Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies, Vol 15, No 2 (2010)

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Re-familiarizing Victorian Marriage

Talia Schaffer

Abstract


This article will define the familiar marriage model, discuss its historical evolution, and explore its presence in Victorian fiction. What I want to suggest here is that the central plot of the Victorian novel, the marriage plot, is about love only inasmuch as love is a problem. As Victorian novels obsessively rehearse the clash between romantic and familiar marriage, we see a culture struggling to come to terms with the event that defined its subjects’ – above all, its female subjects’ – lives.

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