Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1991. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto (9 1/4 x 6 1/4"). VIII, 854pp. Original illustrated dust-jacket over cloth.
""The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel" is the first comprehensive study of Victorian novelists' use of the era's everyday culture and common knowledge in their writings. This work has been derived from approximately 150 novels of the era, from Pickwick Papers to Trollope’s last novels and The Mayor of Casterbridge. All the “great names” of Victorian fiction are here - Dickens, Thackeray, Disraeli, George Eliot, Charlotte Brontë, Trollope, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, Hardy, Meredith—as well as a representative selection of the less-than-great - Charles Reader, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Samuel Warren, and the unjustly neglected Robert Smith Surtees. The many illustrations, drawn principally from the "Illustrated London News" and "Punch" and from the novels themselves, re-create for a reader at the end of the twentieth century the same images that were evoked in the minds of the novels’ first readers. The book, therefore, surveys that manner in which Victorian fiction draws upon the observations and experience of the readers for whom the novelists wrote - not “posterity,” but readers of the daily press and riders on the new railways. Here we meet the half-legendary figure of Stultz the fashionable tailor; learn about the messages conveyed at different times and on different social levels by cigar smoking and the wearing of gloves; discover the jokey career of the crinoline, the humors and corrupt practices of parliamentary elections, and scores of other topics that, when fully explained, help us to read with better understanding the living book of Victorian fiction" (from the publishers).
Book is new and still in shrinkwrap. Fine. Item #41594