The University of Wisconsin Press
Literature & Criticism
Protest and Reform
The British Social Narrative by Women, 1827–1867
Joseph A. Kestner
The social novel in nineteenth-century Britain has been considered the effort of a predominantly male canon of writers. In this ground-breaking study, Joseph Kestner challenges that assumption, arguing that it was a succession of female writers—women often meriting only a footnote in literary history—who initiated and advanced the tradition using narrative fiction to register protest, expose abuses, and promote reform.
Kestner explores the contributions to Victorian social policy by the fiction of these neglected authors (Hannah More, Elizabeth Stone, Frances Trollope, Charlotte Tonna, Camilla Toulmin, Geraldine Jewsbury, Fanny Mayne, Julia Kavanagh, Dinah Mulock Craik) as well as of more prominent female authors (Maria Edgeworth, Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot) and male writers (Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, G. M. W. Reynolds, John Galt, Charles Kingsley).
John Kestner is professor of English at the University of Tulsa. He studied at Columbia University, where he was a President's Fellow. He is author of The Spatiality of the Novel, as well as many essays in a variety of scholarly journals, including Poétique.
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LC: 84-040498 PR
280 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Also released as a co-publication with a UK publisher.
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