The Secular Pilgrims of Victorian Fiction: The Novel as Book of Life

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CUP Archive, 14.10.1982 - 217 Seiten
This book examines the attempts of four great Victorians to write what amounted to latter-day 'Pilgrim's Progresses'. Writing in and for an age whose spiritual needs and assumptions differed utterly from those of Bunyan, they produced very different kinds of books from his - but books which still owed as much to the puritan tradition of Pilgrim's Progress and Quarles Emblems, of spiritual biography and the typological reading of scripture, as to the secular redefinition of that tradition in the early nineteenth century. Carlyle's Sartor Resartus represents the closest convergence-point of these two sources. In its effort to combine traditional religious language and later Romantic ideas within the doctrine of 'natural supernaturalism', it may be seen as the prototypical Victorian novel - a Pilgrim's Progress whose hero must write his own guidebook, his own book of life. Professor Qualls uses Carlyle as a context for studying the thematic concerns and narrative activities of Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens and George Eliot.
 

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Inhalt

Introduction The word made novel i
1
slumbering soul page
8
Carlyle in Doubting Castle
17
The terrible beauty of Charlotte Brontes
43
6 the vanity mirror
54
8 Venus and Divine Cupid
67
Transmutations of Dickens emblematic art
85
10 the caged soul
90
Browne Dombey and Son monthly cover
94
Browne Dombey and Son frontispiece detail
95
14 Flesh and Spirit
99
2 the labyrinth
101
13 the dunghill slave
104
9 the souls snares
111
George Eliot
139
Conclusion The novel as book of life
189

Cattermole At Rest from The Old Curiosity Shop
91
11 the shipwrecked soul
92

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