The Idea of the Gentleman in the Victorian Novel: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Idea of the Gentleman in the Victorian Novel

1st Edition

By Robin Gilmour


198 pages

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First published in 1981, this book represents the first comprehensive examination of Victorian society’s preoccupation with the ‘notion of the gentleman’ and how this was reflected in the literature of the time. Starting with Addison and Lord Chesterfield, the author explores the influence of the gentlemanly ideal on the evolution of the English middle classes, and reveals its central part in the novels of Thackeray, Dickens and Trollope. Combining social and cultural analysis with literary criticism, this book provides new readings of Vanity Fair and Great Expectations, a fresh approach to Trollope, and a detailed account of the various streams that fed into the idea of the gentleman.

Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgements; Note on Main Texts; Introduction: The Idea of the Gentleman; 1 The Legacy from the Eighteenth Century 2 Thackeray and the Regency 3 The Mid-Century Context 4 Dickens and Great Expectations 5 Trollope and the Squires; Epilogue; Additional Bibliography; Index

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: The Nineteenth-Century Novel

This set of 42 volumes, originally published between 1965 and 2009, are authored by renowned international scholars in the field of nineteenth century literature. They explore a variety of authors such as Dickens, Hardy, Brontë, Austen, Gaskell, Zola, Meredith, Eliot, Gissing, Hawthorne, James and Wharton. The titles also examine a wide range of themes including gender, class, religion, politics, philosophy and music.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 19th Century
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General