© 1996

The Victorian Social-Problem Novel

The Market, the Individual and Communal Life

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Literature, History, Value

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Josephine M. Guy
      Pages 3-12
    3. Josephine M. Guy
      Pages 13-63
  3. The Social-Problem Novel

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 65-65
    2. Josephine M. Guy
      Pages 67-116
    3. Josephine M. Guy
      Pages 117-186
    4. Josephine M. Guy
      Pages 187-203
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 204-238

About this book


This book describes various accounts of the Victorian social-problem novel, examining their strengths and limitations in the light of the historiographical assumptions which underlie them. An alternative historical account is offered, which focuses on the novels' intellectual milieu - specifically on mid-Victorian concepts of 'the social' and of what was understood by the term 'social problem'. In detailed readings of individual works, the book argues that an appreciation of these concepts permits new ways of understanding the contradictions identified in these works together with their apparently 'conservative' politics.


argue bibliography cohesion concept English literature history history of literature individual knowledge literature novel politics society understanding Victorian era

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