The Nineteenth-Century Novel: Identities provides an ideal starting point for understanding gender in the novels of this period. It explores the place of fiction in constructing gender identity within society at large, considering Madame Bovary, Portrait of a Lady and The Woman in White. The book continues with a consideration of the novel at the fin de siecle, examining Dracula, The Awakening and Heart of Darkness.
These fascinating essays illuminate the ways in which the conventions of realism were disrupted as much by anxieties surrounding colonialism, decadence, degeneration and the 'New Woman' as by those new ideas about human psychology which heralded the advent of psychoanalysis.
The concepts which are crucial to the understanding of the literature and society of the nineteenth century are brilliantly explained and discussed in this essential volume.