By L. Rotunno
By means of 1840, the epistolary novel used to be useless. Letters in Victorian fiction, even though, have been unmistakably alive. Postal Plots explores how Victorian postal reforms unleashed a brand new and infrequently unruly inhabitants into the Victorian literary industry the place they threatened the definition and improvement of the Victorian literary expert.
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Through 1840, the epistolary novel used to be useless. Letters in Victorian fiction, despite the fact that, have been unmistakably alive. Postal Plots explores how Victorian postal reforms unleashed a brand new and occasionally unruly inhabitants into the Victorian literary market the place they threatened the definition and improvement of the Victorian literary expert.
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Extra resources for Postal Plots in British Fiction, 1840–1898: Readdressing Correspondence in Victorian Culture
125 Again, the Post Office was enacting measures that embodied a liberal ideal: providing essentially universal access to that which could strengthen – financially and morally – the British population and thus the nation. Encouraged by the Savings Banks’ expansion, the general public also demanded a more efficient parcel post system, one much simplified and less expensive. And again, the Post Office was responsive, for, beyond revenue the system could produce, the parcel post could carry a vast amount of uplifting reading to the British population.
The references to ‘children’, ‘sister nations’, and ‘friendly relations’ position Britain as the familial head who makes the rules and maintains control. ‘Trade’, ‘commerce’, and ‘revenue’ also quickly enter these discussions, accentuating the economic import attached to this and all other imperial matters. The desire to maintain control, tradition, and British power is clear and even a little anxiously expressed. Though John Henniker Heaton, 25-year Conservative Member of the House of Commons for Canterbury elected in 1885, was one of imperial penny postage’s most fervent advocates, his words betray another imperial concern that slowed this reform’s passage.
As the century waned, the Post Office and Victorian novelists did not always show themselves able to address this question with the verve characteristic of their mid-century projects. 172 Only by 1912 did the Post Office finally take over the National Telephone Company. As noted, such protracted movement also characterized the development toward imperial penny postage. 173 This overtly cautious stance made it possible for the Post Office to maintain the services that the British population had grown to depend on.
Postal Plots in British Fiction, 1840–1898: Readdressing Correspondence in Victorian Culture by L. Rotunno