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A New Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture

A New Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture

Herbert F. Tucker (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-62449-4 May 2014 Wiley-Blackwell 582 Pages


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The Victorian period was a time of rapid cultural change, which resulted in a huge and varied literary output. A New Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture offers experienced guidance to the literature of nineteenth-century Britain and its social and historical context. This revised and expanded edition comprises contributions from over 30 leading scholars who, approaching the Victorian epoch from different positions and traditions, delve into the unruly complexities of the Victorian imagination.

Divided into five parts, this new companion surveys seven decades of history before examining the keys phases in a Victorian life, the leading professions and walks of life, the major Victorian literary genres, and the way Victorians defined their persons, their homes, and their national identities. Important topics such as sexuality, denominational faith, social class, and global empire inform each chapter’s approach. Each chapter provides a comprehensive bibliography of established and emerging scholarship.

Notes on Contributors ix

Introduction xvi

PART ONE History in Focus 1

1 1832 3
Lawrence Poston

2 1851 19
Antony H. Harrison

3 1870 35
Linda K. Hughes

4 1897 52
Stephen Arata

PART TWO Passages of Life 67

5 Growing Up: Childhood 69
Claudia Nelson

6 Moving Out: Adolescence 82
Chris R. Vanden Bossche

7 Growing Old: Age 97
Teresa Mangum

8 Passing On: Death 110
Gerhard Joseph and Herbert F. Tucker

9 Victorian Sexualities 124
James Eli Adams

PART THREE Walks of Life 139

10 Clerical 141
Christine L. Krueger

11 Legal 156
Simon Petch and Jan-Melissa Schramm

12 Medical 172
Lawrence Rothfi eld

13 Military 186
John R. Reed

14 Educational 197
Thomas William Heyck

15 Administrative 216
Michael Hunt

16 Financial 230
Christina Crosby

17 Industrial 249
Herbert Sussman

18 Commercial 264
Jennifer Wicke

19 Artistic 284
Julie Codell

20 Spectacle 299
Joss Marsh

21 Publishing 312
Richard D. Altick and James Mussell

PART FOUR Kinds of Writing 331

22 Poetry 333
E. Warwick Slinn

23 Fiction 349
Hilary M. Schor

24 Drama 364
Alan Fischler

25 Life Writing 381
Timothy Peltason

26 Sage Writing 399
Linda H. Peterson

27 Historiography 414
Edward Adams

28 Literary Criticism 430
David E. Latané, Jr

PART FIVE Borders 447

29 Permeable Protections: The Working Life of Victorian Skin 449
Helena Michie

30 On the Parapets of Privacy 462
Karen Chase and Michael Levenson

31 “Then on the Shore of this Wide World”: The Victorian Nation and its Others 475
James Buzard

32 On the Neo-Victorian, Now and Then 493
Ann Heilmann and Mark Llewellyn

Index of Works Cited 507

General Subject Index 519