This study of narrative technique in Victorian novels introduces the concept of 'narrative annexes' whereby unexpected characters, impermissible subjects and plot-changing events are introduced within fictional worlds which otherwise exclude them. They are marked by the crossing of borders into previously unrepresented places and new genres or modes, challenging Victorian cultural and literary norms. Suzanne Keen's original readings of novels by Charlotte Brontë, Dickens, Disraeli, Hardy, Kingsley, Trollope, and Wells show these writers negotiating the boundaries of representation to reveal in narrative annexes the subjects (notably sexuality and social class) which contemporary critics sought to exclude from the realm of the novel. Fears of disease, of working men, of Popery, of dark-skinned 'others', of the poor who toil and starve in close proximity to the rectories, homes, clubs and walled gardens of Victorian polite society draw readers down narrow alleys, through thorny hedges, across desolate heaths, into narrative annexes.
First published in 1902, this volume contains a detailed history of English literature beginning in the Anglo-Saxon Period and ending with contemporary literature. “A History of English Literature” is highly recommended for all students of literature, and it would make for a worthy addition to any collection. Contents include: “The Anglo-Saxon Period”, “The Norman-French Period”, “The Age of Chaucer”, “The Renaissance: Non-Dramatic Literature to the Death of Spenser”, “The Renaissance: Shakespeare”, ‘The Seventeenth Century: Shakespeare’s Contemporaries and Successors in the Drama”, “The Seventeenth Century: Non-dramatic Literature before the Restoration”, etc. Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this volume now in a modern, high-quality edition complete with the original text and artwork.