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Thread: Victorian short stories

  1. #1
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    Nov 2011

    Victorian short stories

    Are there any short story writers from the Victorian era who would be the short story equivalents of the great novelists of the time like Dickens or George Eliot in that they are both regarded as great writers and representatives of the Victorian era? I suppose Kipling would be one, is there anyone else?

  2. #2
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Reading, England
    Depends how short you are talking about. In the late C19th literature was evolving pretty fast. The lending libraries that made money loaning out their three-decker tomes were losing sway. People wanted faster, quicker literature. For an exploration of this, read New Grub Street. The old masters and mistresses were dead; the new boys were in town. So, for example, H.G. Wells' sci-fi books were all quite short. So was Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. If you want to go a little further back, then Sheridan Le Fanu's vampire story Carmilla is not very long. Joseph Conrad wrote quite a number of short stories, the most famous of which was The Heart of Darkness. If you want to go a bit further back, Wuthering Heights two volumes long, and the make-weight in that triple-decker was her sister Anne's Agnes Grey. Elizabeth Gaskell wrote a number of short stories: Cranford is not very long. Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass were not that long. George Eliot wrote a number of short stories: Silas Marner is about 200 pages, The Lifted Veil, Brother Jacob and several other stories were shorter than that.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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