ENL 6298

Weds -8:45

Bldg 52, rm 152

Text Box: ..During the early 1800s there was outstanding growth in British literacy. Publishing became a huge industry, giving rise to the mass circulation of newspapers, magazines, advertizing, and of course new forms of literature. Authorship became a valid career. And for the first time, the novel became a form of mass-literature, and “novelists” became celebrities. In our post-modernist century, we are used to thinking of literature as separate from the sphere of commerciality, but the Victorian novel marked a moment when industry established the materiality of the novel, which in turn established cultural parameters; literature, the marketplace, and codes of behavior conflated into the novelistic form. 
This class shall introduce you to the forms and styles of the Victorian Novel: Austin’s novel of manners, Bronte’s Victorian Gothic, Braddon’s “sensation” novel, Dicken’s “State of England” novel of social critique, Collin’s mystery, Wilde’s decadent novel, and Stoker’s horror “romance.” Along the way, we’ll not only consider the tensions of history (gender roles, imperial control, class imbalance, industrialization, and domestic economy), but also the relationship between the marketplace (audience, publishing sphere) and culture. Finally, we’ll consider how the materiality of the Victorian novel differed from and prepared the way for the novel as we know it today.

Dr. David M. Earle

Bldg 50, rm. 247

Office Hours

M W 11:30-12:30, 4-5

& by appt




Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice. Norton Critical Edition

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre. Dover Thrift Edition

Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret. Oxford World Classics

Charles Dickens, Hard Times. Dover Thrift Edition

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone. Dover Thrift Edition

Oscar Wilde, Portrait of Dorian Gray. Bantam Classic

Bram Stoker, Dracula. Penguin Classics

Intro to the Victorian Novel (GRAD)