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The Physiology of the Novel – Reading, Neural Science, and the Form of Victorian Fiction - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Physiology of the Novel: Reading, Neural Science, and the Form of Victorian Fiction

Nicholas Dames


How did the Victorians read novels? The author answers that deceptively simple question by revealing a now-forgotten range of nineteenth-century theories of the novel, a range based in a study of human physiology during the act of reading. He demonstrates the ways in which the Victorians thought they read, and uncovers surprising responses to the question of what might have transpired in the minds and bodies of readers of Victorian fiction. His detailed studies of novel critics who were also interested in neurological science, combined with readings of novels by Thackeray, Eliot, Meredith, and ... More

Keywords: Victorians, novels, nineteenth-century theories, human physiology, minds, bodies, readers, Victorian fiction, novel critics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780199208968
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208968.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nicholas Dames, author
Theodore Kahan Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University