Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.


ISBN 9781911454946  Paperback £24.99  Order
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216mm x 140mm. 204pp.

About this work

This pioneering work was the first study to trace the history of the socialist novel in Britain, covering one hundred and fifty years of creative writing.  It opened a long overdue discussion on the nature of social fiction and its relevance today. It situated the socialist novel in the overall framework of English literature, and promoted further discussion and debate.

The book spans the hopes and aspirations of the Chartist writers to the variety of ideological and literary positions of socialist intellectuals up to 1980. The major conceptual and individual developments are carefully analysed in essays by such distinguished writers as Raymond Williams, John Goode and Martha Vicinus.

It proves a framework for wider discussion, situating the socialist novel in the overall framework of English literature.

Contents: New, and original, Editor’s Introduction; Martha Vicinus, ’Chartist fiction and he development of a class-based literature’; J.M. Rignall, ‘Between Chartism and the 1880s: J.W. Overton and E. Lynn Linton’; John Goode, ’Margaret Harkness and the socialist novel;’; Jack Mitchell, ‘Early harvest: three anti-capitalist novels published in 1914’; H. Gustav Klaus, ‘Silhouettes of revolution: some neglected novels of the early 1920s’; Raymond Williams, ‘Working-class, proletarian, socialist: problems in some Welsh novels’; Raymón López Ortega, ‘The language of the working-class novel of the 1930s’; Ingrid von Rosenberg, ‘Militancy, anger and resignation: alternative moods in the working-class novel of the 1950s and early 1960s’; Kiernan Ryan, ‘Socialist fiction and the education of desire: Mervyn Jones, Raymond Williams, John Berger’; Index.

About the author

H. GUSTAV KLAUS is Emeritus Professor of the Literature of the British Isles, University of Rostock, Germany. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Queensland, a Research Fellow at the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and a Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. His more recent books include Factory Girl (1998) and James Kelman (2004) as well as the co-edited collections British Industrial Fictions (2000),  ‘To Hell with Culture’: Anarchism and Twentieth-Century British Literature (2005) and Ecology and the Literature of the British Left: The Red and the Green (2012). His The Literature of Labour: Two Hundred Years of Working-Class Writing, and the edited essay collections The Socialist Novel in Britain and The Rise of Socialist Fiction, 1880–1914, all with new introductions, are also available again from EER.

The Socialist Novel in Britain

Second edition with new introduction.

H. Gustav Klaus (ed.)