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Title: George Eliot, Geraldine Jewsbury and Margaret Oliphant as reviewers of the British novel, 1890-1970
Author: Seidel, Isabel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 6490
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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This PhD thesis explores the reviews of George Eliot, Geraldine Jewsbury and Margaret Oliphant to demonstrate their contributions to the evolution of a theory of the novel in the nineteenth century. In particular, it examines Eliot's reviews in the Westminster Review and the Leader in the 1850s, Jewsbury's reviews in the Athenaeum from 1850 to 1870 and Oliphant's reviews in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine from 1850 to 1870. The analysis of Eliot's, Jewsbury's and Oliphant's criticism of the nineteenth-century British novel focuses on such key concepts as genre (realism, sensation fiction, etc.), characterisation, plot, story and narrative structure. It shows how the reviews by these women helped to shape the methods and the discourse of literary criticism. This thesis also includes an exploration of Victorian periodical culture in connection with economic, cultural and social questions of the mid-nineteenth century, especially relating to the literary marketplace including book publishing practices, the purpose of fiction and the role of the critic, novelist and reader. Since Eliot, Jewsbury and Oliphant reviewed anonymously, they were able to engage in a literary dialogue about the purposes and practices of fiction in an arena where the question of their gender was not in the foreground. This thesis does, however, demonstrate the different career paths open to women in the Victorian literary marketplace. Comparing and contrasting the literary criticism of these three reviewers, this study evaluates their work from new perspectives and argues for greater recognition of the role of these writers to the development of the discipline of literary criticism. It thus constitutes an original contribution to existing scholarship. Overall, this thesis contributes to and extends research in three major areas of literary study: Victorian periodicals; the literary criticism of Eliot, Jewsbury and Oliphant; and the history of literary theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available