"Did Heathcliff kill the brother of Catherine Earnshaw in 'Wuthering Heights'? Was the second husband of Dorothea Brooke born out of wedlock in 'Middlemarch'? Is 'The Adventure of the Speckeled Band' a veiled story of incest? These questions might sound like headlines from a tabloid called the Victorian Enquirer. But one of Britain's most respected literary scholars makes a plausable, if speculative, case for each of them in a fascinating collection of essays on 34 classic novels or short stories."--The Plain Dealer
"A stimulating discussion."--The Economist
"An enjoyable and shameless puff for the Oxford World's Classics
series....This is a series of mini-essays on some of the great conundrums of Victorian literature. The highlight is reached, perhaps, in a learned disquisition of the exact composition of the street dirt in Bleak House. The book should have been twice as long."--The Oldie
About the Author
is Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College, London. He is the editor of a number World's Classics
, including works by Anthony Trollope, Adam Smith, Jack London, and Thackeray.