reynolds s miscellany of romance general literature science and art
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G.W.M. Reynolds (1814-1879) had a major impact on the mid-Victorian era that until now has been largely unacknowledged. A prolific novelist whose work had a massive circulation, and an influential journalist and editor, he was a man of contradictions in both his life and writing: a middle-class figure who devoted his life to working class issues but seldom missed a chance to profit from the exploitation of current issues; the founder of the radical newspaper Reynolds Weekly, as well as a bestselling author of historical romances, gothic and sensation novels, oriental tales, and domestic fiction; a perennial bankrupt who nevertheless ended his life prosperously. A figure of such diversity requires a collaborative study. Bringing together a distinguished group of scholars, this volume does justice to the full range of Reynolds's achievement and influence. With proper emphasis on new work in the field, the contributors take on Reynolds's involvement with Chartism, serial publication, the mass market periodical, commodity culture, and the introduction of French literature into British consciousness, to name just a few of the topics covered. The Mysteries of London, the century's most widely read serial, receives the extensive treatment this long-running urban gothic work deserves. Adding to the volume's usefulness are comprehensive bibliographies of Reynolds's own writings and secondary criticism relevant to the study of this central figure in mid-nineteenth-century Britain.
Throughout the nineteenth century, practitioners of science, writers of fiction and journalists wrote about electricity in ways that defied epistemological and disciplinary boundaries. Revealing electricity as a site for intense and imaginative Victorian speculation, Stella Pratt-Smith traces the synthesis of nineteenth-century electricity made possible by the powerful combination of science, literature and the popular imagination. With electricity resisting clear description, even by those such as Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell who knew it best, Pratt-Smith argues that electricity was both metaphorically suggestive and open to imaginative speculation. Her book engages with Victorian scientific texts, popular and specialist periodicals and the work of leading midcentury novelists, including Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, William Makepeace Thackeray and Wilkie Collins. Examining the work of William Harrison Ainsworth and Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Pratt-Smith explores how Victorian novelists attributed magical qualities to electricity, imbuing it with both the romance of the past and the thrill of the future. She concludes with a case study of Benjamin Lumley’s Another World, which presents an enticing fantasy of electricity’s potential based on contemporary developments. Ultimately, her book contends that writing and reading about electricity appropriated and expanded its imaginative scope, transformed its factual origins and applications and contravened the bounds of literary genres and disciplinary constraints.
Fernand Wagner's deal with the devil buys wealth and youth―at the price of monthly transformations into a ravening beast. The first important fictional treatment of the werewolf theme in English literature, this Victorian thriller traces Wagner's blood-soaked trail through sixteenth-century Italy. Packed with horrors and thrills, it offers a gothic feast of murders and supernatural events, punctuated by hidden plots and secret passages, Turkish invasions and intrigues, and other diabolical doings. Although largely forgotten today, author George W. Reynolds ranked among mid-Victorian England's most celebrated authors and was a prominent political figure and pioneer for social justice. This edition of Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf includes the first extensive modern survey of Reynolds' work as well as twenty-four atmospheric illustrations.