by Mark Knight
The Ohio State University Press, 2019
Cloth: 978-0-8142-1393-3 | eISBN: 978-0-8142-7687-7 | Paper: 978-0-8142-5525-4
Library of Congress Classification PR830.E85K58 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 823.809382

This new study explores how evangelicalism played a vital role in the development of the Victorian novel. In contrast to those who see the evangelical movement as trivial to our histories of the novel and part of the losing side in religion’s battle with secularity, Good Words: Evangelicalism and the Victorian Novel examines fiction by major writers of the nineteenth century—Thackeray, Dickens, Wood, MacDonald, Collins, and Butler—and reveals the extent to which the novel was shaped by evangelical thought and practice.
Rather than getting lost in historical and theological rabbit holes, Good Words invites readers to think about why evangelicalism still matters for the stories we tell about fiction in the Victorian period. The result has major implications for our understanding of the Victorian novel, our conception of the relationship between nineteenth-century literature and religion, the way in which we think about evangelical culture in the modern world, and our ideas about the practices and protocols of scholarly reading.