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  • Cited by 1
  • Edited by Kate Flint, University of Southern California
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2012
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

This collaborative History aims to become the standard work on Victorian literature for the twenty-first century. Well-known scholars introduce readers to their particular fields, discuss influential critical debates and offer illuminating contextual detail to situate authors and works in their wider cultural and historical contexts. Sections on publishing and readership and a chronological survey of major literary developments between 1837 and 1901, are followed by essays on topics including sexuality, sensation, cityscapes, melodrama, epic and economics. Victorian writing is placed in its complex relation to the Empire, Europe and America, as well as to Britain's component nations. The final chapters consider how Victorian literature, and the period as a whole, influenced twentieth-century writers. Original, lucid and stimulating, each chapter is an important contribution to Victorian literary studies. Together, the contributors create an engaging discussion of the ways in which the Victorians saw themselves and of how their influence has persisted.


A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013


'The consistently high quality of the thirty-three essays insures reliable information, perceptive commentary, and up-to-the-minute critical perspectives.'

Source: Review 19 (

'A strongly thought-provoking and insightful study of Victorian literature, this is a scholarly work that will enable Victorian literary studies to be imbued with a renewed sense of vitality and stimulation thanks to new thought and work. Engaging and influential, this is a book which echoes the writing of those it studies.'

Louise Ellis-Barrett Source: Reference Reviews

'This volume, part of the New Cambridge History of English Literature series, represents a major contribution to Victorian literary studies that will be considered a standard reference work for many years to come.'

Source: Choice

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