Margaret Oliphant and George Meredith

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Authors

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Abstract

The Yearbook of English Studies for 2019 brings together two quintessentially Victorian writers, Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897) and George Meredith (1828-1909). The authors share a birth year and an extraordinary writerly range—both worked as publishers’ readers, art and book reviewers, essayists, as well as novelists—though their personal lives rarely intersected. Both also share the distinction of falling out of scholarly favour through much of the twentieth century, despite their significant popular and critical success in their own lifetimes. This volume leverages recently renewed interest and increased access to Oliphant’s and Meredith’s oeuvres evidenced by, for example, the publication of Routledge’s twenty-five volume Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant (2011-16) and the first academic conference devoted entirely to Meredith, held in 2015. Ten essays expand our understanding of both by situating them within a fuller range of contemporary contexts and detailing their often prescient engagement with nascent forms and themes. With an especial interest in understudied texts, including Oliphant’s journalism, literary criticism, and fin-de-siècle novels, and Meredith’s early poems, One of Our Conquerors, Rhoda Fleming, and The Shaving of Shagpat, contributors show that both authors’ publications manifest the governing social concerns of their time even as they served as an active force in shaping developing conceptions of art, medicine, gender, and authorship itself. What emerges is a revisionary account of Oliphant’s and Meredith’s work, arising from and contributing to a more nuanced understanding of the Victorian era.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)i-xiv, 1-194
Number of pages208
JournalYearbook of English Studies
Volume49
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • George Meredith, Margaret Oliphant