Ethos of Romance at the Turn of the Century

Overview

The romance genre was a popular literary form among writers and readers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but since then it has often been dismissed as juvenile, unmodern, improper, or subversive. In this study, William J. Scheick seeks to recover the place of romance in fin-de-siècle England and America; to distinguish among its subgenres of eventuary, aesthetic, and ethical romance; and to reinstate ethical romance as a major mode of artistic expression.

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The Ethos of Romance at the Turn of the Century

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Overview

The romance genre was a popular literary form among writers and readers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but since then it has often been dismissed as juvenile, unmodern, improper, or subversive. In this study, William J. Scheick seeks to recover the place of romance in fin-de-siècle England and America; to distinguish among its subgenres of eventuary, aesthetic, and ethical romance; and to reinstate ethical romance as a major mode of artistic expression.

The authors whose works Scheick discusses are Nathaniel Hawthorne, H. Rider Haggard, Henry James, C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne, H. G. Wells, John Kendrick Bangs, Gilbert K. Chesterton, Richard Harding Davis, Stephen Crane, Mary Austin, Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Cholmondeley, and Rudyard Kipling. This wide selection expands the canon to include writers and works that highly merit re-reading by a new generation.

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What People Are Saying

Janet A. Gabler-Hover
Scheick both broadens and refines our current scholarly understanding and definition of the romance form and how it speaks to culture .... Examples from literary texts are prodigious, illustrative, and comprehensively explained.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292776739
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 216

Meet the Author

William J. Scheick is the J. R. Millikan Centennial Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Beautiful Circuit and Subterfuge: Romance 11
2 The School of a Great Master: Hawthorne 31
3 Eventuary Romance: Haggard 42
4 Aesthetic Romance: James 57
5 Ethical Romance: Hyne, Wells, Bangs, and Chesterton 75
6 The Ethos of Storytelling: Davis, Crane, and Austin 109
7 The Art of Life: London, Stevenson, Cholmondeley, and Kipling 135
Notes 165
Index 189
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