Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of English Language and Literature

Language

English

Abstract

Neo-Victorian novelists sometimes use postgraduate students – trainee academics – who research nineteenth-century writers as protagonists. This article discusses four neo-Victorian novels, Lloyd Jones’s Mister Pip (2006), Justine Picardie’s Daphne (2008), A.N. Wilson’s A Jealous Ghost (2005) and Scarlett Thomas’s The End of Mr Y (2006), in which female postgraduate students take the centre stage. In Victorian literature, which mirrors the gender bias in the academic world and in society at large at that time, most scholars are male. The contemporary writers’ choice of female trainee academics is worth investigating as it speaks to the visibly changed gender make-up of contemporary academia. However, this utopian situation is complicated by the fact that the writers have chosen to frustrate the characters’ entry into the world of scholarship by having them leave the university environment altogether before the end of the novel. The fact that these females all choose to depart the university forms a contrast with notions of the university found in Victorian novels, in which leaving or not attending university might have detrimental effects on the characters.

Keywords

Neo-Victorian fiction, literary adaptations, gender, intellectual cannibalism, trainee academics, fiction vs literary criticism, Lloyd Jones, Justine Picardie, A.N. Wilson, Scarlett Thomas

Publication Date

2016

Source Publication Title

American, British and Canadian Studies Journal

Volume

26

Issue

1

Start Page

72

End Page

86

Publisher

De Gruyter Open

Peer Reviewed

1

DOI

10.1515/abcsj-2016-0005

Link to Publisher's Edition

https://doi.org/10.1515/abcsj-2016-0005

ISSN (print)

18411487

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