The Novelist on the Margins: Hardy and Lawrence

  • J. A. Bull


The last years of Queen Victoria’s reign saw the end of the three-decker novel which had served British fiction as a standard since Scott and with it the collapse of the dominance of the circulating library system. By the 1890s pressures which had been steadily gathering strength through the century combined to effect a literary and publishing upheaval which has had consequences lasting up to the present day. Before looking in detail at the work of Hardy and Lawrence for evidence of these changes this chapter gives an overview of the factors which brought them about: social context, readership, literary or institutional context and authors.


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  1. 1.
    Gareth Stedman Jones, Languages of Class (Cambridge University Press, 1983)Google Scholar
  2. Louis James, Fiction for the Working Man (Penguin edn, 1974), p. 125.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    See Richard Altick, The English Common Reader (University of Chicago Press, 1957), p. 383 for sales figures of bestsellers between 1813 and 1900.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    See J. A. Sutherland, Fiction and the Fiction Industry (Athlone Press, 1978), pp. 12–13.Google Scholar
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    See Chris Baldick, The Social Mission of English Literature (Oxford University Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Richard Altick, ‘The sociology of authorship’, Bulletin of the New York Public Library (June 1962).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    See Colin Holmes, ‘A study of D. H. Lawrence’s social origins’, Literature and History (Spring 1980) pp. 82–94 and also C. P. Griffin, ‘The social origins of D. H. Lawrence: some further evidence’, ibid., (Spring 1981): pp. 223–227.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    This account of the various versions of Tess is based on three books: Mary Ellen Chase, Thomas Hardy: from Serial to Novel (Russell and Russell, 1964)Google Scholar
  9. Richard Purdy, Thomas Hardy: A Bibliographical Study (Oxford University Press, 1954)Google Scholar
  10. J. T. Laird, The Shaping of Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Oxford University Press, 1975).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© J. A. Bull 1988

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  • J. A. Bull

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