Ruth Bernard Yeazell

Chace Family Professor of English

Address: LC 313
Phone: 203-432-2239
CV | Office hours

Ph.D., English Language and Literature, Yale University, 1971
M. Phil., English Language and Literature, Yale University, 1970
B. A., English, with High Honors, Swarthmore College, 1967

My research and teaching focus on the novel from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, though I also have strong interests in the history of gender and sexuality and —- more recently -- in the relations of literature to the visual arts. As a teacher and critic, I am concerned with the way fictional narratives both respond to and imaginatively transform their culture. I also enjoy writing on a variety of literary topics for a wider public in the London Review of Books. My most recent book concerns seventeenth-century Dutch painting as a model for literary realism and includes chapters on Balzac, George Eliot, Hardy and Proust, among other writers.


--Art of the Everyday: Dutch Painting and the Realist Novel (Princeton University Press, 2008, paperback ed., 2009)

--Harems of the Mind: Passages of Western Art and Literature (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)

--Fictions of Modesty: Women and Courtship in the English Novel (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991)

--ed., Sex, Politics, and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Novel (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986; paperback, 1990)

--The Death and Letters of Alice James, ed. with a biographical essay (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981; paperback, 1983; rpt. Boston: Exact Change Press, 1997)

--Language and Knowledge in the Late Novels of Henry James (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976; paperback, 1980)

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES: Victorian Novel (lecture); Jane Austen; Henry James and the Movies; Virginia Woolf; European Literary Tradition

GRADUATE COURSES: Clarissa and the Critics; Jane Austen and her Contemporaries; George Eliot and the Problem of Realism; Problems in Victorian Fiction; Dutch Painting and the Realist Novel; Hardy and his Contemporaries; Henry James, Novel Theory and Critical Practice, Novel Minds: The Representation of Consciousness from Austen to Woolf