Nineteenth-Century Prose

Articles from Vol. 29, No. 2, Fall

Accident or Murder? Intentionality, the Picturesque, and the Body of Thomas De Quincey
Although many critics of Thomas De Quincey's writing have associated his highly visual descriptions with the aesthetics of the sublime, this essay explores the characteristics of the picturesque that led De Quincey to exploit that genre in many of...
"A Newly Discovered Country": The Post-Bellum South and the Picturesque Ruin
This article traces the shifting responses to the ruins that haunted the American South in the wake of the Civil War. It begins by examining how ruins were presented in the early accounts of journalists who ventured south after the war. Such reporters...
A Transatlantic History of the Picturesque: An Introductory Essay
This Introduction to the Nineteenth-Century Prose Special Issue on the Picturesque traces the history of and the critical debates about this concept flora its eighteenth-century genesis in Britain to its migration to Continental Europe and the United...
Dickens' Pictures from Italy: The Politics of the New Picturesque
Pictures from Italy, Dickens' little-studied volume of travel writing, is seen in this essay as a key text in the formation of a distinctively Victorian understanding of the picturesque. Throughout his account of his residence in Italy, Dickens both...
Everyday Eclecticism: William Morris and the Suburban Picturesque
Established in London in 1875, the early garden suburb of Bedford Park represented the best effort of architects and designers to live up to the ideals of the Aesthetic Movement. In most contemporary accounts, visitors remark on the picturesqueness,...
"Rising from the Stain on a Painter's Palette": George Catlin's Picturesque and the Legibility of Seminole Removal
This article analyzes Catlin's picturesque aesthetic as a means of rationalizing Seminole removal from Florida. Published in 1841, Catlin's two-volume Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of North American Indians amassed fifty-eight...
Stevenson's Picturesque Excursions: The Art of Youthful Vagrancy
This article explores the ways in which Robert Louis Stevenson reformulated the late-eighteenth-century picturesque in a number of his late-nineteenth-century essays and travel writings. Although his essays were tailored to suit the particular periodical...
The Ambivalent Picturesque of the Paris Commune Ruins
References to "picturesque ruins" and scenes frequently appear in accounts describing the condition of Paris in 1871 in the aftermath of the civil conflict known as the Commune. Though ruins have often evoked poignancy for the way they trace the passage...
The Pleasures of Simulacra: Rethinking the Picturesque in Coleridge's Notebooks and "The Picture; or, the Lover's Resolution"
In their writings on the picturesque, Coleridge and other nineteenth-century tourists enjoy an unsettling and energizing process of interchange between viewer and landscape. Their complicated interactions with nature and their enjoyment of the pleasures...