Thinking Through Style: Non-Fiction Prose of the Long Nineteenth Century

ISBN : 9780198737827

Michael D. Hurley; Marcus Waithe
384 ページ
156 x 234 mm

What is 'style', and how does it relate to thought in language? It has often been treated as something merely linguistic, independent of thought, ornamental; stylishness for its own sake. Or else it has been said to subserve thought, by mimicking, delineating, or heightening ideas that are already expressed in the words. This ambitious and timely book explores a third, more radical possibility in which style operates as a verbal mode of thinking through. Rather than figure thought as primary and pre-verbal, and language as a secondary delivery system, style is conceived here as having the capacity to clarify or generate thinking. The book's focus is on non-fiction prose, and it looks across the long nineteenth century. Leading scholars survey twenty of the most influential authors who have gained reputations as either 'stylists' or as 'thinkers' to re-imagine the possible alliances, interplays, and generative tensions between thinking, thinkers, style, and stylists.


Michael D. Hurley and Marcus Waithe: Introduction: Thinking, Thinkers, Style, Stylists; 1 James Engell: 'A Hare in Every Nettle': Coleridge's Prose; 2 Matthew Bevis: Charles Lamb . . . Seriously; 3 Freya Johnston: Keeping to William Hazlitt; 4 Michael O'Neill: 'Pictures' and 'Signs': Creative Thinking in Shelley's Prose, 1816-1821; 5 Ruth Scurr: 'The greatest irregular': Thomas Carlyle's Re-Creative Purpose in The French Revolution; 6 Michael D. Hurley: John Henry Newman, Thinking Out Into Language; 7 Valerie Sanders: 'Things Pressing to be said': Harriet Martineau's Mission to Inform; 8 Adam Phillips: Emerson and the Impossibilities of Style; 9 James Williams: Darwin's Theological Virtues; 10 Dinah Birch: 'Just Proportions': The Material of George Eliot's Writing; 11 Marcus Waithe: Ruskin's Style of Thought: Animating Re-description in the Late Writings; 12 David Russell: The Idea of Matthew Arnold; 13 Angela Leighton: Walter Pater's Dream Rhythms; 14 Philip Davis: Cashing In on William James; 15 Adrian Poole: Touch-and-go with Robert Louis Stevenson; 16 Hugh Haughton: Oscar Wilde: Thinking Style; 17 Catherine Maxwell: Vernon Lee's Handling of Words; 18 Simon Jarvis: Chesterton and the Superman: Chesterton's Levitations; 19 Susan Sellers: Virginia Woolf: Writing and the Ordinary Mind; 20 Stefan Collini: Vexing the thoughtless: T.S. Eliot's early criticism


Michael D. Hurley teaches English at the University of Cambridge, where he is a University Lecturer and a Fellow of St Catharine's College. He has written widely on literary style and its relationship with feeling and thinking. His books include Faith in Poetry: Verse Style as a Mode of Religious Belief (Bloomsbury, 2017), G. K. Chesterton (Northcote House, 2012), and (co-authored with Michael O'Neill) Poetic Form (CUP, 2012).; Marcus Waithe is a Fellow in English and University Senior Lecturer at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is the author of William Morris's Utopia of Strangers: Victorian Medievalism and the Ideal of Hospitality (2006), and of numerous essays and articles on Victorian and twentieth-century topics. A collection of essays, co-edited with Claire White, entitled The Labour Literature in Britain and France, 1830-1930: Authorial Work Ethics is forthcoming with Palgrave. He is also completing a monograph entitled The Work of Words: Literature and the Labour of Mind in Britain, 1830-1930.