Fiction with a Purpose

Fiction with a Purpose

  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 130 x 210mm
  • United Kingdom
  • 0253125502
  • 9780253125507

Review Text

"The first readers of our 19th century classics not only read them differently, but saw them differently." So states Professor Colby as he sets about reconstructing the literary landscape of the Victorian era and examining the reception accorded his seven chosen works: Waverly, Mansfield Park. Oliver Twist, Pendennis, Villette, The Mill on the Floss, and Middlemarch. He presents able enough analyses of the novels proper and demonstrates, sometimes surprisingly, just how much and in what way our great authors were influenced by the taste of the day and other prevailing winds. Colby is a professor of Library Science and a decided fault here is his cataloging fever: all too many annotated great-grandfather best-seller lists clutter the essays, often dissipating carefully considered parallels or juxtapositions of sociocultural interest. The chapters on Thackeray and Charlotte Bronte are the freshest and most incisive, probably because the novels representing them are not as familiar as the worthies heading the rest of the surveys. Good for reference. (Kirkus Reviews)show more