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Elizabeth Gaskell, Victorian Culture, and the Art of Fiction
Essays for the Bicentenary
Sandro Jung, ed.

2010 • 228 pp. 6 1/4 x 9 1/2"
Literary Criticism - English

$32.00 Paperback, 978-90-382-1629-4

“The 14 scholarly essays in this collection are part of the commemoration of the bicentenary of Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell’s birth in 1810. . . . Some highlights include an analysis of the influence of William Wordsworth on her early writing, the concepts of literacy and literature in Sylvia’s Lovers as compared to those in Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend (he published a number of her works in his periodical, Household Words), and how Gaskell used the ideas found in the writings of Charles Darwin in Wives and Daughters. . . . This collection will be of interest to students of Gaskell or Victorian cultural and literary studies.”Library Journal

Assembles fourteen original essays on Gaskell, the Victorian novelist of social problem fiction

This new collection assembles fourteen original essays on Elizabeth Gaskell and her work by some of the leading Gaskell scholars, including Joanne Shattock and Alan Shelston. It also introduces the work of younger scholars exploring the varied discourses, ideologies, and contexts that characterize Gaskell's writing. Focusing on examinations of texts ranging from Gaskell's journalism to her letters, short stories, and novels, the collection provides useful modern approaches to the author’s oeuvre. The book investigates questions of class and gender (such as the role of the Victorian woman and Victorian masculinity), Darwinian evolution theory, medicine, friendship, and the literary tradition (including Wordsworth’s presence in Gaskell’s early writing). Above all, the collection offers a fresh consideration of this important Victorian novelist, while also raising questions about future directions for Gaskell scholars, and makes a central contribution to the contemporary understanding of a writer who is no longer merely seen as the author of social problem fiction, but whose ideational and ideological range reveals her as an accomplished master of form and generic conventions.

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Reviews / Endorsements:

"This volume, with its wide scope, is an excellent aid for those wishing to know
more about Gaskell and her works; it is also a wonderful reference for Gaskell
researchers or readers interested in the Victorian societal issues she dealt with
in her writing. . . . Recommended." —Choice

SANDRO JUNG is a professor of early modern British literature at Ghent University in Belgium.