The Routledge Companion to Victorian Literature offers 45 chapters by leading international scholars working with the most dynamic and influential political, cultural, and theoretical issues addressing Victorian literature today. Scholars and students will find this collection both useful and inspiring.

Rigorously engaged with current scholarship that is both historically sensitive and theoretically informed, the Routledge Companion places the genres of the novel, poetry, and drama and issues of gender, social class, and race in conversation with subjects like ecology, colonialism, the Gothic, digital humanities, sexualities, disability, material culture, and animal studies.

This guide is aimed at scholars who want to know the most significant critical approaches in Victorian studies, often written by the very scholars who helped found those fields. It addresses major theoretical movements such as narrative theory, formalism, historicism, and economic theory, as well as Victorian models of subjects such as anthropology, cognitive science, and religion. With its lists of key works, rich cross-referencing, extensive bibliographies, and explications of scholarly trajectories, the book is a crucial resource for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, while offering invaluable support to more seasoned scholars.

chapter |8 pages


Our Victorian Companions

part I|107 pages

Genres and Movements

chapter 1|11 pages


chapter 2|11 pages

The Novel

chapter 3|12 pages

Short Forms

Serialization and Short Fiction

chapter 4|13 pages

Drama and Performance 1

chapter 5|11 pages

Children’s Literature

chapter 6|14 pages


chapter 7|12 pages

Gothic, Horror, and the Weird

Shifting Paradigms

chapter 8|11 pages

Sensation Scholarship

chapter 9|10 pages

Decadence and Aestheticism

part II|78 pages

Media Histories

chapter 10|10 pages

Book History

chapter 11|11 pages

Victorian Digital Humanities

chapter 12|11 pages

Periodical Studies

chapter 13|9 pages

Material Culture

chapter 14|11 pages

Popular Fiction and Culture

chapter 15|11 pages

Radical Print Culture

From Chartism to Socialism

chapter 16|13 pages

Visual Culture

part III|76 pages

Victorian Discourses

chapter 18|11 pages

Aesthetic Formalism

chapter 19|9 pages

Narrative Theory

chapter 20|11 pages

The Ethical Turn

chapter 22|12 pages


chapter 23|11 pages

Liberalism and Citizenship

part IV|83 pages

Formulations of Identity

chapter 24|11 pages

Feminism and the Canon 1

chapter 25|12 pages

Gender and Sexuality

chapter 26|11 pages

New Woman Writing

chapter 27|12 pages

Disability Studies

chapter 29|12 pages


Tracing the Contours of a Long Nineteenth Century

part V|81 pages

Science and Spirit

chapter 31|11 pages

Technology and Literature

chapter 32|9 pages

Brain Science

chapter 35|13 pages

Geology and Paleontology

chapter 36|12 pages

New Religions and Esotericism

chapter 37|10 pages

Studies of Christianity and Judaism

part VI|90 pages

Spatiality and Environment

chapter 38|10 pages


chapter 39|13 pages

Regionalism and Provincialism

Where Is the Local?

chapter 40|11 pages


chapter 41|12 pages

Travel Writing

chapter 42|11 pages

Settler Colonialism

chapter 43|10 pages

Victorians in the Anthropocene

chapter 44|11 pages

Why Victorian Ecocriticism Matters

chapter 45|10 pages