Victorian Popular Fiction

This module will be centred upon three genres which emerge in the mid-late Victorian period: Detective Fiction; Adventure Stories; Children’s Fiction. It will focus on key texts and writers within the emerging genres by looking at how certain conventions, principles and core concerns develop, as well as considering issues of literary status and canonicity.

The module studies one key text each week but will make connections across texts. Within each session you will explore texts in terms of overlapping themes within a genre, and the issues raised for how subjects are interpreted; as well as thinking about issues of narrative structure and voice, and the involvement of the reader. At the start of each three week period there will be a short introductory lecture establishing themes/ideas and generic issues for the form.

The module will also encourage you to consider the differences made by different forms of representation (e.g. serialisation for adventure stories; illustrations alongside the story for Holmes; initial dramatic representation of Peter Pan).