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Having one’s cake and eating it too
Marie-Luise Kohlke

origins. 1 Neo-Victorian fiction participates in this on-going cultural recycling, not just in terms of adaptations of individual period works, but of the nineteenth century more generally, which constitutes the focus of this essay. Hence, rather than ‘adaptation’ or ‘adaptive practice’, terms more suitable for re-visionings of specific source-texts, I will employ ‘adaptive reuse’, 2 borrowing my term from urban planning, conservation and redevelopment. ‘Adaptive reuse’ refers to the reutilisation of old sites

in Interventions
Chris Louttit

Since 2005 Tim Burton’s imagination has frequently turned to Victorian-related subjects. Focusing primarily on Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd (2007) and Alice in Wonderland (2010), this article argues that Burton’s response to (neo-) Victorian culture is a distinctly Gothic one. Unlike other more literary and canonical types of neo-Victorianism it engages with the popular and strongly Gothicised conceptions of the Victorian that emerged through the horror cinema of the twentieth century. It is also Gothic in the way that it self-consciously blends the Victorian with other cultural trends. As a result, rather than offering a strongly theorised, academic view of the Victorians, Burton remediates them for his own aesthetic purposes.

Gothic Studies
Frankenstein, neo-Victorian fiction, and the palimpsestuous literary past
Jamie Horrocks

before, this universe bears a resemblance to that created by Shelley, yet it remains unfamiliar to many scholars of nineteenth-century British literature. It is, however, well known to aficionados of neo-Victorian fiction, a genre of popular literature that includes steampunk stories like Chiang’s. Like steampunk itself, which Colbey Emmerson Reid describes as a ‘theoretical reorientation of history’ (138), neo-Victorian fiction has its roots in late-twentieth-century retrofuturistic literature. A loose and somewhat ersatz genre that

in Adapting Frankenstein
The sexual and financial afterlives of Jane Eyre
Louisa Yates

Stanley, New York Times (2012) Sex, as more than one person has observed, certainly sells. A less catchy version of the old adage might be ‘Victoriana sells’. Our pleasure in consuming the Victorian  –​reimagined, revised, reinterpreted, rewritten, re-​screened –​appears insatiable. Academic writing about the neo-​ Victorian suggests that our desire to consume the genre is based on the pleasure generated by its knowing, winking approach to the Victorian encounter. Posing the question ‘What is Neo-​Victorian Studies?’ Mark Llewellyn coined the term ‘critical f

in Charlotte Brontë
Emma Tennant’s Thornfield Hall, Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair and Gail Jones’s Sixty Lights
Alexandra Lewis

197 9 Ii The ethics of appropriation; or, the ‘mere spectre’ of Jane Eyre: Emma Tennant’s Thornfield Hall, Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair and Gail Jones’s Sixty Lights Alexandra Lewis ‘We are, of course, not Victorian’, proclaim Ann Heilmann and Mark Llewellyn in their recent chapter ‘On the Neo-​Victorian, Now and Then’ (2014:  493). ‘We are the Victorians. We should love them. We should thank them. We should love them’, concludes Matthew Sweet in his Inventing the Victorians (2001: 232). But what does it mean to ‘be’ (or not to be), to embody, or even to

in Charlotte Brontë
Abstract only
Rethinking the nineteenth century
Editors: Andrew Smith and Anna Barton

This book addresses a number of concerns that have emerged in recent scholarship on the nineteenth century. It contributes to existing dialogues that consider how the nineteenth century can be thought about and critically rethought through literature and other kinds of textual production. The book offers a theoretical consideration of the concept of the nineteenth century by considering Walter Benjamin's famous work The Arcades Project, focusing on Arnold Bennett's entitled 'The Rising Storm of Life'. It outlines how recent developments in Gothic studies have provided new ways of critically reflecting upon the nineteenth century. The book draws attention to the global scope of Victorian literature, and explores the exchanges which took place between Indian and British cultures. It argues that attending to the fashioning of American texts by British publishers enables people to rethink the emergence of American literature as a material as well as an imaginative phenomenon. The relationship between literature and the European anatomical culture is carried out by exploring nineteenth-century narratives from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in the first decades of the nineteenth-century to Charles Dickens's fiction in the 1860s. Historical fiction writers' persistent fascination with the long nineteenth century enacts a simultaneous drawing near to and distancing from the period, the lives of its inhabitants and its cultural icons, aesthetic discourses and canonical works. Adaptive practice in the neo-Victorian novel, applied both to Victorian literary precursors and the period more generally, may be better described as adaptive reuse or, perhaps appropriative reuse.

The discourse of unbridled capitalism in post-war Hong Kong
Mark Hampton

This chapter examines Hong Kong between 1945 and 1979 as an imagined space in which a British “unbridled capitalism” could flourish even as Britain itself developed a welfare state “consensus”. Drawing on political pamphlets, novels, memoirs, journalistic accounts, politicians’ speeches, and trade organizations’ papers, it argues that Hong Kong was widely seen by expatriates as a place in which British values survived after having been quashed in a “declining” Britain. At the same time, Hong Kong provided a foil against which neo-liberal think tanks could highlight Britain’s need to revive an enterprise culture. In fact, Hong Kong’s status as a laissez-faire economy was overstated, as the government increasingly intervened in such fields as housing, public health, education, and infrastructure. In addition, this meme depended on assumptions that the Chinese were compulsive workers uninterested in leisure, and that Hong Kong Chinese were politically apathetic, both of which collapsed in the late 1960s. Despite these tensions, this distinct idea of a Hong Kong Britishness provided a cultural legacy that survived the collapse of the “British world”. At the same time, by preserving what were often called neo-Victorian economic ideals, Hong Kong constituted a model to which anti-Keynesian British politicians of the 1970s could point.

in The cultural construction of the British world
Abstract only
Andrew Smith and Anna Barton

, the Edwardians, and Modernists. This attempt to discuss and conceptualise what we mean by the long nineteenth century illustrates just how difficult it can be to contain the Victorians within any simplified model based on the reign of a monarch. Likewise, the 2016 conference, at Cardiff, included a series of panels devoted to the topic of ‘Victorian afterlives’, a phrase that reminds us of the period’s tendency to outstrip itself, encroaching into the early twentieth and, by way of neo-Victorian literature and culture, the

in Interventions
Abstract only
Andrew Smith

. This period can be read as a long nineteenth century in which even the late, and very different, voices of May Sinclair and M.R. James evidence an extended Victorianism which conditions their approach to modernism. The writers discussed here thus represent the end of a certain era. However, it is also an era which, given our culture’s present interest in the neo-Victorian, may well be subject to a

in The ghost story, 1840–1920
Monika Pietrzak- Franger

circulates’ (2007: 34). This interpretative and affective plurality makes the work of the book’s adapters all the more challenging. Despite these difficulties, the past two decades have seen a deluge of Victorian adaptations and neo-​Victorian texts. Indeed, neo-​Victorianism, with its emphasis on contemporary texts that engage with the Victorian era in a self-​reflexive way (Heilmann and Llewellyn, 2010: 4), has grown into a discipline in its own right, with its own journal.1 Neo-​V ictorian critics and adaptation scholars have argued that the Victorian era offers us a

in Charlotte Brontë