A reader's guide to Edwardian literature by Anthea Trodd

By Anthea Trodd

A survey of the variations of Edwardian writing and the way they healthy into literary and cultural swap. This ebook covers writers reminiscent of Conrad, Forster, Wells, Bennett, Shaw, Kipling, Tressell, Hardy, Yeats and Woolf. Modernists equivalent to Lawrence and Mansfield also are incorporated. the writer combines literary feedback of writing within the Edwardian interval with cultural exams (for instance, she examines imperialism and patriarchy), and units her paintings in an old context.

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16 To many liberal commentators the Boer War seemed to be realising the beginnings of that regression. The major liberal critique of imperialism of the period, John Hobson's Imperialism, 1902, a critique later adapted and extended by Lenin, warned that the major consequence of empire for Britain would be a barbarisation of the national character. In his earlier The Psychology of Jingoism, 1901, he saw the mafficking crowds on the streets and the operations of imperialist media, the jingo press, the music-hall, imperialist fictions Page 21 for boys, as evidence that the British were regressing to the savagery of those nations they pretended to civilise.

20 The alleged dominance of the woman writer had held the English novel back from realising the formal perfections of the great European works. The literary equivalent of Victoria was George Eliot, whose reputation at this point was at its lowest ebb, even allowing for the general slump in Victorian reputations. In the new Cambridge History of English Literature, her novels were discussed alongside the documentary fictions of Kingsley and Disraeli. A slimmer volume of assessment, G. K.  .  . 21 Arnold Bennett persistently referred to her in his writings as the type of a fussy, artless Victorianism.

The Victorian debate about the desirability of a British equivalent of the Académie Française continued, and culminated in 1910 in the founding of the Academic Committee, a group of writers intended to assert and formalise the dignity and importance of English Page 3 literature. The twenty-seven founding members included Joseph Conrad, Thomas Hardy, Henry James and W. B. Yeats, as well as Establishment literati of less lasting fame. 4 In the international context, Rudyard Kipling in 1907 became the first English winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, founded 1901.

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