While the various and sundry Norton Anthologies of What-Have-You reign supreme, that hasn't stopped other publishers from trying to chew away at Norton's market share. Broadview is one of the most recent entrants into the academic version of Family Feud ("survey says!"). They've just sent me an exam copy of their Victorian text.
Broadview pointedly uses the adjective "British" instead of "English," which--as the editors have to concede--doesn't really dispense with the problem posed by Ireland (xxiii-xxiv); they further scramble the geographical boundaries by incorporating Commonwealth writers under the British umbrella. Perhaps we're heading towards the Routledge solution of "English literatures" or "literatures in English" or even "Anglophone literature"; I'm not sure that these are satisfactory solutions to the problem, but it's quite possible that there is no satisfactory solution to the problem. But the anthology doesn't confine itself to busting geographical boundaries...
Like the current Norton and Longman anthologies, the Broadview is "porous"--that is, multimedia. The text's online contents are listed in the TOC and considered integral to the book. I wonder, though, if many professors won't just interpret the online content as somehow "subordinate" to the print materials, especially since the anthology relegates some authors entirely to the pixels. For example, Cardinal Newman--represented by The Idea of a University instead of Apologia Pro Vita Sua--doesn't have a hardcopy presence at all. Also entirely absent from the print anthology, but available online: Edward Lear (do people teach Edward Lear on a regular basis?), Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole, Anthony Trollope, Arthur Hugh Clough (here renamed "Arthur Henry Clough"...), Dion Boucicault, James Thomson (the usual "City of Dreadful Night"), W. H. Mallock (um, really?), and Sir Henry Newbolt (um, really???). Of the various "Contexts" segments, both "Childhood and Children's Literature" and "Religion and Society" are entirely electronic--or "Religion and Society" would be, if it were available on the website. (Poor Newman wasn't yet available either.)
The proliferation of "Contexts" clusters points, of course, to the rise of both cultural studies and historicism more generally; Broadview lights on the usual suspects here, offering (in addition to the two named above) "Work and Poverty," "The Place of Women in Society," "The New Art of Photography" (which, one would have thought, properly belongs online), and "Race, Empire, and a Wider World." The latter is also the longest. While there are a number of Victorian essays on poetics and aesthetics in the anthology, and some brief overviews in the introduction and an appendix about such matters, there's no similar "context" cluster for Victorian aesthetics per se--a somewhat exasperating absence (especially when one is trying to explain the 1890s). The book is more heavily illustrated than the usual, with both color plates (some a little washed out in my copy) and b/w photographs and illustrations. The color plates include several familiar paintings, among them John Everett Millais' Ophelia, Henry Wallis' Chatterton, Ford Madox Brown's Work, and William Holman Hunt's The Awakening Conscience, but nothing from Turner or Whistler; it would have been nice to have more art conveniently available online.
As always, there are quibbles. It's not clear, for example, why Susanna Moodie and Grace Aguilar are on the page and Newman is on the screen (or will be on the screen, at any rate). Moreover, Broadview's prejudice in favor of minimal annotation has never struck me as particularly realistic, given what students are likely to (not) know. At any rate, it's the kind of anthology that will work better for those whose courses emphasize literature "in context" than those who teach more traditional literary surveys.