The publisher Edward Lloyd (1815-1890) helped shape Victorian popular culture in ways that have left a legacy that lasts right up to today. He was a major pioneer of both popular fiction and journalism but has never received extended scholarly investigation until now. Lloyd shaped the modern popular press: Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper became the first paper to sell over a million copies. Along with publishing songs and broadsides, Lloyd dominated the fiction market in the early Victorian period issuing Gothic stories such as Varney the Vampire (1845-7) and other 'penny dreadfuls', which became bestsellers. Lloyd's publications introduced the enduring figure of Sweeney Todd whilst his authors penned plagiarisms of Dickens's novels, such as Oliver Twiss (1838-9). Many readers in the early Victorian period may have been as likely to have encountered the author of Pickwick in a Lloyd-published plagiarism as in the pages of the original author.
This book makes us rethink the early reception of Dickens. In this interdisciplinary collection, leading scholars explore the world of Edward Lloyd and his stable of writers, such as Thomas Peckett Prest and James Malcolm Rymer. The Lloyd brand shaped popular taste in the age of Dickens and the Chartists. Edward Lloyd and his World fills a major gap in the histories of popular fiction and journalism, whilst developing links with Victorian politics, theatre and music.
The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series, the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global. Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies. The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies.