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Front Matter Pages i-ix. Laurence W. Mazzeno, Ronald D. Pages Front Matter Pages Collecting the Live and the Skinned. Berlin: Ruff, Carin. He seems also he and his companions experienced while Weidmann. Aldhelm's Prose. Turnhout: his 65th Birthday , edited by Gernot R. Wieland, Brepols.

Arthur, Moreover, the verse Orchard, Vol. Lapidge was sity of Toronto Press. Anglo-Saxon Women and rum. I: Text and Translation. Oxford: the Church: Sharing a Common Fate. Orchard later showed how Aldhelm Szarmach, Paul E. Lapidge, Michael. London: Hambledon Press, Alexander of Ashby tiualis consists of two books, the second one The work was highly as well. Many have connected Aldhelm to Lapidge, Michael. Medievali 3rd ser. Verses from the Festial are quoted in development of the "hermeneutic" style of Alexander was the second prior of the small Lapidge, Michael.

The Anglo-Saxon Library. Though mainly Anglo-Saxon England The priory, dedicated to the translated. Lapidge, Michael, and Michael Herren. Aldhelm was regarded as the paradigm of Aldhelm: The Prose Works. Cambridge: D. John Leland, Various sources of the story were known in romances in the course of the twelfth century. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.

The first to be translated In the tenth century, Pseudo-Callisthenes alliterative poets. Two substantial fragments, Dinkova-Bruun, Greti. Dinkova-Bruun, Greti, ed. There is an Old English into a work now called Historia de preliis 1 1 Probably they were composed biensis Opera Poetica. In Corpus Christianorum History of the battles; 1 1 stands for "first in the southwest Midlands, but their dates version of this from the late ninth century, Continuatio Mediaevalis A.

Knowles, David, C. Brooke, and Vera C. After a historical introduction of London. The Heads of Religious Houses, all men to know. Leo and his lines on the kingship of Philip, drawn from England and Wales, 2nd ed. The Alexander portrayed by and his fathering of Alexander. The account Bestul, eds. Alexandri Essebiensis Opera Theologica. In translated again into Middle English in the and sentimental; but at the same time he is the text, which resumes with the taming of Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis fifteenth century. Bucephalus before breaking off after Turnhout: Brepols. The only extant text is copied into Russell , Josiah Cox.

Dictionary of Writers of century is known as Pseudo-Callisthenes der in post-Conquest England was the his notebook by the poet Nicolas Grimald Thirteenth-Century England Special Supplement since it was once believed to have been Anglo-Norman poem Le roman de toute in the s.

Alexander B is preserved in a No. London: Longmans. Through its Latin translations and richly illustrated of all the copies of the tions and corrections This was translated French Roman d'Alexandre. This manuscript Sharpe, Richard. When plished work, embedding several rhetorical Alixander" and copied lines describing bridge University Press.

The poet is nosophists - naked sages who ask Alexander hand of his son, Alexander throws him into a Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Alexander Perce and Pore of Ynde. And pe wondres his correspondence with Dindimus, king of Accessed December Indeed, like the ascetic Brahmans, whose peace-loving can only be ridden by the man who is to rule Mandeville's Travels, the Alexander stories life is so very different from his own.

The the whole world. In fact these episodes were Alexander Romances poison. The work was translated into Latin in tures. This was Confessio Amantis VI, No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, except as permitted by law. The right of Sian Echard and Robert Rouse to be identified as the authors of the editorial material in this work has been asserted in accordance with law.

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I Rouse, Robert Allen, editor. I Fay, Jacqueline A. I Rector,Geoff, editor. Fay, Helen Fulton, andGeoff Rector. It embodied the conflict between the wealthy aristocrat and the dispossessed. This could lead to distortion. Anna Clarke has shown how melodramatic conventions reshaped historical events into Radical myth. But, equally, melodrama was the expressive form protesting against the actual sufferings of the underprivileged in Victorian society, in particular as it became modified to deal with the concerns of the common people.

He was enjoying moderate success as a playwright before Pickwick Papers diverted his energies to the novel. As the Royal Shakespeare Company demonstrated in its stage show, an early work like Nicholas Nickleby is virtually a theatrical scenario awaiting production. But even here the use of melodrama is complex. Squeers is both comic and villainous. Melodrama, often criticized as simplistic and rigid, was in fact varied and fluid.

As he developed his novelistic skills, Dickens continued to experiment with the prose use of theatrical conventions. In Hard Times, Dickens was writing short instalments for his weekly magazine Household Words instead of his usual more leisurely monthly numbers, and his dramatic method becomes particularly concentrated.

The second book ends with a tableau in which Gradgrind attempts to hold his daughter Louisa in his arms, but she falls senseless at his feet. The next chapter is a reprise of this, only now Louisa embraces Sissy Jupe: In the innocence of her brave affection, and the brimming up of her old devoted spirit, the once deserted girl shone like a beautiful light upon the darkness of the other.

Louisa raised the hand that it might clasp her neck and join its fellow there.

Contexts for Criticism

Have compassion on my great need, and let me lay this head of mine upon a loving heart. Yet its theatricality invests each detail with iconographic meaning. In Oliver Twist Dickens argued that its violent transitions only appeared artificial when they were represented on the stage, but passed without remark when they occurred in common life ch.

He believed melodramatic plots, with their coincidences and intricate intrigues, were validated by experience, 48 See Peter Brooks, The Melodramatic Imagination , ch. Hereafter Melodramatic Imagination. Dramatic theorists like Henry Siddons related codified stage gesture and speech to innate human behaviour and to current social conventions. The formulae of melodrama codified and heightened reality, and gave it the form required for artistic expression. Scenes transcend speech into gesture.

Bulstrode and his wife Harriet sit side by side, sharing a truth they cannot speak. As early as Wylie Sypher argued that melodrama reflected the pervasive vision of the nineteenth century. While the eighteenth century interpreted the world in terms of balance and order, and the twentieth saw all truth as relative: 49 I am indebted to Michael Irwin for this example.

Victorian Literature and Culture – Renata Kobetts Miller, Ph.D.

Compare with H. To the nineteenth-century mind the very iron laws of science operate with melodramatic fatalism — the pressure of population against subsistence, the dynamics of supply and demand and the wages fund, the struggle for existence in nature red in tooth and claw, the unalterable majestic course of matter and force mythologized by Hardy and the biologist Haekel.

The world of melodrama. The province of melodrama has been extended to the development of psychology. See also John W. Melodrama, claimed Bentley, was the articulation of the subconscious, realized in sleep. In that respect melodrama is the Naturalism of the dream life. An exceptionally severe winter arouses associations of similar cold fifteen years earlier, a time when poverty drove Matthias to murder an itinerant Polish Jew for his gold.

In a dream Matthias is hypnotized into re-enacting his crime, and on waking is strangled to death mid-stage in an invisible noose. As melodrama moved inwards, its polarities of good and evil became the empty conventions that lived on in the stereotypes of hero and heroine in popular theatre and romance.

Lady Frances Horner, Time Remembered , pp. Oh dear! I will be too late! Through the century, revolutions in technology changed common concepts of time and space. It was gaslight, significantly used first in to increase working hours in factories, that first broke time away from the natural cycles of seasonal change.

Clock time itself was becoming set with ever-increasing precision. From meridian time superseded that of the sundial across England, and clocks were set to a standard according to the longitude. Bristol time was ten minutes before London, a difference maintained into the mid-century.

In , however, the electric telegraph brought uniform time across Britain, set from Greenwich. Bradshaw published his first Railway Map of Britain in , and it was the needs of the railways that launched the project of accurate, comprehensive ordinance survey mapping in Space and time had shaped the novel since Fielding wrote Tom Jones with a map and an almanac at his elbow, but both gained a new importance in the nineteenth-century novel.

Scientific method, which saw an accurate awareness of time as fundamental to the understanding of the material universe, and sociology, which applied organic principles to the evolution of human communities, emphasized immutable progression.

English Literature - Victorian Age: Social, Cultural, Political and Economic context

Novels were typically set back in time, not to evade temporal reality, but to fix it in an objective distance. In an imaginative universe overseen by the nonconformist conscience, misdeeds waited in the wings to reappear, in a flash of judgemental lightning, in the present. There were exceptions. But these gained point from being set against an unbending chronological structure.

The Victorian concept of time was related to its sense of space. He covered every inch of his native Scotland on foot. For him, each clump 55 Lewes, quoted in Shuttleworth, Eliot, p. Bakhtin, pp. But it was the rapid growth of the Victorian city, and in particular London, that was the seminal influence on the emergence of the Victorian novel, for it bound an infinite range of human possibilities within finite limits of time and space.

These conflicting narrative perspectives mark the evolution of a new form of urban fiction, at once fanciful and located in the actuality of the city streets. The rapid pace, variety and restless movement of the city became reflected in its literature. Its streets offered a changing panorama of contrasting dress, class, occupation and physical appearance. I am grateful to Kate Newey for this quotation. With its contrasts of wealth and poverty, London provided a social and moral map for the novelist. But London was also complex and evolving.

But following him down the hole, Alice finds time and place disintegrating in the nightmare of Victorian uncertainty and doubt. Jack Sheppard , which again combined the historical genre with criminal appeal, began his creative partnership with Cruikshank.

In his heyday, Ainsworth was compared to Scott, Dumas and Hugo, but although accurate in historical detail, he was weak on plot, characterization and dialogue. Walter Besant — Besant, although a prolific and varied author, is now remembered for his novels of London slum life. Modest and self-effacing, Besant conducted a lifelong campaign for the rights of authors, founding the Society of Authors in Deserted by her father, a feckless and philandering London solicitor, in , she supported her family by the then disreputable profession of touring actress.

Here she became fascinated by popular melodrama, and the form directed her first attempt at fiction, Three Times Dead , one of the first English detective novels. She met the publisher John Maxwell while revising the work for republication as The Trail of the Serpent, and moved in with him and his children, although she was unable to marry him until his first wife died, confined in an asylum, in This success was rivalled by Aurora Floyd —3 , a novel whose tempestuous, sexually aware heroine caused an even greater scandal than Lady Audley. In her later work she moved away from sensational writing to more serious engagement with social issues, and to satire.

From she edited and wrote for Belgravia and Temple Bar. From childhood the sisters and their younger brother Branwell, with barely four years between them, were driven to seek comfort in their own company and resources. With the early death of their mother, they were dominated by their Irish-born father, who brooded darkly on a disappointed academic career, and, after a traumatic education at a local school for the girls of clergy, by their intensely Calvinist Aunt Branwell.

They painted and sketched, fascinated by the reproductions of the cataclysmic panoramas of John Martin. Ultimately Charlotte and Branwell continued with the kingdom of Angria, while Emily and Anne created a separate world of Gondal. In adulthood, the imaginative vistas of this violent, anarchic juvenilia collided with the hard experience of the external world. Outside marriage, there were few outlets for middle-class young women other than teaching.

The school project failed. But she died the following year in pregnancy, aged The Professor, her first-written novel, was published posthumously in A tragic tale enlivened by the provocative, lively personality of the first-person narrator, it told of a passionate, romantic young woman, in love with a penniless soldier.

Broughton was a fast, prolific writer. The best of her novels, which became less provocative in her later work, included Red as a Rose is She and Belinda , which again return to the theme of a young woman marrying an older man. Her novels established a line of young, vivacious heroines, usually speaking in the first person, intellectually questing, and combining breathless conversational style with a web of literary references. They vigorously challenge the social attitudes and conventions of the period, comment on the economic restrictions of women, and dramatize the strains between romantic yearning and domestic responsibility.

Basil , in contrast, was an introspective, violent tale of sexual passion, duplicity and revenge. They are contrasted in temperament, but bonded together by a plot of murder and of contested inheritance, both manipulated by a demonic femme fatale, Lydia Gwylt. In spite of constant ill health, Collins remained creative for over thirty years. Both in his fiction and in his irregular domestic life, Collins flouted respectable conventions. Nervous attacks and overdoses of opium contributed to the imaginative intensity of his characteristically dark novels with their disturbing, eccentric characters and evocative settings.

It sold well and even attracted a favourable notice from Oscar Wilde. Although this proved the climax of her success, Corelli continued to write extravagant novels, of which the most popular were The Mighty Atom , an attack on secular education, and The Master Christian , an anti-Catholic account of the Second Coming. Written with scant regard for grammar, plotting or reason, exploiting the avid hunger for mystical, quasi-religious and pseudo-scientific fiction that was a feature of the last decades of the century, her work was phenomenally popular in England, and was translated into most European languages.

Establishing his brilliant career without the traditional advantages of class, money or higher education, he exemplified the new spirit behind the rise of nineteenth-century Britain, yet transcended his age, and remains a creative force to the present. Early careers in a legal office, and in journalism ranging from street crime to Parliamentary debates, gave him multiple insights into the stresses of a rapidly changing society, while his enthusiasm for the stage rooted his future writing in the energies of popular culture.

Pickwick Papers —7 began as text to accompany caricatures of cockney sportsmen. In Dickens married Catherine Hogarth amid intensifying pressures on his time. American Notes records a more mixed impression. His masterly analysis of self-interest, Martin Chuzzlewit —4 , was set partly in America, but although it contained the timeless characters of Mrs Gamp and Pecksniff, the novel proved relatively unpopular. David Copperfield —50 followed, whose gallery of vivid characters shows Dickens brilliantly humanizing the caricature method of his earlier work.

During these years his vision of England darkened. He flung himself into a sensational series of public readings from his books, gaining both financial and emotional rewards from his packed, enthusiastic audiences. Boffin the literary dustman and the onelegged ballad singer Silas Wegg provide comedy in the spirit of Pickwick.

Dickens never wrote two successive novels in the same vein. As leader of the Young England movement, he furthered his Utopian vision for England based on medieval chivalric ideals in a novel trilogy. In Sybil , the emblematic nun-like heroine comes together with the enlightened working-class Radical Walter Gerard to reconcile the ancestral and industrial worlds of the northern district of Marney. Towards the end of his life Disraeli wrote two popular but self-indulgent novels, Lothair , a romanticized Bildungsroman, and the partly autobiographical Endymion First attracting attention with The Sign of the Four , the popularity of Sherlock Holmes made his lodgings, the fictional B Baker Street, one of the most famous addresses in London.

Yet she never lost her roots in an artisan childhood as the daughter of a well-to-do land agent in rural Warwickshire. While the most intellectually accomplished of novelists, all her work reflects her early love of Sir Walter Scott, Wordsworth and the Romantics, and she was valued most by her readers for insights into the working of the common heart.

On the death of her father she entered London literary life in as effective editor and major contributor to The Westminster Review, the leading radical quarterly that brought her into contact with the prominent intellects of the day. From she scandalized contemporary society by living out of wedlock with the writer G. The Mill on the Floss reflects conflicts in her own childhood family in the tensions between Maggie Tulliver and her idolized but censorious and less intelligent brother Tom. Mr Tulliver loses the family home, Dorlcote Mill, through bankruptcy, creating a feud with the opposing lawyer, Wakem.

The parallel stories of the idealistic Dorothea Brooke and the young doctor Tertius Lydgate quickly established the novel as arguably the finest literary achievement of the century. Although it is now established as a major work, critics found the double plot unsatisfactory. Her last work, The Impression of Theophrastus Such , was a series of ironic, largely autobiographical sketches.

Shortly after marrying her much younger biographer, John Walter Cross, she died in But this does her scant justice. Her experience of both London and the north gave her an unusually broad perspective on English society. She had been brought up among Unitarians, a sect that shared the social concerns of the evangelical movement without its dogmatism. In , after a period in London, she married the Reverend William Gaskell, sharing his life as a Unitarian minister in a working-class area of Manchester.

Gaskell was now associating with the leading English and American writers of the day. Sylvia is caught between two suitors, the passionate harpooner Charley Kinraid and her morally obsessive shop assistant cousin Philip, who in order to win her hand treacherously conceals the fact that Kinraid has been press-ganged. Wives and Daughters —6 , her most ambitious novel, is set in Hollingford, a village community based on her childhood Knutsford.

Gaskell died suddenly, leaving the work unfinished but largely complete, in The intellectually precocious son of a pharmaceutical chemist in Wakefield, Yorkshire, Gissing studied classics and modern languages at Owens College, Manchester. He appeared set for a brilliant university career when in , aged 18, he fell desperately in love with Marianne Helen Harrison [Nell], an alcoholic young prostitute, and served imprisonment with hard labour for thieving to provide for her.

After a year in the United States hiding from his disgrace, he returned to Wakefield, where marriage to Nell failed after four years. This caught the notice of Frederic Harrison. In Demos he satirized contemporary socialist movements. Thyrza , an uncharacteristically idealistic story of a pure working-class girl in love with the son of a factory owner, followed. The Nether World was his darkest account of slum life.

At this time Gissing made another catastrophic marriage to a working-class girl, the mentally unstable Edith Alice Underwood. From he lived happily with the French intellectual Gabrielle Fleury, the translator of New Grub Street, and died in France shortly after the publication of his remarkable autobiographical reflections, Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft In , aged 19, Haggard was sent to South Africa, and stayed there for most of the next sixteen years. He was enthralled by a life of travelling, hunting and being a colonial administrator at a time of turbulent conflicts between British, Boers and Zulus.

When he returned to England with a wife and son at the start of the First Boer War in , he escaped the boredom of his legal studies by writing about his experiences. Its take on imperialism is ambivalent. Although his popularity waned in his later years, Haggard remained prolific, and sustained by his gifts as an instinctive storyteller, wrote over fifty novels. Other novelists had created imaginary landscapes for their novels, but Hardy, more than any novelist since Sir Walter Scott, grounded his fictional world on a living sense of the earth, of folk tradition and history.

Hardy is a great original, a novelist whose work both culminates and reacts against the achievement of the Victorian novel. While he shared the contemporary interest in realism and solidly realized his scenes and characters, he was hostile to materialism and his fiction is closer to poetry than to realist prose. Flouting the conventions of the well-made plot, he created some of the most compelling narratives in English fiction. Hardy was born the son of a stonemason and jobbing builder in the little Dorset hamlet of Higher Bockhampton, an environment virtually untouched by the railway and the outside world.

A sickly child, he spent his early years close to his family and neighbours, taking in a culture rich with folklore, country traditions and music. But city smoke affected his health, and in he returned home as an architect. But it was with Under the Greenwood Tree that Hardy found his true subject, the rural Dorset of his childhood. But Emma gave him invaluable support and stimulus as a writer. Tragic elements of misguided marriage, murder and death were set against an idyllic country setting, and the final marriage of the landowning Bathsheba Everdene to the faithful Gabriel Oak ended the novel on a warm, positive note.

But setting up a permanent home at Max Gate in Dorset brought new energy. Although he was now celebrated as an author, Hardy was increasingly out of sympathy with his age. Protests caused by its overt treatment of sexual passion and its attacks on orthodox Christianity, popular education and the institution of marriage drove Hardy to abandon writing fiction for poetry. Wessex Poems began a series of volumes of verse.

Teaching Nineteenth-Century Fiction

The Dynasts —8 was an ambitious verse drama partly based on the Napoleonic Wars. G[eorge] P[ayne] R[ainsford] James —60 G. Following a regime of writing rapidly four hours a day, he produced approximately one novel every nine months for most of his remaining life. His stories were based on his passionate belief in the values of chivalry, an ethos in which he anticipated Victorian interest in Arthurian legend, and which he expounded in The History of Chivalry 2nd edn, But James also prided himself on the historical accuracy of his stories, which he backed by extensive quotations from his sources, covering a wide variety of periods and topics.

However his novels, with their stereotyped characters and crude plotting, failed to survive the historical vogue that made them popular. As well as being a prolific author of histories and novels, James lived an active family, social and public life, lecturing and agitating for reform of the copyright laws. Cheap piracies of his work and legal complications brought financial difficulties that forced James and his family in to move, first to the United States, and then, with failing physical and mental health, to Venice, where he died as British consul. Henry James — Henry James is omitted from most studies of the Victorian novel because he was an American by birth and his work extends into the twentieth century.

However, it is hard to justify his total exclusion. If his attitudes appear those of an outsider, they were influenced by intellectual movements in continental Europe as much as by those in America — by Turgenev, Flaubert, Balzac, Zola and the Goncourt brothers as much as by Hawthorne, Poe and Melville. The first novels look at the world from an American perspective. Much of his best writings were short stories and novellas.

He then turned to journalism, in becoming a staple contributor to Punch. His ambitious satire on the worship of wealth, A Man Made of Money , proved too ingenious for most readers, who preferred his savage social critique contrasting the careers of two protagonists, one rich and one poor, The History of St Giles and St James —7. Geraldine E[ndsor] Jewsbury —80 Jewsbury, the daughter of a Manchester manufacturer, grew up a precocious child.

She studied Italian and French, which led to the admiration for George Sand that was to shape her fiction, and found her Calvinist faith undermined by her reading of science and metaphysics. Painfully aware that provincial society undervalued the intellectual ability of middle-class women, she moved to London, where she found kindred spirits in Jane and Thomas Carlyle.

The History of Two Lives , a novel that scandalized readers with its frank depiction of sexual passion and its controversial religious views. Maria Withers draws on her knowledge of industrial life in Manchester. Apart from her outspoken fiction, Geraldine Jewsbury made an important contribution to the development of the novel as an active reader for publishers Hurst and Blackett, and for Bentley.

She also reviewed an estimated 2, works, mostly novels, for The Athenaeum. Rector of Eversley in Hampshire from to , during the height of the Chartist agitation he became an ardent disciple of the Christian socialist F. His novel Yeast showed Tregarva, a radical Cornish gamekeeper, introducing the Cambridge graduate Lancelot Smith into the brutal sufferings of the rural poor. He becomes involved in physical force Chartism, and finds celebrity as a working-class poet. But Cambridge academia pressures him to reject his radicalism, while a Chartist leader attacks him for betraying the cause.

Catching a fever after witnessing the Chartist debacle of , he dies on a pilgrimage to seek new social vision in America. In Hypatia , a historical novel set in fifth-century Egypt, Philammon, a pagan ascetic turned Christian, meets the Neo-Platonist teacher Hypatia. But before she, too, can declare her conversion, corrupt monks brutally murder her as an infidel under a giant icon of Christ. Philammon enters a reformed monastery as abbot. Westward Ho! Hereward the Wake goes back to the years surrounding the Norman invasion of The boisterously physical Hereward, the embodiment of early British muscular prowess see above, p.

The princess Torfrida finally marries him and tames his unruly nature, preparing the way for his British successors to combine his primitive energy with the virtues of civilization. He was born in India, a country that shaped his imagination and sensibility. He returned there after education in England as a journalist, a profession that brought him into contact with a rich variety of racial and social types, and gave him both an outlet and the inspiration for much of his finest writing. His experimental early tales, mainly contributed to Dublin University Magazine, were collected as Ghost Stories and Tales of Mystery The successive deaths of his wife and mother in and respectively isolated the temperamentally reclusive Le Fanu, and drove him to find solace in the Gothic recesses of his imagination.

His best-known novel, Uncle Silas , uses the sensibility of its vulnerable young heroine, threatened by her murderous Uncle Silas, who is after her inheritance, to create a terrifying sense of menace. An aristocrat by birth, from boyhood he was precociously intelligent, yet with the conflicting selfconfidence and inner diffidence that continued into adulthood. Studious and never physically strong, educated at home under the eye of his smotheringly possessive mother, he nevertheless assumed a Byronic panache, and cut a dashing figure in Regency London.

The marriage was a disaster. Lytton was forced to write rapidly to survive, and the figure of the struggling outsider was to recur in his novels and plays. He found success with his second novel, Pelham , the progress of a world-weary dandy from a life of vanity to the assumption of responsibility. The work caught the spirit of the waning Regency, and launched a vogue for novels of fashionable life. He followed this success with Paul Clifford , the life of a high-spirited gentleman highwayman complete with criminal slang and racy songs, written partly as a protest against indiscriminate capital punishment.

Failing health took Lytton to Italy, from whence he returned with an all-time bestseller, The Last Days of Pompeii , and the politically inspired Rienzi By Lytton was also a successful dramatist and poet, and a central figure of the literary scene. His mannered style, which delighted his original readers, quickly dated, and other writers developed the genres that he had innovated.

Nevertheless, the Victorian novel owes much to Bulwer Lytton. His imagination drew him to German Romanticism, while a spirit of intellectual inquiry led him to take a university degree in science. His unorthodox views cut short a career in Congregational ministry. The Christian socialism of F. Maurice drew him to the Anglican Church, and he entered a career of miscellaneous journalism and editing. In Phantastes , a year-old boy travels through a hazardous dream world on a spiritual initiation into manhood.

Other works are realistic in approach. Robert Falconer describes the Calvinist community of Aberdeen that Macdonald knew as a child, a repressive world from which Falconer has to emancipate himself by becoming a doctor among the London poor. It is here, in a melodramatic coup, that he discovers the father who abandoned him in childhood. Sir Gibbie vividly portrays the struggles of a Scottish street urchin. His stories written for children are among his finest work. These include the visionary At the Back of the North Wind , which takes the son of a struggling London cabbie into the world on the other side of death, and his fairy fantasy The Princess and the Goblin Lewis, Charles Williams and J.

Frederick Marryat — Marryat came to novel writing after having served in the British navy with distinction from the ages of 14 to 32, rising to become post-Captain CB Companion of the Order of the Bath. Leaving the navy, he sought a literary career. From to he edited The Metropolitan Magazine, to which he contributed his own naval fiction.

These drew on the rich resources of his naval life. He wrote rapidly, drawing on stock plots, and his novels typically record the picaresque adventures of an eponymous foundling or lost heir in search of a father. Peter Simple is his most accomplished sea novel, handling with assurance the Bildungsroman of an innocent finding maturity in a life of action. Jacob Faithful, also published that year, is interesting for its account of sailing life on the Thames.

By the s, the naval novel was becoming worked out, and Marryat turned to writing for children, finding success with Masterman Ready , a family version of Robinson Crusoe, and Children of the New Forest , his most enduring work. Henty, Captain Mayne Reid and R. Ballantyne later in the century. Harriet Martineau —76 Harriet Martineau was educated largely at home, where, a precocious intellect, she voraciously studied economics, philosophy and literature. Faced with the failure of the family firm in , and her chances of marriage reduced by her deafness, she rejected the occupations of needlework and being a governess for writing.

Poor Laws and Paupers Illustrated —4 followed. Martineau became an advocate of the healing power of mesmerism. While a minor novelist herself, as an intellectual she played an important role in the world of ideas on which the Victorian novel thrived. His early life was unhappy. His marriage to Mary Ellen Nicholls went sour, a breakdown achingly explored in his sonnet sequence Modern Love , and his wife eloped with the painter Henry Wallis.

But Meredith was becoming independent of the need to write novels for a living. By Meredith was established in London as a respected man of letters. He remarried, and was elected to the Garrick Club. Emilia in England , reissued as Sandra Belloni in and its sequel Vittoria were set in England and Europe, reflecting his travels as a journalist.

Harry Richmond , one of his most popular novels, returned to the subject of the fraught relationship between father and son. His last three works, Diana of the Crossways , One of Our Conquerors and The Amazing Marriage , reflect his growing involvement in the feminist cause. He became President of the Society of Authors in His fiction embodied Darwinian views of social behaviour evolving from animal passions to intellectual and moral refinement. His work was widely respected, but only the late Diana of the Crossways, a novel made popular by its connection with the spirited Caroline Norton who had died in , enjoyed popular success.

His novelistic reputation was revived in the twentieth century by the Bloomsbury coterie of Virginia Woolf and E.

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He was educated in England, but on the death of his father moved to Paris, where he led a Bohemian life, and met Manet and Degas. These twin poles of artistry and realism were to direct his career. He returned to London in as a journalist, art critic and novelist. Both scandalized the bourgeois reading public with their uncompromising portrayal of sexual passion and the squalor of lower-class life, and were excluded from circulating libraries.

Mike Fletcher , the story of the dissolute life and suicide of an indigent London poet, was a partially successful return to the style of Zola. He continued to experiment with fictional form, relating literature to music in Evelyn Innes She was brought up in lowland Scotland and in Birkenhead, where she gained the insights into the nonconformist society shown in her remarkably mature first novel, Passages in the Life of Mrs Margaret Maitland , the work that made her name. While Salem Chapel has remained the best known of the series, critics have preferred Miss Marjoribanks, in which the imperious Lucilla tries to impose her views and tastes on her father and the village, but finally turns down a fashionable marriage to a newly elected MP in favour of her devoted cousin Tom.

As a child, she invented a French secret service identity for her frequently absent father. Ouida built on her popularity with the equally racy Chandos , in which the hedonistic but honourable aristocrat is the intended victim of his steward, John Trevenna, who, unknown to Chandos, is his envious bastard half-brother. She published over forty novels and short-story collections, including a vigorous satire on English high life, The Massarines Her ebullient style and preposterous plots won her a huge readership, but, careless with her copyrights and resistant to charity, she died in poverty.

He grew up obsessive and idealistic, a loner who never married and never settled comfortably into his society. With a background in academia and in law, he led a rootless life between Oxford and Paris before finding success collaborating with Tom Taylor in Masks and Faces , a comedy set in eighteenthcentury theatre land which formed the basis for his first novel, Peg Woffington But Reade was drawn to contemporary social issues. Reade himself considered Griffith Gaunt; or Jealousy , a novel campaigning against public hypocrisy in sexual matters, as his finest work, but it scandalized too many of his readers to prove popular.

At the height of his success he was one of the most widely read writers of his day, with a massive following in the United States and in Australia. But his work, which diverted fiction and drama towards gritty social concerns, has worn badly, too often remaining an undigested mix of documentation and melodrama. There he married Susannah Frances Pearson, herself a minor novelist. But the first of the many financial disasters that dogged his career struck.

He returned to England, and in was declared bankrupt. His industry was prodigious. Reynolds remains an invisible presence behind the middle-class urban novel. But his fiction, which caught the taste of the midVictorian popular reader, remains today largely locked in the age for which it was written. James Malcolm Rymer ? Reynolds, who wrote fiction for the massive but largely lost body of literature published at a penny an issue for the masses in the mid-Victorian period.

Rymer has been credited with over titles. He lived a secret Bohemian life, read widely and experimented with creative writing. An insatiable explorer, his first publications were travel books and essays, including Travels with a Donkey In spite of poverty and ill health, he pursued her to America and married her in But he had begun to show the symptoms of tuberculosis, and the couple began a life that was to be a constant search for a convalescent climate.

But Stevenson was never interested simply in excitement, and the darker forces within the self haunt all his work. Kidnapped was set in the aftermath of the Scottish rebellion and was based on an actual murder. The chase plot drove together two contrasting personalities, the pragmatic David Balfour, pursued by murderous kidnappers intent on his inheritance, and the romantic Alan Breck Stewart, a Jacobite rebel escaping the forces of the crown. The work related character to historical and geographical setting with an authenticity not achieved since the work of Scott. Catriona , its sequel, was relatively unsuccessful, but the period was used again for his adult novel, The Master of Ballantrae , a psychologically gripping tale of rivalry between two brothers who take different sides in the Jacobite uprising.

R[obert] S[mith] Surtees —64 Surtees, a comic novelist of the hunting life, began writing sporting journalism while in London in Durham, he became a public figure and never publicly acknowledged authorship of his roistering fiction. Hawbuck Grange was a loosely connected collection of hunting sketches, while Ask Mamma and Plain or Ringlets?

In Mr. The characters are thin and stereotypical, the men loud and vulgar, the women lacking in decorum. The narratives have little plot, and often betray their periodical origins. He began careers in law, art and journalism, but, unable to settle in any of them, lived a Bohemian life in Paris, squandered his inheritance, and married a penniless Irish girl who was later certified incurably insane.

He was forced to write for a living. Having experienced both wealth and adversity, Thackeray became an ambivalent observer of polite society. But in he had found the perfect channel for his talents in the newly founded Punch, for which he wrote a successful series republished as The Book of Snobs The Newcomes, a leisurely panorama of contemporary middle-class family life, followed in —5. The Virginians , the American sequel to Henry Esmond, was less successful. As editor of The Cornhill Magazine — , he launched the first and best of a new wave of illustrated, high-quality magazines, published monthly at a shilling.

Like Dickens, he came to novel writing through journalism.