Part I of this authoritative handbook offers systematic essays, which deal with major historical, social, philosophical, political, cultural and aesthetic contexts of the English novel between 1830 and 1900. The essays offer a wide scope of aspects such as the Industrial Revolution, religion and secularisation, science, technology, medicine, evolution or the increasing mediatisation of the lifeworld. Part II, then, leads through the work of more than 25 eminent Victorian novelists. Each of these chapters provides both historical and biographical contextualisation, overview, close reading and analysis. They also encourage further research as they look upon the work of the respective authors at issue from the perspectives of cultural and literary theory.
Martin Middeke, University of Augsburg, Germany; Monika Pietrzak-Franger, University of Vienna, Austria.