“This is a mature and original piece of scholarship that adds substantially to the critical understanding of Dickens and is the first comprehensive overview of his Christmas numbers. Considering each number as its own aesthetic unit, Klimaszewski convincingly argues for a different and more flexible understanding of authorship (and of “Dickens”) as polyvocal, often contradictory, and conversational in nature. Her discussion of Dickens’s collaborations with Wilkie Collins is particularly strong.”
John O. Jordan, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Charles Dickens and director, the Dickens Project
“Collaborative Dickens is a new and distinct contribution that will be of substantial interest to Dickens scholars, to those working more broadly on Victorian studies, to researchers focused on the periodical press, and to scholars examining models of collaborative authorship.”
Iain Crawford, past president, the Dickens Society
From 1850 to 1867, Charles Dickens produced special issues (called “numbers”) of his journals Household Words and All the Year Round, which were released shortly before Christmas each year. In Collaborative Dickens, Melisa Klimaszewski undertakes the first comprehensive study of these Christmas numbers. She argues for a revised understanding of Dickens as an editor who, rather than ceaselessly bullying his contributors, sometimes accommodated contrary views and depended upon multivocal narratives for his own success.
Klimaszewski uncovers connections among and between the stories in each Christmas collection. She thus reveals ongoing conversations between the works of Dickens and his collaborators on topics important to the Victorians, including race, empire, supernatural hauntings, marriage, disability, and criminality. Stories from Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and understudied women writers such as Amelia B. Edwards and Adelaide Anne Procter interact provocatively with Dickens’s writing. By restoring links between stories from as many as nine different writers in a given year, Klimaszewski demonstrates that a respect for the Christmas numbers’ plural authorship and intertextuality results in a new view of the complexities of collaboration in the Victorian periodical press and a new appreciation for some of the most popular texts Dickens published.
Melisa Klimaszewski is Professor of English and the director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Drake University. She has edited several of Dickens’s collaborative works, authored a critical bibliography of scholarship on Dickens for Oxford University Press’s Oxford Bibliographies in British and Irish Literature, and published short biographies of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. More info →
Save 20% ($64)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
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.These
Katherine D. Harris assesses the phenomenal rise of the literary annual and its origins in English, German, and French literary forms as well as its social influence on women, its redefinition of the feminine, and its effects on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century print culture.
In Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing eminent Rossetti scholar LorraineJanzen Kooistra demonstrates the cultural centrality of a neglected artifact: the Victorian illustrated gift book. Turning a critical lens on “drawing-room books” as both material objects and historical events, Kooistra reveals how the gift book’s visual/verbal form mediated “high” and popular art as well as book and periodical publication.A
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.From
Sign up to be notified when new Victorian Studies titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.