© 2019

Charm in Literature from Classical to Modernism

Charmed Life


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Richard Beckman
    Pages 1-3
  3. Richard Beckman
    Pages 5-13
  4. Richard Beckman
    Pages 15-17
  5. Richard Beckman
    Pages 19-23
  6. Richard Beckman
    Pages 25-48
  7. Richard Beckman
    Pages 49-51
  8. Richard Beckman
    Pages 53-55
  9. Richard Beckman
    Pages 57-58
  10. Richard Beckman
    Pages 59-83
  11. Richard Beckman
    Pages 85-86
  12. Richard Beckman
    Pages 87-89
  13. Richard Beckman
    Pages 91-125
  14. Richard Beckman
    Pages 127-137
  15. Richard Beckman
    Pages 139-152
  16. Back Matter
    Pages 153-157

About this book


Charm in Literature from Classical to Modernism: Charmed Life discusses charm as both an emotional and aesthetic phenomenon. Beginning with the first appearance of literary charm in the Sirens episode of the Odyssey, Richard Beckman traces charm throughout canonical literature, examining the metamorphoses of charm through the millennia. The book examines the works of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Proust, Joyce, Mann, and others, considering the multiplicity of ways charm is defined, depicted, and utilized by authors. Positioning these poems, dramas, and novels as case studies, Beckman reveals the mercurial yet enduring connotations of charm.  


charm affect theory Homer Shakespeare Milton Romantic poetry Gaskell Joyce

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

About the authors

Richard Beckman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at Temple University, USA.  He is the author of Joyce’s Rare View: the Nature of Things in Finnegans Wake (2007), and has published numerous articles and essays in the James Joyce Quarterly and the Journal of Modern Literature

Bibliographic information


“This study is a wide-ranging, accessible, witty, and informed survey of charm in literature from Homer to the present. Every aspect is explored, including how charm may be faked. Because of its charm, it is an enjoyable and highly enlightening “read.” Given there are no serious definitive prior studies of the many writers embodying charm as an aesthetic phenomenon, Charm in Literature from Classical to Modernism  by Richard Beckman is wonderfully ground-breaking.” (Daniel T. O’Hara, Emeritus Professor of English, Temple University, USA, author of Virginia Woolf and the Modern Sublime: The Invisible Tribunal (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), and an editor of the Journal of Modern Literature)