The Utopian Novel in America, 1886–1896

The Politics of Form

The research is full and the bibliography is considerable. All topics are treated with intelligence and a good sense of history.

In the late 1800s, Americans flocked to cities, immigration, slums, and unemployment burgeoned, and America's role in foreign affairs grew. This period also spawned a number of fictional glimpses into the future. After the publication of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward in 1888, there was an outpouring of utopian fantasy, many of which promoted socialism, while others presented refined versions of capitalism. Jean Pfaelzer's study traces the impact of the utopian novel and the narrative structures of these sentimental romances. She discusses progressive, pastoral, feminist, and apocalyptic utopias, as well as the genre's parodic counterpart, the dystopia.

224 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

February, 1985

isbn : 9780822954132

about the author

Jean Pfaelzer

Jean Pfaelzer is professor of English and American Studies at the University of Delaware.

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Jean Pfaelzer