Introduction: Literature and Labour

  • Marcus Waithe
  • Claire White
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


The Introduction describes the conceptual and historical issues that frame the book’s investigation into the relationship between labour and literature in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain and France. It considers what might be gained from this specifically cross-cultural approach, as well as how the respective contexts of British and French politics, culture, and industry inflect the book’s central questions. This wide-ranging discussion takes in key theoretical and critical reference points, as it explores the economic, political, ethical, and personal ambitions and anxieties that underpinned the association of literature and labour in this period.


Britain Class France Gender Idleness Isaac D’Israeli La Bruyère Revolution Roland Barthes Work ethic 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcus Waithe
    • 1
  • Claire White
    • 2
  1. 1.Magdalene CollegeUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Girton CollegeUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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