heritage industry.
In this book, Londoner Phil Baker explores the city’s history and the London of today, balancing well-known major events with more curious and eccentric details. He reveals a city of almost unmatched historical density and richness. For Baker, London turns out to be Gothic in all senses of the word and enjoyably haunted by its own often bloody past. And despite extensive redevelopment, as he shows in this engaging and insightful book, some of the magic remains.
London Fog: The Biography
Christine L. Corton Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress QC929.F7C57 2015 | Dewey Decimal 551.57509421
The classic London fogs—thick yellow “pea-soupers”—were born in the industrial age and remained a feature of cold, windless winter days until clean air legislation in the 1960s. Christine L. Corton tells the story of these epic London fogs, their dangers and beauty, and the lasting effects on our culture and imagination of these urban spectacles.
Meet Shakespeare, Heine and Hogarth south of the river, find Virginia Woolf in Bloomsbury, discovers Blake and Trollope in Westminster, happen on the Carlyles in Chelsea, come across John Keats in beautiful Hampstead and search for Bacon and Hanif Kureishi in the London suburbs.
London from Punk to Blair is a rich portrait of Europe’s foremost capital. An array of contributors, including poets, journalists, teachers, historians, wanderers, drinkers, photographers, and foodies, offer a selection of personal and subjective readings of the city since the late ’70s. These essays chart a variety of literal and metaphorical explorations through modern and postmodern London, showing how it works, and how it fails to work; what makes it vibrant, and what makes it seedy. From West End galleries to strip pubs in Shoreditch; from millionaires’ loft apartments to buses and suburban Tube stops; from film, fashion, and gay clubs to punk bands, ruinous factories, pigeon filth, and the vagaries of weather, London from Punk to Blair embraces the city like no other book has before. This revised edition includes a new introduction by editor Joe Kerr that brings the book up to date and gives the essays context for the post-recession world.
“Full of insight into the diverse experiences that constitute the recent history of London.”—Architects’ Journal
“This rewarding collection brings into clear focus those dramatic shifts in the fortunes of the metropolis. . . . Beautiful, revealing insights into particular ways of understanding and using the city.”—London Society Journal
"The recognition that ordinary people could and did trade in slaves, as well as the fact that ordinary people became slaves, is, indeed, the beginning of comprehending the enormity of the forced migration of eleven million people and the attendant deaths of many more."
In London, Metropolis of the Slave Trade, James A. Rawley collects some of his best works from the past three decades. Also included in this volume are three new pieces: an essay on a South Carolina slave trader, Henry Laurens; an analysis of the slave trade at the beginning of the eighteenth century; and a portrait of John Newton, a slave trader who became a priest in the Church of England and composer of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” as well as an outspoken opponent of the trade.
In these essays Rawley brings together new information on individuals involved in and opposed to the slave trade and shows how scholars have long underestimated the extent of London’s participation in the trade.
Rawley draws on material from the year 1700 to the American Civil War as he explores the role of London in the trade. He covers its activity as a port of departure for ships bound for Africa; its continuing large volume after the trade extended to Bristol and Liverpool; and the controversy between London’s parliamentary representatives, who defended the trade, and the abolitionist movement that was quartered there.
Sweeping in scope and thorough in its analysis, this collection of essays from a seasoned scholar will be welcomed by historians concerned with slavery and the slave trade, as well as by students just beginning their exploration of this subject.
Just as his great contemporary William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles Dickens found his footing as a writer in the early-nineteenth-century market for popular print entertainment. However, even though Thackeray was a skilled caricaturist and a prolific producer of political squibs, burlesques, and ballads, he thought of novel writing as a serious literary pursuit that needed to be separated from mere “magazinery.” On the other hand, Dickens did not personally produce graphic caricatures or even the sort of squibs with which Thackeray flooded the pages of Punch, but these forms had a huge influence on his fiction.
In London, Radical Culture, and the Making of the Dickensian Aesthetic, Sambudha Sen argues that the popular novelistic aesthetic that underlay Dickens’s fiction was composed of, above all, the expressive resources that it absorbed from the nineteenth-century market for print and visual entertainment. Sen’s book aims to precisely chart the series of displacements and “reactivations” by which expressive strategies of these extraliterary discourses found their way into Dickens’s novels. Sen also examines the ways in which the expressive modes that Dickens absorbed from popular print and visual culture affected his novelistic techniques. Sen draws on some of Thackeray’s novels to illustrate how Dickens’s representation of “character” within the big city and his negotiations of the ceremonial discourses of power differ from Thackeray’s more properly literary representations.
London, Radical Culture, and the Making of the Dickensian Aesthetic breaks new ground in its elaboration of the symbiotic relationship between the Dickensian “popular novelistic aesthetic” and expressive resources that germinated in popular forms such as radical journalism, radical cartooning, city sketches, and panoramas. It is therefore likely to generate further research on the interanimation between canonical literature and popular forms.
If one had looked for a potential global city in Europe in the 1540s, the most likely candidate would have been Antwerp, which had emerged as the center of the German and Spanish silver exchange as well as the Portuguese spice and Spanish sugar trades. It almost certainly would not have been London, an unassuming hub of the wool and cloth trade with a population of around 75,000, still trying to recover from the onslaught of the Black Plague. But by 1700 London’s population had reached a staggering 575,000—and it had developed its first global corporations, as well as relationships with non-European societies outside the Mediterranean. What happened in the span of a century and half? And how exactly did London transform itself into a global city?
London’s success, Robert K. Batchelor argues, lies not just with the well-documented rise of Atlantic settlements, markets, and economies. Using his discovery of a network of Chinese merchant shipping routes on John Selden’s map of China as his jumping-off point, Batchelor reveals how London also flourished because of its many encounters, engagements, and exchanges with East Asian trading cities. Translation plays a key role in Batchelor’s study—translation not just of books, manuscripts, and maps, but also of meaning and knowledge across cultures—and Batchelor demonstrates how translation helped London understand and adapt to global economic conditions. Looking outward at London’s global negotiations, Batchelor traces the development of its knowledge networks back to a number of foreign sources and credits particular interactions with England’s eventual political and economic autonomy from church and King.
London offers a much-needed non-Eurocentric history of London, first by bringing to light and then by synthesizing the many external factors and pieces of evidence that contributed to its rise as a global city. It will appeal to students and scholars interested in the cultural politics of translation, the relationship between merchants and sovereigns, and the cultural and historical geography of Britain and Asia.
London, 1820. The British capital is a metropolis that overwhelms dwellers and visitors alike with constant exposure to all kinds of sensory stimulation. Over the next two decades, the city’s tumult will reach new heights: as population expansion places different classes in dangerous proximity and ideas of political and social reform linger in the air, London begins to undergo enormous infrastructure change that will alter it forever.
It is the London of this period that editors Roger Parker and Susan Rutherford pinpoint in this book, which chooses one broad musical category—voice—and engages with it through essays on music of the streets, theaters, opera houses, and concert halls; on the raising of voices in religious and sociopolitical contexts; and on the perception of voice in literary works and scientific experiments with acoustics. Emphasizing human subjects, this focus on voice allows the authors to explore the multifaceted issues that shaped London, from the anxiety surrounding the city’s importance in the musical world at large to the changing vocal imaginations that permeated the epoch. Capturing the breadth of sonic stimulations and cultures available—and sometimes unavoidable—to residents at the time, London Voices, 1820–1840 sheds new light on music in Britain and the richness of London culture during this period.
As people crowded into British cities in the nineteenth century, industrial and biological waste byproducts and then epidemic followed. Britons died by the thousands in recurring plagues. Figures like Edwin Chadwick and John Snow pleaded for measures that could save lives and preserve the social fabric.
The solution that prevailed was the novel idea that British towns must build public water supplies, replacing private companies. But the idea was not an obvious or inevitable one. Those who promoted new waterworks argued that they could use water to realize a new kind of British society—a productive social machine, a new moral community, and a modern civilization. They did not merely cite the dangers of epidemic or scarcity. Despite many debates and conflicts, this vision won out—in town after town, from Birmingham to Liverpool to Edinburgh, authorities gained new powers to execute municipal water systems.
But in London local government responded to environmental pressures with a plan intended to help remake the metropolis into a collectivist society. The Conservative national government, in turn, sought to impose a water administration over the region that would achieve its own competing political and social goals. The contestants over London’s water supply matched divergent strategies for administering London’s water with contending visions of modern society. And the matter was never pedestrian. The struggle over these visions was joined by some of the most colorful figures of the late Victorian period, including John Burns, Lord Salisbury, Bernard Shaw, and Sidney and Beatrice Webb.
As Broich demonstrates, the debate over how to supply London with water came to a head when the climate itself forced the endgame near the end of the nineteenth century. At that decisive moment, the Conservative party succeeded in dictating the relationship between water, power, and society in London for many decades to come.
Few countries attribute as much importance to the Second World War and its memory as Britain; arguably nowhere else has this conflict developed such longevity in cultural memory and retained such presence in contemporary culture. Long Shadows is about how literature and film have helped shape this process in Britain. More precisely, the essays collected here suggest that this is a continuous work in progress, subject to transgenerational revisions, political expediencies, commercial considerations, and the vicissitudes of popular taste. It would indeed be more accurate to speak of the meanings (plural) that the war has been given at various moments in British cultural life. These semantic variations and fluctuations in cultural import are rooted in the specificity of the British war experience, in the political aftermath of the war in Europe, and in its significance for Britain’s postwar position on the global stage. In other words, the books and films discussed in these essays respond to how the war has been interpreted and remembered; what is at stake is the way in which the war has been emplotted as a hegemonic cultural narrative about Britain.
Lord Kelvin (William Thomson), arguably Britain's most eminent scientist after Newton, spent much of his life in work which led to the development of today's electrical units and standards. Despite his influence, there are few biographies of stature (largely due to the abstruse nature of much of his technical research). This treatment concentrates upon his work in three phases; discovery of the fundamental concepts and coding them into universal laws, leading the adoption of the metric system, and securing worldwide use of units and standards (now the IEC system).
In the glorious, boozy party after the first World War, a new being burst defiantly onto the world stage: the so-called flapper. Young, impetuous, and flirtatious, she was an alluring, controversial figure, celebrated in movies, fiction, plays, and the pages of fashion magazines. But, as this book argues, she didn’t appear out of nowhere. This spirited, beautifully illustrated history presents a fresh look at the reality of young women’s experiences in America and Britain from the 1890s to the 1920s, when the “modern” girl emerged. Linda Simon shows us how this modern girl bravely created a culture, a look, and a future of her own. Lost Girls is an illuminating history of the iconic flapper as she evolved from a problem to a temptation, and finally, in the 1920s and beyond, to an aspiration.
Few landscapes are as striking as that of the Hebrides, the hundreds of small islands that speckle the waters off Scotland’s northwest coast. The jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling waves serve as a reminder of the islands’ dramatic geological history, inspiring awe and dread in those drawn there. With Britain at their back and facing the Atlantic, the Hebrides were at the center of ancient shipping routes and have a remarkable cultural history as well, as a meeting place for countless cultures that interacted with a long, rich Gaelic tradition.
After years of hearing about Scotland as a place deeply interwoven with the story of her family, Madeleine Bunting was driven to see for herself this place so symbolic and full of history. Most people travel in search of the unfamiliar, to leave behind the comfort of what’s known to explore some suitably far-flung corner of the globe. From the first pages, it’s clear that Madeleine Bunting’s Love of Country marks a different kind of journey—one where all paths lead to a closer understanding of home, but a home bigger than Bunting’s corner of Britain, the drizzly, busy streets of London with their scream of sirens and high-rise developments crowding the sky. Over six years, Bunting returned again and again to the Hebrides, fascinated by the question of what it means to belong there, a question that on these islands has been fraught with tenacious resistance and sometimes tragedy. With great sensitivity, she takes readers through the Hebrides’ history of dispossession and displacement, a history that can be understand only in the context of Britain’s imperial past, and she shows how the Hebrides have been repeatedly used to define and imagine Britain. In recent years, the relationship between Britain and Scotland has been subject to its most testing scrutiny, and Bunting’s travels became a way to reflect on what might be lost and what new possibilities might lie ahead.
For all who have wondered how it might feel to stand face-out at the edge of home, Love of Country is a revelatory journey through one of the world’s most remote, beautiful landscapes that encourages us to think of the many identities we wear as we walk our paths, and how it is possible to belong to many places while at the same time not wholly belonging to any.
Loving Dr. Johnson
Helen Deutsch University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress PR3533.D46 2005 | Dewey Decimal 828.609
The autopsy of Samuel Johnson (1709-84) initiated two centuries of Johnsonian anatomy-both in medical speculation about his famously unruly body and in literary devotion to his anecdotal remains. Even today, Johnson is an enduring symbol of individuality, authority, masculinity, and Englishness, ultimately lending a style and a name—the Age of Johnson—to the eighteenth-century English literary canon.
Loving Dr. Johnson uses the enormous popularity of Johnson to understand a singular case of author love and to reflect upon what the love of authors has to do with the love of literature. Helen Deutsch's work is driven by several impulses, among them her affection for both Johnson's work and Boswell's biography of him, and her own distance from the largely male tradition of Johnsonian criticism—a tradition to which she remains indebted and to which Loving Dr. Johnson is ultimately an homage. Limning sharply Johnson's capacious oeuvre, Deutsch's study is also the first of its kind to examine the practices and rituals of Johnsonian societies around the world, wherein Johnson's literary work is now dwarfed by the figure of the writer himself.
An absorbing look at one iconic author and his afterlives, Loving Dr. Johnson will be of enormous value to students of English literature and literary scholars keenly interested in canon formation.
One of the most common—and wounding—misconceptions about literary scholars today is that they simply don’t love books. While those actually working in literary studies can easily refute this claim, such a response risks obscuring a more fundamental question: why should they?
That question led Deidre Shauna Lynch into the historical and cultural investigation of Loving Literature. How did it come to be that professional literary scholars are expected not just to study, but to love literature, and to inculcate that love in generations of students? What Lynch discovers is that books, and the attachments we form to them, have played a vital role in the formation of private life—that the love of literature, in other words, is deeply embedded in the history of literature. Yet at the same time, our love is neither self-evident nor ahistorical: our views of books as objects of affection have clear roots in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century publishing, reading habits, and domestic history.
While never denying the very real feelings that warm our relationship to books, Loving Literature nonetheless serves as a riposte to those who use the phrase “the love of literature” as if its meaning were transparent. Lynch writes, “It is as if those on the side of love of literature had forgotten what literary texts themselves say about love’s edginess and complexities.” With this masterly volume, Lynch restores those edges and allows us to revel in those complexities.
The United Kingdom's labor market policies place it in a kind of institutional middle ground between the United States and continental Europe. Low pay grew sharply between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, in large part due to the decline of unions and collective bargaining and the removal of protections for the low paid. The changes instituted by Tony Blair's New Labour government since 1997, including the introduction of the National Minimum Wage, halted the growth in low pay but have not reversed it. Low-Wage Work in the United Kingdom explains why the current level of low-paying work remains one of the highest in Europe. The authors argue that the failure to deal with low pay reflects a policy approach which stressed reducing poverty, but also centers on the importance of moving people off benefits and into work, even at low wages. The U.K. government has introduced a version of the U.S. welfare to work policies and continues to stress the importance of a highly flexible and competitive labor market. A central policy theme has been that education and training can empower people to both enter work and to move into better paying jobs. The case study research reveals the endemic nature of low paid work and the difficulties workers face in escaping from the bottom end of the jobs ladder. However, compared to the United States, low paid workers in the United Kingdom do benefit from in-work social security benefits, targeted predominately at those with children, and entitlements to non-pay benefits such as annual leave, maternity and sick pay, and crucially, access to state-funded health care. Low-Wage Work in the United Kingdom skillfully illustrates the way that the interactions between government policies, labor market institutions, and the economy have ensured that low pay remains a persistent problem within the United Kingdom. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Case Studies of Job Quality in Advanced Economies
Lyric Interventions explores linguistically innovative poetry by contemporary women in North America and Britain whose experiments give rise to fresh feminist readings of the lyric subject. The works discussed by Linda Kinnahan explore the lyric subject in relation to the social: an “I” as a product of social discourse and as a conduit for change.
Contributing to discussions of language-oriented poetries through its focus on women writers and feminist perspectives, this study of lyric experimentation brings attention to the cultural contexts of nation, gender, and race as they significantly shift the terms by which the “experimental” is produced, defined, and understood.
This study focuses upon lyric intervention in distinct but related spheres as they link public and ideological norms of identity. Firstly, lyric innovations with visual and spatial realms of cultural practice and meaning, particularly as they naturalize ideologies of gender and race in North America and the post-colonial legacies of the Caribbean, are investigated in the works of Barbara Guest, Kathleen Fraser, Erica Hunt, and M. Nourbese Philip. Secondly, experimental engagements with nationalist rhetorics of identity, marking the works of Carol Ann Duffy, Denise Riley, Wendy Mulford, and Geraldine Monk, are explored in relation to contemporary evocations of “self” in Britain. And thirdly, in discussions of all of the poets, but particularly accenuated in regard to Guest, Fraser, Riley, Mulford, and Monk, formal experimentation with the lyric “I” is considered through gendered encounters with critical and avant-garde discourses of poetics.
Throughout the study, Kinnahan seeks to illuminate and challenge the ways in which visual and verbal constructs function to make “readable” the subjectivities historically supporting white, male-centered power within the worlds of art, poetry, social locations, or national policy. The potential of the feminist, innovative lyric to generate linguistic surprise simultaneously with engaging risky strategies of social intervention lends force and significance to the public engagement of such poetic experimentation.
This fresh, energetic study will be of great interest to literary critics and womens studies scholars, as well as poets on both sides of the Atlantic.