1st Edition

Strangers and the Enchantment of Space in Victorian Fiction, 1830–1865

By Kristen Pond Copyright 2024

    Tracing the origins of how we think about strangers to the Victorian period, Strangers and the Enchantment of Space in Victorian Fiction, 1830– 1865 explores the vital role strangers had in shaping social relations during the cultural transformations of the Industrial Revolution, transportation technologies, and globalization. While studies of nineteenth- century Britain tend to trace the rise of an aloof cosmopolitanism and distancing narrative strategies, this volume calls attention to the personalizing impulse in nineteenth- century literary form, investigating the deeply personal reflections on individual and national identities. In her book, Dr. Pond leads the reader through homes of the urban poor, wandering the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace, loitering in suburban neighborhoods, riding the railway, and touring a country estate. Readers will experience how the ordinary can be enchanting, and how the mundane can be unexpected, discovering a new way of thinking about strangers and their influence on our lives. Through an examination of the short and long fictional forms of Martineau, Dickens, Brontë, Gaskell, and Braddon, this study locates the figure of the stranger as a powerful topos in the story of Victorian literature and the ethics of social relations. This book will be ideal for those seeking to understand the dynamics of the stranger in Victorian fiction as a figure for understanding the changing dynamics of social relations in England in the early nineteenth century.

    Chapter 1: Introduction: Strangers, Enchantment, and Realism

    Chapter 2: Riding with Strangers: Railway Encounters in Victorian Fiction

    Chapter 3: Giving to Strangers: The Charitable Home Visit in Victorian Fiction

    Chapter Four: Living with Strangers: The Enchantment of Suburban Space

    Chapter 5: Touring with Strangers: The Country House and Victorian Fiction

    Works Cited


    Kristen Pond received her Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She is currently Associate Professor in English at Baylor University. Kristen has been awarded a fellowship from the NEH (2019), and faculty research leave (2018) and grant (2015) from Baylor University. She has numerous articles published in academic journals and books, including Nineteenth-Century Prose (2020), Victorian Periodicals Review (Spring 2020), The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing (2019), Dickens Studies Annual (2018), Studies in the Novel (2018), Studies in English Literature (2017), Victorian Review (2016), Brontë Studies (2016), Victorian Institute Journal (2015), Nineteenth-Century Literature (2014), Victorian Literature and Culture (2013).