The Marriage of Minds: Reading Sympathy in the Victorian Marriage Plot
The Marriage of Minds examines the implications of the common Victorian claim that novel reading can achieve the psychic, ethical, and affective benefits also commonly associated with sympathy in married life. Through close readings of canonical texts in relation to the histories of sympathy, marriage, and reading, The Marriage of Minds begins to fill a long-standing gap between eighteenth-century philosophical notions of sympathy and twentieth-century psychoanalytic concepts of identification. It examines the wide variety of ways in which novels were understood to educate or reform readers in the mid-nineteenth century. Finally, it demonstrates how both the form of the Victorian novel and the experience supposed to result from that form were implicated in ongoing debates about the nature, purpose, and law of marriage.
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