Berthold Auerbach; Fredrika Bremer; Selma Lagerlöf; Henryk Sienkiwicz
Berthold Auerbach; Fredrika Bremer; Selma Lagerlöf; Henryk Sienkiwicz

European Local Colour Fiction in Transnational Contexts, 1830-1914

Redefining the Region, subproject 4
2020 until 2023
Project member(s)
Project type

The project European Local Colour Fiction in Transnational Contexts, 1830-1914 explores the trajectories of travel and translation of a selection of British, Irish, French, and Italian “regional” or “local-colour” texts, analysing nineteenth-century transnational networks and institutions that facilitated their circulation and reception. The project looks at these texts’ translation history, reviews in European periodicals, and engagement with wider European trends in fiction such as the multifaceted social realism (e.g., condition-of-England novels, French Naturalisme, and Italian Verismo). The project also examines writers’ and translators’ transnational networks and travelling experiences in Europe.

Some of the key research questions which form the base of this project include:

  • What is European regional or local-colour fiction and how does it compare with other literary genres such as condition-of-England novels, sentimental social fiction, the pastoral, Irish national tales, American regionalism (among others)?
  • How do these works engage in critical debates on nineteenth-century literary trends such as the multifarious expressions of literary realism across Europe?
  • What are the transnational contexts—institutions, publishers, periodicals, salons, editors, translators—which facilitated the circulation and reception of these texts outside their own national boundaries into other European countries?

The project will present selected case-studies which simultaneously highlight the issues of genre and transnationalism outlined above. Case-studies include, among others: the reception of Scottish “Kailyard” writers in Europe and competing publishers of local-colour fiction in the 1890s; Irish and Scottish women writers of local colour fiction and transnational sentimental communities; the reception and translation history of French and Italian regionalist writers in England; Irish local colour fiction in British and European periodical reviews.

This project is part of the main project Redefining the Region - The Transnational Dimensions of Local Colour (P.I. Prof. Marguérite Corporaal).


Bruna, Giulia. “Ian Maclaren’s Scottish Local-Colour Fiction in Transnational Contexts: Networks of Reception, Circulation, and Translation in the United States and Europe.” Translation and Literature, Vol. 30, n. 3 (November 2021): 307-331.