Some of the greatest English vels were written during the Victorian era, and many are still widely read and taught today. But many others written during that period have been neglected by scholars and modern readers alike. A number of these vels were written by women and were popular when published. Moreover, they reveal perspectives of 19th-century British culture t present in canized works and therefore revise our understanding of Victorian life and attitudes. With the increasing interest in revising Victorian history and gender scholarship, especially through the rediscovery of lost texts written by women, this book is a timely and much needed study. The expert contributors to this volume argue the value of vels by such Victorian women writers as Grace Aguilar, Catherine Crowe, Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna, Annie E. Holdsworth, Ella Hepworth Dixon, Flora Annie Steel, Anne Thackeray, Sarah Grand, Marie Corelli, and others. Most of the chapters address numerous works by a particular writer. Each focuses on different social issues as well, though most of them share an interest in gender politics. Topics discussed include a 19th-century Jewish velist's navigation through Protestant spirituality, the relationship of ncanical governess vels to class and gender issues, and forgotten works by women crime writers. Other chapters analyze how women writers impelled social reform and subverted patriarchally defined religious issues.
BRENDA AYRES is Professor of English at Middle Georgia College. Her previous books include Dissenting Women in Dickens' Novels (1998) and Frances Trollope and the Novel of Social Change (2001), both available from Greenwood Press.