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© 2006

Victorian Fiction

Writers, Publishers, Readers

  • Authors
Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. John Sutherland
    Pages 1-27
  3. John Sutherland
    Pages 28-54
  4. John Sutherland
    Pages 55-85
  5. John Sutherland
    Pages 86-113
  6. John Sutherland
    Pages 114-121
  7. John Sutherland
    Pages 122-140
  8. John Sutherland
    Pages 141-158
  9. John Sutherland
    Pages 159-172
  10. John Sutherland
    Pages 173-185
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 186-198

About this book

Introduction

Drawing on extensive research, John Sutherland builds up a fascinating picture of the cultural, social and commercial factors influencing the content and production of Victorian fiction, discussing major writers such as Collins, Dickens, Eliot, Thackeray and Trollope alongside writers also very popular with the reading public - Reade, Lytton and Mrs Humphry Ward - but whose fame has not endured. Richly informative on the Victorian literary and cultural scene, this new reissue of John Sutherland's important 1995 study is essential reading for all those interested in the evolution of the Victorian novel, and includes a new Preface situating the book in current research being carried out on the history of the book and print culture.

Keywords

Charles Dickens fiction George Eliot novel Victorian era

About the authors

JOHN SUTHERLAND is Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at UCL and has been, for ten years, an annually Visiting Professor of Literature at the California Institute of Technology, USA. He has published seventeen books, some 30 editions, many articles in learned journals on a variety of subjects - but mostly concentrating on Victorian fiction, the history of publishing, and twentieth-century literature. His most recent books are: Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? (Oxford, 1998), Henry V: War Criminal (with Cedric Watts and Stephen Orgel, Oxford, 1999), The Literary Detective (Oxford, 2000), Last Drink to LA (Short Books, 2001), Reading the Decades (BBC Books, 2002) and Stephen Spender: The Authorized Biography (2004). He also writes a weekly column for the Guardian, and is currently engaged on the Oxford Companion to Popular Fiction.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

'General readers and scholars alike have [Sutherland] to thank for providing such a rich compendium of knowledge and clear insight. His book frequenly delights and deserves rereading...Sutherland's focus on the very existence and mechanics of writing, publishing and reading offers a way forward blessedly free from jargon and theory.' - The Use of English

Reviews for the first edition:

'Victorian Fiction: Writers, Publishers, Readers works a series of elegant variations on the theme of the novel as a complex cultural construct...Unflaggingly perceptive, prefigurative - notably in his linking of the Victorian publishing scene and modern arrangements...Sutherland invariably leaves you wanting more.' - D.J. Taylor, Sunday Times

'No one writing today writes better about Victorian fiction' - Jerome McGann

'Sutherland...must know more about Victorian fiction and its background than almost anyone currently writing about it, and this book amply demonstrates his virtuosity...His brilliant analysis in Chapter 3...reads like a spellbinding novel itself...Highly recommended for general audiences, upper-division undergraduates, graduate students and faculty.' - R. T. Van Arsdel, Choice, Sept 1995 (Selected as one of Choice's Outstanding Academic Books for 1995)

'...stylish and entertaining...' - Studies in English Literature

'...Sutherland combines meticulous textual scholarship and biographical detail with a broad perspective on the cultural and economic milieux in which Victorian fiction was produced...not since the portrait of 'Pegasus in Harness' in William Makepeace Thackeray's Pendennis has anyone so vividly represented the Victorian publishing industry. With his usual grace and wit, Sutherland here offers another tour of the hectic world of urgent deadlines, clandestine negotiations, and shifting alliances that made Victiorian novels Victorian.' - Bradley Deane, Victorian Studies

'...Sutherland's book [deserves to belong] on the shelf of every Victorian scholar and in the hand of every student of Victorian fiction.' - Peter L. Shillingsburg, Nineteenth-Century Literature

'This book...belongs on the shelf of every Victorian scholar and in the hand of every student of Victorian fiction.' - Peter L. Shillingsburg Mississippi State University, USA

'Sutherland combines meticulous textual scholarship and biographical detail with a broad perspective on the cultural and economic milieux in which Victorian fiction was produced...not since the portrait of Pegasus in Harness' in William Makepeace Thackery's Pendennis (1845-50) has anyone so vividly represented the Victorian publishing industry. With his usual grace and wit, Sutherland here offers another tour of the hectic world of urgent deadlines, clandestine negotiations, and shifting allegiances that made Victorian novels Victorian.' - Bradley Deane, Northwestern University, USA