Madness in Nineteenth-Century Literature Fiction - Essay


(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

The Spectator (essay date 1866)

SOURCE: "Madness in Novels," in The Spectator, Vol. 39, Feb. 3, 1866, pp. 134-35.

[In the following essay, the anonymous critic examines the trend of depicting madness in novels. The critic maintains that in novels such as St. Martin's Eve and The Clyffards of Clyffe, madness is used as a tool to disguise the lack of art in the novel.]

The hint given by Miss Braddon has been very quickly taken. For her purpose it was necessary to strengthen the old machinery of novel-writing, to introduce changes more frequent, acts more unaccountable, catastrophes more violent and appalling. She did not...

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