(HOBAR) Open University History of Books and Reading Seminar

(HOBAR) Open University History of Books and Reading Seminar
29 January 2018, 5.30pm - 7.00pm
Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Catherine Delafield (Independent Scholar)

‘Wilkie Collins “in Cornhill Country”: the periodical serialisation of Armadale.’

This paper uses the publication of Wilkie Collins’s Armadale in Cornhill Magazine (November 1864–June 1866) as a case study for novel serialisation within a periodical. The discussion addresses both the serials which defined Cornhill Magazine and the subject matter which informed the unfolding novel. This includes also the work of Thackeray, Anthony Trollope and Elizabeth Gaskell as well as editor-novelist Frederick Greenwood and silent offstage publisher George Smith. Using an analysis of the concurrent discourses of the author, editor and periodical, the paper considers how Armadale evolved within the magazine even before its eventual appearance and demonstrates how the serial was finally hidden in plain sight for the greater good of the Cornhill family. The paper contends that the novel should be reread as a serial within the material framework which shaped the responses of its original readers. Collins, meanwhile, was never to be found in Cornhill country again.
Catherine Delafield is an independent scholar who has previously taught at the University of Leicester. She is the author of Serialization and the Novel in Mid-Victorian Magazines (Ashgate, 2015) and Women’s Diaries as Narrative in the Nineteenth Century Novel (2009; Routledge, 2016). She has also published on Good Words and on the serialisation of The Law and the Lady. A chapter entitled ‘Elizabeth Gaskell and the Habit of Serialisation’ is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press.


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