Re-Reading the Fin de Siècle: Richard Marsh, Popular Fiction and Literary Culture, 1890-1915
Edited by Victoria Margree, Daniel Orrells and Minna Vuohelainen
The editors are seeking to secure two additional 7000-word chapters for an essay collection that has at this stage been reviewed and welcomed by a highly reputable UK-based university press. They welcome submissions from both early-career and established scholars.
We like to think that we know about the Victorian fin de siècle. We live today with an image of Victorian Britain constantly reproduced in film, television, fiction and fashion. Academic studies ask us to look to the fin de siècle as a mirror upon our own society; as a period in which were established many of the dominant facets of the culture we confront in the early twenty-first century. This collection of essays seeks to question the security of our assumptions about the fin de siècle by exploring the life and works of one of the major creators of this world who has nonetheless been written out of its history. Richard Marsh (1857-1915) published the most popular supernatural thriller of 1897, his novel The Beetle outselling Bram Stoker’s Dracula both then and for several decades to come. A major contributor to the literary and journalistic culture of his time, Marsh helped to shape the genres of fiction with which we are familiar today. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a contemporary author of similar stature who possessed his versatility and longevity. For over twenty-five years he entranced late-Victorian and Edwardian readers with many enormously popular tales of horror, humour, romance and crime; stories across which feature shape-shifting monsters, daring (if sometimes morally dubious) heroes, a lip-reading female detective, and an assortment of objects that come to life. These fictions reflect contemporary themes and anxieties while often offering unexpected or even subversive takes on dominant narratives. This book seeks to understand what Marsh’s success tells us about the culture of a turn-of-the-century Britain that seems at once so different from, and so similar to, our own.
The editors invite submissions that engage with the following themes and texts:
Submissions guidelines and timeframe: