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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Victorian Novel's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
11:31 am
New community
I've just created crip_crit, for discussing the portrayal of disability in literature, film and TV. Victorian lit is absolutely swarming with this particular topic: it turns up in pretty much everything written by Wilkie Collins, and there are other famous examples such as Mrs Joe's brain injury in Great Expectations. Come along and discuss it! You don't have to be disabled to join, just friendly.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008
3:24 pm
Guess the quotation!
Since Victorian lit is full of strange lines, I thought it would be fun to play a game where you have to post a line from a Victorian novel, and whoever guesses it correctly continues the game by posting another. To kick off:

"He sauntered lingeringly, fondling the spaniel in his bosom."
1:23 am
Help needed please... Clothing and Jane Eyre.
I am struggling with coming up with a focus for my essay on Jane Eyre for my MA course in Victorian studies.

*I would prefer it to be an interdisciplinary question/focus but it doesn't have to be.
*I would like to write about and explore something that hasn't been done so in either much detail or at all really...
*In the week we looked at Jane Eyre we also looked at: Hunt's The Awakening Conscience; The enfranchisement of women by Harriet Taylor; Laws of England concerning women by Barbara Bodichon and a couple of secondary material including the chapter from Gilbert and Gubar's The Madwoman in the attic.

I want a really clear and precise focus. The question must be relating to the 'theme' of the core course which is 'progress and anxiety' and can refer to either/or.

After endless scribblings and note making I've come up with an interest in clothing...
...the symbolism of Bertha destroying Jane's wedding dress and how it can represent her 'shitting' on marriage after the failure of her own, in turn showing the anxiety of marriages being destroyed either by adulterous women or women choosing not to be the 'angel of the house' and instead opting to be ruined and live in sin as mistresses which may or may not lead to prostitution (consider Hunt's painting here perhaps and John Ruskin's comment on the model's dress - that the whiteness will or is soon to be covered in dirt perhaps should she fall to a life on the streets etc.) which in turn shows up another contemporary social anxiety about women at the time...

Perhaps Adele's superfluous interest in clothing and her mother's before her and her 'life of sin' as Rochester's mistress...there are references to Rochester buying her satins and clothing etc. ...Rochester's loathing for Adele's mother and the like and his apparent desire to protect Jane and 'not' intend to make her his mistress by marrying her when in actual fact...well you know the story.

Jane's own clothing which is of course dark and plain and which highlights a governess' undefined status and miserable existence as neither family member nor valued household member leading to the anxieties and 'fears' of working (independent) women... the darkness of her clothing paralleling or highlighting/reinforcing her own anxieties and outlook on marriage and her demand for equality which could be said to have been an anxiety - that women should not have a say or make such demands even or indeed have a mind of their own, let alone want to be their husbands equal....

And so on.

The question or various wordings of the question I have at the moment are (delete/adapt as appropriate) however I'm still not sure as to what my 'argument' or point might actually be exactly...but I am just really interested in the idea of looking at and focusing on (female) clothing.:

"To what extent/How far does clothing in Jane Eyre illustrate Victorian social anxieties about women? / about women and the sanctity/institution of marriage?"

Please please feel free to change or edit as you would see fit, to post your own thoughts about the topic and links or to suggest any other ideas I am also open to other viewpoints or angles or focus areas as long as it's manageable as it's due in on the 7th of January!

Many many thanks in advance.

Current Mood: distressed
Sunday, December 23rd, 2007
11:22 pm
Can you be manly in pearls?
I'm listening to audiobooks a lot at the moment, and I find that I pick up on things I didn't notice when reading the novel. Jane Eyre is the one I've just finished, noting that St John is even more of a bastard than I remembered, and that Rochester may be a Strong Rugged Man type, but Jane is constantly rescuing him. The bit that really made me sit up is when Rochester says, in the penultimate chapter, "...and since you left your pearl necklace behind I've been wearing it under my clothes ever since you left." I know that Bronte has a penchant for gender-bending and cross-dressing, seen a little with Rochester's gypsy outfit and even more in Villette, but Rochester wearing pearls? What do you make of this? You can get all symbolic about gender and power being represented in jewellery, Jane starts wearing Rochester's watch at this point for example, but I just end up giggling at the idea of Rochester secretly wearing pearls. It also made me want to rewrite a scene as follows. (Paraphrasing from memory.)

"Jane, have you a glittering ornament around your neck?"
I was wearing a gold-watch-chain, and I replied that I had.
"And have you a pale blue dress on?"
(shyly) "And do you think it would suit me?"
"No," I said decisively. "Pale colours are no good for a strong character such as yours. A brilliant crimson gown would serve you far better."
Wednesday, December 19th, 2007
10:28 pm
Historical/Thriller/Suspense recommendations
 OK...lately I've been on a kick...let's call it historical-thriller-suspense novels.  I have recently read and finished:

-The Thirteenth Tale
-As Meat Loves Salt (not a thriller, but it's the atmosphere I'm looking for)
-The Meaning of Night
-Sings the Nightbird
-The Queen of Bedlam
-am currently reading Fingersmith

Now, I need recommendations, please, in this same vein.  I am loving the 16th/17th century, and the suspense.  I don't mind the love stories, but I don't want just straight romance.  It's not my thing.  I want the dark, brooding, London-y historical thriller.  Look at the list above: if these books had love-children, what would they be?  Ideas?  Thanks.  
3:43 pm

I'm after some recommendations for novels written in a female, first person point of view, preferably -- but not necessarily -- by female writers. So far I have only Jane Eyre and Villette. Thematically, anything goes; it's the point of view in which I'm interested.

Thanks heaps. :D
Sunday, December 16th, 2007
10:45 am
What a great find!!

I share a birthday season (Thanksgiving - New Year's) with a few friends from high school. This year we decided to re-read Daniel Deronda, by George Eliot. All I remembered about the book was romance, romance. But this time around..this mature reader was delighted with the historical elements as well as the Jewish element - very interesting.
In surfing the web with Mr. Deronda, I came across a web site called www.pointandcircumference.com, where I ordered a lit mag called...The Deronda Review.  How cool was that? They have poems that actually rhyme and make sense, stuff about the environment, relevant themes.
I highly recommend people start re-reading stuff from high school; it's much more than we thought.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
12:03 pm
i have recently been reading some some books from the odd Victorian genre, the "Christmas Book".
i was looking for more information on the subject, Thackeray's Christmas books in particular, when i came across this interesting article from the NY Times dated December 6, 1907.
the extended article opens in a PDF file. i hope that you find it as interesting as i did.
Thursday, November 8th, 2007
9:54 am
Dracula was framed.

 Maybe that's going too far.  But I have created a blog devoted to completely rewriting, reinterpreting, and generally kicking the tires on Stoker's novel.  It's called "The Dracula Innocence Project," and it's at http://draculawasframed.blogspot.com


Or check out my funny book on Stoker's masterpiece and all the crazy vamp children it spawned -- Sundays with Vlad (www.vladlives.com).  It has plenty of Store lore and myth-busting, including a trip to see the Stoker notes in Philly.

Saturday, October 27th, 2007
1:04 am
Jane Eyre
I am going to be writing an essay on Jane Eyre for my MA course over Xmas and I have to come up with the question myself. I already have some ideas and interests, particularly of a feminist nature and the Gothic elements of the novel. However, I thought I would ask here and see what you gentle folk might suggest. Random keywords that I have buzzing around in my head for now are: madness; female insanity; Victorian feminism; the role and position of the governess; the Gothic in JE; female anxieties...; Jane's progress and struggle...etc etc. The essay question must be linked to the core course theme which is progress and anxiety.

Many thanks in advance
Thursday, August 23rd, 2007
5:44 pm
The Heir of Redclyffe
Did anyone here ever teach Charlotte Yonge's The Heir of Redclyffe (or, conversely, take it in an undergraduate class)? I'm setting up a syllabus for "The Novel 1832-1860," and am wondering if students would be interested in it or if they would be bored to tears.

It's got a lot of possibilities from the perspectives variously of the Oxford Movement, gender studies, middle-class everyday life, and so forth; but the piety might just be insufferable.

This is probably moot because I think it's now out of print again (so was The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, which was my first choice, damn Oxford World's Classics and Penguin both of 'em for not knowing a good thing when they see it). But I'm still interested in seeing if anyone has any undergraduate experience with Yonge, and if it is true that Yonge can really "make even virtue interesting."
Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
6:13 pm
New community for reading Mansfield Park
episodical has just been launched. This community will be used to for posting novels, a chapter at a time, to be read and discussed. Our first novel will be Jane Austen's controversial Mansfield Park, a tale of character and sensibility, marriage and class, wit and social critique. The reading will start on Monday 18 June and two or three chapters will be posted per week, along with links to a free audio recording so that you can listen along as well if you like. In the future, we're hoping to post other novels from the 18th and 19th centuries, including Victorian and gothic.

Come and join us, and feel free to spread the word!
Saturday, October 14th, 2006
4:53 pm
New Fantasy Lit Community
Dear friends,

I've just created a new community, faerie_founders, for the discussion of all fantasy literature written before the advent of WWI in 1914. I would like to formally invite all fans of L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, E. Nesbit, Bram Stoker, Carlo Collodi, George MacDonald, J. M. Barrie and their ilk to join us there to post reviews, fanfiction and discussions about the classics of the fantasy genre.


P.S: If this kind of post is not allowed, I apologise. Please feel free to delete it.

Current Mood: hopeful
Sunday, October 8th, 2006
5:03 pm
Cliff, Shag, Marry
shaksper_random are having another round of that celebrated game, Cliff, Shag, Marry. In this game, one person picks three characters, usually according to some sort of theme, and the next has to decide which of those s/he'd prefer to marry, which to shag, and which to throw off a cliff. When giving your answers, give three more characters, and thus the game continues. Since there are rather a lot of 19th century novels out there, please give the novel if the character's name doesn't make it blindingly obvious (e.g. eponymous heroines).
Sunday, October 1st, 2006
11:53 am
William Morris, critiquing the Victorian realist novel, wrote that its subject was "the troubles of a middle-class couple in their struggle toward social uselessness" and its method was merely the study of social "anomalies and futilities."

Friday, August 4th, 2006
5:58 pm
Looking for a reader
(Cross-posted to 19thc_britlit, hardy_fans, victorian_novel)

Hi, I'm Chezzie, English-but-lives-in-Germany, going into 12th grade in a couple of weeks... my school does the IB, which requires every student to write a 4000 word essay over the summer holidays, polish it up over the next few months, and send it off in December. My topic is Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, and the question is this: to what extent is Tess in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles the perfect/archetypal Victorian woman?

I'd like someone who has read the book and knows a little about essay-writing to read over some of the essay over the next couple of weeks while I'm writing it. Everyone I know - my mum, my dad, my boyfriend - haven't read the book, and I don't want to impose on any of them. My supervisor - my English teacher, who actually studied Tess for a year in her English degree - will, of course, be seeing this in a few weeks, but I'd just like to get the feeling I'm on the right track.

I have MSN, and will hand that out to anyone who offers to 'beta' for me (which reminds me, more than one person would also be great), and if not emailing should be fine.

Please comment! <3 Thank you so much~
Monday, July 17th, 2006
8:16 pm
Governess focused novels
Other than:

Jane Eyre
Agnes Grey
The turn of the screw
Vanity Fair

what other 19th century novels are about/narrated by governesses? I can't seem to remember any others right now, I need this info for an essay so I can list/refer to a few others.

Thank you all muchly,


Current Mood: curious
Friday, June 2nd, 2006
8:43 pm
Bleak House & Dracula
Hello, I'm new to the community and was thrilled to find it-- I'm currently working on my senior defense paper, the books I'm studying are Dickens' Bleak House and Stoker's Dracula. I'm working with the texts to determine how ideas of written v. spoken language were perceived in the Victorian novel.

My advisor has already recommended two books to me, Kittler's Discourse and his own text on the publishing industry (Bigelow, should anyone be interested); I was hoping someone here might have a few more suggestions.

Current Mood: bored
Friday, April 28th, 2006
4:39 am
New community
Bram Stoker's Dracula. In real-time. Join up and read along.

Dracula is an epistolary novel (meaning that it's written as a series of documents; usually letters, here everything from letters to diary entries to newspaper clippings). On this community, they'll be appearing on the day they're dated, starting with Jonathan Harker's first journal entry on the 3rd of May. The novel finishes in November, so we've got about six months. Posts will be made by the characters in Dracula, who each have their own account, but everyone will be able to comment.

For more information, go to dracula1897. Brought to you by eye_of_a_cat and elettaria.
Saturday, December 31st, 2005
9:08 pm
I wish my all friends of Victorian Novel in 2006
"to survey the depths of space and time" even more deeply and
''to hold communion with other living things' even more candidly,

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