Tim Dolin is Professor of Literary Studies at Curtin University. The essay on Marcus Clarke is part of a book project entitled The Irony of Distance, which re-reads Victorian fiction through the experiences of its readers at the far end of the British world, in the colonial antipodes.
This essay is an experiment in a reader-focused historicism. It reconsiders the cultural-political circumstances under which Marcus Clarke rewrote George Eliot's ‘The Lifted Veil’, reframing it as a radical late departure from Eliot’s mid-Victorian realism, and from the Englishness of…
The author’s approach is ‘to use quantitative reading data to analyse the circulation of Victorian written culture in a range of Australian colonial contexts, and to construct from that analysis locally situated re-readings of well-known and lesser-known novels’ (275). By…