Nineteenth-Century Prose

Articles from Vol. 22, No. 2, Fall

Biographical Mania: The Transformation of Biographical Theory in Nineteenth-Century America
In our own clay, when there are more "Lives" written in proportion to the bulk of literature chart ever before, there is less deference to rule, and apparently less sense of responsibility, in their preparation than ever before. --North American...
Editor's Introduction
Biography has been in need of study, but not because of neglect. It is quite true that the practice of publishing tomes comprised of assorted chunks of memoir, document, panegyric, and history as the Lift of ... grew to enormous proportions in the...
Honoring the Woman as Writer: Elizabeth Gaskell's the Life of Charlotte Bronte
For one likes romantically to feel oneself a deliverer advancing with lights across the waste of years to the rescue of some stranded ghost. --Virginia Woolf, "The Lives of the Obscure" (The Common Reader) In Writing a Woman's Life Carolyn Heilbrun...
Nourishing the Curiosity: Leslie Stephen and the English Men of Letters Series
At the turn of the century Leslie Stephen (1832-1904) was recognised as the greatest living man of letters, his reputation based on forty years as journalist, essayist, biographer, critic, literary historian, travel writer, philosopher, and editor....
Official Lives: Lytton Strachey, the Queen's Cabinet and the Eminence of Aesthetics
In the autumn of 1912, Lytton Strachey brooded over his plan for a series of concise, artistic biographical portraits of a dozen eminent Victorians. Some were to be admired, others ridiculed. As he read their self-assured letters, however, his rebellious...
Prime Ministerial Exemplar: Studies of Pitt the Younger by Victorian Statesmen
William Pitt the Younger was the yardstick by which prominent politicians of both parties in Victorian England measured their own aspirations and achievement. During his long tenure as prime minister of Great Britain (1784-1801 and 1804-6) when it...
The Center for Tomorrow: Disciplining Victorian Biography
The first academic conference I attended was also the first at which I gave a paper. This was in 1974, at the annual meeting of the Midwest Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Ohio State University. The paper I gave was in a session on biography',...
The Victorians' Biography of John Bull
Most nineteenth century Victorian biographers assumed that their subject's contributions justified an account and appraisal of that individual's life, and the authors made them models for their readers to emulate. Given the number of outstanding Victorians...
Truth to Life Twenty Years On
The editor has asked me for some reflections twenty years after publishing Truth to Life. I note first the extraordinary popularity of biography in the intervening years; it seems to have become the preferred reading of that important, though perhaps...
Victorian Precursors of Freud: Deromanticizing Byron
Like many other prominent men, he was more important as a myth than he really was. Bertrand Russell, "Byron." The twentieth-century post-Freudian biography is now ascribed the role of a debunking or demythologizing discourse while the nineteenth-century...

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