In Lady Audley's Shadow: Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Victorian Literary Genres (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture)

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9780748641154: In Lady Audley's Shadow: Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Victorian Literary Genres (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture)

This book is devoted to Mary Elizabeth Braddon's complex relationship with the three main Victorian literary genres: the Gothic, the Detective and the Realist novel. Using Braddon's bestselling sensation fiction Lady Audley's Secret as a paradigmatic novel and as a 'haunting' textual presence across her literary career, this study provides a fertile critical reading of a wide range of Braddon's novels and short stories.

Through an analysis of Braddon's negotiations with Victorian narrative, ideological and cultural issues, this monograph offers readers a refreshing view of gender, female identity and subjectivity, the treatment of insanity, questions related to technology and progress, the impact of evolutionism and Darwinism, the intersemiotic dialogue between pictorial art and novel-writing, the role of the (female) writer in the new literary market and the changing notion of capital in an increasingly fluid social context.

Braddon's manipulation of Victorian literary codes and conventions proves that she was something more than a mere sensation writer and that her primary role in the nineteenth-century literary scene has to be reaffirmed. Drawing on a wide range of textual materials and literary sources, the book foregrounds Braddon's constant and sometimes ambivalent dialogue with her times, and with ours as well.

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About the Author:


Saverio Tomaiuolo is Lecturer in English Literature and Language at the Cassino University, Italy

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In this ground-breaking study Saverio Tomaiuolo offers a highly perceptive and wide-ranging guide to the 'slippery' genre of Victorian Sensation Fiction, as exemplified by its most (in)famous practitioner, Mary Elizabeth Braddon. In Lady Audley's Shadow skilfully traces both the literary origins of sensation in Gothic literature and its brilliantly creative emplotment of the new technologies of the period. -- Roger Ebbatson, Lancaster University This suggestive book vividly reminds its readers of the cross-fertilization among forms of literature and the importance of culture in creating an "entangled bank" of ideas and types of fiction. -- Ann C. Colley, SUNY Distinguished Professor, SUNY College at Buffalo Tomaiuolo's research is thorough and extensive. The reader is provided with a fascinating insight into the society in which Mary Elizabeth Braddon lived and wrote ! the constituent parts add up to an incredibly comprehensive and engaging study, not just of Braddon but of Victorian culture and literature as a whole. -- Fran Tomlin, University of Edinburgh The Gothic Imagination In this ground-breaking study Saverio Tomaiuolo offers a highly perceptive and wide-ranging guide to the 'slippery' genre of Victorian Sensation Fiction, as exemplified by its most (in)famous practitioner, Mary Elizabeth Braddon. In Lady Audley's Shadow skilfully traces both the literary origins of sensation in Gothic literature and its brilliantly creative emplotment of the new technologies of the period. This suggestive book vividly reminds its readers of the cross-fertilization among forms of literature and the importance of culture in creating an "entangled bank" of ideas and types of fiction. Tomaiuolo's research is thorough and extensive. The reader is provided with a fascinating insight into the society in which Mary Elizabeth Braddon lived and wrote ! the constituent parts add up to an incredibly comprehensive and engaging study, not just of Braddon but of Victorian culture and literature as a whole.

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