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The Life of Daniel Defoe examines the entire range of Defoe s writing in the context of what is known about his life and opinions. * Features extended and detailed commentaries on Defoe s political, religious, moral, and economic journalism, as well as on all of his narrative fictions, including Robinson Crusoe * Places emphasis on Defoe s distinctive style and rhetoric * Situates his work within the precise historical circumstances of the eighteenth-century in which Defoe was an important and active participant * Now available in paperback
The life story of the Victorian novelist George Eliot is as dramatic and complex as her best plots. This new assessment of her life and work combines recent biographical research with penetrating literary criticism, resulting in revealing new interpretations of her literary work. * A fresh look at George Eliot's captivating life story * Includes original new analysis of her writing * Deploys the latest biographical research * Combines literary criticism with biographical narrative to offer a rounded perspective
The Life of William Shakespeare is a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of Shakespeare's life and works focusing on oftern neglected literary and historical contexts: what Shakespeare read, who he worked with as an author and an actor, and how these various collaborations may have affected his writing. * Written by an eminent Shakespearean scholar and experienced theatre reviewer * Pays particular attention to Shakespeare's theatrical contemporaries and the ways in which they influenced his writing * Offers an intriguing account of the life and work of the great poet-dramatist structured around the idea of memory * Explores often neglected literary and historical contexts that illuminate Shakespeare's life and works
John Milton's many and various works include magnificent poems, polemics, history, theology, and treatises on political, ecclesiastical, educational, and social issues. No writer before Milton defined himself so self-consciously as an author - both in prose and in poetry - as his God-given vocation. In her detailed account of Milton's life and career, Barbara Lewalski provides a close analysis of his prose and poetry, focusing on the development of his ideas and his art. She shows how Milton, even as a young poet, constructed himself as a new kind of author, commanding astonishing resources of learning and artistry to develop a radical politics, reformist poetics, and an inherently revolutionary prophetic voice. This insightful portrayal of Milton's life, thought, and writing, as well as his contribution to public life, is an important, stimulating, and timely contribution to Milton scholarship.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is Germany's most celebrated, prolific and versatile writer. He established a major European reputation and profoundly influenced his contemporaries and literary successors, not least among them the British Romantic writers Coleridge, Scott, and Byron. Goethe's life spanned a long period of profound change in German and European history. This book, by the author of a critically acclaimed study of Goethe's Faust, sets Goethe's creative work in the context of his biography and of the literary and political movements of his time. It contains chapters on his life, his poetry, drama, prose and verse narratives, and on his scientific work. It is a study not only of his major works, but also of his less well known literary output: epigrams, aphorisms, satires, libretti, masquerades, dramatic and narrative fragments. John R. Williams gives an account of Goethe's wide range of public activities as a minister of the Duchy of Sachsen-Weimar, his relations with the leading figures of the day, his influence on contemporary culture, and his personal and literary reactions to historical events of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, from the ancien regime to the French Revolution, from the Napoleonic invasion of Germany to the defeat of Napoleon, from the Congress of Vienna to the July Revolution of 1830, from the declining years of the Holy Roman Empire to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in Germany. Goethe's life and work are introduced and explained to the student of literature and to the interested general reader. Williams reveals his subject in all the great variety of his character, his occasionally scurrilous humour and exuberance, his characteristic ironic ambivalence, and his sometimes flawed wisdom and humanity. Catering for the specialist in German literature and for the non-German reader, The Life of Goethe offers English translations of all quotations given in the text. An extensive bibliography details a wide selection of Goethe's works in English translation.
In this lively and just account, Douglas Patey follows Evelyn Waugh's career from the comfortable middle-class home he was anxious to flee, through his escapades at Oxford, his adventures in South America and Africa, his experience of war, to his last years as veiled autobiographer. In the process the author explores the nature of Waugh's Catholicism and examines how his religious beliefs began to guide his novelistic practice.Arguing that Waugh's novels, like his travel writing and even his biographies, are consistently autobiographical, Patey draws out the connections between the life and work, through a series of compelling chapters. At the centre of his account is the view that Waugh's novels contain detailed spiritual and artistic self-analysis, usually in the form of rejection and atonement.Patey has written a masterful biography, rich in enlivened critical detail. More than any other study of Waugh to date, his book works to redress the bias against its subject that is so representative of Stannards major two-volume study.
W. B. Yeats is widely regarded as the greatest English-language poet of the twentieth century. This new critical biography seeks to tell the story of his life as it unfolded in the various contexts in which Yeats worked as an artist and as public figure.
Turnera s strikingly original and penetrating account of Hardya s extraordinarily creative life and longevity offers a series of thirty--two chapters, each of which relates the biographical and literary background of a single work.
Rosemary Ashton explores the many facets of Samuel Taylor Coleridgea s complex personality, by turns poet, critic, thinker, enchanting companion, feckless husband, fabled conversationalist and guilt--ridden opium addict.
John Sutherlanda s new critical biography is an undertaking of major importance in which he penetrates into the darker areas of Scotta s life in a sceptical (yet sympathetic) spirit,
Arguably the greatest novelist yet to emerge from the United States, William Faulkner was a white Southerner creatively obsessed with problems of personal identity, social change, religion, sexuality, race, and that elaborate circuitry of passion and power - the family.In this major reassessment, now available in paperback, Richard Gray uses and develops recent theories about the relationship between writing and historical experience, language and social change, to draw a brilliantly detailed portrait of the place and times Faulkner inhabited and to reveal just how intimately woven together were the tangled threads of Faulkner's personal and public experience - the privacy that Faulkner cherished and this history in which, whether he liked it or not, he was ensnared.
Robert Browning is customarily regarded as a dramatic poet whose works are separate and distinct from himself. This biography proposes a different view of the poet and his poems. Every one of his works is regarded in the same way that Browning himself regarded it; as a performance in which the author plays a part, as producer, presenter, or actor, or sometimes all three; and each is examined as part of a constantly revised script entitled Presenting Robert Browning . To Browning life is more than art, but art is teh best way of dealing with what life is all about.
This important new critical biography traces in carefully considered detail what is known of Geoffrey Chaucer's personal life while exploring the fascinating relationship between the man of affairs, who made so many 'improvisations and accommodations' to ensure his own survival, and the poet. A major reexamination of England's greatest narrative poet, it is supplemented with reproductions of Chaucer portraits and other illustrations, including maps of medieval England.
In this major revision of The Life of Samuel Johnson, Robert DeMaria makes a compelling claim for the attention of a new generation of Johnson's readers and admirers.Even as a child Johnson relied on his extraordinary powers of mind to distinguish himself from his family and to propel him into broader intellectual and social milieux. His hero was Joseph Scaliger and he dreamt of becoming a Latin scholar-poet, a citizen like Scaliger of the European republic of letters. His efforts and talents were remarkable. But financial and personal circumstances prevented him achieving his early dreams. Robert DeMaria describes his subject in terms of Johnson's own personal and professional hopes for himself and gets closer to the historical man than any previous study of the complete life and works.