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Overview

romantic fiction

Subject: Literature

This capacious and much‐contested category could be said to pre‐date the novel—as in the medieval verses of courtly love written in the vernacular, the ‘popular’ languages derived from ...

romantic fiction

romantic fiction   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005

... fiction . The antecedents of popular Romantic Fiction can be found in the Gothic romances of Sir Walter Scott , with their powerfully drawn heroes and villains and their complex and sympathetically drawn heroines, and in the eighteenth-century novels of manners, such as Samuel Richardson's Clarissa ( 1748 ), which focused on a contest of wills between its eponymous heroine and her sexually attractive but ruthless seducer. The novels of Jane Austen , particularly Pride and Prejudice ( 1813 ), anatomized similar conflicts between men and women...

romantic fiction

romantic fiction   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Literature
Length:
685 words

...version of female power. The novels of Anita Brookner , Mary Wesley , and Margaret Drabble might be said to contain elements of romantic fiction, and in the hands of playful postmodernists, such as David Lodge in Small World: An Academic Romance ( 1984 ) or A. S. Byatt in Possession ( 1990 ), romance has once again been turned into literary fiction. The simplest brand of romance, the formulaic fictions of the Mills and Boon series, continue to sell millions of books a year in the UK...

romantic fiction

romantic fiction   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature
Length:
837 words

...female reading of romances in Northanger Abbey and elsewhere, strengthened the major model of romantic fiction, the ‘Cinderella’ narrative in which the worthy but disadvantaged heroine wins the noblest hero, with wit, irony, psychological depth, and a hard-nosed interest in property. Walter Scott fused history with romance in an attempt to masculinize the genre. Literary novels have, however, by drawing on romance conventions, spawned further romantic fictions. The Brontë sisters inherited a set of Gothic fixtures, including wild landscapes, tormented...

romantic fiction

romantic fiction  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
This capacious and much‐contested category could be said to pre‐date the novel—as in the medieval verses of courtly love written in the vernacular, the ‘popular’ languages derived from Latin—or to ...
Novels

Novels   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
6,137 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...reading’ is one of the important shifts effected by Romantic period novelists.) In contrast, circulating libraries were well stocked with novels; some, notably William Lane 's *Minerva Press and Library, promoted and commissioned particular kinds of fiction. Through their in-house literary reviews, moreover, *publishing houses such as Blackwood's fostered communities of readers. Public taste was shaped by the reviews, while novelists entered into complex interaction with this parallel world of fiction and intellectual debate: James *Hogg planted the...

Theatre

Theatre   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,088 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...irrelevance, as has often been supposed. If such a category as ‘Romantic drama’ exists, therefore, it should be extended to include not only the dramas of the canonical poets but also plays such as John Home's ( 1722–1808 ) Douglas . First performed in 1757 and frequently staged thereafter, this Scottish tragedy is profoundly Romantic in its enactment of the doomed desire for restoration, in both a familial and a national sense. Douglas would be joined in this revised canon of the Romantic drama with other plays such as Lewis 's The Castle Spectre , ...

History

History   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,067 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...and to the Romantic invention of what we now commonly refer to as ‘the historical situation’. Arendt, H. , On Revolution , New York, 1963; Chandler, J. , England in 1819: The Politics of Literary Culture and the Case of Romantic Historicism , Chicago, 1996; Collingwood, R. G. , The Idea of History , Oxford, 1946; Culler, A. D. , The Victorian Mirror of History , New Haven, Conn., 1985; Foucault, M. , The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences , New York, 1970; Gearhart, S. , The Open Boundary Between History and Fiction: A Critical...

Prose

Prose   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
4,185 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...and write a standardized prose *language [40] , fictional as well as non-fictional. Novelistic prose did yet not count as ‘literature’, and the difference between non-fiction and fictive prose tended in the new ‘republic of letters’ to replicate the older division between a prestigious classical language and a common, modern, vernacular language. ‘Men of letters’ were skilled non-fiction prose writers who demonstrated broad expertise across several genres of prose, speaking ‘generally’ in a world of increasingly specialized knowledges. Polite or bellicose,...

Sensibility

Sensibility   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
7,039 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...of literate women and the potential conversion of men to the values for which women stood. This was the central thrust of the emerging literature of sensibility. The major truth expressed by the correspondence between the rise of sentimental fiction and the laws of the marketplace was that the themes of the fiction answered the interests of female readers, and it was in the genre of the *novel [31] that women wrote and read most. It may well be that the majority of novels published between 1692 and the end of the eighteenth century were written by...

20b The History of the Book in Britain, 1801–1914

20b The History of the Book in Britain, 1801–1914   Reference library

Leslie Howsam

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Social sciences
Length:
5,084 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
1

...institute libraries, the provision of fiction was discouraged. Meanwhile the commercial circulating libraries, whose existence was so central to the structure of the publishing trade, filled the need for entertainment. By the late 19 th century, however, readers and writers were increasingly frustrated by the restrictions imposed by Mudie’s and other circulating libraries, which many perceived as a form of *censorship . 5 Subjects and genres The 19 th century saw the appearance of a rich body of fiction and poetry that has become part of the English...

15 Children’s Books

15 Children’s Books   Reference library

Andrea Immel

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Social sciences
Length:
5,066 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...the Romantic paradigm of childhood reading articulated by Wordsworth in Book 5 of The Prelude ( 1805 ). Attempting to lift the child above the clash of cultural politics, the Romantics privileged such genres as fairy tales, poetry from popular oral traditions, and chapbook abridgements of medieval chivalric *romances as true children’s books. This narrowly belletristic definition of the children’s book has discouraged the careful contextualization of much writing for children, encouraging instead the dismissal of ‘didactic’ works—including fictions as...

Antiquarianism (Popular)

Antiquarianism (Popular)   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
6,164 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...a cultural history and a history of mentalities. By diagnosing late medieval culture as anarchic, disorderly, semi-pagan, and Rabelaisian, they were reading similar characteristics even into individual works. This should have massive implications for our understanding of Romantic form. An appendix to the work of the late-eighteenth-century antiquarians came from the publisher and satirist William Hone, who was tried for blasphemy at London's Mansion House on three successive days in December 1817 for publishing three political satires, of which the...

Popular Culture

Popular Culture   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,520 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...and crime reporting which looked forward to the work of the young Charles *Dickens . William *Hazlitt 's ‘The Fight’ and Thomas *De Quincey 's ‘On Murder Viewed as an Art Form’, now regarded as classic examples of Romantic *essay -writing, were actually built on popular foundations laid by this now forgotten writer. Egan's fiction could also provide cultural markers for a ‘rhyming peasant’ like Clare when he made four separate visits to the dislocating modern vortex of London between 1820 and 1824 . Clare wanted to negotiate with bookseller-...

Domesticity

Domesticity   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
4,930 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...In his Reflections on the Revolution in France ( 1790 ), the counter-revolutionary and Romantic conservative Edmund *Burke wrote: In this choice of inheritance we have given to our frame of polity the image of a relation in blood; binding up the constitution of our country with our dearest domestic ties; adopting our fundamental laws into the bosom of our family affections; keeping inseparable, and cherishing with the warmth of all their combined and mutually reflected charities, our state, our hearths, our sepulchres, and our altars. As Burke...

Publishing

Publishing   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
6,242 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...had little to do but surfeit themselves with romantic nonsense. Actually women were not the main public of the circulating library, though they were more prominent there than in other book-lending institutions. Even at Marshall's circulating library in Bath, whose clientele notoriously comprised young ladies of leisure, women subscribers were in a minority: 35 per cent of readers in 1793 and only 22 per cent in 1798 . And even at Marshall's, patrons could read a range of works that extended well beyond fiction. It may well have been, however, that the rise...

Women

Women   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,844 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...the ‘monstrous’ and the ‘superhuman’, reinforced the view that the driving force of Romantic genius came from male sexual energies. There was almost no way of connecting it with female emotions and sensitivity. As this suggests, the question of genius and the question of women's sexual subjectivity were very closely linked. Wollstonecraft herself made the connection when, in talking about the transience of sexual feeling, she contrasted ordinary sexual feeling with ‘the romantic passion that is the concomitant of genius’. Creative power and genius required male...

36 The History of the Book in the Balkans

36 The History of the Book in the Balkans   Reference library

Ekaterina Rogatchevskaia and Aleksandra B. Vraneš

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Social sciences
Length:
4,024 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...the 17 th century, only one printing house operated in Zagreb ( 1664 ), but during the 18 th and early 19 th centuries, seven presses were working on Croatia territory. A Venetian printer, Carlo Antonio Occhi, published 50 books at his press in Dubrovnik in 1783–7 . Croatian Romantic nationalism emerged in the mid-19 th century to counteract the apparent Germanization and Magyarization of the country. The Illyrian movement attracted a number of influential figures from the 1830s onward, and produced some important advances in Croatian culture and...

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark   Reference library

Michael Dobson and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
4,261 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
1

...enigmatic of texts. In the 18th century strict Neoclassical critics such as Voltaire objected to the indecorous gravediggers and to the concluding proliferation of onstage deaths, but its English popularity never wavered, Dr Johnson defending its range and variety. The Romantics found Hamlet’s interview with the Ghost particularly sublime, and were above all preoccupied with the Prince’s apparent paralysis of will, Coleridge and Hazlitt reflecting on the relations between thought and action in ways heavily influenced by Goethe and Schlegel ....

Psychology

Psychology   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,151 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...would distinguish different kinds of mental illness. But the powerful sense of the importance of the nonrationality of the depths and privacy of the human self, a sense that was so distinctive a contribution of the Romantic period, was neither successfully examined nor plausibly explained by the mind-doctors. It was left to writers of fiction and poetry in the period to describe and exhibit these aspects, and to much later psychiatrists and psychologists to try to give plausible explanations. Beliefs that are both socially important and extensively ramified...

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