A Companion to the Victorian Novel

A Companion to the Victorian Novel

A Companion to the Victorian Novel

A Companion to the Victorian Novel

Synopsis

This reference is an introductory guide to the Victorian novel and its contexts. It examines the emergence of the Victorian novel and its literary precursors, with particular emphasis on serialization and syndication; it looks at significant social and cultural contexts surrounding the novel; it discusses various genres, such as ghost stories, the Gothic, and detective fiction; it introduces some of the period's most important novelists; and it surveys different critical approaches and their application to the study of 19th-century fiction.

Excerpt

In this reference work, a number of distinguished international scholars representing eclectic perspectives and different generations collaborate on an introductory guide to the Victorian novel, particularly in terms of the genre’s historical and cultural implications. The chapters in A Companion to the Victorian Novel offer fresh accounts of past, current, and new directions in our understanding of nineteenth-century fiction and its prodigious literary and cultural influence.

Deliberately flexible and self-consciously protean, A Companion to the Victorian Novel is divided into five sections. The first section, “Victorian Literary Contexts,” focuses upon the emergence of the Victorian novel and its literary precursors, with particular emphasis upon the growth of serialization and the development of novel syndication. In addition to addressing the evolution of the Victorian literary marketplace, the chapters in this section discuss the role of illustration in nineteenth-century fiction and the nature and scope of Victorian literacy.

The second section, “Victorian Cultural Contexts,” features chapters that explore a host of significant sociological and cultural facets of nineteenth-century British literature. Particular attention is devoted to the ways in which these cultural nuances ultimately shaped the course of Victorian fiction. The

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