(Re)Presenting (Sexual) Trauma

  • Jessica CoxEmail author


The notion of the past haunting the present is central to both Victorian and neo-Victorian sensation fiction. The reason for this haunting often lies in the traumatic events of the past, and their long-lasting effects on those involved. This chapter considers representations of trauma in (neo-) sensation (literary and filmic) texts, focusing in particular on adaptations of Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White (1860). In multiple reimaginings of Collin’s novel, Laura Fairlie’s and Anne Catherick’s traumatic experiences (stolen identity and imprisonment in an asylum) are transfigured into the physical and sexual abuse of their bodies. This chapter considers the reasons behind this shift in focus, particularly in relation to the notion of ‘sensation’, and offers detailed analyses of the significance of representations of sexual abuse in some of these works.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Arts and HumanitiesBrunel UniversityLondonUK

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