- xii, 233 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
- "From William Shakespeare to Jonathan Franzen, this book traces the cultural history of the idea of 'reconciliation' in literature, religion and politics. By tracing how remorse moved from being a spiritual experience built on Christian notions of forgiveness to a question of ethics, A Literary History of Reconciliation argues that this seemingly new model of reconciliation can in fact be traced to a change in perceptions in the sixteenth century. During the time of Shakespeare, literary authors began to suggest that remorse, originally an emotion felt by sinful humans before God, could be applied to relations between people. Drawing upon major works of Western literature and key moments in history, the book shows how remorse then grew into the dominant, but also deeply fraught, model for interpersonal reconciliation during the 18th and 19th centuries as reflected in the work of writers such as George Eliot, Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte and contemporary writers such as Marilynne Robinson and J. M. Coetzee"--Includes bibliographical references and index.