Death in Nineteenth-Century British Literature

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 465

Bassein, Beth Ann. "Adultery and Death: Clarissa, Emma, Maggie, Anna, Tess, Edna." In Women and Death: Linkages in Western Thought and Literature, pp. 58-127. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984.

Faults George Eliot's expediency in The Mill on the Floss in having Maggie die an accidental death, an ending deemed damaging to women readers seeking inspiration and hope in characters.

Bewell, Alan. "The History of Death." In his Wordsworth and the Enlightenment: Nature, Man, and Society in the Experimental Poetry, pp. 187-234. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.

Contrasts William Wordsworth's writings on death with Enlightenment thought on the subject and examines Wordsworth's views on immortality and the origins of burial.

Bronfen, Elisabeth. "Risky Resemblances: On Repetition, Mourning, and Representation." In Death and Representation, pp. 103-29. Edited by Sarah Webster Goodwin and Elisabeth Bronfen. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.

Explores resurrection in Edgar Allan Poe's "Ligeia."

Curl, James Stevens. The Victorian Celebration of Death. Detroit: The Partridge Press, 1972, 222 p.

Includes a discussion about Victorian views on death in addition to the central study of the Victorian cemetery.

Edmond, Rod. "Death Sequences: Patmore, Hardy, and the New Domestic Elegy." Victorian Poetry 19, No. 2 (Summer 1981): 151-65.

Compares the poetic sequences of Coventry Patmore and Thomas Hardy on the subject of the death of their respective wives and assesses the contributions of the poets.

Ermarth, Elizabeth. "Maggie Tulliver's Long Suicide." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 XIV, No. 4 (Autumn 1974): 587-601.

Considers the life of George Eliot's Maggie to be a type of death, one caused in part by internalizing sexist norms.

Keefe, Robert. Charlotte Brontë's World of Death. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979, 224 p.

Studies the impact that the death of Charlotte Brontë's mother had upon Charlotte's writings.

Morley, John. Death, Heaven, and the Victorians. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1971, 208 p.

Provides background on nineteenth-century mortality rates and death customs.

Robison, Roselee. "Time, Death, and the River in Dickens' Novels." English Studies 53, No. 4 (August 1972): 436-54.

Examines the maturation of Dickens's use of river imagery in writing about death.

Stewart, Garrett. "The Secret Life of Death in Dickens." Dickens Studies Annual 11 (1983): 177-207.

Explores the narrative importance of the deaths by drowning in Charles Dickens's novels.

——. "Traversing the Interval." In his Death Sentences: Styles of Dying in British Fiction, pp. 53-97. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984.

Surveys in chronological order some of Charles Dickens's important death scenes.

Stone, Harry. The Night Side of Dickens: Cannibalism, Passion, Necessity. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1994, 726 p.

Traces how these more-concealed aspects of Charles Dickens appear in Dickens's writings, how they influence his work, and what works best represent these aspects of Dickens's dark side.

Wheeler, Michael. Death and the Future Life in Victorian Literature and Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990, 456 p.

Examines how theological questions of death, judgment, heaven, and hell are considered in nineteenth-century literature.

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