About two years ago, we had a conversation on this blog about how some publishers were attempting to capitalize on the popularity of books like Twilight in order to market nineteenth-century fiction to young adult readers. Various publishers were re-packaging books by, for instance, the Brontës’, with covers they thought might be more appealing to young adult readers.
See, for example, the cover of Penguin’s Illustrated Jane Eyre by Goth artist Dame Darcy:
Dame Darcy's cover for The Illustrated Jane Eyre
Over the past few years, I have come to learn a lot about children’s literature and the reading preferences of young urban children and youth. I am involved with a wonderful organization that provides books free to children in low-income neighborhoods. Books are donated to the organization, which then displays them in a beautiful location in a century home – complete with window seats and fireplaces – and then children browse the shelves and take home one free book every time they come for a visit. The organization serves hundreds of children a day and is a wonderful oasis in the middle of Toronto. Continue reading
If you haven’t seen it yet, let me recommend the video that chronicles the production of John Carrera’s edition of the Merriam-Webster engravings. The Linotype was cast on a machine from the 1930s, but the binding process reminds me of so many images of Victorian binders seated as sewing frames.
Pictorial Webster’s: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.
A Guest Post by Emily Simmons
One of the fun things about posting with a title like this one is that I knew I was coming back to it sooner or later. Well, The Law and the Lady is finished, and we’ve had another meeting to discuss its attractions (many) and repulsions (some, yes). Of the serialized reading experience I have little else to say. At the end of my forced hiatus I finished the novel in one gulp; it certainly wasn’t lacking in page-turning sensation. Continue reading
In her last post, Jennifer raised a number of possible connections between contemporary blogging and nineteenth-century serial writing. After reading a recent article by Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge in Victorian Studies, “The Plot Thickens: Toward a Narratological Analysis of Illustrated Serial Fiction in the 1860s,” I think one of the ways that Victorian serial fiction may differ from contemporary blogging is in the complex and reciprocal relationship between serial writing and illustration. Continue reading