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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 3: The Nineteenth-Century Novel 1820-1880$
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John Kucich and Jenny Bourne Taylor

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199560615.001.0001

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Addressing the Reader

Addressing the Reader

The Autobiographical Voice

Chapter:
(p.274) 17 Addressing the Reader
Source:
The Oxford History of the Novel in English
Author(s):

Rachel Ablow

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199560615.003.0017

This chapter examines the increased interest in the autobiographical voice in the nineteenth century. It first discusses the historical context for its popularity. It then places the popularity of the autobiographical voice in the context of nineteenth-century concerns regarding both developmental and abnormal psychology. Next, it discusses how the first-person narrator was used both to establish sympathetic relations between readers and narrators, and to interrogate the problems or limitations of sympathy. The chapter concludes with a brief consideration of turn-of-the-century experiments with new forms of the autobiographical voice.

Keywords:   Victorian fiction, autobiographical voice, first-person narrative, readers, narrators, sympathy

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