Michalson, Karen

Victorian Fantasy Literature. Literary Battles with Church and Empire
1990 0-88946-378-6
Examines the non-literary and non-aesthetic reasons underlying the bias in favor of realism in the formation of the traditional literary canon on nineteenth-century British fiction. Examines the role of the Anglican Church as well as that of Non-Conformist or Dissenting evangelical sects in the educational institutions of the first half of the century, and the function the academic study of English literature in British imperialist ideology in the latter part of the century. Demonstrates that both Church and Empire needed a canon of realism to promote their own brand of conservative ideology. Victorian fantasy writers often targeted Church doctrine or imperial dogma for especially satirical treatment, thus insuring their own exclusion from the universities which were run by the Church and operated to supply patriotic administrators to the Empire.