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Tag: nineteenth century

Jessica DeSpain. Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Reprinting and the Embodied Book

Jessica DeSpain. Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Reprinting and the Embodied Book. Farnham, UK & Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. xiv, 210p., ill. ISBN 9781409432005. £60 (hardback).

Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Reprinting and the Embodied Book centres on the transatlantic book trade from the 1840s through the 1890s, looking at the circulation of British books in the United States and American books in Britain. Basing her argument on extensive archival research into multiple editions of reprints, as well as on reviews, advertisements and readers’ letters, Jessica DeSpain details the “indiscriminate nature of transatlantic transmission” (11), offering an analysis of the different ways that books were reframed for various American and British audiences.

Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will

Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will

Morgan Library and Museum, New York City

9 September 2016–2 January, 2017

“I am no bird, and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you…it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal,—as we are. ” Who can forget Jane Eyre furiously taking her stand against Rochester after he railed that she was behaving like a “wild frantic bird” in proto-feminist passages where Jane demanded equal recognition of the sexes in this eponymous novel? For the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth the Morgan Library and Museum presented American viewers for the very first time the bound manuscript of Jane Eyre, on loan from the British Library.

Vanessa Meikle Schulman. Work Sights: The Visual Culture of Industry in Nineteenth-Century America

Vanessa Meikle Schulman. Work Sights: The Visual Culture of Industry in Nineteenth-Century America. Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015. xi, 278p., ill. ISBN 9781625341952. US $29.95 (paperback).

With strong opinions of belonging and citizenship motivating current debates on immigration reform and global economics, Vanessa Schulman’s Work Sights: The Visual Culture of Industry in Nineteenth-Century America proves timely, providing useful historical context through which we can understand the ways that these concepts were shaped and circulated in nineteenth-century America.

Susan M. Ryan. The Moral Economies of American Authorship: Reputation, Scandal, and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Marketplace

Susan M. Ryan. The Moral Economies of American Authorship: Reputation, Scandal, and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Marketplace. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. x, 217p. ISBN 9780190274023. US $65.00.

Deluxe limited editions with an author’s inscription were common at the end of the nineteenth century, but it is surprising to find a 1900 Haworth Edition of the novels of Charlotte Brontë signed, “Sincerely yours, C. Brontë,” as she had died a half-century earlier. While Susan Ryan only references the practice of facsimile signatures in passing, her discussion of what she calls the “moral economy” of authorship makes sense of this practice as a marketing ploy.

Heather Haveman. Magazines and the Making of America: Modernization, Community, and Print Culture, 1741-1860

Heather Haveman. Magazines and the Making of America: Modernization, Community, and Print Culture, 1741-1860. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. 432p. ISBN 9780691164403. US $45.00.

Haveman’s work explores the changing ways that American magazine publishing and distribution helped create and shape local communities and, increasingly during the nineteenth century, the trans-local communities that are a hallmark of modern life. Her narration and synthesis of data and scholarship on the evolving genres, contents, infrastructures, and institutional workings of American magazines in chapters two through four alone make her work an important source on magazine production and distribution.

Nancy Glazener. Literature in the Making: A History of U.S. Literary Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century

Nancy Glazener. Literature in the Making: A History of U.S. Literary Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. xii, 332p. ISBN 9780199390137. US $65.

Early in her engaging new book, Nancy Glazener describes literature as both a “collective invention” and an “institution” (3). In this way, she attempts to argue for its status as a construct – created collaboratively and refined over time – even as she suggests that literature also has a settled monolithic quality propped up by libraries, schools, publishing houses, and other large seemingly-static forces.

Michael C. Cohen. The Social Lives of Poems in Nineteenth-Century America

Michael C. Cohen. The Social Lives of Poems in Nineteenth-Century America. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015. 281p., 23 ill. ISBN 9780812247084. US $55.00.

Michael C. Cohen’s The Social Lives of Poems in Nineteenth-Century America is a fascinating and full account of the relationships between poems and readers between the 1790s and early 1900s. Dedicated to a “lived history of literary writing in the United States,” Cohen investigates the “variety of social relations that poems made possible,” both materially and theoretically (1).

Seth Whidden. Authority in Crisis in French Literature, 1850–1880

Seth Whidden. Authority in Crisis in French Literature, 1850–1880. Farnham, UK & Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. viii, 200p. ISBN 9781472444264. £60 (hardback).

French literary history has long had a problem with authority. What is the core of the French canon? Who is the greatest French author? The most influential? The most revered? Unlike many national literatures, French literature provides no clear answers to these questions. Whereas England finds Shakespeare at the centre of its national theatre, France sees Racine, Molière and Corneille. The Italians claim Dante as a national poet, but France has diverse poets of similar stature in its own history (e.g. Ronsard, Labé, Hugo, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, etc.) Exploring this unease with literary authority, Seth Whidden’s new book provides many convincing arguments about why authority is so fraught in French literary history.

Linda K. Hughes and Sarah R. Robbins, eds. Teaching Transatlanticism: Resources for Teaching Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Print Culture

Linda K. Hughes and Sarah R. Robbins, eds. Teaching Transatlanticism: Resources for Teaching Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Print Culture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015. xix, 268p. ISBN 9780748694464. £29.99 (paperback). Also available in hardback, epub and PDF.

This new collection of essays, edited by Linda Hughes and Sarah Robbins, offers a cornucopia of material for teachers and students of transatlantic studies. The volume focuses mainly on transatlantic literary history: in general, authors and texts form the basis for analysis. Publishing and printing history are less prominent, although the questions raised are highly relevant to the histories of authorship, reading, and publishing.