Fiction, Feeling, and Social Change

Feeling for the Poor: Bourgeois Compassion, Social Action, and the Victorian Novel, by Carolyn Betensky, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 224 pp., £33.95 (hardback), ISBN 0813930618 Victorian Social Activists’ Novels edited by Oliver Lovesay, London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011, 4 Volume Set, 1456 pages, £350.00 (hardback), ISBN 978 1 85196 629 5 Is there inherent ethical value in feeling for, or with, the suffering of others?  In Feeling for the Poor, Carolyn Betensky argues that Victorian novels about poverty

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