Sensation fiction (2741 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Shannon R. Wooden (Missouri State University)
  • Brett Young

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Victorian sensation fiction may be crudely but accurately enough understood via modern day analogy: roughly equivalent to twenty-first century true-life crime stories and dramatized documentaries, the hugely successful sensation subgenre dominated the English public imagination for much of the 1860s and 70s and featured criminal events often “ripped from the headlines”, augmented with fictional detail to render wildly popular page-turners that transcended class divisions in its readership. Attending to the analyses provided by modern scholars of the novel form, one might also compare it to our blockbuster action movies: driven by plot, tolerant of otherwise unbelievable contrivances, and preferring clever caricatures to fully …

Wooden, Shannon R., Brett Young. "Sensation fiction". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2010
[, accessed 11 December 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Novelistic Genres