Victorian Criticism of the Novel

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CUP Archive, Nov 7, 1985 - Literary Criticism - 258 pages
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By the end of the nineteenth century the novel unquestionably had become the most popular and influential of English literary forms. Yet it has not always been clear how the Victorians themselves regarded the nature of prose fiction. This volume is a collection of twelve 'landmark' essays that chart the development of English theories of fiction during the great age of the novel. Spanning the whole of the Victorian period, from Bulwer Lytton's 'On Art in Fiction' (1838) to Conrad's preface to The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' (1897), the volume also includes pieces by George Eliot, Henry James, Robert Louis Stevenson, and a number of the more important critics and reviewers of the time. The editors' introduction surveys the main issues, such as the debate between realism and romance, addressed by novel criticism throughout the period. Each of the selections that follow is set in its historical context by a prefatory essay and is fully annotated for the student. There is a helpful bibliography of further reading.
  

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Contents

Introductory essay i
11
Edward Bulwer Lytton 18031873
22
George Moir18oo187o
39
Archibald Alison 17921867
58
Anonymous
84
James Fitzjames Stephen 18291894
93
William Caldwell Roscoe 18231859
119
David Masson 18221907
148
George Eliot Marian Evans 18191880
159
George Henry Lewes 18171878
181
Henry James 18431916
193
The Art of Fiction 1884
213
Vernon Lee VioletPaget 18561935
223
Joseph Conrad 18571924
238
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256
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About the author (1985)

Edwin M. Eigner is Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. This is his fourth book. His "The Metaphysical Novel in England and America: Dickens, Bulwer, Hawthorne, Melville" (1978) was also published by the University of California Press.

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