This complete assortment bargains an entire advent to at least one of the most well-liked literary kinds of the Victorian interval, its key authors and works, its significant issues, and its lasting legacy.
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Additional info for A Companion to Sensation Fiction (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)
Google Book Search. Accessed online 19 Jan. 2010. Review of The Merchant’s Daughter, by the Author of The Heiress, Agnes Serle, &c. [Ellen Pickering]. Athenaeum 477 (17 Dec. 1836): 883–4. Review of Vivian Grey. The London Literary Gazette 528 (3 Mar. 1827): 134. Google Book Search. Accessed online 20 Jan. 2010. Rosa, Matthew W. The Silver-Fork School: Novels of Fashion Preceding Vanity Fair (1936). Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1964. The Silver Fork Novel Sutherland, John. The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction.
High Life (1827), A Marriage in High Life (1828), The Young Duke, The Fair of Mayfair (1832), The Victims of Society – these are typical titles which announce their aristocratic subjects. Reviewers repeatedly suggested that these novels were written according to a formula which included a ball at Almack’s, a duel, a visit to a gambling club such as Crockford’s, an arranged marriage, and at least the suspicion of adultery. The Athenaeum suggested that such novels typically included “coronets, fine gentlemen, and still finer ladies, court plumes, diamond necklaces, the Prince Regent, masquerades, money-lenders, vindictive Italians, vicious tempered old dowagers, gay Lotharios” and that it was a great curiosity if a novel lacked the “dukes, silver forks, kitchen stuff, mysteries, foundlings, murders, suicides, dueling” of silver fork fiction (qtd.
At the height of their popularity, silver forks dominated the circulating libraries. In 1838, the London Statistical Society tabulated the volumes held by ten of the humbler libraries. Of the 2,191 volumes available, 1,488 (68 percent) were fashionable novels. ,” 439 were “Fashionable Novels, well known,” and 1,008 were “novels of the lowest character, being chiefly imitation of Fashionable Novels, containing no good, although probably nothing decidedly bad” (Altick 1957: 217–18). While this list counts volumes and not titles, it still attests to the popularity of fashionable novels, as well as indicating the breadth of that popularity.
A Companion to Sensation Fiction (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)