Anna Maria Jones is associate professor of English at the University of Central Florida. She is the author of Problem Novels: Victorian Fiction Theorizes the Sensational Self. Her recent articles have appeared in Victorian Literature and Culture, European Romantic Review, Criticism, Neo-Victorian Studies, and BRANCH.
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Late nineteenth-century Britain experienced an unprecedented explosion of visual print culture and a simultaneous rise in literacy across social classes. New printing technologies facilitated quick and cheap dissemination of images—illustrated books, periodicals, cartoons, comics, and ephemera—to a mass readership. This Victorian visual turn prefigured the present-day impact of the Internet on how images are produced and shared, both driving and reflecting the visual culture of its time.