The Resource Readdressed : correspondence culture and nineteenth century British fiction, by Laura Elizabeth Rotunno

Readdressed : correspondence culture and nineteenth century British fiction, by Laura Elizabeth Rotunno

Label
Readdressed : correspondence culture and nineteenth century British fiction
Title
Readdressed
Title remainder
correspondence culture and nineteenth century British fiction
Statement of responsibility
by Laura Elizabeth Rotunno
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Letters are ubiquitous in Romantic and Victorian novels: Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and even the monster use letters to tell their tales; Dickens's Micawber amply matches his long-winded speeches with purple prose-filled letters, and a Sherlock Holmes mystery would be incomplete without letters carrying the crucial handwriting sample or incriminating postmark. For most critics, however, these letters stand as realistic props, deft vehicles for character development, or instruments for intertextual allusions. I argue that a more immediate context explains why the letter so prominently remains in the nineteenth-century novel: British postal history. Radical changes in the nineteenth-century British Post Office plunged letters into political, artistic, and social debates. The 1840 Penny Postage Bill alone made correspondence's political valence, artistic worth, and class associations subjects of concern for the majority of the nineteenth-century British population. The widespread publication of letters used in legal trials, the advent of postcards, and the nationalization of the telegraph inspired similar interest and debate. I argue that nineteenth-century novels benefited from the discussions spurred by such correspondence innovations. These novels adopted letters for use in their attempts to shape British readers, writers, and the novel itself. Organizing my chapters around popular genres--the Gothic, the historical novel, the Künstlerroman , the sensation novel, and the detective novel, specifically using Mary Shelley's Frankenstein , Sir Walter Scott's Redgauntlet , Charles Dickens's David Copperfield , Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White , and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four as case studies--I test this thesis on fiction that reached large populations and stimulated heated debates about aesthetic standards and writerly and readerly responsibilities. The narrative that emerges explores why particular genres achieved popularity, how visions of authors expanded as lower classes and women entered the literary marketplace, and if standards of reading changed as the century progressed. Shifting attention away from the letter's declining presence in fiction, this dissertation reveals the political, social, and artistic significance of the letter in nineteenth-century British fiction
Additional physical form
Also available on the Internet.
Cataloging source
MUU
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1971-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Rotunno, Laura Elizabeth
Degree
Ph. D.
Dissertation year
2003.
Government publication
government publication of a state province territory dependency etc
Granting institution
University of Missouri-Columbia
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
  • bibliography
  • theses
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Postal service
  • Letter writing
  • English fiction
  • Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Scott, Walter
  • Dickens, Charles
  • Collins, Wilkie
  • Doyle, Arthur Conan
Target audience
specialized
Label
Readdressed : correspondence culture and nineteenth century British fiction, by Laura Elizabeth Rotunno
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • Typescript
  • Vita
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (leaves [295]-314)
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
  • cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
54798223
Dimensions
29 cm
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
vii, 315 leaves
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • c
Specific material designation
remote
Label
Readdressed : correspondence culture and nineteenth century British fiction, by Laura Elizabeth Rotunno
Publication
Note
  • Typescript
  • Vita
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (leaves [295]-314)
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
  • cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
54798223
Dimensions
29 cm
Dimensions
unknown
Extent
vii, 315 leaves
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • c
Specific material designation
remote

Library Locations

    • University of Missouri Libraries DepositoryBorrow it
      2908 Lemone Blvd, Columbia, MO, 65211, US
      38.919360 -92.291620
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