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Joking Apart

A: Alan Ayckbourn Pf: 1978, Scarborough Pb: 1979 G: Com. in ...

Collins, William Wilkie

Collins, William Wilkie (1824–89)   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
130 words

... Trollope character was a novel's primary motivator ( Auto XIII). Dissimilar in temperament as well as fictional approaches, Collins found Trollope 's boisterousness hard to take. ‘To me he was an incarnate gale of wind. He blew off my hat; he turned my umbrella inside out. Joking apart, as good and staunch a friend as ever lived’ ( I & R 127). RCT R. C....

Titanic

Titanic   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Hardy

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
446 words

...occurs in the second line, and this theme dominates what follows. As for his vision of the luxury liner resting at the bottom of the Atlantic, the emphasis falls so strongly on the persistency and survival of the non-human world that the effect is almost that of a grim Darwinian joke: ‘Over the mirrors meant | To glass the opulent | The sea-worm crawls—grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.’ A public subject has been treated from an entirely unpredictable and wholly personal angle: Hardy has appropriated the historical event and made it his own, the specificity...

Europe, western

Europe, western   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
1,006 words

...service, and he soon included Switzerland and Italy. Though upper-class travellers looked down on these tourists, thousands of men and especially women of modest means became better acquainted with European neighbours and their ways. A proudly independent traveller, Trollope joked in The Eustace Diamonds , ‘Switzerland and the Tyrol, and even Italy, are all redolent of Mr Cook ’ (XXXII). Many of the British did more than just travel in Europe. For a long time English workmen, especially those involved in railway construction, could find jobs in Europe,...

comedy in Trollope's work

comedy in Trollope's work   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
2,026 words

...in fact, they seldom do and generally live by only if they are fools or monomaniacs ( CR XVI). Trollope further found plots pointing too resolutely toward completed actions, fulfilments, a drive quite contrary to comic openness. Thus he very often ends a romantic comedy with jokes about endings, about marriages, or about the artificiality of the whole thing. In short, plots or external actions are too gross to account for the really important aspects of life: the tiny daily acts of kindness and sensitivity (or the reverse) that make up the moral life. These...

Englishness, Dickens's

Englishness, Dickens's   Reference library

Philip Collins

Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
3,167 words

...characters may originate in or make forays into the provinces, always to towns or areas Dickens knew. The novels also use countries he had visited ( America , Italy , France ) but never Scotland, Wales, or Ireland , and surprisingly he never resorts to the traditional English jokes about Scottish stinginess, Irish blarney and stupidity, and Welsh wiliness and verbosity. Mrs Woodcourt ( Bleak House ) is a feeble attempt at Welshness; otherwise he showed no interest in the Welsh, but seems to have held the common English view that Scotsmen were rational if...

letters of Dickens

letters of Dickens   Reference library

Angus Easson

Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
3,087 words

...the irresistible play of humour, such pathos as only humourists of this high order possess, and the unwearied unforced vivacity of ever fresh, bouyant, bounding animal spirits’ (Forster 3.5). In the early letters Dickens shows his Regency upbringing, with a readiness for puns and jokes (never lost to him) along with a delight in the mildly improper: his supposed infatuation with the young Queen Victoria , for example, or a cod illustration to a Newgate novel , with ‘Jonathan Wild forcing Mrs. Sheppard down the grown-up seat of a gloomy privy, and Blueskin …...

Harrison, Frederic

Harrison, Frederic (1821–1923)   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to George Eliot

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
851 words

...it clear that help of this nature was inappropriate. When she consulted him again in April and May, Harrison read the manuscript and proofs, correcting minor points but limiting his advice to technicalities. He composed the Attorney-General's opinion in chapter 35 and later joked that he ‘had written at least a sentence which was embodied in English literature’ (‘George Eliot's Place in Literature’, 74). At the end of 1874 , Eliot diffidently sought Harrison's advice about legal matters in Deronda , writing, ‘I hope when you learn the pettiness of my...

life of George Eliot

life of George Eliot   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to George Eliot

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
11,986 words

...how delighted she was by this proposal, since she is desperate to be saved from the ‘horrific disgrace of spinsterhood’ and to be taken away from England. The whole letter is a delightful jeu-d'esprit , turning her learning to light-hearted and witty account, and making a brave joke about her plain looks and her anxiety that, at the age of nearly 27, she will not find a husband. Her shrewd portrait of the learned and egotistical professor looks to us now like a preparatory sketch for Mr Casaubon in Middlemarch , whose proposal to Dorothea Brooke shows that...

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