chapter  5
16 Pages

A Note on the Treatment of Love and Marriage in Later Victorian Fiction

ItishardlytoomuchtosaythatMeredithbecomesasortof touchstonefortheAthenaeumduringtheI8gos.Hardlysurprising,perhaps,seeingthatthiswasthetimeoftheenormousrise inhisreputation(whichasonemightexpectthemagazine reflectedratherthanhelpingtocreate).8Butoneshouldnote thatMeredithismostlyinvokedwheneverwomenorlove relationshipsareunderdiscussion.InthereviewofTessofthe d'UrbervilleswearetoldofTessherself:'Itisimpossiblenotto feelforheraswefeelforthemostlovableofMr.Meredith's women.' 3AndthereviewerofClaraHopgoodnotes:'Thedescription...ofMadge'sgradualperceptionofthesuperficiality, mentalandmoral,ofherfirstlover,isdonewithmuchsubtlety, andevenfaintlysuggestsMr.Meredith'spenetrativeglance intotheemptinessoftheconventionalman.''