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Much has been written about the Victorian novel, and for good reason. The cultural power it exerted (and, to some extent, still exerts) is beyond question. The Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel contributes substantially to this thriving scholarly field by offering new approaches to familiar topics (the novel and science, the Victorian Bildungroman) as well as essays on topics often overlooked (the novel and classics, the novel and the OED, the novel, and allusion). Manifesting the increasing interdisciplinarity of Victorian studies, its essays situate the novel within a complex network of relations (among, for instance, readers, editors, reviewers, and the novelists themselves; or among different cultural pressures - the religious, the commercial, the legal). The handbook's essays also build on recent bibliographic work of remarkable scope and detail, responding to the growing attention to print culture. With a detailed introduction and 36 newly commissioned chapters by leading and emerging scholars -- beginning with Peter Garside's examination of the early nineteenth-century novel and ending with two essays proposing the 'last Victorian novel' -- the handbook attends to the major themes in Victorian scholarship while at the same time creating new possibilities for further research. Balancing breadth and depth, the clearly-written, nonjargon -laden essays provide readers with overviews as well as original scholarship, an approach which will serve advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and established scholars. As the Victorians get further away from us, our versions of their culture and its novel inevitably change; this Handbook offers fresh explorations of the novel that teach us about this genre, its culture, and, by extension, our own.
Lisa Rodensky is the Barbara Morris Caspersen Associate Professor in the Humanities (2011-14) at Wellesley College. She is the author of The Crime in Mind: Criminal Responsibility and the Victorian Novel (2003) and the editor of Decadent Poetry from Wilde to Naidu (2006). Her essays have appeared in Victorian Literature and Culture and Essays in Criticism. She is currently at work on an analysis of the critical vocabulary of the nineteenth-century novel review.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Lisa Rodensky Beginnings. The Early Nineteenth-Century English Novel, 1820-1836, Peter Garside New Histories of English Literature and the Rise of the Novel, 1835-1859, William McKelvy Genre, Criticism and the Early Victorian Novel, Rebecca Edwards Newman Publishing, Reading, Reviewing, Quoting, Censoring. Publishing the Victorian Novel, Rachel Sagner Buurma The Victorian Novel and Its Readers, Debra Gettelman The Victorian Novel and the Reviews, Solveig C. Robinson The Victorian Novel and the OED, Lynda Mugglestone The Novel and Censorship in Late-Victorian England, BarbaraLeckie The Victorian Novel Elsewhere. Victorian Novels in France, Marie-Francoise Cachin Victorian Literature and Russian Culture: Translation, Reception, Influence, Affinity, Julie Buckler The Victorian Novel and America, Amanda Claybaugh Colonial India and Victorian Storytelling, Margery Sabin Technologies: Communication, Travel, Visual The Victorian Novel and Communication Networks, Richard Menke Technologies of Travel and the Victorian Novel, Alison Byerly Victorian Photography and the Novel, Jennifer Green-Lewis The Middle. Novels of the 1860s, Janice Carlisle Commerce, Work, Professions. Industrialism and the Victorian Novel, Evan Horwitz The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Money: Max Weber, Silas Marner, and the Victorian Novel, George Levine The Novel and the Professions, Jennifer Ruth Gentleman's Latin, Lady's Greek, Kenneth Haynes The Novel and Other Disciplines. The Victorian Novel and Science, Jonathan Smith The Victorian Novel and Medicine, Meegan Kennedy Naturalizing the Mind in the Victorian Novel: Consciousness in Wilkie Collins's Poor Miss Finch and Thomas Hardy's Woodlanders Two Case Studies, Suzy Anger The Victorian Novel and the Law, Jan-Melissa Schramm The Novel and Religion: Catholicism and Victorian Women's Novels, Patrick R. O'Malley The Victorian Novel and Horticulture, Lynn Voskuil The Victorian Novel and Theater, Emily Allen Poetry and Criticism. Verse Versus the Novel, James Najarian Poetic Allusion and the Novel, Philip Horne The Novelist as Critic, Christopher Ricks Distinguishing the Victorian Novel. The Moral Scope of the English Bildungsroman, Julia Prewitt Brown Three Matters of Style, Mark Lambert Endings. The Novel, its Critics, and the University: A New Beginning?, Anna Vaninskaya The Victorian Novel and the New Woman, Talia Schaffer The Last Victorian Novel Slapstick Noir: The Secret Agent Works the Victorian Novel, Rosemarie Bodenheimer The Quest of the Silver Fleece, by W. E. B. Du Bois, Daniel Hack