Qualls, Barry V.

Qualls, Barry V.

The Secular Pilgrims of Victorian Fiction: The Novel as Book of Life

Barry V. Qualls

The Secular Pilgrims of Victorian Fiction: The Novel as Book of Life

Cambridge, 1982

altThis book examines the attempts of four great Victorians to write what amounted to latter-day "Pilgrim's Progresses." Writing in and for and age whose spiritual needs and assumptions differed utterly from those of Bunyan, they produced very different kinds of books from his - but books which still owed as much to the puritan tradition of Pilgrim's Progress and Quarles' Emblems, of sp ritual biography and the typological reading of scripture, as to the secular redefinition of that tradition in the early nineteenth century.

Carlyle's Sartor Resartus represents the closest convergence-point of these two sources. In its effort to combine traditional religious language and later Romantic ideas within the doctrine of "natural supernaturalism," it may be seen as the prototypical Victorian novel - a Pilgrim's Progress whose hero must write his own guidebook, his own book of life. Professor Qualls uses Carlyle as a context for studying the thematic concerns and narrative activities of Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot. To focus their preoccupations, he selects emblems from the religious tradition which the Romantics also found essential - the mirror, the prison, the labyrinth, the dunghill, the rescue of the shipwrecked pilgrim, the conception of life as an embattled progress - and he charts the responses of the novelists to the issues these emblems raise about the self and about language in a secular world. He shows the Victorians' determination to write "secular scriptures," to affirm that biblical romance did still exist in reality, that the supernatural was part of the natural. He gives particular attention to the beginning and end of the authors' careers in order to chart how they dealt with the increasing secularization of their world and the increasing despiritualization of language.

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature - Volume 5: The Victorian Era

Barry V. Qualls (Co-Editor with Kate Flint)

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature - Volume 5: The Victorian Era

Broadview Press, 2006

altIn all six of its volumes, The Broadview Anthology of British Literature presents British literature in a truly distinctive light. Fully grounded in sound literary and historical scholarship, the anthology takes a fresh approach to many canonical authors, and includes a wide selection of work by lesser-known writers. The anthology also provides wide-ranging coverage of the worldwide connections of British literature, and it pays attention throughout to issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. It includes comprehensive introductions to each period, providing in each case an overview of the historical and cultural as well as the literary background. It features accessible and engaging headnotes for all authors, extensive explanatory annotations throughout, and an unparalleled number of illustrations and contextual materials, offering additional perspectives both on individual texts and on larger social and cultural developments. Innovative, authoritative, and comprehensive, The Broadview Anthology of British Literature embodies a consistently fresh approach to the study of literature and literary history.

Highlights of Volume 5: The Victorian Era include: the entire text of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, with all of the original illustrations; Alfred Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam A.H.H. in its entirety; and Augusta Webster's "A Castaway."

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Secret Sharer, and Transformation: Three Tales of Doubles

Barry V. Qualls (Co-Editor with Susan J. Wolfson)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Secret Sharer, and Transformation: Three Tales of Doubles

Longman, 2009

altFrom Longman's Cultural Editions series, come three tales of transformation: Mary Shelley's "Transformation," Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Sharer," In these three nightmarish tales, an uncanny other turns out to be a second self, a sharer of intimate anxieties, repressed energies, dark impulses.