English Literature

A companion to sensation fiction by Pamela K. Gilbert

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By Pamela K. Gilbert

This finished assortment bargains a whole advent to 1 of the most well-liked literary kinds of the Victorian interval, its key authors and works, its significant subject matters, and its lasting legacy.

  • Places key authors and novels of their cultural and ancient context
  • Includes reports of significant themes similar to race, gender, melodrama, theatre, poetry, realism in fiction, and connections to different artwork forms
  • Contributions from best overseas students process an incredible literary style from various perspectives
  • Offers either a pre and post-history of the style to situate it within the greater culture of Victorian publishing and literature
  • Incorporates assurance of conventional learn and state of the art modern scholarship

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The Dandiacal Body” in Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus (1833–4) attacks fashionable novels in general and Bulwer’s Pelham in particular. Professor Teufelsdröck, Carlyle’s philosophical mouthpiece, observes that England’s newest religious sect is the Dandiacal Sect, which boasts “great hereditary resources” and which attracts to itself the Positive Electricity of the nation, namely its money (Carlyle 1987: 216–17). The sect’s Sacred Books are Fashionable Novels, which put Teufelsdröck to sleep when he tries to read them, and its “mystagogue, and leading Teacher and Preacher” is Pelham, who provides the “Articles of Faith” (1987: 210–12).

He used his own journals, the London Literary Gazette and New Monthly Magazine, to hint at forthcoming novels “of outstanding interest to high society,” at their aristocratic authors, and at the originals of their characters (Adburgham 1983: 25). He bought ads in other journals as a bid for favorable reviews and advance notices. Most subtly, he placed “paid paragraphs” in these journals. These “advertorials,” the Victorian equivalent of “infomercials,” looked like reviews but were in fact paid for by the publisher.

Rosa suggests that only eight of them deserve attention; Hook, Ward, Lister, Disraeli, Bulwer, Blessington, Lady Charlotte Bury, and Catherine Gore. Further, he allows only Disraeli, Bulwer, and Gore more than historical interest. Of these three, Disraeli and Bulwer wrote only two fashionable novels apiece, Vivian Grey and The Young Duke (1831), and Pelham (1828) and Godolphin (1833), respectively. After that, Disraeli moved to political and social problem novels, while Bulwer turned to historical and mystical ones.

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