Charlotte Bronte

Sorry, but Jane Eyre Isn’t the Romance You Want It to Be

Charlotte Brontë, a woman whose life was steeped in stifled near-romance, refused to write love as ruly, predictable, or safe.
James Joyce in front of a flowery background

James Joyce’s NSFW Love Letters

The often explicit letters James Joyce wrote to Nora Barnacle contain the same mass of contradictions as his famous literary works, like Ulysses.
An illustration from an 1897 edition of Persuasion

The Physical Pleasures of Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Smoldering glances? Romantic letters? Forbidden love? Why Persuasion may be the most seductive of Jane Austen's novels.
Felicitación de cumpleaños by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta

The Disappointing Reality of 19th-Century Courtship

For white, middle-class women in the 19th century U.S., courtship and marriage offered less emotional intimacy than their friendships with other women.
A collection of romance novels

The Business of the Romance Novel

How romance novels—despite their decided lack of cultural clout—became big business for the publishing industry.
Photo by _HealthyMond . on Unsplash

Asian Families, the RAND Book, and Science Fiction

New books and scholarship from Stanford University Press, University of Minnesota, and MIT Press.
A stack of books by Virginia Woolf

Was Modernism Meant to Keep the Working Classes Out?

In the 19th century, more working class readers started partaking in contemporary fiction. Modernist literature, however, was specifically not for them.
Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett and the Theatre of Resistance

The dark, absurdist humor of Samuel Beckett's work was directly informed by his time in the French Resistance during World War II.
Photo by _HealthyMond . on Unsplash

Austen Fans, Modern Belief, and Environmental Politics

New books and scholarship from Oxford University Press, Princeton University Press, and the University Press of Colorado.
A person looking at a map, holding a pen

Ten Poems about Travel

Poetry about all kinds of travel—from grand adventures to family vacations—by Elizabeth Bishop, Rita Dove, and more.