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In this ambitious and exciting work Richard Maxwell uses nineteenth century urban fiction- particularly the novels of Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens- to define a greater genre, the novel of urban mysteries. His title comes from the "mystery mania" that captured both sides of the channel.
In The Mysteries of Paris and London Maxwell employs a sweeping vision of the nineteenth century and a formidable grasp of both popular culture and high culture to decode popular mysteries of the era and to reveal man's evolving consiousness of the city. His style is elegant and lucid.
It is a book for anyone curious about the fortunes of the novel in the nineteenth century, the cultural history of that period, particularly in France and England,
the relations between art and literature, or the power of the written word to produce and present social knowledge.
Richard Maxwell is Associate Professor of English at Valparaiso University and has had numerous essays published in scholarly journals.
|Works Frequently Cited|
|1||Allegory and City Life||3|
|2||The Labyrinths of Notre-Dame||25|
|II||Figures and Stories||59|
|3||Ainsworth's Revelations: Failed Narrative||61|
|4||Knotting the Maze in Oliver Twist||72|
|5||Creating the Crowd in The Old Curiosity Shop||96|
|6||Repeating the Singular in Martin Chuzzlewit||126|
|III||Figures and Heroes||151|
|7||The Hunchback of Saint Dunstan-in-the-West: Failed Heroism||153|
|8||Mystery and Revelation in Bleak House||160|
|9||Mystery and Revelation in Les Miserables||191|
|IV||Figures and Knowledge||225|
|10||Meryon's Hybrid Monster: Failed Knowledge||227|
|11||Dickens's Arabian Nights||240|
|V||Writing in the Depths||289|
|13||The City and the Cosmos, or, Digging Your Own Grave||291|