The Victorian Novel attempts to capture ever-larger swathes of social reality between the covers of a book. We will explore the representational results of this enormously ambitious literary project: How does realism work? What does it mean for a novel to be historical? Is there truth in fiction, and if so, what kind of truth? How do novels attempt to resolve imaginatively that which cannot be resolved in the "real world"? Can novels change the world? Their readers? Works may include: Bronte's Jane Eyre, Gaskell's Mary Barton, Dickens's Dombey and Son, Eliot's Daniel Deronda and Kipling's Kim.