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York Notes Companions : Victorian Literature - Beth Palmer

York Notes Companions

Victorian Literature


Published: 14th June 2010
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RRP $29.95

The York Notes Companion to Victorian Literature explores the drama, poetry and prose of an age of great innovation, than engaged with debates about empire, science and evolution, print culture, and gender. Examining classic texts such as Gaskell's North and South and Tennyson's In Memoriam, alongside lesser known works from the genre of sensation fiction and the fin de siècle, the Companion explores examples from a range of genres in detailed commentaries, and guides students through key literary theories and debates. Connecting texts with their historical and scholarly contexts, this is essential reading for any student of Victorian literature.

Each York Notes Companion provides:

  • Analysis of key texts and debates
  • Extended commentaries for further in-depth analysis of individual texts
  • Exploration of historical, social and cultural contexts
  • Annotations clarifying literary terms and events in history
  • Modern theoretical perspectives in practice
  • Timelines and annotated further reading

Beth Palmer is a Teaching Fellow in Victorian Literature at the University of Leeds.

"The book was well written and flowed neatly, linking ideas and works by different authors, and as ever quotations help to outline different points... The book was very useful, particularly its extended commentary on Dorian Gray"

- Kimberley Simpson, English Student Warwick University

Part One – Introduction

Part TwoA Cultural Overview

Part Three – Texts, Writers and Contexts

Victorian Poetry – Memory and Mourning: The Brownings, Swinburne and Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Extended commentary: Tennyson, In Memoriam

The Social Problem Novel: Charles Dickens, Charles Kingsley and Elizabeth Gaskell

Extended Commentary: Gaskell, North and South (1855)

The Provincial or Regional Novel: Anthony Trollope, George Eliot and Thomas Hardy

Extended Commentary: Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd

Sensation Fiction: Wilkie Collins, Ellen Wood and Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Extended Commentary: Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret (1862)

Victorian Drama: Henrik Ibsen, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw

Extended Commentary: Shaw, Mrs Warren’s Profession (1893)

Aesthetes and Decadents: Walter Pater, Arthur Symonds, J. K. Huysmans and Oscar Wilde

Extended Commentary: Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)

Part Four: Critical theories and Debates

Reader Reception and the popular author

New women, New Readers

The Literature of Empire and National Identity

Science, Eugenics and Evolution

Part Five – References and resources


Further reading


ISBN: 9781408204818
ISBN-10: 1408204819
Series: York Notes Companions
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 14th June 2010
Publisher: Pearson Education Limited
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 14.8  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.37
Edition Number: 1