Often misunderstood, the study of utilitarianism and political economy in the context of Victorian literature has long been neglected in the field of cultural and Victorian studies. However, in her new book The Pleasures of Benthamism: Victorian Literature, Utility, Political Economy, Kathleen Blake seeks to rectify that neglect through what has been called the fullest range of New Economic Criticism in Victorian literature to-date. Blake employs an interdisciplinary approach in examining the changing economic times which a range of Victorian writers speak to in the style and ideas of their works.
Kathleen Blake is a Professor in English at the University of Washington. Her research covers a range of Victorian authors. Blake’s previous publications include Play, Games, and Sport: The Literary Works of Lewis Carroll (1974) and Love and the Woman Question in Victorian Literature: The Art of Self-Postponement (1983). She is also the editor of Approaches to Teaching George Eliot's Middlemarch and a contributor to The Cambridge Companion to George Eliot.