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Hermsprong

Robert Bage’s Hermsprong satirizes English society of the 1790s targeting, in particular, corrupt clergymen, grasping lawyers and wicked aristocrats. The protagonist, a European raised among Native Americans, visits Europe and is dismayed by what he encounters. While such satire might seem conventional enough, Hermsprong is distinguished from other political novels of the period by its…

Translation of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah

In Translation of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah, Elizabeth Hamilton engages directly with the major issues of her day, from colonialism and the “New Philosophy” to the present state of literature and female education. Satirizing British society and incorporating material from a wide range of the orientalists’ new translations of Indian writing, Hamilton’s book…

Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond

Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamond—among the most compelling and thought-provoking of Margaret Oliphant’s works of short fiction—tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Lycett-Landon, “two middle-aged people in the fullness of life and prosperity,” and of what becomes of their marriage when Mr. Lycett-Landon becomes uncommunicative while on an extended business trip. In addition to…