French Novels and the Victorians - British Academy Monographs Series (Hardback)
  • French Novels and the Victorians - British Academy Monographs Series (Hardback)
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French Novels and the Victorians - British Academy Monographs Series (Hardback)

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£85.00
Hardback 350 Pages / Published: 27/07/2017
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In 1836, John Wilson Croker, having immersed himself in dozens of contemporary French novels, warned his readers that 'she who dares to read a single page of the hundred thousand licentious pages with which the last five years have indundated society, is lost for ever.' It has become common to build an opposition between the attitudes towards fiction held in prudish Victorian England and permissive 19th-century France. The lack of a full-length study of 19th-century Anglo-French literary relations means, however, that the rejection of French novels has been greatly exaggerated. French Novels and the Victorians sheds new light on these relations by exploring the enormous impact of French fiction on the Victorian reading public. The book considers the many different ties built between the two countries in the publishing industry, identifying how French novels could be accessed and by whom, as well as who promoted and who resisted the importation of Continental works in England and why. The book reflects on what 'immorality' meant to both critics and the readers they sought to warn, and how the notion was subjected to scrutiny through censorship debates as well as the fictional representations of readers. It also tackles the contemporary preoccupation with literary influence, and explores how the extensive circulation of French fiction in England affected the concept of a 'national' literature. In addition to highlighting the cultural importance of novelists such as Sand, Balzac, and Dumas, this book uncovers the networks and mediums that enabled French novels to cross the Channel, and looks at how the concept of 'the French novel' was elaborated, interpreted, and challenged.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780197266090
Number of pages: 350
Weight: 826 g
Dimensions: 242 x 172 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Atkinson's book is a model of how to write a history of the theory and practice of cultural exchange. Erudite, endlessly informative, scholarly and witty, it is the product of research in both English- and French-language sources. ... Atkinson's conclusions, like the best of cultural history, are in this sense political as much as they are literary, commercial and conceptual. Hers is a brilliant history of how fiction spreads, remakes and contests identities, not only through the power of language but through the agency of novels themselves. * English Historical Review *
informative and engaging account of the British reception of French novels... This book is an impressive achievement * Cahiers victoriens et edouardiens *
Thoroughly researched, lucidly argued, and rich in fascinating insights and information, French Novels and the Victorians will be the authoritative study of the subject for many years to come. * John Rignall, Nineteenth-century Literature *
excellent book from cover to cover. * Archiv fur Sozialgeschichte *
A meticulously researched and fascinating study ... a fascinating perspective from the outside on how the French novel evolved and was read in mid-century England, one that should be of interest to any dix-neuviemiste. * Nineteenth-Century French Studies *
Atkinson's work is truly original in that it does not focus only on Victorian England, but also on the attitudes and assumptions circulating in France during this time period. Ultimately, French Novels and the Victorians provides readers with an innovative study of this 40-year period and offers new perspectives on how French literature was consumed and discussed, both in England and in France. * H-France Review *
indispensable reading not just for scholars of nineteenth-century fiction but also for all historians of Anglo-French cultural relations * Tom Stammers, French History *
This book serves as a welcome antidote to the much-rehearsed cliche of a monolithic Victorian readership univocally castigating the wicked fiction of their nearest continental neighbours * Elisabeth Jay, French Studies *

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