Salutations my fellow classmates,

My name is Kendra Fields, a graduate student embarking on my second semester in the English Literature MA program with a day job as a pharmacy technician.

I must confess that my Victorian literary period knowledge is a bit lacking in my scholarly studies since I typically gravitate more towards the Enlightenment period. However, I find it most interesting that in this class I will learn more about the Victorians through the eyes of the Neo-Victorians as if we will be reading Victorian era work through secondhanded visions and knowledge shared by the Neo-Victorian authors selected for this class.

During the introduction to this class course, what stuck out to me most was the apparent tension between history, the truth, and fiction, a way which also could present history through a certain lens. This tension between novels and history as a genre has been a particular interest to me since I took a class called Rise of the Novels during my undergrad. How did novels emerge from history? What elements of novels are historical? Aren't historiographers also authors in a way? This line of questioning of what is the actual truth in our history, of how can we KNOW what the full truth is, seems to be a concern for Neo-Victorians as well. For these authors, they share a potential true history through fiction because it COULD have happened, but we will never know for certain. Therefore, it is my quest in this class to examine how personal histories (which I am defining as memories, letters, and family-told narratives) help shape history, whether if they validate or contradict what we believe to be the "truth."