Congratulations to Dr Marco Wan of the Faculty of Law at The University of Hong Kong, whose book, Masculinity and the Trials of Modern Fiction, was awarded the 2017 Penny Pether Prize of the Law, Literature, and Humanities Association of Australasia. The Prize honours the late Australian scholar Penny Pether, and is awarded to the work which has made “the most significant contribution to the field of Australasian law, literature and humanities”.
Nineteenth-century England and France are remembered for their active legal prosecution of literature, and this book examines the ways in which five novels were interpreted in the courtroom: Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Paul Bonnetain’s Charlot s’amuse, Henry Vizetelly’s English translation of Émile Zola’s La Terre, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness.
As the Association commended in the citation, “(the book) is an exceptionally meticulous and beautifully crafted text: alongside its contribution of the fields of law, literature, and masculinity and gender studies, Dr Wan prosecutes his case with clarity and authority, and with the pleasure of the reader in mind.”
Dr Marco Wan (left) and Professor Julia Kuehn, School of English at the Book Launch.