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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This, I should mention, is a thing I do with reference books sometimes. The perfect reference source for a dorky Victorianist. 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.

Sima rated it it was amazing Feb 19, Then go and read their copy. Alison Buck rated it really liked it Sep 18, May 17, Landon rated it liked it. Quotes from The Encyclopedia About Kelly Sedinger Having already spent years amassing enough books to stun a team of oxen in its tracks, realized what his life mission must be when he read that author Umberto Eco actually had to switch apartments because his old home could no longer support the weight of all his books.

These entries are particularly useful in dealing with the wealth of lesser-known characters created in the period. What it is not an excellent example of is, strangely, an encyclopedia.

The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana

But the more rigorous student of the Fantastic knows that Fantasy, as well as those tropes that eventually spun away to become science fiction, are far older than just a hundred years.

The most common of these are, as you’d expect, straightforward exposition of a particular text. But this book didn’t get thrown once and not only because I can barely lift it, either.

For anyone else wondering, the joke is that he’s not very tall. This is an incredible resource on 19th century pulp fiction gothic, horror, historical romance, et al.


It is a work of literary criticism, a work of literary history, a work of fan trivia – it is many things, and a fine example of many of them. To the casual reader or observer, it sometimes may seem that the twentieth century was the time of real blossoming in terms of the Fantastic in literature: I’m not aware of another book dealing with the same subject matter, so Fantastic Victoriana automatically has something of a head start.

The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana by Jess Nevins

Mar 08, Rustin Parr rated it really liked it. Dec 17, Cleolinda rated it it was amazing Shelves: There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Well worth the expense and perfect for either extended reading or to dip into here and there as time and interest require. Highly recommended to Sherlockians and students of the Victorian pop literature scene alike!

I really like this book and all of stories it references that I had never read or even heard of. He suspects that only people who know him will get the joke in the second half of that sentence.

Originally housed on a rather primitive website, Nevins eventually edited his tremendous feat of research into a book – The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, a massive tome replete with information not to be found anywhere else except in the primary sources the book references.

Jun 19, Thomas rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jack rated it it was amazing Sep 08, Despite the fact that the entries are in alphabetical order, there’s just no predicting where you should look for a given character, location, or work, a fact that wouldn’t be quite so vexing if the book had an index, which, sadly, it does not. Any work that sets out to call itself an “encyclopedia” of anything is immediately setting itself up as authoritative and, by its nature, definitive.

Complaints would be the amount of space given to some characters over others and an index without page numbers. These act as descriptions of trends in the works of the time and establish social, political, and literary contexts in which the texts can be read. In idle moments, Tim also wishes that he hadn’t subcontracted the writing of his jokes to a cut-rate Tommy Cooper knockoff. That, however, is the reason that, as a reference book, it is also a bit dodgy.


Despite Nevins’somewhat apologetic note regarding being subjective, it is my opinion that that is the only way by which the Victorian literature can be made vivid enough to oversome the fog and gaslight.

For more information, see our about page. It absolutely boggles my mind to see the level of scholarship that goes in to a book like this.

Dave rated it it was amazing Dec 23, It is over 1, pages long, its pages are large, and there are no illustrations. 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.

Thanks to Robert for sending this my way. Most of the source texts will be out of copyright by now, so by all means steal from it.

All material in Strange Horizons is copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission.

Refresh and try again. Jared rated it really liked it Sep 23, However, this is not a major quibble, especially considering the more than 1, encyclopeda of worthy material here. Want to Read saving…. Enncyclopedia this book and read it. The book tends to be far more clear and less indulgent in its tone. I held onto this book for a good couple of months before reviewing it.

Mainly, this was because I felt I could do it more justice if I spent more time reading it. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Original Fiction in The author makes numerous judgement calls and critical reviews throughout the book many of which are quite funnybut expressing his opinion so encycopedia may irk some readers.

There is, however, an entry for “Hyde, Edmund. No, is the short answer.