Because many Victorian novels first appeared serially in periodicals
and only later appeared in book form, they bear the mark of writing in
parts. Although Anthony Trollope and most other writers completed an entire
novel before its first number appeared in print, Dickens composed his books
as they went along in parts, and hence his works, which register his audience's
reactions, have a unqiue dialogical relation to that that audience. Beginning
with the pioneering work of John Butt and Kathleen Tillotson, scholars
have studied both his working notes for individual novels and their division
into periodical parts for clues to his ideas and methods.
The following list includes the most important studies of this approach to Dickens's novels:
The essential book on Dickens, copyright, publishing practice, the development of periodical publication, and their economic and literary implications. See especially pp. 45-74 and also 18-27.
Richard D. Altick and John J. Fenstermacher Art of Literary Research (4th ed), which desribe this book "as the crowning achievement of this branch of Dickens studies," points out that it provides both photographic facsimile and "typographical approximations" of the author's notes .
George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History,
[Victorian initial "P" by Harlan Wallach ©copyright 1994.]