HENA03923U English - Free topic 3: Sensation novels of the 1860s (Exam form A)

Volume 2014/2015

This course explores four novels written within only a few years of each other in the new subgenre of the gothic novel which soon became known as the ‘sensation novel’ because of its appeal to and effect on the reader’s senses and emotions. Written by a small handful of writers associated with the circles and periodicals of Charles Dickens, the sensation novels of the 1860s tackled a number of topical anxieties and social issues: mistaken identities, loss of identity, insanity, the wicked and highly sexualized woman and bigamy. All of the novels saw immediate translation onto the Victorian stage as melodramas and reached a wide and diverse audience. Much of the recent criticism in the field applies such approaches as law and literature, medicine and literature, material culture and literature, and the course will reflect these recent trends in the scholarship.


Participants should acquire the following novels, all in the Oxford World’s Classics series:

Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White (1860)

Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret (1861)

Mrs Henry Wood, East Lynne (1861)

Wilkie Collins, No Name (1862)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 176,75
  • Total
  • 204,75