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Good Form – The Ethical Experience of the Victorian Novel - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Good Form: The Ethical Experience of the Victorian Novel

Jesse Rosenthal


What do we mean when we say that a novel's conclusion “feels right”? How did feeling, form, and the sense of right and wrong get mixed up, during the nineteenth century, in the experience of reading a novel? This book argues that Victorian readers associated the feeling of narrative form—of being pulled forward to a satisfying conclusion—with inner moral experience. Reclaiming the work of a generation of Victorian “intuitionist” philosophers who insisted that true morality consisted in being able to feel or intuit the morally good, this book shows that when Victorians discussed the moral dimen ... More

Keywords: novels, Victorian readers, narrative form, moral principles, Victorian philosophers, morality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780691196640
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691196640.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jesse Rosenthal, author
Johns Hopkins University