The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of London

The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of London

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Description

London has provided the setting and inspiration for a host of literary works in English, from canonical masterpieces to the popular and ephemeral. Drawing upon a variety of methods and materials, the essays in this volume explore the London of Langland and the Peasants' Rebellion, of Shakespeare and the Elizabethan stage, of Pepys and the Restoration coffee house, of Dickens and Victorian wealth and poverty, of Conrad and the Empire, of Woolf and the wartime Blitz, of Naipaul and postcolonial immigration, and of contemporary globalism. Contributions from historians, art historians, theorists and media specialists as well as leading literary scholars exemplify current approaches to genre, gender studies, book history, performance studies and urban studies. In showing how the tradition of English literature is shaped by representations of London, this volume also illuminates the relationship between the literary imagination and the society of one of the world's greatest cities.show more

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Table of contents

Chronology; Introduction Lawrence Manley; 1. Images of London in medieval English literature Ralph Hanna; 2. London and the early modern stage Jean E. Howard; 3. London and the early modern book Adrian Johns; 4. 'Sweet Thames! Run softly': London and poetry to 1750 Brean Hammond; 5. Upon the town: staging London in the Restoration and eighteenth century Laura J. Rosenthal; 6. London and narration in the long eighteenth century Cynthia Wall; 7. London and nineteenth-century poetry William Sharpe; 8. City walkers: London in the Victorian novel Rosemarie Bodenheimer; 9. London in Victorian visual culture Shearer West; 10. London in poetry since 1900 Peter Barry; 11. London and modern prose, 1900-50 Leo Mellor; 12. Immigration and postwar London literature John C. Ball; 13. London eyes: writing London in the twenty-first century John McLeod; 14. Inner London James Donald; Further reading; Index.show more

Review quote

'A magnificent force for good when it comes to challenging assumptions ... The long view provided by the Cambridge Companion is its greatest strength. More than any dry history book, this collection of thoughts and reflections - not to mention directions new and old to follow in your London reading life - is like a history lesson taken while walking with the likes of Dickens, Gissing and Pope as tour guides.' Time Out 'The authors take us effortlessly, in a broadly chronological sequence, from Chaucer's Southwark to Zadie Smith's Willesden in a fascinating journey through the works of many famous authors and some who are forgotten or unknown ... The scholarship is of a high order ... written in a friendly style that should engage any reader with an interest in London's rich literary history.' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'The 15 contributors to this volume take us effortlessly, in a broad chronological sequence,from Chaucer's Southwark to Zadie Smith's Willesden through the works of many authors ... This book's scholarship is of a high order but it is written in a friendly style, which should engage any reader with an interest in London's literary history.' The Independent '... Brean Hammond considers 'London and Poetry to 1750' ... specifically London landmarks poetry. In his article Hammond traces the poetic tradition of responding to the city, and articulates the continuities between Donne and Dryden and Pope.' The Eighteenth Centuryshow more

About Lawrence Manley

Lawrence Manley is William R. Kenan, Jr Professor of English at Yale University.show more

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