© 2010

Neo-Victorian Fiction and Historical Narrative

The Victorians and Us

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Louisa Hadley
    Pages 1-29
  3. Louisa Hadley
    Pages 30-58
  4. Louisa Hadley
    Pages 59-84
  5. Louisa Hadley
    Pages 85-116
  6. Louisa Hadley
    Pages 117-140
  7. Louisa Hadley
    Pages 141-164
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 165-192

About this book


Placing the popular genre of neo-Victorian fiction within the context of the contemporary cultural fascination with the Victorians, this book argues that these novels are distinguished by a commitment to historical specificity and understands them within their contemporary context and the context of Victorian historical and literary narratives.


fiction novel Victorian era

About the authors

LOUISA HADLEY has also worked at Grant MacEwan College and Concordia, University College of Alberta where she taught a range of literature courses. She has published The Fiction of A. S. Byatt (Palgrave 2008) and co-edited the collection Thatcher& After: Margaret Thatcher and her Afterlife in Contemporary Culture (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan, August 2010).

Bibliographic information


Louisa Hadley's timely and useful study engages with the expanding field of neo-Victorianism by returning us to issues of historicity, Victorian understandings of the relationship between fiction and historical narrative, and the rewriting and reinterpretation of these concepts in late-twentieth century and contemporary culture. The value of Neo-Victorian Fiction and Historical Narrative: The Victorians and Us lies in its attentiveness to neo-Victorianism within the larger field of heritage debates from the Thatcherite 1980s onwards, and also the wider cultural relevance of the core questions asked here: 'Why the Victorians? Why Now?' Through canonical neo-Victorian texts by A. S. Byatt, Michele Roberts, Graham Swfit and Sarah Waters but also more recent interventions like Julian Barnes's Arthur& George and popular genre fiction like Colin Dexter's Morse mystery The Wench is Dead , Hadley makes a sound case for contemporary writers' sophistication in their exploration of the need to transform the Victorians rather than merely mimic or pastiche them. - Dr Mark Llewellyn, University of Liverpool, UK; Consultant Editor to Neo-Victorian Studies and co-author (with Ann Heilmann) of Neo-Victorianism: The Victorians in the Twenty-first Century, 1999-2009 (2010).