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Discovering Structure in Social Networks of 19th Century Fiction
2016-05-25, Grayson, Siobhán, Wade, Karen, Meaney, Gerardine, Rothwell, Jennie, Mulvany, Maria, Greene, Derek
Inspired by the increasing availability of large text corpora online, digital humanities scholars are adopting computational approaches to explore questions in the field of literature from new perspectives. In this paper, we examine detailed social networks of characters, extracted from several works of 19th century fiction by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. This allows us to apply methodologies from social network analysis, such as community detection, to explore the structure of these networks. By evaluating the results in collaboration with literary scholars, we find that the structure of the character networks can reveal underlying structural aspects within a novel, particularly in relation to plot and characterisation.