Rewriting Victorianism in the Twentieth Century

Gulácsi, Nóra
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It is quite popular in recent British fiction to revise older texts as the basis of a new work, and many writers rework especially the ideas of Victorianism as well as the Victorian novel. [...] These rewritings are called in many ways by various experts, for example, neo-, post-, retro- Victorian novel, Victoriana or Victoriographies, my focus, however, is not on the naming of this phenomenon but to speculate why twentieth century writers used the Victorian novel as the primary source for their work and how they altered our views about Victorianism. I will look at three novels: John Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman, A.S. Byatt’s Possession and Angela Carter’s The Magic Toyshop. All of these novels rewrite the Victorian heritage in their own ways and offer new perspectives to reinterpret the past and present, and the influence of history on contemporary culture.
neo-victorian, Victorianism