Throughout the nineteenth century, but most intensely in the reign of Queen Victoria, England and Scotland produced an unprecedented range of extraordinary illustrated books. Images in books became a central feature of Victorian culture. They were at once prestigious and popular—a kind of entertainment—but equally a place for pondering fundamental questions about history, geography, language, time, commerce, design, and vision itself. Concentrating on the use of illustration in literature—especially novels, poems, and children’s books—the essays collected in The Victorian Illustrated Book address a wide chronological and stylistic range of work. They offer fresh insights into such diverse topics as illustration in the books of Charles Dickens and William Morris, the use of words as images, the intersection of children’s books and shopping, the use of maps in fiction, the decline of illustrated volumes after Queen Victoria’s death, and the proposal that Victorian illustration was a major inspiration for modernist and postmodernist experiments with the form of the book.
Contributors:Steven Dillon, Bates CollegeNicholas Frankel, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityCharles Harmon, Loyola UniversityElizabeth Helsinger, University of ChicagoSimon Joyce, Texas Christian UniversityRichard Maxwell, Valparaiso UniversityRobert L. Patten, Rice UniversityJeffrey Skoblow, Southern Illinois University at EdwardsvilleKatie Trumpener, University of ChicagoHerbert Tucker, University of Virginia
A substantial, original contribution a considerable pleasure to read,... The Victorian Illustrated Book defines and goes a long way toward filling an important gap in scholarship on the history of nineteenth-century publishing. It will interest collectors and bibliophiles as well as students of publishing history, inter-arts relations, and Victorian studies.