By Alice Jenkins, Juliet John
This assortment makes a speciality of novels and essays from the start of Victoria's reign via to the tip of the nineteenth century and into our personal instances. The essays symbolize a variety of severe and theoretical viewpoints on fiction, they usually take care of a few lesser-known Victorian works in addition to with probably the most canonical texts of the interval. The chronological variety of the amount is prolonged via essays which discover Victorian texts' connections with previous literature and 20th-century novelists' responses to Victorian fiction.
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Extra resources for Rereading Victorian Fiction
15 That is what A Christmas Carol is after – real dynamic remembering, when what has happened to you is felt by you, in terms of the direct feelings themselves and not just their indirect effects on you ever after. Nothing – no mere idea of life – is more vital. Most of the prose I have been considering in this essay has been locked into the line of time, its realistic messages hidden there, entrapped in relativism, still in the process, even whilst trying to think about it. But A Christmas Carol offers a different space-time, a form of getting outside the self before returning back inside it again.
267). The last (literal) whip in the novel, like the first, belongs to the unlucky Sir James, who hopes that scandal about Ladislaw being Rosamond’s lover will put Dorothea off him; he sets up Mrs Cadwallader to mention this item of gossip, as though by accident, in the course of a walk, but he is embarrassed at his own underhand methods, and we see him ‘turning aside to whip a shrub’ when Mrs Cadwallader begins her story (Chapter 62, p. 626). The psychological acuteness of this last example, its concise rendering of embarrassment mixed with frustrated aggression (the ‘shrub’ is an image of Ladislaw himself in Sir James’s mind as an upstart of no account) is what the novel is famous for, and is one of the defining elements of realist fiction.
Syntactically there are final sentences here, short sentences of realization which lead nowhere: ‘I had never come face to face with the inevitable before’. But these absolutes still have to exist in the midst of a mundane relative situation, in which the sentence ‘Then there followed a struggle of a month or so’ does not begin a fresh paragraph but merely carries on, has to keep going – in time, within the situation – regardless of the emotional and intellectual realization preceding it. But especially fine is that sequence trapped in the middle of the long second sentence that tries to get used to the idea – ‘not able to go to her, to look at her, from whom I had never had a secret, with this secret in my soul that must be told least of all to her’.