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Publisher: AMS Press, Inc
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: PR161, PR931, PR3991
The New Humour of the 1890s was often depicted as a mania or disease attacking unreflecting or susceptible readers. However like the figure of the New Woman (which it often attacked), New Humour both incurred and resisted simplistic definitions.\ud \ud As the most successful of the New Humourists Jerome K. Jerome was uniquely placed to exploit the ambivalent status of fin de siècle comic fiction. His weekly journalTo-day adroitly responds to press attacks, notably through provocative suggestions that he and his contributors are writing in the tradition of Dickens. Inviting readers to see themselves as loyal members of a club, Jerome surely had Household Words in mind when he said of To-day, ‘there can be few journals that have established so close and intimate a relationship with their readers.’ \ud \ud In Jerome’s account it is not the quality of modern fiction, but the snobbery of the critics themselves that is ‘making literature ridiculous’. Nonetheless his writing from these years shows him asking serious questions about the relationship of a writer to his published work, while conflicted feelings about his own literary status haunt his fin de siècle writing.
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    • Burgin, G. B. Memoirs of a Clubman. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1922.
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    • Humpherys, Anne. 'Putting Women in the Boat in The Idler (1892-1898) and TO-DAY (1893-1897).' 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 1 (2005), 1-22, p.8. www.19.bbk.ac.uk, accessed 26 July 2013.
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    • --. Letter to Robert Donald. [August] 1914. Berg Collection, New York Public Library.
    • --. My Life and Times. London: Folio Society, 1992.
    • --. On the Stage and Off: the brief career of a would-be-actor (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1991).
    • Kernahan, Coulson. Celebrities: Little Stories About Famous Folk. London: Hutchinson 1923.
    • Lang, Andrew. 'The New Humour'. 'At the sign of the ship'. Longman's. 1 October 1891. 660-666. Proquest 1304451970. Accessed 24 September 2013.
    • 'Lecture by Canon Ainger'.The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post. 5 November 1892. Gale Document Number: BB3206868755
    • Pain, Barry. 'If he had lived TO-DAY. A specimen of the New Criticism'. TO-DAY. 23 December 1893, p.10.
    • --'The Editor'. TO-DAY. 13 June 1896. 192.
    • -- 'Men I have murdered. William Gorlsford'. TO-DAY. 10 March 1894. 152. Reprinted from the Granta.
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