When we read Victorian novelists and poets these days, we tend to read them in thick books: 1,000-page novels, or ‘Poetical Works’ which are often not much shorter.
But for their original audiences, these stories and poems more usually appeared embedded in magazines, a few pages at a time.
What difference does it make to how we read some of the classics of Victorian literature when we read them in their original form, in instalments, surrounded by advertisements, illustrations, articles and news? And how are new methods for studying electronic texts helping us to reinvent something of that reading experience in a new form?
Holmes is Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture, Mahlberg is Professor of Corpus Linguistics and Tattersdill is Lecturer in Victorian Literature.