A book by John Sutherland containing 'puzzles of 19th-century fiction'. First published by Oxford World Classics in 1996.

Essentially the book is a collection of short essays each dealing with a anomaly or common misconception in a work of English literature. Two other books in this series are Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? and Can Jane Eyre be Happy?. I recommend these books as a good way to approach the Theory of Literary Criticism. They are highly readable and often amusing.

The contents of this book:

Where does Sir Thomas' wealth come from?
(Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)

How much English blood (if any) does Waverley spill?
(Walter Scott, Waverley)

Apple-blossom in June?
(Jane Austen, Emma)

Effie Dean's phantom pregnancy
(Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian)

How does Victor make his monsters?
(Mary Shelley, Frankenstein)

Is Oliver dreaming?
(Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist)

Mysteries of the Dickensian year
(Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit)

Is Heathcliff a murderer?
(Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights)

Rochester's celestial telegram
(Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre)

Does Becky kill Jos?
(W. M. Thackeray, Vanity Fair)

Who is Helen Graham?
(Anne Bronte, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)

What kind of murderer is John Barton?
(Mrs Gaskell, Mary Barton)

On a gross anachronism
(W. M. Thackeray, Henry Esmond)

What is Jo sweeping?
(Charles Dickens, Bleak House)

Villette's double ending
(Charlotte Bronte, Villette)

What is Hetty waiting for?
(George Eliot, Adam Bede)

The missing fortnight
(Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White)

Two-timing novelists
(W. M. Thackeray, Mrs Gaskell, Anthony Trollope, Pendennis, A Dark Night's Work, Rachel Ray)

The phantom pregnancy of Mary Flood Jones
(Anthony Trollope, Phineas Finn)

Is Will Ladislaw legitimate?
(George Eliot, Middlemarch)

Is Melmotte Jewish?
(Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now)

Where is Tenway Junction?
(Anthony Trollope, The Prime Minister)

Was he Popenjoy?
(Anthony Trollope, Is He Popenjoy?)

R. H. Hutton's spoiling hand
(Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady)

What does Edward Hyde look like?
(R. L. Stevenson, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)

Who is Alexander's father?
(R. L. Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae)

Why does this novel disturb us?
(Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray)

Is Alec a rapist?
(Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbevilles)

Mysteries of the Speckled Band
(Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes)

What does Arabella Dunn throw?
(Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure)

What is Duncan Jopp's crime?
(R. L. Stevenson, Weir of Hermiston)

Why is Griffin cold?
(H. G. Wells, The Invisible Man)

Why does the Count come to England?
(Bram Stoker, Dracula)

How old is Kim?
(Rudyard Kipling, Kim)

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.