First published in 2005, this book argues that, due to political and ideological shifts in the last decades of the nineteenth century a new depiction of social class was possible in the English novel. Late-century writers such as Gissing, James, Hardy and Wells question the middle-class Victorian views of class that had dominated the novel for decades through the disruption of traditional novelistic conventions. With reference to relevant maps, journalism, artwork, photography and specific historical events, this book contextualizes novels by these writers within their historical moment. In doing so, it illuminates the relationship between fiction and history in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century fiction.
This book will be of interest to those studying late nineteenth-century literature and history.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. "We are the working classes": The London Poor in Gissing’s The Nether World 2. "Is this democracy to prove fatal to England?": International Terrorism, the Times and James’s The Princess Casamassima 3. "A cloud of moral hobgoblins": Gender, Morality and Class in Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles 4. "The splintering frame": Wells’s Tono-Bungay and Edwardian Class; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index