Church and State: Eça de Queirós, Alas, Galdós

  • Bill Overton


In most accounts of nineteenth-century fiction, the novel of adultery is seen as a standard narrative form showing little essential deviation from one example, one national setting, to another. The cases of Jacobsen and Fontane demonstrate that individual novelists, working in different cultures and out of different traditions, varied the theme considerably. Although both followed precedent as male writers who produced impersonal narratives centred on female adultery, both also challenged it. As the previous chapter has shown, both Marie Grubbe and L’Adultera vindicate the heroine; while Fontane went further still by basing Beyond Recall on male adultery, and by foregrounding, in Effi Briest, a culture of rigid conformism and emotional repression.


Sexual Infidelity Portuguese Society Sexual Disgust Sexual Frustration Male Writer 
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© Bill Overton 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Overton
    • 1
  1. 1.Loughborough UniversityUK

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