This volume places Dickens at the centre of a dynamic and expanding Victorian print world and tells the story of his career against a background of options available to him. The collection describes a world animated by outpourings of print materials: books, serials, newspapers, periodicals, libraries, paintings and prints, parodies and plagiarisms, censorship, advertising, as well as theatre and other entertainment, and celebrity. It also shows this period as driven by a growing and more literate population, and undergirded by a general conviction that writing was a crucial component of governance and civic culture. The extensive introduction and selected articles anchor Dickens's attempts to establish better conditions for writers regarding copyright protection, pay, status, recognition, and effectiveness in altering public policy. They speak about Dickens's life as playwright, journalist, novelist, editor, magazine publisher, theatrical producer, actor, lecturer, reader of his own works, supporter of charities for impoverished authors and fallen women, exponent of a morality of Christian compassion and domestic affections sometimes put into question by his own actions, proponent and critic of British nationalism, and champion of education for all. This selection of essays and articles from previously published accounts by internationally renowned scholars is of interest to all students and professionals who are fascinated by the composition, manufacture, finance, formats, pictorializations, sales, advertising and influence of Dickens's writing.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Part I Books and Authors: From few and expensive to many and cheap: the British book market 1800-1890, Simon Eliot; A selected section from 'Authorship', Patrick Leary and Andrew Nash; Literary paupers and professional authors: the Guild of Literature and Art, Daniel Hack. Part II Serialization: Introducing the serial, Linda K. Hughes and Michael Lund; A selected section from 'Marketing the Novel 1820-1850', Lee Erickson; 'Anti-Bleak House': advertising and the Victorian novel, Emily Steinlight. Part III Illustration: Dickens and the rise of the English illustrated novel after 1836, Jane R. Cohen; The art of seeing: Dickens in the visual market, Gerard Curtis. Part IV Circulation: The beginnings of a new type of popular fiction: plagiarisms of Dickens, Louis James; A selected section from 'Continental: Mainly Tauchnitz', Simon Nowell-Smith; The audience widens, Robert L. Patten. Part V Readers: Education, literacy and the Victorian reader, Jonathan Rose; Reading, prohibition and transgression, Kate Flint; A pulse of 124: Charles Dickens and a pathology of the mid-Victorian reading public, Helen Small. Part VI Dickens as Editor: An interlude: 'daily nooses' and the noose itself, 1846, Michael Slater; Advertising fictions, Catherine Waters; Publishing and recalling life: All the Year Round (1859-1870), John M.L. Drew. Part VII Contemporaneity: The stolen child, Richard L. Stein; How Oliver Twist learned to read, and what he read, Patrick Brantlinger; The shipping intelligence: shipwrecks and secret tears from Dickens to Stoker, Matthew Rubery; 'The spirit of craft and money-making': the indignities of literature in the 1850s, Clare Pettitt; Dickens, invention and literary property in the 1850s, Trey Philpotts; Town talk: Dickens, Thackeray, and the policing of gossip, Patrick Leary. Part VIII Social, Cultural and Political Impact: Dickens, popular culture and popular politics in the 1830s: Oliver Twist, Sally Ledger; The amusements of the people: cultural politics, class, commerce, Juliet John; Conclusion, Sabine Clemm; 'Boz has got the town by the ear': Dickens and the Athenaeum critics, Ellen Miller Casey. Part IX Coda: From the Guardian books blog; Name index.
Robert L. Patten is Lynette S. Autrey Professor in Humanities at Rice University, USA; Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK and Scholar in Residence at the Charles Dickens Museum.
'Clearly, this collection is of tremendous value to anyone with even a passing interest in its central subject...it is a luxury to have in one place (and to have scrupulously indexed) the cream of recent work in this area, collected by the Dickens scholar who is in the best place to do so...' Dickens Quarterly