chapter  5
6 Pages

Fiction, the feminine and the sensation novel

In the moral panic that surrounded the debate about sensation fiction, the gendered discourse on fiction intersected with a materialist or, more properly, a frustrated idealist discourseY One of the chief objections to sensation fiction was that it was (at least in the opinion of middle-class reviewers) a commodity, produced (and deformed) by market forces, and directed at the appetites of consumers. 'Its object is an intensely commercial one', wrote Robert Buchanan in 1862. 'It appeals not to the sympathies of the educated few, but those of the general public' (136).