Oedipal Murders and Nostalgic Resurrections

The Victorians in Historical Middlebrow Fiction, 1914–1959


1. Edition, 2014
383 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-6342-0
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: Anglistische Forschungen, Volume No.: 448
Available: 29.09.2014

Keywords: historischer Roman, Viktorianismus, Middlebrow, Englische Literatur /20. Jahrhundert, Neoviktorianismus, Patriarchat, Familie /19. Jahrhundert


Based on a wide range of mainly unknown novels published during the first half of the 20th century, this book presents a survey of the changing image of the Victorians in historical middlebrow fiction in the course of the first half of the twentieth century. It not only links these texts to their political, socio-cultural, and historical context, but also explores the textual structures and strategies which serve to guide, influence and cognitively and emotionally position the reader vis à vis the Victorian period.

Its theoretical approach combines Pierre Macherey’s theory of literary production with Iserian aesthetics and cognitive poetics. Its aim is to deconstruct the dominant narrative of a linear progression from oedipal revolt against the Victorian parental generation to nostalgic glorification of the period during the 1950s. Its exploration of this process of rewriting and revisioning sheds light not only on the changing image of the Victorians and thus on the pre-history of present-day neo-Victorian writing, but also on the complex and fascinating interaction between fiction, individual memory, and cultural narratives of the past.

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Catherine Paula Han in: Neo-Victorian Studies, 9.1 (2016), 187-195

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Christina Flothmann-Scholz in: Literaturwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch, 57. Jg. (2016), 259ff