The 30 entries in this DLB volume give ample evidence of the popularity of the Victorian novel, paralleling the emergence of a new readership (mostly women and the growing middle class), a new form of reading, and a recognition of the social value of fiction. The onset of public education in Britain during this period placed a premium on the value of literacy in an industrial/commercial society. Also, by the mid-19th century the novel had become critically respectable, and its subject matter dealt increasingly and more realistically with serious political and social issues. For these reasons, by the latter part of the 19th century the novel had become the most popular and potent literary genre of the day.
30 entries include: Anne Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, CharlesDickens, Benjamin Disraeli, George Eliot, Charles Kingsley, Marmion Savage and William Makepeace Thackeray.
"It is hands-down the best overall literary reference work ever published, a proverbial diamond as big as the Ritz..."
-- Library Journal (June 15, 2006)
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