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The Crime in Mind : Criminal Responsibility and the Victorian Novel

By: Rodensky, Lisa.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2003Description: 1 online resource (284 p.).ISBN: 9780198034353.Subject(s): Crime in literature | Criminal liability in literature | Criminals in literature | English fiction | English fiction - 19th century - History and criticism | Law and literature | Legal stories, English | Responsibility in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: The Crime in Mind : Criminal Responsibility and the Victorian NovelDDC classification: 823.809355 | 823/.809355 LOC classification: PR878.C74 R63 2003ebOnline resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents; Introduction; ONE: Organizing Crime: Conduct and Character in Oliver Twist; Prologue to George Eliot's Crimes; TWO: "To Fix Our Minds on That Certainty": Minding Consequences in Adam Bede and Felix Holt; THREE: Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, and the Crime in Mind; FOUR: James Fitzjames Stephen and the Responsibilities of Narrative; Conclusion: Modern Responsibilities; Notes; Bibliography; Index
Summary: This study of legal and literary narratives argues that the novel''s power to represent the interior life of its characters both challenges the law''s definitions of criminal responsibility and reaffirms them. Connecting novelists with jurists and legal historians of the era, it offers new ways of thinking about the Victorian period.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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PR878.C74 R63 2003eb (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=280985 Available EBL280985

Contents; Introduction; ONE: Organizing Crime: Conduct and Character in Oliver Twist; Prologue to George Eliot's Crimes; TWO: "To Fix Our Minds on That Certainty": Minding Consequences in Adam Bede and Felix Holt; THREE: Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, and the Crime in Mind; FOUR: James Fitzjames Stephen and the Responsibilities of Narrative; Conclusion: Modern Responsibilities; Notes; Bibliography; Index

This study of legal and literary narratives argues that the novel''s power to represent the interior life of its characters both challenges the law''s definitions of criminal responsibility and reaffirms them. Connecting novelists with jurists and legal historians of the era, it offers new ways of thinking about the Victorian period.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Interacting with the writings of English jurist James Fitzjames Stephen (older brother of author/critic Sir Leslie Stephen) on the intersection of literature and criminal law, Rodensky (Wellesley College) studies crime and the law in Oliver Twist and four novels by George Eliot. Both jurist and novelist consider intent in addition to action. Stephen believed that whereas the court attempts to discover guilty intent from testimony, the writer of fiction (even where no outward crime occurs) may convict through direct portrayal of thoughts. Worried that novelists might prejudice cases not yet come to trial, Stephen objected that Charles Dickens, unlike trained jurists, was not held accountable for his handling of criminal cases. Rodensky relates her findings about 19th-century writing on crime and intent to late-20th-century writing, noting that postmodern writers question the existence of objectivity and may even quibble about whether a crime has been committed. This work contributes more to contemporary criticism than its esoteric subject might suggest, since it considers problems of narration, reliability, and objectivity recently much in question, as exemplified in G. R. Thompson's study of Hawthorne, The Art of Authorial Presence (CH, Dec'93). Even nonspecialists can appreciate this well-written study. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers and faculty. M. S. Stephenson University of Texas at Brownsville

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Lisa Rodensky is Assistant Professor of English at Wellesley College.

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