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Spellbound: The Fairy Tale and the Victorians

In examining the relationship between fairy tales and Victorian culture, Molly Clark Hillard concludes that the Victorians were 'spellbound' novelists, poets, and playwrights were self-avowedly enchanted by the fairy tale, and, at the same time, literary genres were bound to the fairy tale, dependent upon its forms and figures to make meaning. But these 'spellbound' literary artists also feared that fairy tales exuded an originative power that pervaded and precluded authored work. Victorians resolved this tension by treating the form as a nostalgic refuge from an industrial age, a quaint remnant of the pre-literacy of childhood and peasantry. However, Spellbound: The Fairy Tale and the Victorians demonstrates that fairy stories, rather than operating outside of progressive modernity, significantly contributed to the language and images of industrial, material England. Hillard challenges the common critical and cultural misconception (originating with the Victorians themselves) that the fairy tale was a quaint and quiescent form. Through close readings of the novels of Dickens, Eliot, and Charlotte Bronte; the poetry of Tennyson and Christina Rossetti; the visual artistry of Burne-Jones and Punch; and the popular theatricals of dramatists like Planche and Buckingham, Spellbound opens fresh territory into well-traversed titles of the Victorian canon. Hillard reveals that these literary forms were all cross-pollinated by the fairy tale and that their authors were-however reluctantly-purveyors of disruptive fairy tale matter over which they had but imperfect control. Molly Clark Hillard is assistant professor of English at Seattle University.

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780814252802
Author(s): Molly Clark Hillard
Format: Paperback
Language: Englis Please click here to ask a question
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