english lit_2109 - Sutherlands invaluable Longman Companion...

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Sutherland’s invaluable Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (1999) records nearly 900 novelists and gives brief synopses of nearly 500 works of fiction. But it makes no attempt to be comprehensive. Nor does this guide, which, with some exceptions, focuses on the writers who have selected themselves by their enduring literary quality, though these were not necessarily the most widely read novelists at the time.14 The ‘classic’ Victorian novel read and studied today was largely written by and for a specific, large but restricted middle-class readership, and consolidated middle-class cultural values. It is a myth that even Dickens

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