Mary Elizabeth Leighton is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Victoria. With Lisa Surridge, she coedited the Broadview Anthology of Victorian Prose, 1832–1901 and was coeditor of the Victorian Review. Her articles and book chapters appear in Victorian Studies, Victorian Periodicals Review, Victorian Literature and Culture, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, the Cambridge Companion to Sensation Fiction, Dickens in Context, and elsewhere.
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In the early 1800s, books were largely unillustrated. By the 1830s and 1840s, however, innovations in wood- and steel-engraving techniques changed how Victorian readers consumed and conceptualized fiction. A new type of novel was born, often published in serial form, one that melded text and image as partners in meaning-making.