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A Companion to Sensation Fiction

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9558-4
680 pages
July 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Sensation Fiction (1405195584) cover image
This comprehensive collection offers a complete introduction to one of the most popular literary forms of the Victorian period, its key authors and works, its major themes, and its lasting legacy.
  • Places key authors and novels in their cultural and historical context
  • Includes studies of major topics such as race, gender, melodrama, theatre, poetry, realism in fiction, and connections to other art forms
  • Contributions from top international scholars approach an important literary genre from a range of perspectives
  • Offers both a pre and post-history of the genre to situate it in the larger tradition of Victorian publishing and literature
  • Incorporates coverage of traditional research and cutting-edge contemporary scholarship

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Notes on Contributors ix

Introduction 1
Pamela K. Gilbert

Part I: Before Sensation, 1830–1860 11

1 "The Aristocracy and Upholstery": The Silver Fork Novel 13
Ellen Miller Casey

2 Newgate Novels 26
Edward Jacobs and Manuela Mourão

3 "Literature of the Kitchen": Cheap Serial Fiction of the 1840s and 1850s 38
Andrew King

4 Melodrama 54
Rohan McWilliam

5 Sensation Theater 67
Heidi J. Holder

6 Gothic 81
Patrick R. O'Malley

7 Realism and Sensation Fiction 94
Daniel Brown

8 Poetry and Sensation 107
Kirstie Blair

Part II: Reading Individual Authors and Texts, 1860–1880 121

9 Mary Elizabeth Braddon 123
Lyn Pykett

10 Lady Audley's Secret: How Does She Do It? Sensation Fiction's Technologically Minded Villainesses 134
Louise Lee

11 "Going in a little for the subjective": Textual and Moral Performance in The Doctor's Wife 147
Richard Nemesvari

12 Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Aurora Floyd 160
Amy J. Robinson

13 Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Joshua Haggard's Daughter 172
Anne-Marie Beller

14 Wilkie Collins and Risk 184
Daniel Martin

15 The Woman in White and the New Sensation 196
Elizabeth Langland

16 Opium, Alcohol, and Tobacco: The Substances of Memory in The Moonstone 208
Susan Zieger

17 Ouida 220
Jane Jordan

18 Under Two Flags 232
Natalie Schroeder and Ronald A. Schroeder

19 Ellen (Mrs. Henry) Wood 244
Andrew Mangham

20 Mrs. Henry Wood, East Lynne 257
Marlene Tromp

21 Sheridan Le Fanu 269
Anna Maria Jones

22 Rhoda Broughton 281
Tamar Heller

23 Charles Reade 293
Tom Bragg

24 Ideologically Challenging: Florence Marryat and Sensation Fiction 306
Greta Depledge

25 Edmund Hodgson Yates 319
Andrew Radford

26 Sensational Variations on the Domestic Romance: Charlotte M. Brame and Mary Cecil Hay in the Family Herald 332
Graham Law

27 Amelia B. Edwards 349
Anne-Marie Beller

28 Dora Russell 361
Janice M. Allan

29 Short Fiction 374
Brittany Roberts

Part III: Topics in Scholarship 387

30 Critical Responses to Sensation 389
Deborah Wynne

31 Gender and Sensation 401
Emily Allen

32 Queer Sensation 414
Ross G. Forman

33 Class and Race in Sensation Fiction 430
Patrick Brantlinger

34 The Empire and Sensation 442
Lillian Nayder

35 Sensation Fiction and Religion 455
Mark Knight

36 Sensation and Science 466
Susan David Bernstein

37 Medicine and Sensation 481
Meegan Kennedy

38 Disability in Victorian Sensation Fiction 493
Martha Stoddard Holmes and Mark Mossman

39 The Law and Sensation 507
Jane Jordan

40 Sensation and Detection 516
Heather Milton

41 "Come Buy, Come Buy": Sensation Fiction in the Context of Consumer and Commodity Culture 528
Kimberly Harrison

42 Sensation and Illustration 540
Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge

43 The Pre-Raphaelite Realism of the Sensation Novel 559
Sophia Andres

Part IV: After Sensation: Legacies 577

44 The Legacy of Sensation Fiction: Bodily Power in the New Woman Novel 579
Molly Youngkin

45 Corelli's Religious Trilogy: Barabbas, The Sorrows of Satan, and The Master-Christian 591
R. Brandon Kershner

46 Realism after Sensation: Meredith, Hardy, Gissing 603
Tabitha Sparks

47 Aestheticism and Sensation 614
Talia Schaffer

48 Neo-Victorian and Pastiche 627
Grace Moore

Index 639

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Pamela K. Gilbert is the Albert Brick Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Florida. She has published widely in the areas of Victorian literature, cultural studies and the history of medicine. Her books include Disease, Desire and the Body in Victorian Women’s Popular Novels (1997), Mapping the Victorian Social Body (2004), and Cholera and Nation (2008).
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"Mapping a field still in development, the volume succeeds in imagining exceptionally varied directions for future research, and in conveying an ardent sense of collaboration." (Victorian Studies, Summer 2013)

"All in all, A Companion to Sensation Fiction offers a vast critical panorama that covers almost all features and nuances of the sensational phenomenon, and also succeeds in offering clues for future approaches ... An indispensable addition to the ongoing debate on sensation fiction, and on Victorian culture at large.”  (Rivista di Studi Vittoriani, 1 August 2013)

"Students will find that the collection introduces new information - issues and approaches - in straightforward language; specialists will appreciate the work as both a reference on movements within sensation literature and a thoughtful blueprint for future work in the genre.”  (Choice, 1 February 2012)

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