Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


The nineteenth century is as rich and remarkable as any century in historical memory. Whether we broach it in terms of diverse intellectual and ideological currents, or of vast political and social upheavals, it yields a dazzling and often frantic display of movement, conflict and cataclysmic change. This single century housed the bourgeois revolutions and the rise to hegemony of the middle classes; the philosophical movements stemming from Hegel, and the counter-movements stemming from Schopenhauer; the blossoming of Romanticism; the German Higher Criticism; Darwin; the rise of nationalism; the dawn of the social sciences; the explosive development of the natural sciences and technology; the era of literary positivism, Realism, Naturalism, Symbolism and Decadence; the climax and catastrophes of imperialism; the articulation of socialism and the imminence of welfare states; the widening of the franchise and the demand for women's rights; the development of ideals of literary autonomy; and, not least in pertinence to this study, the beginnings of literary criticism as an autonomous, professional discipline in the academy. Aims of this volume. In bringing together over thirty essays written by experts in their respective fields, this book aims to provide the reader with a clear sense of the development of literary criticism as an institution during the period 1830-1914, as well as the range of themes and concerns which preoccupied literary critics in this era. The chapters attempt to display not only the main lines of literary-critical development within various national traditions, but also the interconnections between major critical movements, and the development of specific genres. This volume attempts, additionally, to highlight the contributions of certain influential critics of the period, such as Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, Hippolyte Taine and Matthew Arnold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Literary Criticism
Subtitle of host publicationThe Nineteenth Century, c. 1830-1914
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781139018456
ISBN (Print)9780521300117
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Introduction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this