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Title: PUBLIC AND PRIVATE VALUE
STUDIES IN THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY NOVEL
By: Peter Smith
Format: Paperback

List price: £25.99
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ISBN 10: 0521128757
ISBN 13: 9780521128759
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Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Pub. date: 4 February, 2010
Pages: 256
Description: A challenge to the inherited nineteenth-century suspicion that the historical novel was a 'costume' affair suited to only minor talents.
Synopsis: Originally published in 1984, this book argues that there is an inherited suspicion from the nineteenth-century that the historical novel after Scott is essentially a 'costume' affair, a dashing tale of times of old, suited only to minor talents and undiscerning readers. Though Scott inaugurated the period of the novel's greatest accomplishments, the specific tradition he founded seems to peter out into relative sterility. This book challenges such a view, and in doing so, offers a major reappraisal of the mainstream Victorian novel. Peter Smith argues that Scott's abiding concern was with the nature of historical change, not in remote but in modern times, and that a similar concern is equally fundamental to Dickens, Flaubert, Henry James and Conrad. In a series of readings of Little Dorrit, L'education sentimentale, Bouvard et Pecuchet, The Princess Casamassima, The Ambassadors and Nostromo, he offers a fresh interpretation not only of these works but of their authors' careers as a whole showing how each of them accommodated personal perceptions and stories of private life to an examination of public values and political upheavals.
Illustrations: black & white illustrations
Publication: UK
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Returns: Returnable
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