The Food Plot in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel
Michael Parrish Lee
This book is about food, eating, and appetite in the nineteenth-century British novel. While much novel criticism has focused on the marriage plot, this book revises the history and theory of the novel, uncovering the ‘food plot’ against which the marriage plot and modern subjectivity take shape. With the emergence of Malthusian population theory and its unsettling links between sexuality and the food supply, the British novel became animated by the tension between the marriage plot and the food plot. Charting the shifting relationship between these plots, from Jane Austen’s polite meals to Bram Stoker’s bloodthirsty vampires, this book sheds new light on some of the best-know works of nineteenth-century literature and pushes forward understandings of narrative, literary character, biopolitics, and the novel as a form.
Michael Parrish Lee’s essays have appeared in Novel: A Forum on Fiction, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and Studies in the Novel, and his fiction has appeared in Conjunctions.
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