Street Urchins, Sociopaths and Degenerates

Orphans of Late-Victorian and Edwardian Fiction

David Floyd

Street Urchins, Sociopaths and Degenerates

David Floyd

Distributed for University of Wales Press

272 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2014
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9781783160105 Published April 2014 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
Orphans are ubiquitous in the literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and there have been countless critical studies that consider orphans’ metaphoric implications and the manner in which they function as barometers of burgeoning social concerns. But the fin de siècle gothic orphan has been largely overlooked, if not denied outright. In Street Urchins, Sociopaths and Degenerates, David Floyd gives these characters their due, comparing and contrasting the orphans of fin de siècle genre fiction with their predecessors in works from first-wave gothic and the majority of Victorian fiction. Among the works he considers are The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Kim, and Jude the Obscure.

1. Introduction

2. Renfield’s ‘Agonized Confusion’

3. Rebellious Orphans

4. The Orphaning Island

5. Orphans of Empire

6. Orphans in Haunted Arcadia

7. Conclusion




Review Quotes
Maria Beville, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick
Street Urchins, Sociopaths and Degenerates offers a nuanced consideration of what is an overlooked but nonetheless important trope in late Victorian genre fiction. In doing so, it provides an insightful contribution to ongoing discussions of “gothicity” at the fin de siècle, and points to interesting new directions for the study of orphanhood in twentieth century and contemporary literature.”
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