Digital Humanities Project 2018-2022

Plotting Hidden Homeless Victorian-Age Labor: An updated statement of purpose.

Statement of purpose/goals of the project-in-progress:

I will create an interactive map of the publishing industry as it developed during the long nineteenth century. I believe this will give me a clearer understanding of the role imports (specifically those coming from colonial or previously colonial territories) played in the shaping of British print culture, and help me build a framework for analyzing serialized work. The fiction writer who published in serial format responded to the economic situation with which they were confronted, and contemporary literary analysts should not discount the effect of most important economic force levied on them –  the print and publishing industries — on their work. I want to look at writing with this sort of analytic framework, but I would like to look at the impact the conditions of the publishing industry – the acquisition of raw materials and the colonizer mind frame, the technological innovations, the challenges of being a professional author– may have had on the creative product.

To facilitate this  I am interested in collecting data about where the publishers/editors’ offices were, where the printing shops and mills were located, and where the raw materials were coming from and in what amounts. I then want to demonstrate on an interactive map how imports and exports moved through the print trade. This project is related to my dissertation concept (working title, “The first ray of light which illumines the gloom:” Editorship, Authorship, and Industry Influence in Nineteenth Century British Serial Literature).

Resources (in progress)

Altick, Richard. The English Common Reader: A Social History of the Mass Reading Public 1800-1900. 2nd ed. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1998. Print.

Erickson, Lee. The Economy of Literary Form: English Literature and the Industrialization of Publishing, 1800-1850. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

Feather, John. A History of British Publishing. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2006.

Feltes, N. N. Modes of Production of Victorian Novels. University of Chicago, 1986.

Historical Networks in the Book Trade. Edited by John Hinks and Catherine Feely. Routledge, 2017.

Hughes, Linda and Michael Lund. The Victorian Serial. University of Virginia Press, 1991.

Marini, Joe. “Learning Python.”,

Sutherland, John. Victorian Novelists & Publishers. Athlone Press, 1976.

Wheedon, Alexis. Victorian Publishing: The Economics of Book Production for a Mass Market 1836-1916. Ashgate, 2003, pp. 20–37.