The Royal Holloway Victorian MA Blog

Secondary Criticism for Hard Times, Mary Barton and Middlemarch


Herewith some suggested secondary readings for these texts. Low marks for scholarly presentation, for which, in haste, I apologise! I’ve also put up (see side bar) a lecture on Mary Barton and Hard Times that I gave at a conference last summer.

Rosemarie Bodenheimer, ‘Private Grief and Public Acts in Mary Barton,’ Dickens Studies Annual 9 (1981), 195-216.
Elaine Freedgood,
Catherine Gallagher, The Industrial Reformation of English Fiction (U. Chicago Press, 1995).
Elaine Freedgood, ‘Checked Curtains and Global Cotton Markets in Mary Barton’, in The Ideas in Things: Fugitive Meaning in the Victorian Novel (Chicago Up, 2006).
Jonathan Grossman, ‘Mary Barton’s Tell-Tale Evidence’, in The Art of Alibi: English Lawcourts and the Novel (Johns Hopkins UP, 2002).
Jill Matus (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Elizabeth Gaskell (CUP, 2007).
Mary Poovey, Making a Social Body: British Cultural Formation, 1830-64 (Chicago UP, 1995)
Hilary Schor, Scheherazade in the Marketplace: Elizabeth Gaskell and the Victorian Novel (Oxf. UP, 1992).
Kathleen Tillotson, Novels of the Eighteen Forties (Clarendon Press, 1954)
Jenny Uglow, Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories (Faber and Faber, 1993) [biography]

Catherine Gallagher, The Industrial Reformation of English Fiction (U Chicago Press, 1995)
Anne Humpherys, ‘Louisa Gradgrind’s Secret: Marriage and Divorce in Hard Times’, Dickens Studies Annual 25 (1996), 177-95.
Robert E. Lougy, ‘Dickens’s Hard Times’, in Dickens Studies Annual 2 (1972), 237-54
Hilary Schor, ‘Hard Times and A Tale of Two Cities: The Social Inheritance of Adultery’, in Dickens and the Daughter of the House (Cambridge UP, 1999).
Hilary Schor, ‘Novels of the 1850s: Hard Times, Little Dorrit and A Tale of Two Cities’, in John O. Jordan (ed.) Cambridge Companion to Charles Dickens (Cambridge UP, 2001), 64-77.
Sally Ledger, ‘From Flunkeyism to Toadyism in the Age of Machinery: From Bleak House to Little Dorrit’, in Dickens and the Popular Radical Imagination (Cambridge UP, 2007)
Raymond Williams, Culture and Society 1780-1950 (chapter on the Industrial Novel)

Gillian Beer, Darwin’s Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth Century Fiction (London: Routledge, 1983)
Robert M Young, Darwin’s Metaphor (1984)
David Amigoni ed. Charles Darwin’s Origins of Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays (Manchester University Press, 1995)
George Levine, Darwin and the Novelists: Patterns of Science in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Harvard University Press, 1988)
Josephine McDonagh, George Eliot (Northcote House, 1997)
Sally Shuttleworth, George Eliot and Nineteenth Century Science: The Make-Believe of a Beginning (1984)
Bernard Semmel, George Eliot and the Politics of National Inheritance (Oxford University Press, 1994)
J Hillis Miller, ‘Narrative and History’ English Literary History 41 (1974) 455-73
Neil McCaw, George Eliot and Victorian Historiography: Imagining the National Past (2000)