The Victorian period was the age of the novel and critics at the time clearly saw the importance of prose fiction.
First published in 1993, this anthology contains over fifty original extracts from contemporary critics on the early and mid-Victorian novel. Arranged thematically, the volume covers such topics as literary form, the social responsibility of literature, issues of politics and gender, the influence of criticism, realism, plot and characterisation, imagination and creativity, and the office and social standing of the novelist. The introductions and notes draw together the large number of voices and guide the reader through the Victorian literary critical debate.
This accessible and invaluable guide will be of interest to those studying Victorian literature.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The age of the novel 2. Fiction with a purpose 3. Social, moral and religious judgements 4. Realism and idealism: the imitation of life 5. Plot and character: realism and sensationalism 6. The imagination and the creative process 7. The office of novelist; Further Reading