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This accomplished assortment bargains a whole creation to at least one of the preferred literary sorts of the Victorian interval, its key authors and works, its significant topics, and its lasting legacy.

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While this list counts volumes and not titles, it still attests to the popularity of fashionable novels, as well as indicating the breadth of that popularity. Despite these large numbers, only two handfuls of fashionable authors have survived. Rosa suggests that only eight of them deserve attention; Hook, Ward, Lister, Disraeli, Bulwer, Blessington, Lady Charlotte Bury, and Catherine Gore. Further, he allows only Disraeli, Bulwer, and Gore more than historical interest. Of these three, Disraeli and Bulwer wrote only two fashionable novels apiece, Vivian Grey and The Young Duke (1831), and Pelham (1828) and Godolphin (1833), respectively.

Much like the sensation novel, the Newgate novel was “a school defined by its contemporary critics” (Hollingsworth 1963: 14), who named it after London’s notorious Newgate prison, and who – like critics of sensation novels in the 1860s – defined the genre by attacking a small corpus of popular novels by a handful of authors: Edward Bulwer-Lytton, William Harrison Ainsworth, and Charles Dickens. The genre began in 1830 with Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Paul Clifford, which – like most Newgate novels – is set in the eighteenth century and draws upon the crime journalism that emerged as a mainstay of popular reading after 1718, when the enterprising publisher John Applebee contracted with the ordinaries (or chaplains) of Newgate prison to publish their accounts of condemned felons, which were supposedly based upon the criminals’ confessions, and were often sold at the Tyburn gallows on the day of execution (Linebaugh 1977).

1836): 883–4. Review of Vivian Grey. The London Literary Gazette 528 (3 Mar. 1827): 134. Google Book Search. Accessed online 20 Jan. 2010. Rosa, Matthew W. The Silver-Fork School: Novels of Fashion Preceding Vanity Fair (1936). Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1964. The Silver Fork Novel Sutherland, John. The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989. Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair. Ed. Peter Shillingsburg. New York: Norton, 1994. 25 Tillotson, Kathleen.

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