Rebecca Rainof

Rebecca Rainof is an associate professor of English at the Catholic University of America. Her work has appeared in such journals as SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 and Victorian Poetry.

Listed in: Literary Criticism, UK · Victorian Studies · Literary Studies

The Victorian Novel of Adulthood · Plot and Purgatory in Fictions of Maturity
By Rebecca Rainof

In The Victorian Novel of Adulthood, Rebecca Rainof confronts the conventional deference accorded the bildungsroman as the ultimate plot model and quintessential expression of Victorian nation building. The novel of maturity, she contends, is no less important to our understanding of narrative, Victorian culture, and the possibilities of fiction.

“In this highly original argument, Rebecca Rainof reveals a Victorian fascination with processes of change that are so slow and gradual that they seem almost like stasis. The Victorian Novel of Adulthood joins historical research with narrative theory to think in persuasive new ways about the realist novel’s interest in middle age—the ‘turning stretch,’ as opposed to the turning point.”

Caroline Levine, University of Wisconsin, Madison