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Neo-Victorian Cannibalism

A Theory of Contemporary Adaptations

  • Examines themes of cannibalism in Victorian and neo-Victorian criticism and literature

  • Explores definitive aspects of neo-Victorian fiction including grotesque and gothic influences

  • Provides a framework for understanding the origins of neo-Victorian fiction


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Tammy Lai-Ming Ho
    Pages 1-5
  3. Tammy Lai-Ming Ho
    Pages 55-87
  4. Tammy Lai-Ming Ho
    Pages 89-123
  5. Tammy Lai-Ming Ho
    Pages 125-129
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 131-150

About this book


This Pivot examines a body of contemporary neo-Victorian novels whose uneasy relationship with the past can be theorised in terms of aggressive eating, including cannibalism. Not only is the imagery of eating repeatedly used by critics to comprehend neo-Victorian literature, the theme of cannibalism itself also appears overtly or implicitly in a number of the novels and their Victorian prototypes, thereby mirroring the cannibalistic relationship between the contemporary and the Victorian. Tammy Lai-Ming Ho argues that aggressive eating or cannibalism can be seen as a pathological and defining characteristic of neo-Victorian fiction, demonstrating how cannibalism provides a framework for understanding the genre’s origin, its conflicted, ambivalent and violent relationship with its Victorian predecessors and the grotesque and gothic effects that it generates in its fiction.


neo-Victorian fiction Victorian fiction cannibalism in literature Bram Stoker Dracula Jane Eyre gothic literature Gaynor Arnold Richard Flanagan Charles Dickens Tom Holland Leslie S. Klinger Dacre Stoker Ian Holt Wide Sargasso Sea A.S. Byatt adaptations of Jane Eyre adaptations of Wurthering Heights Gothic fiction

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Hong Kong Baptist University Kowlong TongHong Kong

About the authors

Tammy Lai-Ming Ho is Associate Professor of English, Hong Kong Baptist University. She is the founding co-editor of the Hong Kong-based international publication, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and an editor of Hong Kong Studies, the first peer-reviewed journal devoted to Hong Kong. 


Bibliographic information


“Neo-Victorian Cannibalism is … an appreciated and extremely well-researched new take on neo-Victorian literature, which might be of use for anyone studying neo-Victorian fiction, adaptation theory, or any of the novels analyzed in the book.” (Krisztina Jilling, Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, Vol. 26 (2), 2020)