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Victoriana - Histories, Fictions, Criticism

Cora Kaplan

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A series of astute critical reflections on our enduring fascination with all things Victorian.

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List of Figures
1. Heroines, Hysteria and History: Jane Eyre and her Critics
2. Dinah Craik’s ‘modern novel’: Olive
3. Biographilia
I History, Theory, Masculinity: The Biographer's Tale
II Secrets and Lies - The Psychopathologies of Biography: Life of Johnson
III Literary Biography - Genius in Genre Trouble: Dickens
IV Biofiction - The Novel Lives of Henry James: The Master, Author!, Author!, The Line of Beauty
4. Historical Fictions - Pastiche, Politics and Pleasure: , Possession, Nice Work, The Crimson Petal and the White, Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, Fingersmith
5. Retuning The Piano
Afterword -The Empire at Home: Wide Sargasso Sea, Jack Maggs, Arthur & George

About the Author

Cora Kaplan is Emerita Professor of English, University of Southampton, and Visiting Professor of English at Queen Mary, University of London. Her work includes Sea Changes: Essays in Culture and Feminism and Genders (with David Glover).


[An] incisive, lively collection of essays.
- Times Literary Supplement
With her characteristic verve, honesty, and insight, Cora Kaplan shakes out simple nostalgia and received ideas through fresh, utterly absorbing and entertaining readings of authors, artists and film-makers. Kaplan listens in to the past for its present resonances, and her Victorian voices sound vigorous, very close, and vividly engaged with the vexed questions of today - exclusion, maleness, beauty, and female sexual expression.
- Marina Warner, novelist and critic, Professor of Literature at the University of Essex
Victoriana is a thrilling and searching book, exploring our contemporary fascination with the 'bulging archive' of recycled Victorian material, and the contradictory sets of feelings, including Kaplan's own, that drive this compulsion. In her hands "Victoriana" becomes a new analytic category investigated with subtle theoretical insight and deep imaginative integrity, wit and passion.
- Isobel Armstrong FBA, Birkbeck, University of London