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 Volume 17/1, includes forum "Narrative Selves"
 January 2019

 Volume 16/2, includes forum on Monika Fludernik's Towards a 'Natural' Narratology
 June 2018

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

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 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

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 January 2016

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 June 2015

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 January 2015

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 January 2014

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 June 2013

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 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

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 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
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 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
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 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

 Response Essay
 Monika Fludernik

 Experience, Affect, and Literary Lists
 Eva von Contzen

 Posthuman Narration as a Test Bed for Experientiality
 Marco Caracciolo

 The Curse of Realism
 Karin Kukkonen

 More than Minds
 Jonas Grethlein

 Toward the Non-Natural
 Maria Mäkelä

 Two Conceptions of Experientiality and Narrativity
 Dan Shen

 Against Nature
 Brian McHale

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Updated Up To 26/06/2018
Volume 3, Number 2 (June 2005) : 23-47
The Trisected Society
Social Welfare in Early Victorian Fiction
Tony Fitzpatrick
Rubric A: Then and Now



This article analyses some seminal novels by Dickens, Disraeli, Gaskell, and Kingsley in their relation to developments in society and welfare of the early Victorian period, inferring from them a social discourse that challenged some but not all aspects of classical political economics. It argues that they reveal a view of society as “trisected,” that is as one in which the realms of production, distribution and reproduction are barely regarded as occupying the same conceptual space. So while some aspects of social policy are deplored, e.g. the workhouse, some of the assumptions and values upon which they were based are upheld. Rather than extensive institutional reform these books demand a new set of ethical coordinates which reflect a growing awareness of the interdependencies of individuals.

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