The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel

Paperback | August 15, 2012

byJulia Sun-Joo Lee

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Conceived as a literary form to aggressively publicize the abolitionist cause in the United States, the African American slave narrative remains a powerful and illuminating demonstration of America's dark history. Yet the genre's impact extended far beyond the borders of the U.S. The AmericanSlave Narrative and the Victorian Novel investigates the shaping influence of writings by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and other former slaves on British fiction in the years between the Abolition Act and the Emancipation Proclamation. Julia Sun-Joo Lee argues that novelists such as Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Charles Dickens integrated into their works generic elements of the slave narrative-from the emphasis on literacy as a tool of liberation, to the teleological journey from slavery to freedom, to the ethics ofresistance over submission. It contends that Victorian novelists used these tropes in an attempt to access the slave narrative's paradigm of resistance, illuminate the transnational dimension of slavery, and articulate Britain's role in the global community. Through a deft use of disparate sources,Lee reveals how the slave narrative becomes part of the textual network of the English novel, making visible how black literary, as well as economic, production contributed to British culture.

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Conceived as a literary form to aggressively publicize the abolitionist cause in the United States, the African American slave narrative remains a powerful and illuminating demonstration of America's dark history. Yet the genre's impact extended far beyond the borders of the U.S. The AmericanSlave Narrative and the Victorian Novel inve...

Julia Sun-Joo Lee is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:202 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:August 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199935750

ISBN - 13:9780199935758

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Table of Contents

Introduction. The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel1. The Slave Narrative of Jane Eyre2. Slaves and Brothers in Pendennis3. Female Slave Narratives: "The Grey Woman" and My Lady Ludlow4. The Return of the "Unnative": North and South5. Fugitive Plots in Great ExpectationsEpilogue. The Plot Against England: The DynamiterWorks Cited