From Sketch to Novel: The Development of Victorian Fiction

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When William Thackeray, Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell began their writing careers in the 1830s, they chose to write literary sketches, adopting a popular short form that emphasized description and essayistic analysis rather than storytelling. In this unusual study of a previously neglected literary form, Amanpal Garcha shows how the literary sketch influenced these authors' careers, transformed the marketplace for fiction and led to the development of some of the Victorian novel's key formal and ideological elements.