The Villain-Effect: Distance and Ubiquity in Neo-Victorian Popular Culture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Nineteenth-century ideas of villains and villainy have cast a long shadow over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In part, this is because, as neo-Victorianism attests, we are still dealing with the complex cultural, political, economic and moral legacies of the Victorians. In part also, as this chapter will explore, their continued significance is a reflection of technology: both the Victorians’ own technological breakthroughs, and the ways in which modern digital culture shapes and reshapes our engagement with villains from the Victorian era. In this chapter, I aim to set out some key themes of the ¬Neo-Victorian Villains collection, and to advance my own theory of the ‘villain-effect’, the sleights-of-hand of emplotment and performance that create the aura of a villain, yet which leave him or her tantalisingly out of reach (and hence, reuseable).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeo-Victorian Villains
ISBN (Electronic)9789004322257
ISBN (Print)9789004322240
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameNeo-Victorian Series
PublisherBrill Rodopi

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