This varied, unusual selection of short stories presents Victorian love in all its moods. Covering a period that embraces both Elizabeth Gaskell and Somerset Maugham, these stories range from the sentimental to the satiric, the crudely realistic to ...
the perplexed, the mystical, and the rapturous. The lovers include a shopkeeper and an aristocrat, an actress, a governess, Americans abroad, a seaweed gatherer, and a pair of herons Self-sacrifice and adultery figure prominently in these pages, as Victorian writers explored the nature of relationships at a time when women's growing independence brought traditional roles and assumptions into question. These stories confound expectations by recasting the familiar genres of fable, fairy tale, and naturalism to deal with these new themes. The anthology further exceeds our expectations with its inclusive array of voices and perspectives; alongside the well-known work of Trollope and Hardy one finds equally powerful stories by Lucy Clifford, Hubert Crackenthorpe, and Ellen T. Fowler. Displaying the complexity of love and the inventiveness of Victorian fiction this volume will appeal to students of Victorian culture and any lover of short fiction.