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Reading the Nineteenth-century Novel: Austen to Eliot

ISBN: 978-0-631-23143-1
232 pages
January 2008, ©2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Reading the Nineteenth-century Novel: Austen to Eliot (0631231439) cover image
From Jane Austen's Persuasion to George Eliot's Middlemarch, the nineteenth century marks the rise of the novel as the dominant form of Western literature. This engaging text offers readers a close analysis of novels that are uniquely representative of the time period, including the work of Austen, Eliot, Scott, Thackeray, Gaskell, Dickens, Trollope, Braddon, and the Bronte sisters.

An indispensable resource for students and teachers alike, this accessible guidebook:

* Places strong emphasis on the distinctive perspectives and discursive practices of narrators

* Provides in-depth analyses of individual passages

* Highlights the differences between the assumptions and experiences of the era in which the novels were written and those of the modern reader

* Draws key distinctions between novelists

* Explores significant theoretical approaches such as Foucauldian, Postcolonial, Bakhtinian and feminist criticism

* Offers an overview of the social, economic, and political change that influenced the fiction of the time.
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1 Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.

2 Waverley.

3 Wuthering Heights.

4 Jane Eyre.

5 Vanity Fair.

6 Mary Barton.

7 Bleak House.

8 The Warden and Barchester Towers.

9 Lady Audley's Secret.

10 Middlemarch.

Appendix: Free Indirect Discourse.


Further Reading.

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Harry E. Shaw has taught at Cornell University since 1978, where he has served as Director of the John S. Knight Writing Program, Chair of the Department of English, and Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Shaw's works include Narrating Reality: Austen, Scott, Eliot (2004) and The Forms of Historical Fiction: Sir Walter Scott and His Successors (1983). He edited Critical Essays on Sir Walter Scott: The Waverley Novels (1996).

Alison Case has taught at Williams College since 1991. She authored Plotting Women: Gender and Narration in the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Novel (1999).
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  • Offers a close analysis of major-nineteenth century novels including Persuasion, Middlemarch, The Heart of Midlothian, Vanity Fair, Mary Barton, Bleak House, The Warden, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre
  • Explores significant theoretical approaches, including Foucauldian, New Historicist, and Post-colonial criticism
  • Employs an “appreciative” model of criticism, sparking a renewed interest in engaging with Victorian aesthetics on its own terms
  • Provides an overview of the social, economic, and political change influenced by fiction of the time period
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"Case and Shaw can show students how to read attentively." (English, February 2010)

"Especially beneficial for the student or teacher of a course in the Victorian novel, this book offers short analytical synopses with easy-to-follow headings ... useful for a quick reference ... .The authors negate the image of the Victorian as 'stuffy, hidebound, and obsessed with propriety' ... .But what perhaps is most interesting is the focus on narrative voice.” (English Literature in Transition 1820-1920)

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