Fashioning the Silver Fork Novel: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Fashioning the Silver Fork Novel

1st Edition

By Cheryl A Wilson


224 pages

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Paperback: 9781138664548
pub: 2016-01-21
Hardback: 9781848932074
pub: 2012-06-01

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Fashion and celebrity may be twenty-first century obsessions, but they were also key concepts in Regency culture. Both celebrated and condemned for their popularity, silver fork novels were extremely prolific during this period. This study looks at the social and literary impact of this significant genre.


"Glimpses of the silver fork novel’s cultural prominence have surely produced a desire among critics for a wider, deeper view of this genre’s aesthetic qualities and ideological effects. Wilson’s book…inform[s] readers about a number of topics about which they need to know if they wish to make more specialized arguments about the silver fork novel’s contexts and influence. Wilson…explain[s]…how these novels and novelists banked on the reading public’s fascination with the apparently exclusive world of aristocratic society. She then moves on to make other parts of the genre legible to readers who might be unfamiliar with them. [The book] reflect[s] some of the critical trends that have characterized nineteenth-century studies over the past few decades—a more serious interest in marginal, non-canonical literary works; a move toward increasingly factual, less abstract accounts of literary history; and an attempt to recover the concrete mechanisms of literary production and reception." --Amanpal Garcha, The Ohio State University, Victorian Studies

About the Series

Literary Texts and the Popular Marketplace

In the past, the critics and writers who formulated the boundaries of the literary canon in British literature restricted its membership to ‘high culture’ and the ‘highbrow’. Writers whose work lies outside these selectively applied parameters of literary taste and value have been assigned to the derogatory category of ‘middlebrow’ or ‘popular’ literature. Some of these writers were rejected from the canon by their willing embrace of popular appeal, and their openness to a wide readership. Many texts were not included because they were written by women, addressed women’s concerns, or because they were concerned with middle- and working-class values and aspirations that were inimical to the literature of high culture. Other categories that have been disadvantaged by the institutional application of canonicity in British literary culture include regionality, the literature of impairment, political stance, and writers of colour.

This series offers monographs and edited collections of essays that examine the extents and effects of writing that resists the regulation of the canon. Crossing both cultural and geographic boundaries, this series brings together studies of texts, writers, readers, producers, and distributors. It will highlight current debates about the politics of mainstream readerships and media, about the designation of audiences and material methods of circulation, and will address contemporary critical concerns. By attending to how these texts resist the ‘high’ cultural imperative the works in this series make it possible to learn how culture is commodified for particular classes, and the role that gender and social class play in the production of those categories.

Manuscripts should be in the range of 80,000 to 100,000 words. Proposals should be eight to ten pages in length and should include a brief overview of the relevant scholarship in the field, the contribution which your work will make, a breakdown of the contents by chapter, an account of the number and type of illustrations, a brief survey of competing works, to whom the proposed book could be marketed, and the intended audience. Proposals should include a minimum of two sample chapters.

Please send all queries and proposals to the series editors, Kate Macdonald ( and Ann Rea (, for preliminary review.

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