Original, intelligent, fluent readings... Highly recommended.
A wholly original approach to the relation between law and literature, [Harm's Way] will change the way we think about and teach some of these canonical works of fiction.
Macpherson bears down intensely on several hard-won and difficult abstractions, including cause, intention, and meaning. To the degree to which we are accustomed to thinking through our most important literary-theoretical categories via a history of the novel, Harm's Way is a must read.
Macpherson presents a feminist argument of profound integrity and conviction. Harm's Way compels us to appreciate form not as an aesthetic or structural category but as a guarantor of justice, a way of attributing responsibility that, by divesting liability of mitigating intention, preserves the 'purely material' facticity of women's harm.
This is a most thoughtful and thought-provoking book. It puts most other attempts to rewrite Rise of the Novel to shame.
It is at once disturbing, exhilarating, and challenging. Where it succeeds, it dazzles, and where it falls short, it still demands, and deserves, our careful attention.
A thoughtful, innovative, and important study of eighteenth-century fiction.
Harm's Way is a tremendous achievement that advances the fields of eighteenth-century studies and novel studies in remarkable and exciting ways.
Two books have been written in the last decade that revise fundamentally our idea of fiction and its relation to civil society. Victoria Kahn's Wayward Contracts is one; this is the other. There have been many studies of the connection between law and literature, but none as finely calculated as Macpherson's for the eighteenth-century novel.
Introduction: Injuring Love
1. Matrimonial Murder
2. The Encroachments of Others
3. Fighting Men
4. The Rape of the Cock
Conclusion: Bad Form