Politics and Genre in the Works of Elizabeth Hamilton, 1756–1816

In the first book-length study of the well-respected and popular British writer Elizabeth Hamilton, Claire Grogan addresses a significant gap in scholarship that enlarges and complicates critical understanding of the Romantic woman writer. From 1797 to 1818, Hamilton published in a wide range of genres, including novels, satires, historical and educational treatises, and historical biography. Because she wrote from a politically centrist position during a revolutionary age, Grogan suggests, Hamilton has been neglected in favor of authors who fit within the Jacobin/anti-Jacobin framework used to situate women writers of the period. Grogan draws attention to the inadequacies of the Jacobin/anti-Jacobin binary for understanding writers like Hamilton, arguing that Hamilton and other women writers engaged with and debated the issues of the day in more veiled ways. For example, while Hamilton did not argue for sexual emancipation à la Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Hays, she asserted her rights in other ways. Hamilton’s most radical advance, Grogan shows, was in her deployment of genre, whether she was mixing genres, creating new generic medleys, or assuming competence in a hitherto male-dominated genre. With Hamilton serving as her case study, Grogan persuasively argues for new strategies to uncover the means by which women writers participated in the revolutionary debate.


English and British Fiction, 1750-1820

The Oxford History of the Novel in English is a 12-volume series presenting a comprehensive, global, and up-to-date history of English-language prose fiction and written by a large, international team of scholars. The series is concerned with novels as a whole, not just the ‘literary’ novel, and each volume includes chapters on the processes of production, distribution, and reception, and on popular fiction and the fictional sub-genres, as well as outlining the work of major novelists, movements, traditions, and tendencies.
Volume 2 examines the period from1750-1820, which was a crucial period in the development of the novel in English. Not only was it the time of Smollett, Sterne, Austen, and Scott, but it also saw the establishment and definition of the novel as we know it, as well as the emergence of a number of subgenres, several of which remain to this day. Conventionally however, it has been one of the least studied areas-seen as a falling off from the heyday of Richardson and Fielding, or merely a prelude to the great Victorian novelists. This volume takes full advantage of recent major advances in scholarly bibliography, new critical assessments, and the fresh availability of long-neglected fictional works, to offer a new mapping and appraisal. The opening section, as well as some remarkable later chapters, consider historical conditions underlying the production, circulation, and reception of fiction during these seventy years, a period itself marked by a rapid growth in output and expansion in readership. Other chapters cover the principal forms, movements, and literary themes of the period, with individual contributions on the four major novelists (named above), seen in historical context, as well as others on adjacent fields such as the shorter tale, magazine fiction, children’s literature, and drama. The volume also views the novel in the light of other major institutions of modern literary culture, including book reviewing and the reprint trade, all of which played a part in advancing a sense of the novel as a defining feature of the British cultural landscape. A focus on ‘global’ literature and imported fiction in two concluding chapters in turn reflects a broader concern for transnational literary studies in general.


Queen of Spies

From living in a tin-roofed shack north of Dar-es-Salaam to becoming Baroness Park of Monmouth, Daphne Park led a most unusual life one that consisted of a lifelong love affair with the world of Britain’s secret services. In the 1970s, she was appointed to Secret Intelligence Service’s most senior operational rank as one of its seven Area Controllers an extraordinary achievement for a woman working within this most male-dominated and secretive of organizations.

In Queen of Spies, Paddy Hayes recounts the fascinating story of the evolution of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) from World War II to the Cold War through the eyes of Daphne Park, one of its outstanding and most unusual operatives. He provides the reader with one of the most intimate narratives yet of how the modern SIS actually went about its business whether in Moscow, Hanoi, or the Congo, and shows how Park was able to rise through the ranks of a field that had been comprised almost entirely of men.

Queen of Spiescaptures all the paranoia, isolation, deception of Cold War intelligence work, and combines it with the personal story of one extraordinary woman trying to navigate this secretive world. Hayes unveils all that it may be possible to know about the life of one of Britain’s most celebrated spies.”