Eavesdropping in the Novel from Austen to Proust

Synopsis

This study investigates human curiosity and its depiction in eavesdropping scenes in nineteenth-century English and French novels. Ann Gaylin sheds light on the social and psychological effects of the nineteenth-century rise of information technology and accelerated flow of information, as manifested in the anxieties about (and delight in) displays of private life and its secrets. She analyzes eavesdropping in Austen, Balzac, Collins, and Proust. This innovative study is of interest to scholars of nineteenth-century English and European literature.