Book Cover

Replotting Marriage in Nineteenth-Century British Literature


Edited by Jill Galvan and Elsie Michie

6 x 9, 292 pp.

Pub Date: June, 2018

Subjects: Victorian Studies
Literary Studies, 19th Century
Literary Studies, British & Irish

Order Hardcover $74.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-1368-1
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“Perhaps the most important collection of the year for studies in the novel is Jill Galvan and Elsie Michie’s Replotting Marriage in Nineteenth-Century British Literature. This collection of uniformly high-quality essays builds on several recent books to revise our long-standing notion of the marriage plot as central to the novel.…These essays allow us to see anew, and to see past, the marriage plot.” —Pamela K. Gilbert, Studies in English Literature

“An important and original contribution to the formidable literature on the Victorian marriage plot, one that updates and reorients what might seem like an old-fashioned topic for a twenty-first century readership.” —Sharon Marcus, Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England

“The collection showcases cutting-edge work on marriage in nineteenth-century British literature, continuing ongoing efforts to complicate the notion that heterosexual marriage is the universal and prescriptive model for relationships in nineteenth-century fiction.” —Maia McAleavey, author ofThe Bigamy Plot: Sensation and Convention in the Victorian Novel

In Replotting Marriage in Nineteenth-Century British Literature, Jill Galvan and Elsie Michie bring together top Victorian scholars to scrutinize nineteenth-century marriage in incisive ways. The volume puts marriage in conversation with many aspects of culture, from education and anthropology to Darwinism and crime. It aims to widen the repertoire of critical questions we ask about how fiction represents conjugal coupling, employing, among other approaches, transimperial reading, queer theory, disability studies, and philosophies of the formation of human society. By paying close attention to elements of genre and narrative, moreover, the collection analyzes the story of marriage as formally and structurally diverse, rather than as a familiar plot line. 

These essays point to nineteenth-century marriage studies as a new field of inquiry. With contributions by Ian Duncan, Elisha Cohn, Kathy Psomiades, Kelly Hager, Lauren Goodlad, Marlene Tromp, Sukanya Banerjee, Holly Furneaux, Talia Schaffer, and Helena Michie, and an afterword by Mary Jean Corbett, Replotting Marriage in Nineteenth-Century British Literature demonstrates how both established and developing fields can be brought to bear on a long-examined institution—ultimately prompting a rethinking of the nineteenth century itself.

Jill Galvan is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University and author of The Sympathetic Medium: Feminine Channeling, the Occult, and Communication Technologies, 1859–1919.

Elsie Michie is Professor of English and Associate Dean at Louisiana State University and author of The Vulgar Question of Money: Heiresses, Materialism, and the Novel of Manners from Jane Austen to Henry James.



Chapter 1         The Bildungsroman, the Romantic Nation, and the Marriage Plot
Ian Duncan

Chapter 2         Darwin’s Marriage Plots: Unplotting Courtship in Late Victorian Fiction
Elisha Cohn

Chapter 3         Mythic Marriage: Haggard, Frazer, Hardy, and the Anthropology of Myth
Kathy Psomiades

Chapter 4         Playing the Princess: Enacting and Resisting Marriage in the Victorian School Story
Kelly Hager

Chapter 5         The Longue Durée of Political Bildungsromane: Putting George Eliot into Dialogue with Danish Television
Lauren M. E. Goodlad

Chapter 6         ’Til Death Do Us Part: Marriage, Murder, and Confession
Marlene Tromp

Chapter 7         Marriage, Modernity, and the Transimperial
Sukanya Banerjee

Chapter 8         “Even Supposing—”: Reading/Writing Outside the Marriage Plot in Dickens Fan Fiction
Holly Furneaux

Chapter 9         Disabling Marriage: Communities of Care in Our Mutual Friend
Talia Schaffer

Chapter 10       Extra Man: Dining Out Beyond the Marriage Plot in Our Mutual Friend
Helena Michie

Afterword       Real Figures
Mary Jean Corbett

List of Contributors

Related Titles:

Book Cover

Narrative Middles

Edited by Caroline Levine and Mario Ortiz-Robles