Victorians! discussion

Archived Group Reads 2012 > geography question

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message 1: by Brett (new)

Brett (2woism) | 2 comments Can someone tell me why - and I've come across this in the three Bronte sister books I've read as well as other Victorian era books - when they mention where someone lives or where they're traveling, etc. it's written in this form: -----shire, or M------ instead of Yorkshire for example? Curious...thanks.
- Brett

message 2: by MaryBliss (new)

MaryBliss It was considered a literary tool to give the story credibility while also maintaining clarity about the fictitious nature of the novel.

British courts of that era often fielded cases brought by disgruntled readers accusing authors of slander or misrepresentation, when those readers felt that they or their location had been maligned or portrayed inaccurately. For example, such cases resulted in Elizabeth Gaskell making substantive revisions to subsequent editions of her biography of Charlotte Bronte which was published a few years after Charlotte's death. So keeping locations unnamed reinforced the fact that the work was fictitious and helped prevent an easily offended reader or reviewer from taking umbrage.

message 3: by Brett (new)

Brett (2woism) | 2 comments I knew someone would know! :-) thank you Mary.
- Brett

message 4: by MaryBliss (new)

MaryBliss You're welcome.

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