This work examines class and its representation in Victorian literature, focusing on the emergence of the lower middle class and middle class responses to it. The author analyzes portraits of white collar workers, both men and women, who laboured under disparaging misperceptions of their values, abilities, and cultural significance, and shows how these misperceptions were both formulated and resisted. The analysis includes canonical texts like Dickens's "Little Dorrit" and Gissing's "The Odd Women" as well as less well known works by Dinah Mulock Craik, Margaret Oliphant, Amy Levy, Grant Allen, H.G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, and May Sinclair.
ARLENE YOUNG is Assistant Professor, Department of English at the University of Manitoba.