A Companion to the Victorian Novel

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"The better half to the Victorian Novel" presents contextual and important information regarding the complete diversity of British fiction released among 1837 and 1901. offers contextual and significant information regarding the full diversity of British fiction released in the course of the Victorian interval. Explains matters equivalent to Victorian religions, category constitution, and Darwinism to those that are unexpected with them. includes unique, available chapters written by means of well known and rising students within the box of Victorian reviews. perfect for college students and researchers looking up to date assurance of contexts and tendencies, or as a place to begin for a survey direction.

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Extra resources for A Companion to the Victorian Novel

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There were golden days – poetry days. We learnt the “Inchcape Rock,” . . and Casabianca, and Brave Horatius, and so by degrees to the Master. I learnt whole scenes of Macbeth and Julius Caesar and Hamlet, and could – and did – recite them with gusto on every and any excuse. Nevertheless, not everyone was in favor of universal literacy. While liberal reformers argued that a well-read proletariat would be more productive and law-abiding, conservatives pointed to the threat of radical literature, and warned that penny dreadfuls were promoting juvenile crime.

As a result, novelists increasingly opted for one of three other types of contract. The first of these entailed leasing a copyright to a publisher for a certain time period or for certain specified editions. George Eliot, for example, turned down Smith, Elder’s offer of £10,000 for the copyright of Romola in favor of a £7,000 contract that returned the copyright to her after six years. A second type of contract required that publisher and author split any profits that accrued after the deduction of costs and a 5–10 percent publisher’s commission.

For readers, serialization made the reading of particular novels a collective experience of national and even international proportions – ensuring that a fictional event like the death of Little Nell was experienced nearly simultaneously by thousands of widely dispersed readers. The combination of serialization and three-volume publication also did much to give the Victorian novel its distinct shape. On the one hand, the length of the threedecker encouraged prolixity. As Gissing observed, the need to fill out three volumes, as much as the insistence upon moral certainty, inspired early and mid-Victorian novelists to write “with profusion and detail .

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