In this essay, I examine the relationship between late Victorian idealist philosophy and the development of fiction. More specifically, I examine the ontological arguments of British Idealist F. H. Bradley and author Samuel Butler, showing how idealism and fiction are intertwined in their writings, creating a cross-genre, hybrid style that I refer to as “idealist fiction.” By focusing on the ways in which both Bradley and Butler radically disintegrate human subjectivity by extending it into its vibrant, agential natural surrounds, I contend that Victorian idealist fictions offer powerful ethical and aesthetic concepts that can broaden our understanding of Victorian culture, shedding light on the development of the novel in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
"Idealist Fictions: Crossing F. H. Bradley and Samuel Butler,"
Criticism: Vol. 62:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/criticism/vol62/iss2/2