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The Comfort of Strangers – Social Life and Literary Form - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Comfort of Strangers: Social Life and Literary Form

Gage McWeeny


This book argues for a new understanding of the relation between nineteenth-century realist literary form and the socially dense environments of modernity. In a period of vast population increase in Britain (London became Europe’s first city of one million in the nineteenth century), “the literature of social density,” so called, illuminates surprising investments in the power of weak ties—ephemeral communities, anonymity, and social distance—in the age of Victorian sympathy. Bringing out the sociological imagination of this literature, the book locates that imagination amidst a range of socia ... More

Keywords: strangers, modernity, nineteenth-century literature, realism, sympathy, sociology, Matthew Arnold, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Henry James

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199797202
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199797202.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gage McWeeny, author
Associate Professor, Williams College

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