Catalogue


The American slave narrative and the Victorian novel /
Julia Sun-Joo Lee.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
description
viii, 192 p. : ill.
ISBN
9780195390322 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
isbn
9780195390322 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
The American slave narrative and the Victorian novel -- The slave narrative of Jane Eyre -- Slaves and brothers in Pendennis -- Female slave narratives: "The grey woman" and My Lady Ludlow -- The return of the "unnative" : North and South -- Fugitive plots in Great expectations -- Epilogue: the plot against England: The dynamiter.
catalogue key
7098528
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-10-01:
With this well-balanced study of Victorian novels and American slave narratives, Lee (Loyola Marymount Univ.) documents how depictions of slavery emanating from the US were introduced and sometimes co-opted by Victorian writers. Examining novels and short stories by Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, and others, Lee argues that the American slave narrative was one generic force shaping the portrayal of British cultural problems. For each author, Lee examines a possible transatlantic "contact zone" in which slave narratives intersect with and influence British plots about gender and class. To that end, she sets up her study by first investigating Victorian responses to the writings and public lectures of Frederick Douglass. Subsequent chapters on particular novelists draw on the narratives of Moses Roper, Harriet Jacobs, and William and Ellen Craft. Readers will appreciate the author's analysis of photographs and illustrations of the African American writers. Though other plausible explanations of plots about masters and slaves, escapes from oppression, and the flight of fugitives remain compelling, Lee's arguments are certainly intriguing and in places powerful. She expands the discussion of US influences on the Victorian novel. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. C. L. Bandish Bluffton University
Reviews
Review Quotes
A perceptive book.
"Lee's book is valuable not only for demonstrating how much Victorian novels have in common with American slave narratives, but for beginning to address the questions this kinship raises...This book breaks new ground, and later critics will build upon it to deepen our understanding of the relationship between the slave narrative and the Victorian novel." --Victorian Studies "The great originality of Julia Sun-Joo Lee's work lies in the way it traces the influence of African American writing within the traditional heart of British Victorian literature, demonstrating how canonical writers such as Thackeray, Dickens, Gaskell, and Charlotte Bront were responding in different ways to the genre of the slave narrative. With its surprising but illuminating juxtapositions, this is an example of transatlantic critical practice at its best."-Paul Giles, author ofAtlantic Republic "The slave's narrative, meant solely to help in the abolishing of slavery, has always had its own literary integrity and importance. Here in this brilliant and original book, Julia Lee shows us the profound influence and transformation it had on the imagination of some of our great writers. With much splendid clarity of words and thought,The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novelwill continue that tradition of influence and transformation."-Jamaica Kincaid, author ofA Small Place "Julia Sun-Joo Lee makes the case for the influence of American slavery and the slave narrative on the Victorian novel. Her carefully researched, elegantly written, and original studies of texts by Bront , Thackeray, Gaskell, Dickens, and Stevenson are sure to become staples."-Audrey Fisch, author ofAmerican Slaves in Victorian England "Fresh and surefooted, Julia Sun-Joo Lee's book does what no other book has done before: it presents the American slave narrative as a point of origin for English narratives of dissent, resistance, and freedom. This is a welcome and, as Lee's authoritative work shows, a well-founded change in critical orientation. Lee's pathbreaking book will transform the fields of Victorian, transatlantic, and African American studies."-Henry Louis Gates Jr., author ofThe Signifying Monkey "Offers compelling evidence of the depth of Victorian writers' engagement with the plots, images, and motifs of American slave narratives...The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Noveloffers a rich array of information and ideas that will make it a rewarding read for any student of Victorian literature." --Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies
"The great originality of Julia Sun-Joo Lee's work lies in the way it traces the influence of African American writing within the traditional heart of British Victorian literature, demonstrating how canonical writers such as Thackeray, Dickens, Gaskell, and Charlotte Bront were responding in different ways to the genre of the slave narrative. With its surprising but illuminating juxtapositions, this is an example of transatlantic critical practice at its best."-Paul Giles, author ofAtlantic Republic "The slave's narrative, meant solely to help in the abolishing of slavery, has always had its own literary integrity and importance. Here in this brilliant and original book, Julia Lee shows us the profound influence and transformation it had on the imagination of some of our great writers. With much splendid clarity of words and thought,The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novelwill continue that tradition of influence and transformation."-Jamaica Kincaid, author ofA Small Place "Julia Sun-Joo Lee makes the case for the influence of American slavery and the slave narrative on the Victorian novel. Her carefully researched, elegantly written, and original studies of texts by Bront , Thackeray, Gaskell, Dickens, and Stevenson are sure to become staples."-Audrey Fisch, author ofAmerican Slaves in Victorian England "Fresh and surefooted, Julia Sun-Joo Lee's book does what no other book has done before: it presents the American slave narrative as a point of origin for English narratives of dissent, resistance, and freedom. This is a welcome and, as Lee's authoritative work shows, a well-founded change in critical orientation. Lee's pathbreaking book will transform the fields of Victorian, transatlantic, and African American studies."-Henry Louis Gates Jr., author ofThe Signifying Monkey
"The great originality of Julia Sun-Joo Lee's work lies in the way it traces the influence of African American writing within the traditional heart of British Victorian literature, demonstrating how canonical writers such as Thackeray, Dickens, Gaskell, and Charlotte Brontë were responding in different ways to the genre of the slave narrative. With its surprising but illuminating juxtapositions, this is an example of transatlantic critical practice at its best."-Paul Giles, author of Atlantic Republic "The slave's narrative, meant solely to help in the abolishing of slavery, has always had its own literary integrity and importance. Here in this brilliant and original book, Julia Lee shows us the profound influence and transformation it had on the imagination of some of our great writers. With much splendid clarity of words and thought, The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel will continue that tradition of influence and transformation."-Jamaica Kincaid, author of A Small Place "Julia Sun-Joo Lee makes the case for the influence of American slavery and the slave narrative on the Victorian novel. Her carefully researched, elegantly written, and original studies of texts by Brontë, Thackeray, Gaskell, Dickens, and Stevenson are sure to become staples."-Audrey Fisch, author of American Slaves in Victorian England "Fresh and surefooted, Julia Sun-Joo Lee's book does what no other book has done before: it presents the American slave narrative as a point of origin for English narratives of dissent, resistance, and freedom. This is a welcome and, as Lee's authoritative work shows, a well-founded change in critical orientation. Lee's pathbreaking book will transform the fields of Victorian, transatlantic, and African American studies."-Henry Louis Gates Jr., author of The Signifying Monkey
"The great originality of Julia Sun-Joo Lee's work lies in the way it traces the influence of African American writing within the traditional heart of British Victorian literature, demonstrating how canonical writers such as Thackeray, Dickens, Gaskell, and Charlotte Brontë were responding in different ways to the genre of the slave narrative. With its surprising but illuminating juxtapositions, this is an example of transatlantic critical practice at its best."-Paul Giles, author of Atlantic Republic"The slave's narrative, meant solely to help in the abolishing of slavery, has always had its own literary integrity and importance. Here in this brilliant and original book, Julia Lee shows us the profound influence and transformation it had on the imagination of some of our great writers. With much splendid clarity of words and thought, The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel will continue that tradition of influence and transformation."-Jamaica Kincaid, author of A Small Place"Julia Sun-Joo Lee makes the case for the influence of American slavery and the slave narrative on the Victorian novel. Her carefully researched, elegantly written, and original studies of texts by Brontë, Thackeray, Gaskell, Dickens, and Stevenson are sure to become staples."-Audrey Fisch, author of American Slaves in Victorian England"Fresh and surefooted, Julia Sun-Joo Lee's book does what no other book has done before: it presents the American slave narrative as a point of origin for English narratives of dissent, resistance, and freedom. This is a welcome and, as Lee's authoritative work shows, a well-founded change in critical orientation. Lee's pathbreaking book will transform the fields of Victorian, transatlantic, and African American studies."-Henry Louis Gates Jr., author of The Signifying Monkey
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2010
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This title explores the influence of the American slave narrative on the Victorian novel. The book argues that Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and Robert Louis Stevenson integrated into their works elements of the slave narrative.
Main Description
Conceived as a literary form to aggressively publicize the abolitionist cause in the United States, the African American slave narrative remains a powerful and illuminating demonstration of America's dark history. Yet the genre's impact extended far beyond the borders of the U.S. In a period when few books sold more than five hundred copies, slave narratives sold in the tens of thousands, providing British readers vivid accounts of the violence and privation experienced by American slaves. Eloquent, bracing narratives by Frederick Douglass, William Box Brown, Solomon Northrop, and others enjoyed unprecedented popularity, captivating audiences that included activists, journalists, and some of the era's greatest novelists. The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel investigates the shaping influence of the American slave narrative on the Victorian novel in the years between the British Abolition Act and the American Emancipation Proclamation. The book argues that Charlotte Brontë, W. M. Thackeray, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, and Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson integrated into their works generic elements of the slave narrative-from the emphasis on literacy as a tool of liberation, to the teleological journey from slavery to freedom, to the ethics of resistance over submission. It contends that Victorian novelists used these tropes in an attempt to access the slave narrative's paradigm of resistance, illuminate the transnational dimension of slavery, and articulate Britain's role in the global community. Through a deft use of disparate sources, Lee reveals how the slave narrative becomes part of the textual network of the English novel, making visible how black literary, as well as economic, production contributed to English culture. Lucidly written, richly researched, and cogently argued, Julia Sun-Joo Lee's insightful monograph makes an invaluable contribution to scholars of American literary history, African American literature, and the Victorian novel, in addition to highlighting the vibrant transatlantic exchange of ideas that illuminated literatures on both sides of the Atlantic during the nineteenth century.
Main Description
The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel investigates the shaping influence of the American slave narrative on the Victorian novel in the years between the British Abolition Act and the American Emancipation Proclamation. In a period when few books sold more than five hundred copies, slave narratives sold in the tens of thousands, providing British readers vivid accounts of the violence and privation experienced by American slaves. The book argues that Charlotte Bronte, W. M. Thackeray, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, and Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson integrated into their works generic elements of the slave narrative, from the emphasis on literacy as a tool of liberation, to the teleological journey from slavery to freedom, to the ethics of resistance over submission. It contends that Victorian novelists were attempting to access the slave narrative's paradigm of resistance, illuminate the transnational dimension of slavery, and articulate Britain's role in the global community. The slave narrative becomes part of the textual network of the English novel, making visible how black literary, as well as economic, production contributed to English culture.
Main Description
The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel investigates the shaping influence of the American slave narrative on the Victorian novel in the years between the British Abolition Act and the American Emancipation Proclamation. In a period when few books sold more than five hundredcopies, slave narratives sold in the tens of thousands, providing British readers vivid accounts of the violence and privation experienced by American slaves. The book argues that Charlotte Bronte, W. M. Thackeray, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, and Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson integratedinto their works generic elements of the slave narrative, from the emphasis on literacy as a tool of liberation, to the teleological journey from slavery to freedom, to the ethics of resistance over submission. It contends that Victorian novelists were attempting to access the slave narrative'sparadigm of resistance, illuminate the transnational dimension of slavery, and articulate Britain's role in the global community. The slave narrative becomes part of the textual network of the English novel, making visible how black literary, as well as economic, production contributed to Englishculture.
Table of Contents
Introduction. The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel
The Slave Narrative of Jane Eyre
Slaves and Brothers in Pendennis
Female Slave Narratives: ""The Grey Woman"" and My Lady Ludlow
The Return of the ""Unnative"": North and South
Fugitive Plots in Great Expectations
Epilogue: The Plot Against England: The Dynamiter
Works Cited
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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