1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Victorian Literature

Edited By Dennis Denisoff, Talia Schaffer Copyright 2020
    552 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    552 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Companion to Victorian Literature offers 45 chapters by leading international scholars working with the most dynamic and influential political, cultural, and theoretical issues addressing Victorian literature today. Scholars and students will find this collection both useful and inspiring.

    Rigorously engaged with current scholarship that is both historically sensitive and theoretically informed, the Routledge Companion places the genres of the novel, poetry, and drama and issues of gender, social class, and race in conversation with subjects like ecology, colonialism, the Gothic, digital humanities, sexualities, disability, material culture, and animal studies.

    This guide is aimed at scholars who want to know the most significant critical approaches in Victorian studies, often written by the very scholars who helped found those fields. It addresses major theoretical movements such as narrative theory, formalism, historicism, and economic theory, as well as Victorian models of subjects such as anthropology, cognitive science, and religion. With its lists of key works, rich cross-referencing, extensive bibliographies, and explications of scholarly trajectories, the book is a crucial resource for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, while offering invaluable support to more seasoned scholars.


    Introduction: Our Victorian Companions – Dennis Denisoff

    Genres and Movements

    1. Poetry – Alison Chapman
    2. The Novel – Elsie Michie
    3. Short Forms: Serialization and Short Fiction – Susan David Bernstein
    4. Drama and Performance – Sharon Aronofsky Weltman
    5. Children’s Literature– Jessica Straley
    6. Life-Writing – Trev Broughton
    7. Gothic, Horror, and the Weird: Shifting Paradigms – Roger Luckhurst
    8. Sensation Scholarship – Pamela Gilbert
    9. Decadence and Aestheticism – Stefano Evangelista

    Media Histories

    1. Book History – Andrew Stauffer
    2. Victorianist Digital Humanities – Karen Bourrier
    3. Periodical Studies – Linda K. Hughes
    4. Material Culture – Deborah Lutz
    5. Popular Fiction and Culture – Nicholas Daly
    6. Radical Print Culture: From Chartism to Socialism – Ian Haywood
    7. Visual Culture – Kate Flint

    Victorian Discourses

    1. Victorianists and Their Reading – Rachel Buurma and Laura Heffernan
    2. Aesthetic Formalism – Rae Greiner
    3. Narrative Theory – Elaine Auyoung
    4. The Ethical Turn – Rebecca N. Mitchell
    5. The Future of Economic Criticisms Past – Supritha Rajan
    6. History/Historicism – Catherine Gallagher
    7. Liberalism and Citizenship – Helen Small

    Formulations of Identity

    1. Feminism and the Canon – Talia Schaffer
    2. Gender and Sexuality – Duc Dau
    3. New Women Writing – Molly Youngkin
    4. Disability Studies– Martha Stoddard Holmes
    5. The Concept of Class in Victorian Studies – Carolyn Betensky
    6. Race: Tracing the Contours of a Long Nineteenth Century – Irene Tucker
    7. The Emergence of Animal Studies – Martin Danahay and Deborah Denenholz Morse

    Science and Spirit

    1. Technology and Literature – Richard Menke
    2. Brain Science – Anne Stiles
    3. British Psychology in the Nineteenth Century – Suzanne Keen
    4. Anthropology and Classical Evolutionism – Kathy A. Psomiades
    5. Geology and Paleontology – Ralph O’Connor
    6. New Religions and Esotericism – Christine Ferguson
    7. Studies of Christianity and Judaism – Mark Knight

    Spatiality and Environment

    1. Domesticity – Melissa Valiska Gregory
    2. Regionalism and Provincialism: Where is the Local? – Mary Ellis Gibson
    3. Postcolonial - Sukanya Banerjee
    4. Travel Writing – Andrea Kaston Tange
    5. Settler Colonialism – Tamara Silvia Wagner
    6. Victorians in the Anthropocene – Jesse Oak Taylor
    7. Why Victorian Ecocriticism Matters – Lynn Voskuil
    8. Industry – Siobhan Carroll

    About the Contributors



    Dennis Denisoff is McFarlin Endowed Chair of English at the University of Tulsa. He is the author of, among other works, Aestheticism and Sexual Parody and Sexual Visuality from Literature to Film. He is the editor of Arthur Machen: Decadent and Occult Works and a special issue of Victorian Review on "Natural Environments," founding co-editor of The Yellow Nineties Online, and coeditor of Perennial Decay: On the Aesthetics and Politics of Decadence. He has recently published on sexuality, the occult, eco-spirituality, decadence, and the environmental humanities. He is currently editing a special issue of Victorian Literature and Culture on decadence and completing a monograph on decadent ecology and the new paganism (1860–1920).

    Talia Schaffer is Professor of English at Queens College and The Graduate Center at City University of New York. She is the author of Romance’s Rival, Novel Craft, and The Forgotten Female Aesthetes. She has edited Literature and Culture at the Fin de Siècle, a scholarly edition of Lucas Malet's 1901 novel, The History of Sir Richard Calmady, and co-edited Women and British Aestheticism as well as a special issue of Victorian Review, "Extending Families." Schaffer has published widely on Victorian familial and marital norms, feminist scholarship, disability studies, ethical readings, women writers, material culture, and popular fiction. She is completing a monograph on the feminist theory of "ethics of care" as a new way of thinking about social collectivity in Victorian fiction.