- Edited by Grace Moore, University of Melbourne, Australia
The first volume devoted to literary pirates in the nineteenth century, this collection examines changes in the representation of the pirate from the beginning of the nineteenth century through the late Victorian period. Gone were the dangerous ruffians of the eighteenth-century novel and in their place emerged a set of brooding and lovable rogues, as exemplified by Byron's Corsair. As the contributors engage with acts of piracy by men and women in the literary marketplace as well as on the high seas, they show that both forms were foundational in the promotion and execution of Britain's imperial ambitions. Linking the pirate's development as a literary figure with the history of piracy and the making of the modern state tells us much about race, class, and evolving gender relationships. While individual chapters examine key texts like Treasure Island, Dickens's 1857 'mutiny' story in Household Words, and Peter Pan, the collection as a whole interrogates the growth of pirate myths and folklore throughout the nineteenth century and the depiction of their nautical heirs in contemporary literature and culture.
Contents: Introduction, Grace Moore; Pirate chic: tracing the aesthetics of literary piracy, Mel Campbell; The pirate poet in the 19th century: Trollope and Byron, Deborah Lutz; Playing pirate; real and imaginary angrias in Branwell Brontë's writing, Joetta Harty; Ho! For China: piratical incursions, free trade imperialism and modern Chinese history, c.1832–1834, Ting Man Tsao; The wreck of the Corsair: piracy, political economy and American publishing, Andrew Lyndon Knighton; Female pirates and nationalism in 19th-century American popular fiction, Katherine Anderson; Mutiny on the Orion: the legacy of the Hermione mutiny and the politics of nonviolent protest in Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, Deborah Denenholz Morse; Acts of piracy: Black Ey'd Susan, theatrical publishing and the Victorian stage, Kate Mattacks; The perils of empire: Dickens, Collins and the Indian Mutiny, Garrett Ziegler; Pirates for boys: masculinity and degeneracy in R.M. Ballantyne's adventure novels, Grace Moore; Piracy, race and domestic peril in Hard Cash, Sean Grass; The Pirates of Penzance: the slaves of duty in an age of piracy, Abigail Burnham Bloom; 'Dooty is dooty': pirates and sea-lawyers in Treasure Island, Alex Thomson; Staging the pirate: the ambiguities of representation and the significance of convention, Victor Emeljanow; Bram Stoker's The Mystery of the Sea: law lawlessness, piracy and protectionism, Carol A. Senf; Piracy and the ends of romantic commercialism: Victorian businessmen meet Malay pirates, Tamara Wagner; Bibliography; Index.
About the Editor: Grace Moore teaches at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She has published widely on Victorian literature and culture and is the author of Dickens and Empire (Ashgate, 2004)
Reviews: ‘Teeming with fresh perspectives and original insights, this is a treasure chest of essays on literature’s pirates’.
John Peck, author of Maritime Fiction: Sailors and the Sea in British and American Novels, 1719-1917
'… this is a rewarding volume of essays on subjects both remote and familiar. Piracy is the common thread, but the prominence of themes of imperialism, copyright and print history, spectacle and popular culture, and gender and sexuality, make of the book a veritable treasure trove for the reader interested in a broad canvas of (mostly transatlantic) nineteenth-century cultural history.'
'The sophistication of Thompson’s analysis does justice to a writer whose ‘individualism has proven hard for recent critics to stomach’ (215), and exemplifies the capacity of meticulous close reading to breathe new critical life into the nineteenth century’s not-so-childish-after-all pirates.'
Review of English Studies
'… fills a major gap in the scholarly literature on piracy and offers an admirable complement to, inter alia, Claire Jowitt’s The Culture of Piracy…'
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