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From a literary point of view the Victorian Age is an age of FICTION, because this genre enjoyed great popularity.

The number of novels published increased enormously. They were serialised and this required that each single instalment contained an element of suspense to keep the reader's attention.

The quantity of fiction produced increased the gap between bad and good literature: the former based on the repetition of melodramatic clichés, the latter introducing elements of novelty such as suspense, expectation and mystery.

Various and different genres developed during the Victorian Age and novels can be grouped under many types:

the SENSATIONAL NOVEL, with a mixture of melodrama, complicated plot and mystery, but superficial in themes;

the IMAGINATIVE or ROMANTIC NOVEL, still including themes and ideas of the previous period (romantic period) as the works of the BrØnte Sisters

the HISTORICAL NOVEL, following Walter Scott's works;

the FANTASTIC NOVEL, a clear example of which can be Lewis Carrol's 'Alice in the wonderland';

the SOCIAL or HUMANITARIAN NOVEL, which focused on social problems and denounced the evils of industrial society, as for example Dickens's 'Hard times' or 'Oliver Twist';

the DOMESTIC NOVEL, reach in psychological analysis and dealing with upper class background.

These last two were the prevailing genres of the age.

Particularly the social novel belongs to what had been defined REALISTIC NOVEL, when the genre rose.

Its aim is to represent life as it is, that is to represent a fictional world which the reader accepts as real and to which the reader responds both emotionally and rationally.

The author's main concern is that the reading public finds his/her work credible and truthful.

Both characters and events were interpreted and judged by an omniscient narrator who expressed the moral dominant view of the time.

The story usually ended in a happy way or, at list, with the good triumphing over evil.

to enjoy = godere di

in instalment = a puntate

gap = divario

that is = cioè

concern = preoccupazione

to judge = giudicare

at list = almeno


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