Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
French Novels and the Victorians$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Juliette Atkinson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266090

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266090.001.0001

Show Summary Details

The immorality of French novels

The immorality of French novels

Chapter:
(p.141) 3 The immorality of French novels
Source:
French Novels and the Victorians
Author(s):

Juliette Atkinson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266090.003.0003

Anxieties about immorality were rarely far from discussion of French novels. However, contemporary notions of ‘immorality’ were far more unstable than has often been suggested. The chapter begins by reconsidering Croker’s infamous 1836 article ‘French Novels’ in the light of its French reception, which indicates that Croker was often in sympathy with, rather than opposed to, French critics. Writers such as Croker hoped that readers would police themselves, but the correspondence between Elizabeth Barrett and Mary Russell Mitford reveals a far more playful understanding of immorality. The pair claimed the notion for themselves, and in doing so developed a sense of their own sophistication. They were not alone in ignoring contemporary warnings: the furore surrounding Dumas fils’sLa Dame aux caméllias and the censorship of its theatrical adaptation demonstrated the inconsistencies of, and limits to, censorship, and hinted at the hypocritical conduct of the Victorian reading public.

Keywords:   censorship, immorality, Croker, Barrett Browning, Mitford, Dumas fils, Dame aux camélias, policing, legislation, Paul de Kock

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.