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The Ohio State University Press
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Wildly popular with Victorian readers, sensation fiction was condemned by most critics for scandalous content and formal features that deviated from respectable Victorian realism. Victorian Sensations is the first collection to examine sensation fiction as a whole, showing it to push genre boundaries and resist easy classification. Comprehensive in scope, this collection includes twenty original essays employing various critical approaches to cover a range of topics that will interest many readers. In addition to well-known novels such as The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins and Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, this volume addresses other works by Collins and Braddon as well as those of Sheridan Le Fanu, Rhoda Broughton, Charles Reade, Ellen (Mrs. Henry) Wood, and perhaps surprisingly, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. Sensation literature, once considered one-dimensionally as a vehicle for contrived, plot-driven stories of mystery and intrigue, is shown here as a multi-faceted formal and ideological hybrid. Essays are organized thematically into three sections: issues of genre; sensational representations of gender and sexuality; and the texts’ complex readings of diverse social and cultural phenomena such as class, race, and empire. The introduction reviews critical reception of sensation fiction to situate these new essays within a larger scholarly context. Victorian Sensations aims to further previous efforts to recognize sensation fiction as an integral part of Victorian literature and not as the subgenre that it has too long been considered. The collection’s broad scope indicates the breadth and complexity of the genre itself.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. Richard Fantina, Kimberly Harrison
  3. pp. ix-xxiv
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  1. Part 1. Sensation: Genre, Textuality, and Reception
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. 1. "Highly Flavoured Dishes" and "Highly Seasoned Garbage": Sensation in the Atheaeum
  2. ELLEN MILLER CASEY
  3. pp. 3-14
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  1. 2. "Judged by a Purely Literary Standard": Sensation Fiction, Horizons of Expectation, and the Generic Construction of Victorian Realism
  2. RICHARD NEMESVARI
  3. pp. 15-28
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  1. 3. Censoring Her Sensationalism: Mary Elizabeth Braddon and The Doctor's Wife
  2. CATHERINE J. GOLDEN
  3. pp. 29-40
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  1. 4. Mary Elizabeth Braddon and the "Combination Novel": The Subversion of Sensational Expectation in Vixen
  2. ALBERT C. SEARS
  3. pp. 41-52
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  1. 5. "Of All the Horrors. . . The Foulest and Most Cruel": Sensation and Dickens's Oliver Twist
  2. DIANA C. ARCHIBALD
  3. pp. 53-63
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  1. 6. Naturalism in Charles Reade's Experimental Novel, Griffith Gaunt
  2. DIANNA VITANZA
  3. pp. 64-73
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  1. 7. Swedenborg and the Disintegration of Language in Sheridan Le Fanu's Sensation Fiction
  2. DEVIN P. ZUBER
  3. pp. 74-84
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  1. Part 2. Sensational Representations of Corporeality, Gender, and Sexuality
  2. pp. 85-86
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  1. 8. "That Muddy, Polluted Flood of Earthly Love": Ambivalence about the Body in Rhoda Broughton's Not Wisely but Too Well
  2. TAMAR HELLER
  3. pp. 87-101
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  1. 9. Sensational Hair: Gender, Genre, and Fetishism in the Sensational Decade
  2. GALIA OFEK
  3. pp. 102-114
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  1. 10. "What Could I Do?": Nineteenth-Century Psychology and the Horrors of Masculinity in The Woman in White
  2. ANDREW MANGHAM
  3. pp. 115-125
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  1. 11. Chafing at the Social Cobwebs": Gender and Transgender in the Work of Charles Reade
  2. RICHARD FANTINA
  3. pp. 126-137
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  1. 12. Women Alone: Le Fanu's "Carmilla" and Rosetti's "Goblin Market"
  2. NANCY WELTER
  3. pp. 138-148
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  1. 13. One Sister's Surrender: Rivalry and Resistance in Rhoda Broughton's Cometh Up as a Flower
  2. LINDSEY FABER
  3. pp. 149-159
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  1. 14. "Personal Property at Her Disposal": Inheritance Law, the Single Woman, and The Moonstone
  2. JENNIFER A. SWARTZ
  3. pp. 160-170
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  1. Part 3. Class, Racial, and Cultural Contexts in the Sensation Novel and on the Stage
  2. pp. 171-172
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  1. 15. "I Will Not Live in Poverty and Neglect": East Lynne on the East End Stage
  2. ANDREW MAUNDER
  3. pp. 173-187
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  1. 16. "The Threshold of an Open Window": Transparency, Opacity, and Social Boundaries in Aurora Floyd
  2. LILLIAN NAYDER
  3. pp. 188-199
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  1. 17. Sensationalizing Victorian Suburbia: Wilkie Collins's Basil
  2. TAMARA S. WAGNER
  3. pp. 200-211
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  1. 18. Political Persuasion in Mary Braddon's The Octoroon; or, The Lily of Louisiana
  2. KIMBERLY HARRISON
  3. pp. 212-224
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  1. 19. Wilkie Collins's "Secret Dictate": The Moonstone as a Response to Imperialist Panic
  2. VICKI CORKRAN WILLEY
  3. pp. 225-233
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  1. 20. Wilkie Collins's Gwilt-y Conscience: Gender and Colonialism in Armadale
  2. MONICA M. YOUNG-ZOOK
  3. pp. 234-246
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 247-266
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 267-270
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 271-278
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814272381
Related ISBN
9780814210314
MARC Record
OCLC
1083109941
Pages
278
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-09
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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