Thomas Love Peacock (1785‒1866) is the most distinctive prose satirist of the Romantic period; his fictions are inescapably political and intellectual. To approach the nineteenth-century novel via Peacock is therefore to understand it as an outward-facing genre indebted to philosophical tracts, lectures, classical dialogues and the rhythms of parliamentary debate. The satirical novels that Peacock wrote between 1815 and 1861 have been enriched in the present edition by more ample cross-referencing to his other works, published and unpublished, and to their relevant literary, historical, and cultural contexts, than has previously been attempted. All seven volumes, edited by leading scholars of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, contain substantial introductions, comprehensive information regarding the creation, publication and reception history of the novels, and generous textual and explanatory notes. An extensive chronology of Peacock's life, by Nicholas Joukovsky, is provided in every volume. By restoring to view the astonishing range, intelligence and vitality of Peacock's novels, this edition invites new critical dialogue and a fresh set of opinions about an author celebrated in his lifetime as 'the wittiest writer in England'.
General Editor: Freya Johnston, University of Oxford
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