A Companion to the Victorian Novel (Blackwell Companions to by Patrick Brantlinger, William Thesing

By Patrick Brantlinger, William Thesing

The spouse to the Victorian Novel offers contextual and significant information regarding the whole diversity of British fiction released among 1837 and 1901.

  • Provides contextual and demanding information regarding the total variety of British fiction released throughout the Victorian period.
  • Explains matters akin to Victorian religions, type constitution, and Darwinism to those that are strange with them.
  • Comprises unique, available chapters written by way of well known and rising students within the box of Victorian studies.
  • Ideal for college kids and researchers looking up to the moment insurance of contexts and traits, or as a kick off point for a survey course.

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Not surprisingly, then, a novel of only one or two volumes seemed to many artistically, morally, and socially radical – embodying the choice of “art” over “business,” the fidelity to ambiguous “truth” rather than the specious certainty that came of adhering to traditional beliefs, values, and fictional formulas. Gissing told a friend in 1885, “It is fine The Publishing World 27 to see how the old three-vol. tradition is being broken through . . Far more artistic, I think, is the . . method, of merely suggesting .

For some, Besant’s Society itself encouraged that mercenary approach to art by implying “that the end of literature was the making of money” (quoted in McDonald 1997: 33). Other writers, however, saw the situation quite differently, Arnold Bennett, for one, attacking the Gosse-like “tendency to disdain the public, and to appeal only to artists” (quoted in McDonald 1997: 93). The many novels about novelists published in this period bring to life these competing views. While, for example, New Grub Street depicts the popular novelist as an inauthentic, inartistic, and rather heartless panderer to popular ignorance and prejudice, Marie Corelli’s Sorrows of Satan (1895) attacks the presumptions of self-styled literary artists like Gissing himself.

Before that date London had only two tax-supported libraries, one of which was the Guildhall Library (founded 1828). The Glasgow Corporation did not begin to develop a library system until 1899, though the privately endowed Mitchell Library had been serving the city since 1877. The real burst of expansion came between 1886 and 1918, when library authorities in Britain mushroomed from 125 to 584, the majority of them assisted by grants from Andrew Carnegie. Yet even by 1911, they covered only 62 percent of England’s population, 50 percent of Scotland’s, 46 percent of Wales’s, and 28 percent of Ireland’s.

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A Companion to the Victorian Novel (Blackwell Companions to by Patrick Brantlinger, William Thesing
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