A Companion to the Victorian Novel by Patrick Brantlinger, William Thesing

By Patrick Brantlinger, William Thesing

The significant other to the Victorian Novel offers contextual and demanding information regarding the whole variety of British fiction released among 1837 and 1901.

  • Provides contextual and important information regarding the total diversity of British fiction released through the Victorian interval.
  • Explains concerns equivalent to Victorian religions, category constitution, and Darwinism to those that are strange with them.
  • Comprises unique, obtainable chapters written by way of popular and rising students within the box of Victorian experiences.
  • Ideal for college students and researchers looking up to date assurance of contexts and tendencies, or as a kick off point for a survey course.

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Since profits were usually split equally or with the advantage going to the author, this arrangement was theoretically the most fair, yet it was one that many authors mistrusted because of the ease with which a publisher could “pad” accounts. Third was publication on commission, a type of arrangement favored, on the one hand, by established authors certain of success and, on the other, by publishers unwilling to risk money on unknown authors. Such a contract required the author to pay the entire cost of production and promotion; granted the publisher a certain percentage (usually 10 percent) of gross receipts; and guaranteed any remaining profits to the author.

For one, the tendency to publish a single author or even a single novel in many different, often overlapping formats guaranteed that the work of the most popular Victorian authors had a unique kind of omnipresence. From January 1860 to July 1867, for example, readers were offered an installment of one new Trollope novel or another in some form every month, while the movement from serialization to ever-cheaper volume editions meant that both the old and new works of a popular novelist were constantly before the public, giving him “a kind of total and continual existence for the readers of his age” (Sutherland 1976: 37).

As a result, such writers prided themselves on appealing not to the masses, but to those few who could be counted on to share similar backgrounds, experiences, and values – what Edmund Gosse called, in a letter to Hardy, “your own confrères,” “the serious male public” (quoted in McDonald 1997: 7). This hostility toward “the reading multitude” also expressed itself in rebellion against the traditional rules governing fictional propriety and in a conviction that the novelist who followed such rules, like the novelist who wrote for money, would inevitably – as Hardy wrote – “belie his literary conscience” (1967: 130).

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