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-The Victorian Novel-

During the Victorian Age, there was a communion of interests and opinions between writers and their readers.
One reason of this close relationship was the enormous growth of the middle class, who were avid consumers of literature.

Victorian literature was first published in this form: essays, verse and even novels made their appearance in instalments in the pages of periodicals; because of that, the writer was obliged to maintain the interest of his story at certain levels, because one boring instalments would cause the public not to buy that periodical any more.

The Novel was the most popular form of literature and the main form of entertainment; the novel was realistic and analytical, but also social and critical.
It also had a social responsibility: it should reflect the social changes created by the Industrial Revolution or by the growth of towns.
Novelists were aware of the evils of their society, such as terrible conditions of manual workers and the exploitation of children.

The Victorian novelists conceived literature also as a vehicle to correct vices and weaknesses of the age, in fact didacticism is one of the main features of their work.
There was an omniscient narrator, which commented the plot and erected a barrier between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
In the final chapter there were the retribution and the punishment.

The setting chosen by most Victorian novelists was the city, which was the main symbol of industrial civilisation and the expression of anonymous lives and lost identities.
Usually the characters were created and there was a deep analysis of the character’s inner life.

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