Thames aficionado Robert Gibbings once wrote that 'the quiet of an age-old river is like the slow turning of the pages of a well-loved book'. Writing the Thames tells a much-loved river's story through the remarkable prose, poetry and illustration that it has inspired. In eight themed chapters it features historical events such as Julius Caesar's crossing in 55 BCE and Elizabeth I's stand against the Spanish at Tilbury, explorations of topographers who mapped, drew and painted the river and the many congenial riverside retreats for authors ranging from Francis Bacon, Thomas More and Alexander Pope to Thomas Love Peacock, William Morris and Henry James. A chapter on messing about in boats tells the story of William Hogarth's impulsive five-day river trip with four inebriated friends and features satirical novels making fun of frenetic rowers (Zuleika Dobson) and young London men-about-town on camping holidays (Three Men in a Boat). The river has also inspired some of the best children's literature (The Wind in the Willows) and naturalists such as Richard Jeffries and C.J. Cornish (A Naturalist on the Thames) have recorded the richness of its wildlife. But there are also dark undercurrents: Charles Dickens's use of its waters as a symbol of death, Sax Rohmer's Limehouse villain Dr Fu Manchu, and the many fictional criminals who dispose of corpses in its sinister depths in detective novels ranging from Sherlock Holmes to Inspector Morse. Beautifully illustrated, this book celebrates the writers who have helped to make England's greatest river an enduring legend.
Drawing on a broad range of cultural materials including novels, film, theatre and tourist literature, Writing London and the Thames Estuary by Len Platt traces the making of the Thames estuary as margin by the London metropolis.
It may not be the longest, deepest or widest river in the world but few bodies of water reveal as much about a nation’s past and present, or as suggestive of its future, as England’s River Thames. Tales of legendary lock-keepers and long-vanished weirs evoke the distant past of a river which evolved into a prime commercial artery linking the heart of England with the ports of Europe. In Victorian times, the Thames hosted regattas galore, its new bridges and tunnels were celebrated as marvels of their time, and London’s river was transformed from sewer to centrepiece of the British Empire. Talk of the Thames Gateway and the effectiveness of the Thames Barrier keeps the river in the news today, while the lengthening Thames Path makes the waterway more accessible than ever before. Through quiet meadows, rolling hills, leafy suburbia, industrial sites and a changing London riverside, Mick Sinclair tracks the Thames from source to sea, documenting internationally-known landmarks such as Tower Bridge and Windsor Castle and revealing lesser known features such as Godstow Abbey, Canvey Island, the Sandford Lasher, and George Orwell’s tranquil grave.
Much has been written about cultural imperialism and the effects of Britain and British culture on colonized people, but Joseph McLaughlin suggests that the influence worked both ways. Focusing on the relationship between the literature of British imperialism and turn-of-the-century metropolitan culture, Writing the Urban Jungle offers an account of the cultural confusion caused by bringing the foreign home. Narrative, plots, and language formerly used to describe the colonies, McLaughlin argues, became ways of reading and writing about life in London, "that great cesspool into which all loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained," as Arthur Conan Doyle's Dr. Watson describes it in A Study in Scarlet (1887), the initial Sherlock Holmes tale. Canonical and popular literature by Doyle, Margaret Harkness, Joseph Conrad, and T. S. Eliot, and the literature of social reform and urban ethnography by General William Booth of the Salvation Army and Jack London all display this inversion of colonial rhetoric. By deploying the metaphor of "the urban jungle," these writers reconfigure the urban poor as "a new race of city savages" and read urban culture as a "Darkest England," an Africa-like place rife with danger and novel possibilities. Drawing from and extending the field of criticism pioneered by Edward Said, Writing the Urban Jungle presents a powerful new paradigm for reading late-Victorian, modernist, and postcolonial literary and historical texts. It also provides a fresh tool for urban anthropologists working in our own fin-de-siècle.
Release on 2011-01-01 | by Anthony C. Winkler,Jo Ray McCuen-Metherell
Author: Anthony C. Winkler,Jo Ray McCuen-Metherell
Pubpsher: Cengage Learning
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Examining Wordsworth's writing and publishing against the contemporaneous emergence of the national census, national survey, and national museum, Garrett argues, reveals Wordsworth not as a fading and withdrawn middle-aged poet but as an engaged public figure attempting to 'write the nation' and position himself as the nation's poet.
The first female Chair of the Royal Society of Literature and translated into thirteen languages, Maggie Gee is writing the Victorian condition-of-England novel for 21st-century Britain. In the first critical study of Gee's work, Mine Özyurt Kiliç identifies the specific social problems her novels address and explains the social consciousness similarities Gee shares with the Victorians. Analyzing how Gee adjusts the condition-of-England novel to reflect contemporary Britain enables Özyurt Kiliç to reveal the accuracy of Gee's rich portraits of Britain. She focuses on Gee's ability to cut across the boundaries of race, class and gender, mix voices from the margin with the majority and challenge and change the idea of the mainstream. As an active, self-conscious and critical participant in the literary world, Gee paints a panoramic view of society. Her critiques of class, race and the world of publishing, allow Özyurt Kiliç to cover a wide range of topics and detail how English fiction shapes and influences, and is shaped and influenced by, the contemporary literary market.