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Nostalgia and the Victorian Historical Novel
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Twilight Histories explores the relationship between nostalgia and the Victorian historical novel, arguing that both responded to the turbulence brought by accelerating modernisation. Nostalgia began as a pathological homesickness, its first victims seventeenth-century soldiers serving abroad. Only gradually did it become the sentimental memory we understand it as today. In a striking parallel to nostalgia’s origin, the historical novel emerged in the tumultuous early-years of the nineteenth century, at a time when the Napoleonic Wars once again set troops on the move, creating a new wave of homesick soldiers. In the historical novels of Gaskell, Thackeray, Dickens, Eliot and Hardy, nostalgia offered a language in which to describe the experience of living through changing times as a homesickness for history.

Twilight Histories has been included in Oxford Bibliographies’ Historical Novel category, where it has been reviewed as “[a]n illuminating study of mid-Victorian novels of the recent past—the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.”
In: Twilight Histories
In: Twilight Histories
In: Twilight Histories
In: Twilight Histories
In: Twilight Histories
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In: Twilight Histories
In: Twilight Histories
In: Twilight Histories