An Underground History of Early Victorian Fiction: Chartism, Radical Print Culture, and the Social Problem Novel

Product Details
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.63 inches | 0.89 pounds

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About the Author
Gregory Vargo is Assistant Professor at New York University. His published essays have appeared in Victorian Studies and Victorian Literature and Culture. He has held fellowships from the Fulbright program, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Mrs Giles Whiting Foundation. With Rob Breton, he is the creator of Chartist Fiction, a bibliographic database of over 1000 reviews and stories that appeared in over twenty-five Chartist periodicals.
'Comparing revolutionary bloodshed with the gradual violence of famine in Ireland, Vargo notes, '[the Star] asks why one merits sensational prose little notice' ... In thus stressing the Chartists' desire to make melodramatic language applicable to daily oppression as well as to outbursts of violence, Vargo instantly reminded me of Zola and other natural polemicists. Altogether, he sheds important light on the almost subvocalized conversations that precede those very public debates of the fin de siècle.' John Plotz, Review 19 (
'... a gentle but persuasive challenge to some of the critical commonplaces surrounding Victorian social problem writing.' Juliette Atkinson, The Times Literary Supplement
'[An Underground History of Early Victorian Fiction] successfully demonstrates the utility of the notion of 'generative exchange' as a way of thinking about cross-class cultural relations.' Mike Sanders, Labour History Review
'Vargo's book enlarges our understanding of the topics addressed in Chartist discourse while also describing the self-consciousness and self-presentation of Chartist print culture, its ways of designating itself within the public sphere. In this regard, it does for the Victorian radical press specifically what Kevin Gilmartin did for the radical press of the early nineteenth century in his Print Politics (1986).' Catherine Gallagher, Modern Philology