Edwardian Fiction: An Oxford Companion

ISBN 13: 9780198117605

Edwardian Fiction: An Oxford Companion

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9780198117605: Edwardian Fiction: An Oxford Companion
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The Edwardian age was a great age for English fiction. Many classic novels, some of them subsequently adapted for film and television, were first published then - Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Lost World; E. M. Forster's A Room with a View and Howard's End; Conrad's Lord Jim and Nostromo; for children, Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and A Little Princess and Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, Kim, and Just So Stories; the first of Galsworthy's Forsyte novels, The Man of Property; Erskine Childers's great spy story The Riddle of the Sands; Arnold Bennett's Clayhanger; Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel; D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers. But alongside such well-known and never out of print titles there was a wealth of other writing, much of it forgotten or half-forgotten, some of it unjustly neglected, and all of it important to the literary context in which the enduringly popular works were produced. This Companion examines the broad sweep of fiction-writing in the first decade and a half of the century, from 1900 to the outbreak of the First World War - a period when novels in Britain were produced more cheaply, and read more widely, than ever before - providing over 800 author-entries as well as articles on individual books, literary periodicals, and general topics. With the excitement of the new century came fiction from new sources, which explored new subjects and was read by new audiences. Significant social developments and themes can be traced both in the Companion at large and via the topic entries, which for the first time allow the reader to explore all the novels in a particular genre. It was a period when the urban middle and lower classes became not only the subject of fiction - Wells's Tono-Bungay and Mr Polly, Galsworthy's Fraternity, Bennett's stories of the Five Towns - but a substantial part of its readership. Genres such as spy stories, Ruritanian novels, and detective fiction were invented or suddenly came into their own, each with its following of readers. An unprecedented number of women began to publish - they represent nearly half the author-entries here - though many of them chose to do so under noms de plume. From James's The Ambassadors to Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson, from J. H. Abbott to Israel Zangwill, from the Boer War to Suburban Life, Edwardian Fiction offers unique access to the books, writers, and preoccupations of a fascinating literary era.

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A unique guide to a fascinating literary period

About the Author:

About the Editors: Sandra Kemp is Quentin Hogg Research Fellow at the University of Westminster. Charlotte Mitchell is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College, London. David Trotter is Quain Professor of English Language and Literature at University College, London.

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