Resisting recent inclinations toward suspicion of historicist methodologies, Lauren M. E. Goodlad pursues a theoretically nuanced and contextually rich comparative study of British literature from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. At the top of her concerns are the transnational aesthetic flows beneath political attitudes toward liberalism and a rising Tory imperialism. Thus The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic, in addition to elaborating Fredric Jameson’s concept of the geopolitical aesthetic, redirects the insights on Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary in Georg Lukács’s Historical Novel toward the British novel, which Lukács abandoned after Walter Scott. Furthermore, heeding the transnational methodologies that have evolved since Edward W. Said’s Culture and Imperialism, Goodlad insistently probes the modalities of empire to demonstrate the entanglements of national literary history in global capital.

The relationship among nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and empire takes center stage in Goodlad’s nuanced readings of...

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