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- DescriptionThe courtship plot dominates accounts of the Victorian vel, but this invative study turns instead to a narrative phemen that upends its familiar conventions: the bigamy plot. In hundreds of vels, plays, and poems published in Victorian Great Britain, husbands or wives thought dead suddenly reappear to their newly remarried spouses. In the sensation fiction of Braddon and Collins, these bigamous revelations lead to bribery, arson, and murder, but the same plot operates in the canical fiction of Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, Eliot, Thackeray, and Hardy. These authors employ bigamy plots to destabilize the apparently conventional form and values of the Victorian vel. By close examination of this plot, including an index of nearly 300 bigamy vels, Maia McAleavey makes the case for a historical approach to narrative, one that is grounded in the legal and social changes of the period but that runs counter to our own formal and cultural expectations.
- Author BiographyMaia McAleavey is Assistant Professor in the English Department at Boston College. She has published articles on Victorian literature in Representations, Victorian Studies, the Dickens Studies Annual and Victorian Review.
- Author(s)Maia McAleavey
- PublisherCambridge University Press
- Date of Publication18/05/2015
- SubjectLiterary Studies: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Series TitleCambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature & Culture
- Series Part/Volume Number100
- Place of PublicationCambridge
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintCambridge University Press
- Content Note4 b/w illus.
- Weight520 g
- Width152 mm
- Height228 mm
- Spine16 mm
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