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Sensationalising Substance Abuse in the Victorian Home
Tamara Wagner

Controversies about the mid-Victorian sensation novel newly brought to the fore clinical conceptualisations of novel reading as an addiction. Yet as novelists capitalised on the sensational potential of substance abuse at home as part of the genre‘s rupture of ideologies of domesticity, they juxtaposed the consumption of sensational material with other emotional and physical dependencies, while reading could be a panacea or cure. M. E. Braddon‘s John Marchmont‘s Legacy (1863) and Wilkie Collins‘s The Law and the Lady (1875) form particularly revealing examples of self-reflexive sensation novels that capitalise on a clinical Gothic of addiction by appropriating discourses that had, ironically, attacked the sensation genre most virulently.

Gothic Studies
Sex, sensation and natural selection
Jonathan Smith

her secrets to Darwin's patient methods, the cultural and literary impacts of his botanical discoveries could be as discomforting as they were astonishing. The literary analogue of Darwin's botanical work of the 1860s and 1870s was the sensation fiction that flourished in those same decades, and the literary offspring of Darwin's botanical work were the late-century tales of monstrous and man-eating plants, the ancestors of which still walk among us today. Since the publication of Gillian Beer's Darwin Plots (1983) and George Levine's Darwin

in EcoGothic gardens in the long nineteenth century
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Helena Ifill

unwelcome ways. The developing personality of an individual was therefore a site of potential danger and vulnerability, as well as opportunity. 4 5 Introduction The sensation novel Bulwer-​ Lytton’s ‘On self-​ control’ is just one example of a popular nineteenth-​century author displaying interest in issues relating to determinism. Sensation fiction, the controversial literary genre that dominated the scene in the 1860s, contains numerous representations of deterministic forces that are variously internal and external, naturally arising and socially engineered

in Creating character
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Richard Marsh and late Victorian journalism
Nick Freeman

forgiven similar astonishment.1 As this chapter will show, Marsh is a Janus-figure who looks back to the era of sensation fiction (and the penny dreadful) and forward to a variety of twentieth-century 27 Richard Marsh and topical discourses of crime popular reformulations of such material. Unfortunately for his reputation, the very qualities that allowed him a share of commercial success during the fin de siècle – ingenuity, adaptability, generic fluidity and ease of consumption – ensured that he would be swiftly forgotten afterwards by all but a few connoisseurs of

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
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Helena Ifill

Louis XIV’, they would have turned out ‘profligate and idle’ because of an ‘over-​abundance of leisure’ (Brodie, p. 302). This leads Crites to declare that we are all ‘creatures of circumstances’ that we can only partially control. Eubulus seeks to change the topic at this point, as it is drifting too close to ‘the metaphysical question as to necessity and free-​will’, which he does not feel ‘disposed to enter further’ (p. 303). Much of the discussion in the previous chapters of Creating Character has shown how, more or less explicitly, the sensation fiction of

in Creating character
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Helena Ifill

the Westminster Review, G.  W. Child took the opportunity to bring readers up to date with ‘the present position of our knowledge of mental physiology’ (Child, p. 38), and the above passage formed part of his conclusion. Child’s account of each individual as the result of a multitude of pre-​and post-​congenital factors includes many of the determinants that, as we have seen throughout Creating Character, were debated, contested and theorised in a variety of Victorian writing, including sensation fiction. Braddon and Collins explicitly and implicitly engage with

in Creating character
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Wilkie Collins’s ghosts
Andrew Smith

Wilkie Collins’s sensation fiction drew upon a Gothic tradition, although he did not share Dickens’s fascination with the ghost story. However, Collins did leave behind a variety of ghost tales which in their own way indicate an interest in how the form could be innovated. 1 Collins’s most sustained attempt at a ghost story is his late novella The Haunted Hotel (1878

in The ghost story, 1840–1920
Rhe Gothic and death in Russian realism
Katherine Bowers

; they encounter a traveling pilgrim who grows frightened at the sight of the corpse. Chekhov’s story plays with reader expectations: the centrality of the dead body in the story leads the reader (and the traveller) to anticipate an outcome such as those in Sensation Fiction, a genre that emerged from the Gothic, was intensely visual, and deliberately played with sensational

in The Gothic and death
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Helena Ifill

chapter draws comparisons between Collins’s fiction and a number of works on heredity that were unpublished at the time it was written. This shows that sensation fiction and medical writing about heredity responded to the same concerns about society, family and the nation, and that sensation authors were contributing to changing public awareness of heredity. Whereas with The Lady Lisle heredity is used by Braddon to bring about a certain outcome in the plot, in Armadale, Collins is far more concerned with the fear that can be generated by the thought of hereditary

in Creating character
Royce Mahawatte

social environments where the public and the private threaten the other’s territory, bringing havoc, the sins of the past, anxiety and very often exclusion. Alexander Welsh’s important work on blackmail sees the Sensation novel as an expression of Victorian anxieties concerning secularisation and knowledge. For Welsh, Eliot uses the techniques of Sensation fiction, and themes of scandal and presumed

in Queering the Gothic