Forms of Speech in Victorian Fiction examines how Victorian writers used dialogue in the presentation of characters and the relationships between them, and its contribution to the work as a whole. Quoting over a hundred novels of the period, including all the major authors, many fascinating topics are discussed. The book also looks at the conventions which governed the writing and circulation of fiction, imposing certain restraints on the novelists. It also relates the dialogue used in Victorian fiction to evidence from other sources about the actual speech of the period. This book will be of great value to those studying the social history of the period, as well as literature, and will appeal to the general reader interested in Victorian fiction.
1. Introduction : Speech in fiction. 2. Standard and non-standard speech. 3. Dialect. 4. Register. 5. Religious speech 6. Oaths and euphemisms. 7. Speech of women and children. 8. Class and occupational speech. 9. Allusion and quotation. 10. Conventions of fiction. 11. Opinions of authors and critics. 12. Victorian fiction and Victorian reality. Glossary of linguistic terms. Bibliography. Index.