Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Arthur Rose
    Pages 1-16 Open Access
  3. Corinne Saunders
    Pages 17-38 Open Access
  4. Naya Tsentourou
    Pages 39-63 Open Access

About this book


This open access book presents five different approaches to reading breath in literature, in response to texts from a range of historical, geographical and cultural environments. Breath, for all its ubiquity in literary texts, has received little attention as a transhistorical literary device. Drawing together scholars of Medieval Romance, Early Modern Drama, Fin de Siècle Aesthetics, American Poetics and the Postcolonial Novel, this book offers the first transhistorical study of breath in literature. At the same time, it shows how the study of breath in literature can contribute to recent developments in the Medical Humanities.  


Open access Medical humanities Breathing Medieval Early Modern Victorian Postcolonial Shakespeare Salman Rushdie Chaucer

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Medical HumanitiesDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  2. 2.Centre for Comparative LiteratureUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of EnglishUniversity of ExeterCornwallUK
  4. 4.Department of English StudiesDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  5. 5.Department of English StudiesDurham UniversityDurhamUK

About the authors

Arthur Rose is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in English Studies at Durham University, UK, where he is an affiliate of the Wellcome Trust Funded Life of Breath Project. Previous publications include Literary Cynics: Borges, Beckett, Coetzee (2017) and, with Michael J. Kelly, Theories of History: History Read across the Humanities (2018)

Stefanie Heine is a Postdoctoral Fellow (SNF Postdoc.Mobility) at the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Visible Words and Chromatic Pulse. Virginia Woolf’s Writing, Impressionist Painting, Maurice Blanchot’s Image (2014).

Naya Tsentourou is Lecturer in Early Modern Literature at the University of Exeter, Penryn. She is the author of Milton and the Early Modern Culture of Devotion: Bodies at Prayer (2017) and has co-edited, with Lucia Nigri, Forms of Hypocrisy in Early Modern England (2017).

Corinne Saunders is Professor of Medieval Literature and Co-Director of the Institute of Medical Humanities, Durham University.  Her publications include Magic and the Supernatural in Medieval English Romance (2010) and (co-edited with Carolyne Larrington and Frank Brandsma) Emotions in Medieval Arthurian Literature: Body, Mind, Voice (2015).

Peter Garratt is Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies at Durham University.  His publications include Victorian Empiricism (2010) and The Cognitive Humanities: Embodied Mind in Literature and Culture (2016). A forthcoming volume, Distributed Cognition from Victorian Culture to Modernism, co-edited with Miranda Anderson and Mark Sprevak, will be published in late 2018.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Reading Breath in Literature
  • Authors Arthur Rose
    Stefanie Heine
    Naya Tsentourou
    Corinne Saunders
    Peter Garratt
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • License CC BY
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-99947-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-99948-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 134
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Fiction
    Poetry and Poetics
    Literary Theory
  • Buy this book on publisher's site