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John Macrone: Victorian publisher

Sutherland, John A. (1983) John Macrone: Victorian publisher. Humanities Working Paper, 93. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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I do not delude myself that even colleagues in English literature will be excited by the detailed chronicle of the fall of a minor Victorian publisher. But I shall be grateful for any general reaction to the larger project of which the following essay is part. It is widely agreed that we know too little about the publishers who were partners (if sometimes sleeping partners) in the production of nineteenth century literature. He need, as one Dickensian critic recently put it, a "magisterial" book on the subject. There isn't any such work in prospect. Nor is there any comprehensive history of British publishing (even more urgently needed) under way. Either of these tasks would exceed the power of any single critic, in my opinion. But it is possible to make some contribution -- even at this preliminary stage -- to what will eventually be (as I expect) a collaborative venture. What I intend is to publish a series of articles which will profile the fiction-publishing activities of leading Victorian houses. What follows, on John Macrone, is the first in the series. I am writing another at the moment on Henry Colburn (the principal purveyor of "silver fork" romance to early and mid- Victorian circulating libraries). After that, have sketched out a study of Chapman and Hall's fiction-publishing policy 1836-64 (when the feeble Fred Chapman took over); a piece on Bradbury and Evans and the production of serialized fiction; a short house history of Tinsley Eros. {who largely succeeded Colburn as suppliers of three deckers to the libraries in the 1860. and 70s), and so on. It is fairly easy to devise and plan these essags, and to anticipate their final connected design. There remains the immediate problem of placing them. Editors, generally, do not like purely expository contributions; especially if they are liberally accompanied by lists, tables and business history. The one journal which would suit, Publishing History, seems moribund. ~ Library and PBSA are obvious first choice journals. Thereafter, one will have to publish where one can, presumably. (The fincrone piece will appear in Dickens Studies~, sometime over the next three years.)

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:Dickens Studies Annual, v. 13 (1984)
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Series Name:Humanities Working Paper
Issue or Number:93
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20091016-113607316
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Official Citation:Sutherland, John A. John Macrone: Victorian publisher. Pasadena, CA: California Institute of Technology, 1983. Humanities Working Paper, No. 93.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16363
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:04 Jan 2010 17:03
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:10

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