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Excavating the Victorians: Digging Up the Past

  • Jessica CoxEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Neo-Victorian fiction reflects a persistent interest in encounters with deep time and the ancient past—mirroring, in part, Victorian cultural and scientific interests, and reflecting both nineteenth-century and contemporary anxieties about identity, origins, the past, and the future. This chapter explores the plethora of historical tropes in neo-Victorian, and specifically neo-sensation fiction, contending that these serve as a metaphor for the narrative’s ‘unearthing’ of the (Victorian) past. In particular, it offers a critical interrogation of representations of archaeology in popular historical fiction, including Victoria Holt’s Shivering Sands (1969) and Elizabeth Peabody’s Crocodile on the Sandbank (1975), and argues that these works force a reconsideration of the role of popular fiction within neo-Victorianism.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Arts and HumanitiesBrunel UniversityLondonUK

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