Change is terrifying, and rapid change, within a small amount of time, is destabilizing to any culture. England, under the tutelage of Queen Victoria, witnessed precipitous change the likes of which it had not encountered in generations. Wholesale swaths of the economy and the social structure underwent complete recalibration, through the hands of economic progress, industrial innovation, scientific discovery, and social cohesiveness. Faced with such change, Britons had to redefine the concept of work, belief, and even what it meant to be English. Victorians relied on many methods to attempt to release the steam from the anxieties incurred through change, and one of those methods was the horror story of everyday existence during an age of transition. This book is a study of how authors Elizabeth Gaskell, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë turned to horrifying representations of everyday reality to illustrate the psychological-traumatic terrors of an age of transition
Table of Contents
Chapter One: "If Ever I Saw Horror in the Human Face, It Was Then": Victorian Horror and the Terrifying Aesthetic of the Taboo in an Unstable World
Chapter Two: "The Monstrous Serpents of Smoke": The Hellscape of the Industrial Factory in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton and North and South and Victorian Fears of an Industrializing Economy
Chapter Three: Greeks, Freaks, and Raving Lunatics: The Monstrous World of Science in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights
Chapter Four: Hysterical Angels and Loud-Mouthed Hussies: Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and the Transformation of Gendered Voices in Victorian England
Carroll Clayton Savant holds a PhD in literary studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is an Associate Professor of English and teaches literature, composition, and humanities at Tarrant County College, where he has created classes on horror, science fiction, dystopian realities, and the voices of minority cultures. Savant has written and published extensively on the relationship between music and literature in Victorian society, primarily through the works of George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and George Gissing. His scholarship has appeared in The Victorian, The Victorian Web, and through the San Francisco State University Press and Salem Press. He is an academically trained musicologist with a background as a concert pianist and orchestral musician. His current research interests include the work of the Brownings, the history of the novel, and studying Steampunk cultures.