© 2007

Scandalous Fictions

The Twentieth-Century Novel in the Public Sphere

  • Jago Morrison
  • Susan Watkins

About this book


This study re-examines the twentieth-century novel as a form shaped by its problematic, often scandalous relation to the public sphere. Discussing ten texts against the challenges of their milieus, it considers twentieth-century fiction as a tradition of transgression, perennially caught between license and licentiousness, erudition and sedition.


David Herbert Lawrence fiction law novel

Editors and affiliations

  • Jago Morrison
    • 1
  • Susan Watkins
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ChichesterUK
  2. 2.School of Cultural StudiesLeeds Metropolitan UniversityUK

About the editors

FIONA BECKET Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Leeds University, UK KAI EASTON Currently Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in English, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa R.J. ELLIS Head of English and American Studies, University of Birmingham, UK SEAN LATHAM Associate Professor of English, University of Tulsa, USA MARILYN MOBLEY MCKENZIE Associate Provost for Education Programs and Associate Professor of English, George Mason University in Fairfax, USA SHAILJA SHARMA Associate Professor of English, DePaul University, USA JAMES SMETHURST Associate Professor, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, USA SUE VICE Professor of English Literature, University of Sheffield, UK.

Bibliographic information


'Scandalous Fictions is a deliberately unsettling yet highly readable collection of essays. It asks readers to reconsider what they think they know about ten much-discussed texts, chosen precisely because they have been much discussed. Between them, these books have been accused of blasphemy, obscenity, imposture, libel, licentiousness, sedition, and racism; yet, until now, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the ways in which such literary scandals are produced. This important book offers fresh and exciting perspectives on the acts of public misreading, censorship, and appropriation which result in scandalous fictions.' - Faye Hammill, Senior Lecturer in English, Cardiff University, UK

'This stimulating collection of essays addresses a number of compelling questions about the relationship between fiction and the public sphere. Focusing on scandalous texts which have provoked public fury and in some cases legal action, the contributors explore the implications of the breaching of textual boundaries between the aesthetic and the religious, the literary and the juridical, the fictive and the pornographic. In its range and scope and its attention to transnational literature, Scandalous Fictions offers a timely reminder of the culturally productive power of this most hybrid of forms.' - Professor Clare Hanson, University of Southampton, UK

'The short, bold and powerfully written chapters raise a multitude of connections and questions which resonate at the end of the collection, beyond the novels innovative and thought-provoking re-reading of many familiar texts.' Women: A Cultural Review