Victorian Hauntings

Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature

  • Authors
  • Julian Wolfreys

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Julian Wolfreys
    Pages 1-24
  3. Julian Wolfreys
    Pages 54-73
  4. Julian Wolfreys
    Pages 94-109
  5. Julian Wolfreys
    Pages 140-149
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 150-175

About this book


Victorian Hauntings asks its reader to consider the following questions:

What does it mean to read or write with ghosts, or to suggest that acts of reading or writing are haunted ? In what ways can authors in the nineteenth century be read so as to acknowledge the various phantom effects which return within their texts ? In what ways do the traces of such " ghost writing " surface in the works of Dickens, Tennyson, Eliot and Hardy ? How does the work of spectrality, revenance and the uncanny transform materially both the forms of the literary in the Victorian era and our reception of it today? Beginning with an expoloration of matters of haunting, the uncanny, the gothic and the spectral, Julian Wolfreys traces the ghostly resonances at work in Victorian writing and how such persistence addresses isues of memory and responsibility which haunt the work of reading.

'Taking the familiar genre of the Gothic as a point of departure and revisiting it through Derridean theory, Wolfreys' book, the first application of "hauntology" to the domain of Victorian Studies is a remarkable achievement. Wolfreys never reduces reading to instrumentality but remains alert to all the potentialities of the texts he reads with a great attention to their idiosyncrasies. Victorian Hauntings should bring a new tone to Victorian Studies, this clever book is quite perfect. - Jean Michel Rabate, Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania


'You'd have to be dead to know more about ghosts than Julian Wolfreys.' Martin McQuillan, University of Leeds


Charles Dickens Comic English literature fragment George Eliot gothic knowledge literature memory optics Tennyson Victorian era writing

Bibliographic information