This book has traced the re-creation of the Victorian era in recent historical fictions, focusing on novels by Graham Swift, A. S. Byatt, Sarah Waters, Helen Humphreys and Gail Jones. It has argued that that these fictions deploy the vocabulary of Victorian strategies of history-making and recollection in order to re-member the period as part of our cultural memory. These fictions, together with other cultural and political evocations of the period, explore both our continuity with, and difference from, our Victorian forebears, and formulate our relationship to the period as a series of repetitions which produce both the shock of recognition and the fright of estrangement. They naturalise and celebrate the desire for historical recollection and are themselves evidence of the continuing longing for cultural memory today.
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The Victorian past has come to uncanny life in contemporary fiction.
(Hilary Schor, ‘Sorting, Morphing and Mourning’, 2000)
© 2010 Kate Mitchell
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Mitchell, K. (2010). Conclusion: ‘What will count as history?’. In: History and Cultural Memory in Neo-Victorian Fiction. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230283121_8
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London
Print ISBN: 978-1-349-31016-6
Online ISBN: 978-0-230-28312-1