The Marriage of Minds: Reading Sympathy in the Victorian Marriage Plot

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Stanford University Press, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 231 pages
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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Contents

Reading Sympathy i
1
The Sympathetic Subjects
17
The Failure of Wuthering Heights
45
The Sensationalization
95
Anthony Trollope and the pleasures of Alienation
118
Afterword
145
Notes
151
Works Cited
201
Index
227
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Rachel Ablow is an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY, Buffalo. Her work has appeared in Dickens Studies Annual and Novel: A Forum on Fiction.

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