Victorian Publishing and Mrs. Gaskell's Work

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University of Virginia Press, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 201 pages
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For much of her own century, Elizabeth Gaskell was recognized as a voice of Victorian convention—-the loyal wife, good mother, and respected writer—-a reputation that led to her steady decline in the view of twentieth-century literary critics. Recent scholars, however, have begun to recognize that Mrs. Gaskell's high standing in Victorian society allowed her to effect change in conventional ideology. Linda K. Hughes and Michael Lund focus this reevaluation on issues pertaining to the Victorian literary marketplace.

Victorian Publishing and Mrs. Gaskell's Work portrays an elusive and self-aware writer whose refusal to grant authority to a single perspective even while she recirculated the fundamental assumptions and debates of her era enabled her simultaneously to fulfill and deflect the expectations of the literary marketplace. While she wrote for money, producing periodical fiction, major novels, and nonfiction, Mrs. Gaskell was able to maintain a tone of warmth and empathy that allowed her to imagine multiple social and epistemological alternatives. Writing from within the established rubrics of gender, narrative, and publication format, she nevertheless performed important cultural work.

 

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Contents

Virgin Spaces
1
Standing in the CornhillAuthorial Voice
11
Mary Barton
35
TextualSexual Pleasure and Serial
96
Gaskells
124
the Construction of Mrs Gaskell
157
Notes
165
Bibliography
187
Index
195
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Linda K. Hughes is Addie Levy Professor of Literature at Texas Christian University.

Michael Lund is Professor of English at Longwood College. Together they are authors of The Victorian Serial (Virginia, 1991).

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