Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
French Novels and the Victorians$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Juliette Atkinson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266090

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266090.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Fictional readers

Fictional readers

Chapter:
(p.195) 4 Fictional readers
Source:
French Novels and the Victorians
Author(s):

Juliette Atkinson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266090.003.0004

Fictional Victorian readers were often prone to enjoying French novels. The dangers lurking for female readers in improper material had been something of a literary cliché for some time, and can be found in contemporary poems and cautionary tales. However, Victorian novelists were as concerned with the effects of the novels on male readers. Numerous novels engage less with ideas of immorality than with anxieties surrounding idleness and its effect on the British male. Increasingly, though, novels offered more ambivalent and thoughtful reflections on the cultural discourse surrounding French works. Their dangers were shrugged off, and their pleasures dealt with sympathetically by novelists such as Braddon and Ouida. Cautionary tales about French novel-reading never quite went away, but critics found it increasingly hard to determine the extent to which the cautionary tales themselves might be mimicking the very dangers which they purported to condemn.

Keywords:   readers, idleness, Thackeray, Braddon, Ouida, Robinson

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.