Review 19: An Online Review of New Books on English and American Literature of the 19th Century
 

New Reviews
 
Sheshalatha Reddy
BRITISH EMPIRE AND THE LITERATURE OF REBELLION: REVOLTING BODIES, LABORING SUBJECTS
(Palgrave, 2017) xl + 271 pp.
Reviewed by Aaron Worth on 2020-01-21.

Episodes of violent social and political resistance make us, or ought to make us, peculiarly aware of the framing power of language. There are shades, and sometimes worlds, of difference between a "mutiny," an "insurrection," a "rebellion," a "revolt," a "rising," and the big "R," "revolution." When all of these terms are used to denote the same event--like the one sparked in the garrison town of...
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David Francis Taylor
THE POLITICS OF PARODY: A LITERARY HISTORY OF CARICATURE 1760-1830
(Yale, 2018) xii + 304pp.
Reviewed by Brian Maidment on 2020-01-15.

At one point in this original and sophisticated study of the "literariness" of caricature, David Taylor notes, with a nod to Bourdieu, that "something vitally important gets lost when we read pictures as nothing more or other than language"(43). Despite its presence as a formulation in everyday academic use, what does it actually mean to "read" the language of a graphic image? Is "reading" in this...
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Mary L. Mullen
NOVEL INSTITUTIONS: ANACHRONISM, IRISH NOVELS AND NINETEENTH-CENTURY REALISM
(Edinburgh, 2019) xi + 252 pp.
Reviewed by Patrick R. O'Malley on 2019-12-31.

This book makes a key intervention in both nineteenth-century studies and Irish studies by considering in conjunction with each other British and Irish novels that were written more or less contemporaneously. In many ways this seems an obvious move. We don't think twice about putting Walter Scott in conversation with Jane Austen, or Thomas Carlyle with Charles Dickens, but somehow it seems surprising...
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Melissa Bailes
QUESTIONING NATURE: BRITISH WOMEN'S SCIENTIFIC WRITING AND LITERARY ORIGINALITY, 1750-1830
(Virginia, 2017) vii + 263 pp.
Reviewed by Philipp Erchinger on 2019-12-14.

It seems fair to say that for quite some time, the work of women writers such as Anna Letitia Barbauld and Charlotte Smith has been moving toward the center of Romantic studies. But given the now well-established literary / historical significance and influence of many of these writers, why were they ever considered marginal? As Melissa Bailes's solidly researched and richly detailed study suggests,...
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James Watt
BRITISH ORIENTALISMS, 1759-1835
(Cambridge, 2019)
Reviewed by Gillen D'Arcy Wood on 2019-12-07.

This excellent book is a pessimistic study, skeptical of liberal narratives past and present. Edward Said's Orientalism (1978) set the terms for postcolonial critique a generation and more ago, but in the last decade and a half, scholarship on West-East relations in the Georgian period has tested a hopeful, revisionist narrative of "colonization-in-reverse" based upon a thesis of increasing...
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