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Victorian Narratives of the Recent Past : Memory, History, Fiction

Author: Helen Kingstone; École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France)
Publisher: Cham Springer International Publishing Imprint : Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
Series: Palgrave studies in nineteenth-century writing and culture.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This book explains why narrating the recent past is always challenging, and shows how it was particularly fraught in the nineteenth century. The legacy of Romantic historicism, the professionalization of the historical discipline, and even the growth of social history, all heightened the stakes. This book brings together Victorian histories and novels to show how these parallel genres responded to the challenges of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Electronic books
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Helen Kingstone; École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France)
ISBN: 331949550X 9783319495507 9783319495491 3319495496
OCLC Number: 1058272294
Description: 1 online resource (x, 244 pages 2 illustrations)
Contents: Introduction: Who's afraid of contemporary history?.- Part I: A conceptual framework --
Chapter 2. History as a temporal continuum: from Walter Scott to William Stubbs --
Chapter 3. The social continuum: history without heroes from William Hazlitt to J.R. Seeley --
Chapter 4. Gendered Genres: professional history vs. antiquarianism and the historical novel.- Part II: Victorian historians and the recent past: Harriet Martineau, J.R. Green, Spencer Walpole and Charlotte M. Yonge --
Chapter 5. Immersion and overview in histories without hindsight --
Chapter 6. Power to the people? Proto-social history.- Part III: Victorian novelists and the recent past: Walter Scott, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot --
Chapter 7. In defence of living memory: "sixty years since" or less --
Chapter 8. "Unhistoric" individuals in the provincial novel --
Conclusions.-
Series Title: Palgrave studies in nineteenth-century writing and culture.
Responsibility: by Helen Kingstone.

Abstract:

This book explains why narrating the recent past is always challenging, and shows how it was particularly fraught in the nineteenth century. The legacy of Romantic historicism, the professionalization of the historical discipline, and even the growth of social history, all heightened the stakes. This book brings together Victorian histories and novels to show how these parallel genres responded to the challenges of contemporary history writing in divergent ways. Many historians shrank from engaging with controversial recent events. This study showcases the work of those rare historians who defied convention, including the polymath Harriet Martineau, English nationalist J.R. Green, and liberal enthusiast Spencer Walpole. A striking number of popular Victorian novels are retrospective. This book argues that Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot's "novels of the recent past" are long overdue recognition as genuinely historical novels. By focusing on provincial communities, these novelists reveal undercurrents invisible to national narratives, and intervene in debates about women's contribution to history.

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