Challenge and Continuity is the first full-length attempt to map an important feature of nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature: the thematic novel. It analyses it first in D.H. Lawrence, revealing how in The Rainbow and Women in Love the psychology of the characters is brought into a wider social and ideological context that generates their controlling themes. Having defined an alternative tradition, exemplified by George Eliot and Tolstoy, focused primarily on individual development, it examines how that kind of interest was aligned in the nineteenth century with the thematic, in a loose fashion by Charlotte Bronte, Turgenev, Hardy and Wells, and more precisely by Stendhal, Flaubert and Emily Bronte. Challenge and Continuity goes on to identify the core of the thematic tradition in the work of Dickens, Hawthorne, Melville, Dostoevsky and Conrad. It is then revealed as a distinguishing feature of modernism in Ford, Forster, Joyce and Woolf, with continuations into Huxley, Orwell and Beckett. With its complex of well-researched links over a very wide area, this book should appeal to scholars and students alike, and also to the general reader with some knowledge of the field.
Softcover book in generally excellent condition, pages unannotated. Signed by author on frontispiece, with inscription.