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Morrison releases new book

Morehead State Professor of English Dr. Ron Morrison recently published a new book that explores how environmental issues were discussed in Victorian literature. 

With co-editor Laurence W. Mazzeno (president emeritus, Alvernia University), Morrison has published “Victorian Environmental Nightmares” from Palgrave/Macmillan. 

The book includes essays by 12 scholars from the U.S., England and Australia that focus on the ways in which Victorian writers portrayed actual and imagined environmental catastrophes in the 19th Century.  The volume’s essays focus on a range of well-known Victorian writers, such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, H. G. Wells and Oscar Wilde, as well as a number of lesser-known Victorian writers.   

Included in the collection is Morrison’s essay on Frances Trollope, a Victorian novelist and travel writer who lived in America for over three years in the late 1820s and early 1830s and who describes her experiences in the Cincinnati area (including Northern Kentucky). Morrison and Mazzeno also co-authored the introduction to the volume. 

“This project is a natural extension of our earlier work in Victorian ecocriticism and animal studies,” Morrison explained. “As we completed the other projects, we were struck by the wide variety of ways in which Victorian writers responded to what they considered to be environmental crises. In particular, many of these writers turned to what might loosely be called fantastic literature—the Gothic, early science fiction, fairy tales—as well as more traditional genres. In 2019, these literary works and the critical analyses of these works by our contributors seem incredibly relevant. Larry and I are very pleased with the collection and are looking forward to reading the reviews in the coming months.” 

Morrison has taught at MSU since 1988. He was awarded the University’s Distinguished Researcher Award in 2004. He served as the University’s Faculty Regent from 2008 to 2014, and he is a former chair of the Faculty Senate. He is currently at work on a student-oriented handbook to the novels of Thomas Hardy, scheduled to appear next year from McFarland publishers. 

For more information on MSU’s Department of English, visit, email or call 606-783-9448.