Lisa Surridge

Lisa Surridge is associate professor of English at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She is coeditor of Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Aurora Floyd and has published on Victorian fiction in many journals, including Victorian Literature and Culture, Victorian Review, Dickens Studies Annual, Victorian Newsletter, and Victorians Institute Journal.

Listed in: Literary Criticism · Victorian Studies · European Literature · British Literature · Literary Studies

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Bleak Houses · Marital Violence in Victorian Fiction
By Lisa Surridge

The Offenses Against the Person Act of 1828 opened magistrates' courts to abused working-class wives. Newspapers in turn reported on these proceedings, and in this way the Victorian scrutiny of domestic conduct began. But how did popular fiction treat “private” family violence? Bleak Houses: Marital Violence in Victorian Fiction traces novelists' engagement with the wife-assault debates in the public press between 1828 and the turn of the century.

"Professor Surridge exhibits a clear and persuasive historical sense as well as sensitivity to the novels and stories. I believe this study will have lasting value because of its careful historical research and corresponding interpretation of the texts."

Naomi Wood, Kansas State University