At once boldly revisionist and meticulously argued, Reform Acts re-orients our approach to class politics and ideological criticism. Asking how the Victorians themselves understood the concept of agency, Vanden Bossche traces dynamic interchanges among class antagonists across multiple genres to delineate the shape of social change in the nineteenth century.
(Ellen Rosenman, University of Kentucky)
Chris R. Vanden Bossche explores the subject of reform as the dominant ideal in English progressive politics... his work does offer some illuminating insights into this particular trait of Victorian self-representation.
(Times Literary Supplement
Students of 19th-century history, literature, and political science will find fresh insights here.
Thoughtful... persuasive... The key contribution of the book is the way Vanden Bossche highlights curious and subtle rhetorical tricks whereby writers of the Whig and Tory side seek to align the interests of the working class with their own.
(John Plotz Journal of British Studies
A welcome and timely boost to scholarship in the relationship between literature and politics in mid-nineteenth-century Britain.
(Simon Rennie Review of English Studies
About the Author
Chris R. Vanden Bossche is a professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, author of Carlyle and the Search for Authority, editor of Thomas Carlyle: Historical Essays, and coeditor of Thomas Carlyle: Past and Present.