Promising Language: Betrothal in Victorian Law and Fiction

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Overview

Argues that Victorian legal, linguistic, and cultural attitudes toward promises--especially promises to marry--had a formative effect on novels of the period.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The concept of promise as speech act, as social practice and legal contract, and as structural principle and topos is what interests Craig (English, State U. of New York-Albany). He explores how it lies as the intersection of such emerging 19th-century discourses as the science of language, utilitarian jurisprudence, and the aesthetics of the novel. Then he applies his thinking to several classic Victorian novels, among them , , , , and . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791444269
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Pages: 331
  • Product dimensions: 5.83 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword: Cross Your Fingers ...

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Promising: Language/Narrative/Law

1. Language and the Victorians

2. Victorian Promises

3. Legal Fictions: Narrating Breach of Promise

4. Engaging Lies in Jane Eyre

5. Right Speaking in Adam Bede

6. Promising Marriage in The Egoist

7. Questioning Rhetoric in Can You Forgive Her?

8. Dying Promises in The Wings of the Dove

Afterword: Cross Your Heart ...

Notes

Works Cited

Cases Cited

Index

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