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« Five random research-related musings, plus a related observation | Main | In search of lost nineteenth-century novelists: phase II »

June 21, 2009

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Amateur Reader

John Galt. I still hope to do a big read (Ringan Gilhaizie) and re-read (The Entail, The Provost) of Galt this year, a two week Wuthering Expectations John Galt Special Edition. So I'll do my part for the cause.

For completeness: the wonderful Robert Adams-edited Norton Critical edition of The Egoist still seems to be available.

What a list! I'm going to return to it someday, after I have read - a lot of other books.

Student Mum

Mary Arnold Ward's Marcella (Virago & Broadview published it recently)is a text that is re-gaining recognition lately. I used it in my undergrad dissertation and although there were not a great many articles/texts discussing it I managed to find enough. Also Grant Allen's Hilda Wade is still out there, albeit in the POD format.

Josephine Richstad

Catherine Gore! Maybe not all of her 90-some novels, but certainly a handful of them deserve to be edited and published in a nice Broadview.

nigel holmes

Richard Jefferies seems to have gone from thin survival to near extinction in the last couple of decades. I think the "likely to appeal to fascists" part is the main problem. "Story of my Heart" isn't likely to be revived; but there's a lot else that's interesting ("Wood Magic", "Bevis" and "The Amateur Poacher" have striking evocations of childhood, for instance), if a reader doesn't mind maintaining a certain reserve towards Jefferies' oddities.

Serena Trowbridge

Charlotte M Yonge. "The Heir of Redclyffe" I think is still in print, but the rest seem to have vanished. Her novels are very much of their time and reflective of her Tractarian beliefs, but are also quite hypnotic to read somehow! "The Daisy Chain", "The Clever Woman of the Family" and "The Pillars of the House" are all well worth reading, although she was remarkably prolific so there can't be many people around who have read all of her books!

Catherine Pope

Although admittedly she's not a great novelist, some of Florence Marryat's earlier sensation novels are worthy of scholarly attention. Her challenge to the prevailing gender ideology prefigures the work of later New Woman novelists.

I've actually just started a small publishing house (www.victoriansecrets.co.uk) to resurrect such forgotten authors, so will be monitoring this post's comments with interest.

I would also welcome suggestions from anyone who would like to propose a title!

Marya

Actually Yonge's Daisy Chain, Clever Woman, and The Trial have all been reprinted in the last decade or so. (I love her books, even the less-good.)

topbroker

First, I want to say that I really like your blog; I've pilfered your "Acquisitions" post format for my own blog, Patrick Murtha's Diary (http://patrickmurthasdiary.blogspot.com/).

For the past year and a half, I have always had at least one 19th century English-language novel in progress. I recently read Reade's It Is Never Too Late to Mend and quite enjoyed it. Meredith is coming up; I'll probably start with Richard Feverel, which I did read once many years ago but remember imperfectly. I'm not much troubled by a book being out of print; I always find a copy.

John Sutherland's The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction contains a wealth of interesting-sounding neglected fiction. (Curiously, he seems to lack an entry on Sherwood -- perhaps because she is sub-defined as a "children's author"?)

Among the better-known "second-tier" novelists I plan to get to soon as part of my course of reading: Galt, Bulwer-Lytton, Yonge, Frederick Marryat, George Moore, Maria Edgeworth, Charles Kingsley, Henry Kingsley, Margaret Oliphant, Charles Lever, Samuel Lover, William Carleton, James Hogg, Robert Smith Surtees, Thomas Love Peacock, Theodore Hook, Mark Rutherford, Marcus Clarke, R.D. Blackmore, Joseph Henry Shorthouse.

Then there are the more truly obscure, just a few of whom I'll note here: Robert Bell, Oliver Madox Brown, Richard Cobbold, Algernon Gissing (George's brother), Anne Manning, Angus Reach, George Augustus Sala, Samuel Warren -- I've got lots more. Yes, I've got the list-making obsession and am slightly but not debilitatingly OCD.

Zora

Distributed Proofreaders is working on an e-edition of The History of the Fairchild Family. We've proofed and formatted it; it's in the final stage, post-processing.

Once WE do all the hard work, then the POD people start trying to make money on it. So expect it to be "in print" soon.

I didn't proof/read the whole thing, but some gruesomely "educational" episodes linger unpleasantly in my memory. A little girl of a rich family is spoiled and willful, disobeys her governess, stands too close to the fire, her clothes ignite, and she dies of her burns. SEE, children? SEE what will happen if you're disobedient?

Kathleen Ward

I have read all of Charlotte Mary Yonge's "modern" novels and they are hypnotically entertaining. Also a marvelous insight into how girls were raised up until as recently as the 1960s--as I have reason to know.

I would rather be dragged backwards by the hair through a nettle field than read any of Bulwer-Lytton's novels, but I saw a production of his play _Money_ at the National Theatre in London a few years back and it was actually very interesting-entertaining.

Kathleen Ward

The comment on Catherine Gore brings up an oddity. I think only one or two of her works (including the ubiquitous book on roses) are available through even Project Gutenberg. You'd expect more. Anyone knows what gives?

R Lapides

I think Israel Zangwill's novels are out of print.

Zora

Distributed Proofreaders provides some 90% or more of Gutenberg's books these days, so if you want Catherine Gore, you're going to have to interest someone at DP. Or join DP yourself. A CP (Content Provider) has to take an interest in an author or a book, arrange for scans and OCR, and shepherd the book through the proofreading and formatting process. It's not an enormous amount of work, but it takes persistence.

The speed at which a book moves through the process depends on how much it interests our volunteer proofers. Novels generally move quite rapidly.

We don't have a grand plan. We just proof what the CPs give us to proof. Sometimes this upsets people who want to proof, don't want to CP, but are certain that the world needs more free ebooks about hedgehogs.

Kathleen Ward

The scans are the problem, I think. I can find one or two of C. Gore's books in my library, but they won't scan for the same reason I can't read them: They've been rebound so tightly (incompetently?) that part of each line is lost. I would imagine that this is not a unique situation.

Josh

Not a lot of Dinah Mulock Craik books available, are there? I think Broadview only publishes one any more.

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