Plotting the News in the Victorian Novel (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture) (Paperback)
Explores how nineteenth-century novels analysed the formal and social workings of news
- Argues that the concept of fake news was central to the development of the novel form
- Demonstrates that novelistic realism develops in tension with emerging claims to reality in the newspaper press
- Contributes to a new wave of scholarship on formal devices in the history of the novel, made most visible by the V21 Collective
- Appeals to scholars in media, literary, and novel studies, as well as a broader public because it traces early theorisations of news discourse
- Draws upon a real Victorian news story in each of the first three chapters
This book shows that novelists often responded to newspapers by reworking well-known events covered by Victorian newspapers in their fictions. Each chapter addresses a different narrative modality and its relationship to the news: Charles Dickens interrogates the distinctions between fictional and journalistic storytelling, while Anthony Trollope explores novelistic bildung in serial form; the sensation novels of Wilkie Collins and Mary Elizabeth Braddon locate melodrama in realist discourses, whereas Anglo-Jewish writer Israel Zangwill represents a hybrid minority experience. At the core of these metaphors and narrative forms is a theorisation of the newspaper's influence on society.