Victorian Appropriations of Shakespeare: George Eliot, A.C. Swinburne, Robert Browning, and Charles Dickens


"Although many would contend that Shakespeare is generally employed as a conservative symbol, this book suggests instead that Shakespeare can be appropriated by both dominant and marginal groups. Sawyer provocatively argues that a single cultural context may produce diametrically opposed readings of the playwright, so at the same time that Shakespeare's cultural status may be used to subvert traditional ideas of politics and letters in George Eliot and A. C. Swinburne, it may also be used to promote more conservative policies and literary interpretations in other writers such as Robert Browning and Charles Dickens. By focusing on four important authors in the mid-Victorian period working in three different genres, this book illustrates how Shakespeare's authority continued to affect many authors during a time in history where a society is redefining itself in terms of gender, culture, subjectivity, and the family. More importantly, this work demonstrates how these nineteenth-century authors anticipate and influence contemporary interpretations of Shakespeare." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved