South Central Modern Language Association Book Award 2006

The Pre-Raphaelite Art of the Victorian Novel

Narrative Challenges to Visual Gendered Boundaries

Sophia Andres



208 pp. 6x9

$49.95 paper 978-0-8142-5129-4
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$14.95 CD 978-0-8142-9049-1
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Table of Contents


“delightful and thoroughly researched . . . beautifully illustrated . . . highly recommended” — Choice

“The Pre-Raphaelite Art of the Victorian Novel is a provocative, interdisciplinary study of the Victorian novel and Victorian painting that uses not only the novels and paintings themselves but a wealth of related documents, including letters, reviews, and memoirs, to reinforce its contentions about the interconnectedness of the two genres.” —Joseph Kestner, University of Tulsa

“This book is the product of a seasoned scholar with a first-class reputation in Victorian Studies. The Pre-Raphaelite Art of the Victorian Novel reveals the hallmarks of experience and careful reading, and contains throughout the distillation of Andres' absorption in the Victorian novel and artistic endeavor. It will appeal to students of Victorian art and fiction, culture and society, and journalism and will become standard reading for graduate and undergraduate courses in those fields.” —William Baker, Northern Illinois University

A provocative interdisciplinary study of the Victorian novel and Pre-Raphaelite art, this book offers a new understanding of Victorian novels through Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Concentrating on Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy and aligning each novelist with specific painters, this work interprets narrative redrawings of Pre-Raphaelite paintings within a range of cultural contexts as well as alongside recent theoretical work on gender. Letters, reviews, and journals convincingly reinforce the contentions about the novels and their connection with paintings. Featuring color reproductions of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, this book reveals the great achievement of Pre-Raphaelite art and its impact on the Victorian novel.

Arguing for the direct relationship between Pre-Raphaelite painting and the Victorian novel, this book fills a gap in the currently available literature devoted to the Victorian novel, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the connection of Pre-Raphaelite art to Victorian poetry. Visual readings of the Victorian novel channel the twenty-first-century reader's desire for the visual into the exploration of Pre-Raphaelite art in the Victorian novel, in the process offering fresh insights into the representation of gender in Victorian culture. Through a textual and a visual journey, this work reveals a new approach to the Victorian novel and Pre-Raphaelite art with profound implications for the study of both.

Sophia Andres is professor of English and Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Professor in the humanities, University of Texas of the Permian Basin.