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  You are in: Home > Literary Criticism & Linguistics > Gambling in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel  

Gambling in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel
'A Leprosy is o'er the Land'

Michael Flavin

Author text to follow


This book explores the theme of gambling in a wide range of nineteenth-century English novels. It examines the representation of gambling in the novels themselves and the role that gambling played in the lives of the individual novelists. It also considers the significance of gambling in the novels within the wider context of the development of Victorian society.

Gambling in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel not only provides fresh readings of established texts within a distinctive social and cultural context, but is also a comprehensive barometer of the social history of the time as attitudes towards leisure changed.

List of Plates

‘The Most Prevalent Vice of the Age’

Chapter One
Gambling in Nineteenth-Century England
Gambling, Leisure and Crockford’s Club, 1828–1844

Chapter Two
‘A Dissipated Career’
Benjamin Disraeli and a Failing Aristocracy

Chapter Three
‘Tumult and Frenzy Reigned Supreme’
Charles Dickens’s Gambling Characters

Chapter Four
‘Gambler, Swindler, Murderer’
William Makepeace Thackeray’s Losses and Gains

Chapter Five
‘Lose Strikingly’
Gambling with Life in George Eliot

Chapter Six
‘Doctrines of Chance’
Gambling as the Universal Trope in Thomas Hardy

Chapter Seven
‘A Real Gentleman should never want the Money out of another Man’s Pocket’
Anthony Trollope, Gambling and Class Contamination

Chapter Eight
‘One Law for the Rich and another for the Poor’
George Moore’s Working Gamblers


Appendix I, Glossary of Gambling Terms
Appendix II, ‘A Leprosy is o’er the Land’


“In this clear and informative study, social history meets Literary Criticism & Linguistics in a concise and useful form. Recommended.” Choice

“Dr Flavin’s meticulous study of gambling in its various forms in Victorian fiction ranges from the novel to literary biography, social history, politics and popular science. Opening new and intriguing perspectives on the subject, Flavin reveals gambling and chance as the dark alternatives to progressive evolution in the consciousness of the age.” Louis James, Emeritus Professor, University of Kent at Canterbury


Publication Details

Hardback ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
272 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:
Hardback, February 2003; Paperback, December 2014
  Illustrated:   No
Hardback Price:
£55.00 / $69.50
Paperback Price:
£25.00 / $34.95

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