The Formation of the Victorian Literary Profession

The Formation of the Victorian Literary Profession

by Richard Salmon
     
 

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Richard Salmon provides an original account of the formation of the literary profession during the late Romantic and early Victorian periods. Focusing on the representation of authors in narrative and iconographic texts, including novels, biographies, sketches and portrait galleries, Salmon traces the emergence of authorship as a new form of professional identity

Overview

Richard Salmon provides an original account of the formation of the literary profession during the late Romantic and early Victorian periods. Focusing on the representation of authors in narrative and iconographic texts, including novels, biographies, sketches and portrait galleries, Salmon traces the emergence of authorship as a new form of professional identity from the 1820s to the 1850s. Many first-generation Victorian writers, including Carlyle, Dickens, Thackeray, Martineau and Barrett-Browning, contributed to contemporary debates on the 'Dignity of Literature', professional heroism, and the cultural visibility of the 'man of letters'. This study combines a broad mapping of the early Victorian literary field with detailed readings of major texts. The book argues that the key model of professional development within this period is embodied in the narrative form of literary apprenticeship, which inspired such celebrated works as David Copperfield and Aurora Leigh, and that its formative process is the 'disenchantment of the author'.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Salmon's scholarship and theoretical applications are extensive and thoughtfully arrayed. His close intertextual reading of key documents is exemplary and illuminating. The book provides a template for courses on literary periodization and the complicated, vexed, developing construction of a significant profession of mid-Victorian letters."
Robert L. Patten, SHARP News

"A thorough and thought-provoking analysis."
The Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107039629
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/30/2013
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Richard Salmon is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English at the University of Leeds, where he has taught Victorian and Romantic literature since 1996.

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