Bringing together eminent scholars and emerging critics who offer a range of perspectives and critical methods, this collection sets a new standard in Beddoes criticism. In line with the goals of Ashgate's Research Companion series, the editors and contributors provide an overview of Beddoes's criticism and identify significant new directions in Beddoes studies. These include exploring Beddoes's German context, only recently a site of critical attention; reading Beddoes's plays in light of gender theory; and reassessing Beddoes's use of dramatic genre in the context of recent work by theatre historians. Rounding out the volume are essays devoted to key areas in Beddoes's scholarship such as nineteenth-century medical theories, psychoanalytic myth, and Romantic ventriloquism. This collection makes the case for Beddoes's centrality to contemporary debates about nineteenth-century literary culture and its contexts and his influence on Modernist conceptions of literature.
Contents: General editors' preface; Prologue: 'prince of morticians': authors on Beddoes; Introduction, Ute Berns and Michael Bradshaw. Part I: 'The latch-string of a new world's wicket': poetry and agency in Death's Jest Book; or, The Fool's Tragedy, Michael O'Neil; 'Death and his sweetheart': revolution and return in Death's Jest Book, David M. Baulch; The Jest Book, the body and the state, Michael Bradshaw; 'Liberty['s] smile melts tyrants down in time': T.L. Beddoes's Death's Jest Book and German revolutionary discourse in Heine, BÃ¶rne, and BÃ¼chner, Raphael HÃ¶rmann; Death's Jest Book and the pathological imagination, Frederick Burwick; Between the 'hostile body' and 'hieroglyphic human soul': the ethics of Beddoes's 'mental theatre', Nat Leach; Performing genres in Death's Jest Book: tragedy as harlequinade, Ute Berns; Beddoes and the Theatre of Cruelty: or, the problem of Isbrand's sister: some thoughts arising while re-editing Death's Jest Book, Alan Halsey. Part II: Thomas Lovell Beddoes and the vampires of history: reading the poet's German prose, Andrew James Johnston; Three of Thomas Lovell Beddoes's dramatic fragments: fractured techno-gothic appendages and Thomas Beddoes's HygÃ«ia, Marjean D. Purinton; The Bride's Tragedy and the myth of Cupid and Psyche, Shelley Rees; Dying with a vengeance: dead brides and the death-fetish in T.L. Beddoes, Diane Long Hoeveler; T.L. Beddoes's terminable or interminable end, Christopher Moylan; Epilogue: Death's Jest Book on stage in 2003, recollections by Jerome McGann and Frederick Burwick; General bibliography; Index.