By Sarah Wootton
Byronic Heroes in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing and display variation charts a brand new bankruptcy within the altering fortunes of a different cultural phenomenon. This ebook examines the afterlives of the Byronic hero during the paintings of nineteenth-century girls writers and reveal diversifications in their fiction. it's a well timed reassessment of Byron's enduring legacy through the 19th century and past, targeting the charged and risky literary dialogues among Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot and a Romantic icon whose presence takes centre degree in contemporary reveal variations in their such a lot celebrated novels. The large interdisciplinary lens hired during this ebook concentrates at the conflicted rewritings of Byron's poetry, his 'heroic' protagonists, and the cult of Byronism in nineteenth-century novels from delight and Prejudice to Middlemarch, and extends outwards to the reappearance of Byronic heroes on movie and in tv sequence during the last twenty years.
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Extra info for Byronic Heroes in Nineteenth-Century Women’s Writing and Screen Adaptation
Augmented and added allusions to Byron and his poetry appear in Wives and Daughters (1999), Northanger Abbey (2007), and Sense and Sensibility (2008), among others. In the former, references to Felicia Hemans in Gaskell’s novel are edited out in an extended scene where Byron’s poem, ‘I Would I Were a Careless Child’, is read aloud and the poet taken up as a subject of discussion. In the latter, references to Cowper and Scott in Austen’s novel are replaced by a recital of Byron’s ‘So, we’ll go no more a roving’.
The Byronic hero’s vaunted free will is fiercely guarded by the on-screen Thornton in a BBC adaptation, first shown in 2004, that grapples with Gaskell’s portrayal of industrial relations and gender politics amidst a vividly realised northern cityscape. The final chapters of this book, 4 and 5, focus on George Eliot’s complex and enduring regard for Byron. Her outrage at renewed speculation over the poet’s incestuous affair is often cited as indicative of a Victorian 28 Byronic Heroes in Nineteenth-Century Women’s Writing writer’s rejection of a Romantic writer’s moral turpitude.
Such polarisations speak to cultural constructions of these authors and their afterlives, as well as to gendered assumptions about genre. Setting up any Romantic pairing as antithetical invariably belies the authors’ respective range and value. And, in this instance, it has served to separate Austen and Byron in terms of scholarship. As I hope to demonstrate in this chapter and the next, stereotypes that separate Austen and Byron deflect attention away from the Romantic concordances and discords that connect their work.