Literature of the 1950s and 1960s

Edited by Alice Ferrebe and Tracy Hargreaves

Yearbook of English Studies 42

Modern Humanities Research Association

1 January 2012  •  252pp

ISBN: 978-1-907322-76-1 (paperback)

Access online: At JSTOR


The Yearbook of English Studies 2012 is devoted to the literature and wider culture of Britain in the 1950s and 1960s and is co-edited by Alice Ferrebe (Senior Lecturer in English at Liverpool John Moores University) and Tracy Hargreaves (Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Leeds). In this rich collection, the reader is invited to rediscover these decades as a time of cultural renegotiation and renewal. Insofar as such a critically undervalued period can be said to have a canon, the collection engages with it, reconsidering texts by an assortment of Angry Young Men, as well as the work of Anthony Burgess, John Fowles, Doris Lessing and Muriel Spark. Yet its debates range further, from experimental work like that of Samuel Beckett and B. S. Johnson, across popular and middle-brow writing by, for example, Len Deighton, Ian Fleming, and Rose Macaulay, and to neglected authors such as E. R. Braithwaite.

Most innovatively, this collection insists that literature should be allowed to speak at close quarters with contemporaneous productions in film, music, television and the fine arts, suggesting striking synergies in their modes of social critique and artistic experimentation. Moreover, it establishes the distinctiveness of these decades of cultural production by interrogating established critical perspectives and bringing to bear strikingly different theoretical lines of vision, most notably upon questions of race, gender, and social mobility. Ferrebe and Hargreaves have brought together a Yearbook which not only urges the reader to re-assess a formative period in the making of modern Britain but also compels us to reflect upon the continuities between these two decades and the political debates we have inherited in the twenty-first century.


Introduction: Literature of the 1950s and 1960s
Tracy Hargreaves, Alice Ferrebe
Putting England Back on Top? Ian Fleming, James Bond, and the Question of England
Christine Berberich
‘You're quite a gourmet, aren't you, Palmer?’ Masculinity and Food in the Spy Fiction of Len Deighton
Brian Baker
Humanist Drama in A Clockwork Orange
Charles Sumner
Lessons from London: E. R. Braithwaite and Black Writing in 1950s Britain
John McLeod
Young, Single, Disillusioned: The Screen Heroine in 1960s British Cinema
Melanie Bell
Already Seen? Look Back in Anger, Déjàvu, and Postmodern Historiography
Alice Ferrebe
‘Various pubs gave signs of life’: Of Drink and Time in Alan Sillitoe's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Lewis MacLeod
John Fowles's Novels of the 1950s and 1960s
Michelle Phillips Buchberger
‘Another world than this’: Muriel Spark's Postwar Investigations
Eluned Summers-Bremner
A Middlebrow Dame Commander: Rose Macaulay, the ‘Intellectual Aristocracy’, and The Towers of Trebizond
Melissa Sullivan
Much Ado about Nothing: Boredom, Banality, and Bathos in Late Henry Green and Early John Updike
David Brauner
‘…to find a form that accommodates the mess’: Truth Telling from Doris Lessing to B. S. Johnson
Tracy Hargreaves
Beckett's Audiobooks
Stephen Benson

Bibliography entry:

Ferrebe, Alice, and Tracy Hargreaves (eds), Literature of the 1950s and 1960s (= Yearbook of English Studies, 42.1 (2012))

First footnote reference: 35 Literature of the 1950s and 1960s, ed. by Alice Ferrebe and Tracy Hargreaves (= Yearbook of English Studies, 42.1 (2012)), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Ferrebe and Hargreaves, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Ferrebe, Alice, and Tracy Hargreaves (eds). 2012. Literature of the 1950s and 1960s (= Yearbook of English Studies, 42.1)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Ferrebe and Hargreaves 2012: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Ferrebe and Hargreaves 2012: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

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