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The Cambridge Companion to English Novelists

by Adrian Poole

In this Companion, leading scholars and critics address the work of the most celebrated and enduring novelists from the British Isles (excluding living writers): among them Defoe, Richardson, Sterne, Austen, Dickens, the Brontës, George Eliot, Hardy, James, Lawrence, Joyce, and Woolf. The significance of each writer in their own time is explained, the relation of their work to that of predecessors and successors explored, and their most important novels analysed. These essays do not aim to create a canon in a prescriptive way, but taken together they describe a strong developing tradition of the writing of fictional prose over the past 300 years. This volume is a helpful guide for those studying and teaching the novel, and will allow readers to consider the significance of less familiar authors such as Henry Green and Elizabeth Bowen alongside those with a more established place in literary history.

Tragedy: A Very Short Introduction

by Adrian Poole

To your local anchorperson, the word "tragedy" brings to mind an accidental fire at a low-income apartment block, the horrors of a natural disaster, or atrocities occurring in distant lands. To a classicist however, the word brings to mind the masterpieces of Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Racine; beautiful dramas featuring romanticized torment. What has tragedy been made to mean by dramatists, storytellers, philosophers, politicians, and journalists over the last two and a half millennia? Why do we still read, re-write, and stage these old plays? This lively and engaging work presents an entirely unique approach which shows the relevance of tragedy to today's world, and extends beyond drama and literature into visual art and everyday experience. Addressing questions about belief, blame, mourning, revenge, pain, and irony, noted scholar Adrian Poole demonstrates the age-old significance of our attempts to make sense of terrible suffering.

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