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Courting the Public
Leo Shipp
31 August 2022

The office of the poet laureate of Britain was a highly prominent, relevant and respectable institution throughout the long eighteenth century. First instituted for John Dryden in 1668, the laureateship developed from an honorific into a functionary office with a settled position in court (c.1689–1715), and was bestowed upon Robert Southey in 1813, whose tenure eventually transformed the office. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this book examines the office’s institutional changes and public reception, the mechanics of each laureate’s appointment, and the works produced by the laureates before and after their appointments. It argues that the laureateship played a key part in some of the most vital trends in eighteenth-...

An Examination of Power and Translation
Nicole Robertson
1 March 2022

Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931), one of the major figures of European modernist literature, enjoyed domestic and international success during his lifetime and posthumously, yet the arrival of his dramatic works in Great Britain was plagued by false starts, short runs and inconsistencies. It was only with Tom Stoppard’s adaptations of Das weite Land and Liebelei, that Schnitzler’s plays were produced at the National Theatre  ─ Undiscovered Country (1979) and Dalliance (1986).

Nicole Robertson’s enquiry into the whys and wherefores of that dilatory dissemination unearths and examines evidence of power in transcultural and translingual migrations. Translations, critical reviews,...

Cultural Transfer and Literary Entrepreneurship in the Enlightenment
Tom Zille
30 June 2021

Christian Felix Weiße (1726-1804) is best known as a dramatist and influential children’s writer of the Enlightenment period. This is the first book to explore his singularly extensive output as a literary translator, investigating the conditions which allowed Weiße to become the most prolific German translator of English literature in the eighteenth century, a popular translator of French drama, and an influential editor and ‘entrepreneur’ of the translations of others. Drawing on previously unpublished correspondence, the study examines Weiße’s wide-ranging professional networks as a cultural mediator of European significance. Special attention is paid to his role in the German reception of Ossian, his introduction of English children...

Histories of Queer Publishing and Publishing Queer Voices
Edited by Leila Kassir and Richard Espley
12 May 2021

Queer Between the Covers presents a history of radical queer publishing and literature from 1880 to the modern day. Chronicling the gay struggle for acceptance and liberation, this book demonstrates how the fight for representation was often waged secretly between the covers of books at a time when public spaces for queer identities were limited. The chapters provide an array of voices and histories – from the famous, Derek Jarman and Oscar Wilde, to the lesser-known and underappreciated John Wieners and Valerie Taylor. It includes first-hand accounts of seminal moments in queer history, including the birth of Hazard Press and the Defend Gay’s the Word Bookshop campaign in the 1980s.

The book demonstrates how...

Rare Books and Manuscripts in the R.E. Hart Collection, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
Edited by Cynthia Johnston
21 February 2021

A British Book Collector celebrates one of the finest collections of manuscripts and rare books in the north west of England. From the turn of the twentieth century through the Second World War, Robert Edward Hart, a ropemaker of Blackburn, Lancashire, quietly amassed a phenomenal collection of medieval manuscripts and early printed books.

In this volume, leading scholars from the fields of the history of art, and the history of the book, examine anew the internationally important manuscripts and rare printed books in Hart’s collection, and the practice of collecting itself in the context of the waning of the industrial revolution. Copiously illustrated with colour prints, this volume marks R.E. Hart’s...

Rebecca Maria DeWald
18 December 2020

Reading creates imaginary worlds. Rather than merely contemplating this world, we establish links between the fictional world and the environment we live in. At the same time, the books we read form part of our daily lives, and contribute to the creation of a universe of possible worlds we inhabit. Taking Possible World Theory as a starting point, DeWald re-evaluates and overturns the assumed hierarchical relationship between original text and its translation. Focusing on the translations of Virginia Woolf and Franz Kafka by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, the author considers why we insist on maintaining borders between texts. DeWald examines marginal cases of translations and originals (pseudo-translations and collaborative...

Jerome J. McGann
10 July 2020

In October 1869, Pre-Raphaelite painter and poet, Gabriel Dante Rossetti exhumed the grave of his former muse and wife, Elizabeth Siddal, to retrieve some earlier poetry he had buried with her. The collection was published as the Poems of D. G. Rossetti in 1870 to great controversy- for their eroticism and hedonism- and none received greater attention than the ‘House of Life’ sonnets, a ballad intimately describing a romantic relationship.

In this short essay, Professor Jerome J. McGann unpacks the origins and inspirations for the ‘House of Life’ sonnets, including the influence of Italian poet, Dante Alighieri; their shared traits of allegory and theatricality, Rossetti’s abstract concepts of life and love, and his many...

David Crystal OBE
19 June 2020

Professor David Crystal discusses Computer-Mediated Speech (CMC), or Netspeak. In this short book, he presents a discursive timeline of the linguistic quirks of digital interactivity. From framing to flaming, from emoticons to text speak, can we ever communicate effectively in our digital realms?

The book is based on a lecture given as part of the Hilda Hulme Memorial Lectures, established in 1985 following a donation from Mr Mohamed Aslam in memory of his wife, Dr Hilda Hulme. The lectures are on the subject of English literature and relate to one of ‘the three fields in which Dr Hulme specialised, namely Shakespeare, language in Elizabethan drama, and the nineteenth-century novel’....

Rosemary Ashton
12 June 2020

When the Victorian journalist and critic, George Henry Lewes invited George Eliot and Charles Dickens to dinner in 1859, few imagined it would lead to one of the greatest creative exchanges in literary history.

From the non-traditional ‘marriage’ of Eliot and Lewes, to the unconventional eye Lewes cast over Dickens’ work, this book throws fresh light on the chief subject of their critical interest by looking at the complex relationships between Dickens, Eliot and Lewes. It contends that Lewes saw something in Dickens and Eliot that his contemporaries could not grasp, and traces the birth of ‘psychological realism’ as a literary device in English literature.

The book is based on a lecture given as part...

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