Epistolary Encounters in Neo-Victorian Fiction: Diaries and Letters

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Epistolary strategies play a central role in the contemporary imagination that rewrites Victorian culture. Neo-Victorian writers invoke conflicting viewpoints in diaries, letters, and other addressed accounts to creatively retrace the past in fragmentary, incomplete, and contradictory ways. Epistolary practices intensify neo-Victorian concerns with processes of fragmentation, as interrupted and riddling messages disrupt rather than illuminate communication between past and present. This book provides detailed analyses of writerly strategies that readdress and redeliver the Victorians to us with the promise of epistolary secrets. In contrast to nineteenth-century fiction that embeds documents to expose and explain secrets, documents in neo-Victorian fiction contrive to deconstruct how investigatory reading and interpretation takes place. This book explores the complex writerly and readerly desires implicated in epistolary discoveries of 'hidden' Victorians and offers new insights into the creative synthesising of critical perspectives within the neo-Victorian novel.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages224
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-00716-2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2014


  • neo-Victorian
  • epistolary
  • diary
  • letters
  • Victorian culture


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