Cover image for A companion to the Victorian novel
A companion to the Victorian novel
Baker, William, 1944-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 445 pages ; 25 cm
Victorian novel emerges, 1800-1840 / Ian Duncan -- Periodicals and syndication / Graham Law -- Book publishing and the Victorian literary marketplace / Peter L. Shillingsburg -- Victorian illustrators and illustration / Lynn Alexander -- Nineteenth-century political novel / Julian Wolfreys -- Sociological contexts of Victorian fiction / M. Clare Loughlin-Chow -- Faith, religion, and the nineteenth-century novel / Nancy Cervetti -- Philosophy and the Victorian literary aesthetic / Martin Bidney -- Science and the scientist in Victorian fiction / Michael H. Whitworth -- Law and the Victorian novel / Elizabeth F. Judge -- Intoxication and the Victorian novel / Kathleen McCormack -- Ghosts and hauntings in the Victorian novel / Lucie J. Armitt -- Victorian gothic / Peter J. Kitson -- Victorian detective fiction / Lillian Nayder -- Victorian social problem novel / James G. Nelson -- Victorian sensation novel / Helen Debenham -- Victorian juvenilia / Christine Alexander -- Moving pictures : film and the representation of Victorian fictions / Todd F. Davis -- Religion in the novels of Charlotte and Anne Brontë / Marianne Thormählen -- Victorian professionalism and Charlotte Brontë's Villette / Russell Poole -- Charles Dickens / K.J. Fielding -- George Eliot : critical responses to Daniel Deronda / Nancy Henry -- George Eliot's reading revolution and the mythical school of criticism / William R. McKelvy -- Thomas Hardy / Edward Neill -- Vanities of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity fair / Juliet McMaster -- Anthony Trollope and "classic realism" / K.M. Newton -- George Meredith at the crossways / Margaret Harris -- "Not burying the one talent" : Mrs. Gaskell's life of duty / Barbara Quinn Schmidt -- Wilkie Collins's challenges to pre-Raphaelite gender constructs / Sophia Andres -- Postcolonial readings / Roslyn Jolly -- Feminist criticism and the nineteenth-century novel / Eileen Gillooly -- Otherness and identity in the Victorian novel / Michael Galchinsky.
Reading Level:
1510 Lexile.
Electronic Access:
Table of Contents
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR871 .C64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Victorian novels remain enormously popular today: some continue to be made into films, while authors such as Charles Dickens and George Eliot are firmly established in the canon and taught at all levels. These works have also attracted a great deal of critical attention, with much current scholarship examining the novel in relation to its historical, political, and cultural contexts. This reference book is an introductory guide to the Victorian novel, its background, and its legacy. Each chapter is written by an expert contributor and offers a fresh account of past, current, and new directions in scholarship.

The volume is divided into several broad sections, with chapters in each section treating more specialized topics. The first section looks at the emergence of the Victorian novel and its literary precursors, with particular emphasis on the growth of serialization and the development of the novel of syndication. The second explores significant social and cultural facets of nineteenth-century British literature, while the third discusses the principal features of different genres, such as ghost stories, the Gothic, detective fiction, the social problem novel, and contemporary film adaptations. Individual authors are examined in the fourth section, while the fifth overviews various critical approaches and their application to nineteenth-century fiction.

Author Notes

WILLIAM BAKER is Professor, Department of English, and Professor, University Libraries, at Northern Illinois University. He is the Editor of George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies , as well as the author or editor of such volumes as Harold Pinter (1973), George Eliot and Judaism (1975), The Libraries of George Eliot and G. H. Lewes (1981), F.R. Leavis and Q.D. Leavis: An Annotated Bibliography (1989), The Early History of the London Library (1992), The Letters of George Henry Lewes (1995, 1999), Literary Theories: A Case Study in Critical Performance (1996), and The Letters of Wilkie Collins (1999).

KENNETH WOMACK is Assistant Professor of English at Penn State Altoona. In addition to coauthoring Recent Work in Critical Theory, 1989-1995: An Annotated Bibliography (Greenwood, 1996) and Twentieth-Century Bibliography and Textual Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography (Greenwood, 2000), and coediting the Dictionary of Literary Biography's three-volume British Book Collectors and Bibliographers series (1997-1999), he has published numerous articles on twentieth-century British and American literature and film. He is editor of Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory , correspondent for the World Shakespeare Bibliography , and associate editor of George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies .

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Including sections on literary and cultural contexts, genres (e.g., motion pictures based on specific novels and juvenalia), major authors, and critical approaches, this compendium will be a useful research tool. The editors have gathered the work of 34 scholars, whose essays treat a wide range of subjects--sociology and social problems (e.g., drunkness), science, the gothic and supernatural, religion and philosophy, illustration and publication, contemporary critical approaches (e.g., deconstruction, gender, etc.), and much more. Individual chapters are devoted to major authors (Dickens, Thackeray, Eliot, the Brontes, Trollope, et al.) and almost all Victorian novelists are discussed (exceptions: Charlotte Yonge and Margaret Oliphant). The chapter on the economics of novel publication--circulating libraries, magazine serials, cheap editions, three-deckers--provides new insight into the plot convolutions and characterization of the novels. Each chapter has a solid bibliography of recent scholarship, mostly of the last 40 years, and the volume concludes with a master selected list. Though readers will want to supplement this in certain areas--e.g., in children's literature with Humphrey Carpenter's Secret Gardens (CH, Dec'85) and in homosexuality with Pages Passed from Hand to Hand, ed. by Mark Mitchell and David Leavitt (1997)--Baker and Womack's collection is a significant addition to the literature used by upper-division undergraduates through scholars. R. E. Wiehe emeritus, University of Massachusetts at Lowell

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
I Victorian Literary Contextsp. 1
The Victorian Novel Emerges, 1800-1840p. 3
Periodicals and Syndicationp. 15
Book Publishing and the Victorian Literary Marketplacep. 29
Victorian Illustrators and Illustrationp. 39
II Victorian Cultural Contextsp. 47
The Nineteenth-Century Political Novelp. 49
The Sociological Contexts of Victorian Fictionp. 69
Faith, Religion, and the Nineteenth-Century Novelp. 83
Philosophy and the Victorian Literary Aestheticp. 99
Science and the Scientist in Victorian Fictionp. 111
Law and the Victorian Novelp. 123
Works Cited and Selected Works for Further Readingp. 134
Intoxication and the Victorian Novelp. 137
III Victorian Genresp. 149
Ghosts and Hauntings in the Victorian Novelp. 151
The Victorian Gothicp. 163
Victorian Detective Fictionp. 177
Works Cited and Selected Works for Further Readingp. 187
The Victorian Social Problem Novelp. 189
The Victorian Sensation Novelp. 209
Victorian Juveniliap. 223
Moving Pictures: Film and the Representation of Victorian Fictionsp. 239
IV Major Authors of the Victorian Erap. 249
Religion in the Novels of Charlotte and Anne Brontëp. 251
Works Cited and Selected Works for Further Readingp. 260
Victorian Professionalism and Charlotte Brontë's Villettep. 263
Charles Dickensp. 275
Works Cited and Selected Works for Further Readingp. 281
George Eliot: Critical Responses to Daniel Derondap. 283
George Eliot's Reading Revolution and the Mythical School of Criticismp. 293
Works Cited and Selected Works for Further Readingp. 304
Thomas Hardyp. 307
The Vanities of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fairp. 319
Anthony Trollope and "classic Realism"p. 329
Works Cited and Selected Works for Further Readingp. 339
George Meredith at the Crosswaysp. 341
Not Burying the One Talent: Mrs. Gaskell's Life of Dutyp. 353
Wilkie Collins's Challenges to Pre-Raphaelite Gender Constructsp. 365
V Contemporary Critical Approaches to the Victorian Novelp. 377
Postcolonial Readingsp. 379
Works Cited and Selected Works for Further Readingp. 389
Feminist Criticism and the Nineteenth-Century Novelp. 391
Works Cited and Selected Works for Further Readingp. 401
Otherness and Identity in the Victorian Novelp. 403
Selected Bibliographyp. 421
Indexp. 427
About the Contributorsp. 439