The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana has ratings and 16 reviews. Lori said: This book is big. Really big. Vastly and hugely big. You may think it. Fantastic Victoriana is an incredibly ambitious work. Any work that sets out to call itself an “encyclopedia” of anything is immediately setting. When approaching any massive encyclopedic reference work such as Jess Nevins’s The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, one of the first things to do is look.

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The nineteenth century was one of the richest periods for the exploration of the Fantastic in art, and the literature of the time gave us such characters as Sherlock Holmes, Ivanhoe, Judah Ben Hur, Allan Quatermain, Quasimodo, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Its statedly written in a personal opinion matter which is actually preferable and engaging for my kind of reading – it reads more like a conversation with or lecture by Nevins as opposed to a collection of dry summaries. Aug 14, Peggy rated it it was amazing. This is THE reference work to have on the subject of Victorian Authors, their books and their characters in the realm of fantastic fiction.

It’s this analysis that makes the book so compelling—never overly academic in tone, but giving an appreciation of the text in its contemporary and literary setting. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. The book tends to be far more clear and less indulgent in its tone.

These entries are particularly useful in dealing victoraina the wealth of lesser-known characters created in the period. Great info on a lot of great characters. The Green Man Review. Reading encyclopediae is not normally my bag, but Jess Nevins’ masterpiece of genre research begged to be made an exception.


It is, in short, a reference book that can be profitably read from one cover to another although, given its length, it does vctoriana a while. It is viictoriana exactly a reference work; rather, to the extent that it is one, it’s a poor one. Rather more usefully for me, at least is the “Author Index” that the publishers make available on their website herewhich makes navigating the encyclopedia awfully easier.

Books by Jess Nevins.

Thanks to Robert for sending this my way. I’m not aware of another book dealing with the same subject matter, so Fantastic Victoriana automatically has something of a head start. You may think it’s a long way down to the chemists, but that’s peanuts compared to The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana.

How I do crush on thee! Facebook Google Twitter Print Email. There’s a distinction to be made between the expectation created by the word “encyclopedia” ie, that it is to be consulted and the actual pleasure that can be derived from just reading through Fantastic Victoriana.

I’m glad to say that Jess Nevins hasn’t squandered his lead. Astral rated it it was amazing Jun 14, His ‘League’ notes are outstanding, though. May 17, Landon rated it liked it. In his foreword, Nevins makes it clear that this is a book for people interested in—but not currently possessed of vast quantities of knowledge about—the “Victorians.

I did not recall the name of Edmond Dantes, so I came across that entry purely by random flipping through the book. When you do get to the entry you’re looking for, the usual format is a brief synopsis of the text followed by an analysis of the text in a wider context. And read it I did; for what is ostensibly a reference work, it is immensely readable.


Strange Horizons – The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana by Jess Nevins By Tim Phipps

It is worth mentioning, though, that there’s a considerable difference between Nevins’ writing style on his website and in the book. He suspects that only people who know him will get the joke in the second half of that sentence. We publish fiction, poetry, reviews, og, interviews, and art. Nevins isn’t afraid to give his own perspective on the validity of these interpretations and does so without being dismissive of them—for the curious, he comes down on the side of evolutionary throwback but caveats this with the assertion that the text isn’t really one that stands up to close allegorical scrutiny.

The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana

These entries also make for interesting reads in their own right. Kris Saknussemm rated it really liked it Oct 10, Probably the most amazing collection of Victorian “pulp” fiction references available. Really effin’ love this book. Jul 17, Riju Ganguly rated it it was amazing. Dec fantastiic, Cleolinda rated it it was amazing Shelves: