The Historical Novel

Hurst, Isobel. 2012. The Historical Novel. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Victorian Literature, [Article]

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The Victorian period is often regarded as a high point in literary history, generating a wealth of material that is still regarded as canonical as well as a diverse range of literary genres. This period, which encompasses the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901, produced a large number of prominent authors such as Charles Dickens, the Brontë sisters, and Oscar Wilde, and witnessed a huge expansion in the literary market (partly because of the rise in literacy). The Victorian era was highly conscious of its own relation to the past – its ‘heritage’ or place in history – but it also sensed its role in shaping the future. For modern readers, it has come to represent both our literary past and the beginnings of modernity as we experience it today. Although the study of Victorian literature has a rich and well established critical literature, it remains a highly active field due to its popularity with students and researchers alike, and is constantly responding to the regular emergence of new interpretations and theoretical ideas. In addition to this extensive body of scholarship, the study of Victorian literature has been quick to move online so that today’s students and researchers have ready access to key primary source texts and a range of other electronic resources. Rather than sifting through these ever-expanding mountains of information that may or may not yield relevant results, students and researchers alike can rely on Oxford Bibliographies in Victorian Literature to offer a reliable, up-to-date, and authoritative guide to the best literature in the field.

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revised and updated version published in Sept 2023

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


25 September 2023Published Online
30 July 2023Accepted

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Date Deposited:

07 Sep 2015 14:19

Last Modified:

10 Nov 2023 15:29

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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