When I was coming up with lost novelists in my previous post, I was thinking of authors who might somehow, somewhere, be brought out in (gasp) a well-edited paperback edition. After all, there's an off chance that a brave scholar might want to expose graduate students to Bulwer-Lytton. (The students would develop permanent immunity to Bulwer-Lytton from such an exposure, no doubt, but we can't have everything. Or maybe that is having everything.) But what about books for which there probably isn't a classroom market, even though intrepid scholars everywhere would be delighted to see them on their university library's shelves? In other words, the authors born and books made for something like the Pickering & Chatto editions.
- Grace Aguilar: One of the best-known Jews of the nineteenth century, popular enough that complete editions of her works were being released decades after her death. Edith Wharton even stole the title of one of her novels from Aguilar. Michael Galchinsky recently did a one-volume selection for Broadview, but it would be interesting to see a complete collection that included not only Aguilar's novels, but also her poetry and nonfiction prose (including the two works of popular theology).
- Along the same lines, how about a multivolume collection of Anglo-Jewish Novelists? Let's call it From Aguilar to Zangwill: Aguilar, Israel Zangwill, the Moss sisters, Benjamin Farjeon, Amy Levy, etc.
- And let's not forget Victorian Catholic Novelists: Lady Georgiana Fullerton, Fanny Taylor, Cecilia Mary Caddell, Julia Kavanagh, Wiseman, Newman, Mrs. Wilfrid Ward, "John Oliver Hobbes"...
- I think George Eliot's Daniel Deronda benefits from being read in the context of Jewish Conversion Fiction (Eliot systematically reverses all the tropes): ergo, Amelia Bristow, Charlotte Anley, E. F. Wheeler, Mrs. J. B. Webb, and my favorite didactic crook, "Osborn W. Trenery Heighway" (Gordon Trenery).
- There have been occasional attempts at republishing the work of the important Irish novelists John and Michael Banim, but nothing really systematic or complete.
- I think William Carleton belongs on my other list, given just how much time people spend writing about him--and yet, he's completely out of print in anything but POD. (Now that I think about it, this really makes no sense. Is somebody working on a scholarly edition?)
- Last but not least, I think it would be great (I would--I write about these things, remember?) to have an anthology of Fiction and the Religious Tract: lots of RTS stuff, of course, but this could be a completely ecumenical selection (there are Victorian Catholic and Jewish tract societies, after all). Tracts crop up in a number of older anthologies, especially those devoted to children's lit, but a large and varied collection would be helpful.