This book tells a story about the transformation of mid-Victorian urban writing in response both to London's growing size and diversity, and Britain's shifting global fortunes. Tanya Agathocleous departs from customary understandings of realism, modernism, and the transition between them, to show how a range of writers throughout the nineteenth century - including William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, William Morris, Henry James, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Joseph Conrad - explored the ethical, social and political implications of globalization. Showcasing a variety of different genres, Agathocleous uses the lens of cosmopolitan realism - the literary techniques used to transform the city into an image of the world - to explain how texts that seem glaringly dissimilar actually emerged from the same historical concept, and in doing so presents startlingly new ways of thinking about the meaning and effect of cosmopolitanism.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 294
Weight: 560 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
"Tanya Agathocleous provocatively investigates the mid-Victorian roots of our conflicted responses to urbanization and globalization....Effectively tracing the "long literary history of London-as-cosmopolis" from the 1850s through the 1920s, this book demonstrates its author's strengths as an archivist and her engagement with the growing body of scholarship on this topic."
-Joseph McLaughlin, Assc Profc of English at Ohio University, Editor for the Ohio University Press series in Victorian Studies, and the author of Writing the Urban Jungle: Reading Empire in London from Doyle to Eliot (2000).
"One of this particular study's merits, along with its generous selection of excellent illustrations, is that it maps out the considerable critical literature on Cosmopolitanism. Its author, Tanya Agathocleous, is a well-qualified guide to the territory..." -Dickens Quarterly
"Agathocleous situates her study among the growing body of work that seeks to "transcend a focus on the nation and nationalism"(2). She does so by focusing on the evolution of a distinctive form of cosmopolitanism that emerged in writing about London from the 1850's onward." -- Victorian Studies