CFP: Special Issue on Nineteenth-Century Silver-Fork Fiction (10/31/07; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Tamara Wagner

CFP: Special Issue of Women's Writing on "Silver-Fork

Despite growing interest in the silver-fork novel, or
novel of fashionable highlife, the genre still suffers
from a fascinatingly tantalising indeterminacy as a
neglected subsection of regularly feminised popular
fiction dominated by women writers. Its popularity
stretched from the mid-1820s into mid-nineteenth
century and encompassed a number of different authors
and their otherwise markedly divergent careers. Long
dismissed as simply precursors of the Regency romance,
the extensive novels that were central in establishing
the triple-decker as an institution in Victorian
culture indeed displayed a wide-ranging and often
poignantly self-ironic interest in social mobility as
well as the changing literary scene, in commercial or
political enterprises and cultural developments at
large. They intriguingly encapsulated a period of
transition in more ways than one.

The proposed special issue on the silver-fork novel
aims to bring the genre into the foreground of
discussions of literary developments, relate it to the
canonical writers of the Regency as well as of the
Victorian age, and cast new light on once extremely
popular and prolific novelists such as Catherine Gore,
Charlotte Bury, and Lady Blessington. It further seeks
to address the cultural significance – and problematic
– of the fashionable novel as a "feminine" genre
mostly written by and for women.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

- rethinking the boundaries of fashionable society, or
silver-fork, fiction
- "silver-fork" narrative structures and conventions
- silver-fork fiction as "feminine" or "feminised"
popular literature
- the longevity and literary legacies of the
silver-fork novel
- silver-fork fiction and the institutionalisation of
the Victorian triple-decker
- rank/class, gentility, and vulgarity in silver-fork
- "aristocratic" fiction
- cultures of exclusivism
- representing the Regency in Victorian literature and
- silver-fork and social-problems fiction
- silver-fork and sensation fiction
- reassessments of individual silver-fork novelists
- silver-fork performance
- silver-fork abroad and at the margins (colonial
fashionable fiction)
- the Irish Great House novel
- silver-fork elements and parody in canonical fiction

Papers for consideration should be between 3000-7000
words. They should follow the journal's house style
details of which are to be found on the Women's
Writing website

Please submit three hardcopies and one softcopy (as a
word document) as well as a short abstract to

Tamara S. Wagner
Assistant Professor, English Literature
Division of English
School of Humanities & Social Sciences, NTU
Nanyang Avenue
Singapore 639798

Deadline for submission is 31 October 2007.


Tamara S. Wagner

Assistant Professor, English Literature


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Received on Mon Mar 05 2007 - 14:01:20 EST