The Victorian Novel

The Victorian Novel

by Louis James
     
 

This inspiring survey challenges conventional ways of viewing the Victorian novel. The author explores the extremely varied and often experimental prose fiction of the period, paying attention to contemporary bestsellers as well as to major literary works. He reminds the reader that most Victorian novelists had their imaginations shaped not by High Victorianism,

Overview

This inspiring survey challenges conventional ways of viewing the Victorian novel. The author explores the extremely varied and often experimental prose fiction of the period, paying attention to contemporary bestsellers as well as to major literary works. He reminds the reader that most Victorian novelists had their imaginations shaped not by High Victorianism, but by the ideals and sensibility of the Romantic period, and suggests that their work therefore embodies a tension between idealism and a new materialist objectivity.

The volume is based on the premise that a broad understanding of the Victorian period powerfully assists our understanding of its prose fiction. For this reason, the author not only provides overviews of the historical and social contexts of the Victorian novel, but also considers its relationship to historical, religious and biographical writing. The literary achievements of major novelists receive individual entries, while a section on topics considers issues such as colonialism, scientific speculation, the psychic and the supernatural, and working class reading.

Written in an accessible style without critical jargon, this imaginative study restores a sense of vital originality to a major body of literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780631226277
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
01/23/2006
Series:
Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literature Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.91(w) x 9.84(h) x 0.59(d)

Meet the Author

Louis James’s writing reflects his interests in Victorian and postcolonial literature, and his main publications include Fiction for the Working Man 1830-50 (1963), Print and the People (1976) and Caribbean Writing in English (1999). After a much-travelled academic life he now lives with his wife and two cats near the University of Kent at Canterbury, where he is an Emeritus Professor of English.

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