By J. Sutherland
Drawing on wide study, John Sutherland builds up a desirable photo of the cultural, social and advertisement elements influencing the content material and creation of Victorian fiction, discussing significant writers comparable to Collins, Dickens, Eliot, Thackeray and Trollope along writers additionally extremely popular with the studying public - Reade, Lytton and Mrs Humphry Ward - yet whose status has no longer persisted. Richly informative at the Victorian literary and cultural scene, this new reissue of John Sutherland's vital 1995 research is vital interpreting for all these drawn to the evolution of the Victorian novel, and features a new Preface situating the booklet in present study being performed at the historical past of the publication and print tradition.
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Extra info for Victorian Fiction: Writers, Publishers, Readers
They kept the most helpful defence witnesses out of court by threatening to divulge in cross-examination damaging information which the police had dug up. All in all, the trial was, as Shee complained, 'an organized conspiracy to hang our client'. But what clinched the case against Palmer was a superb summing-up by the prosecuting counsel, Alexander Cockburn. Without notes he dazzled the jury with his inductions from the purely circumstantial evidence. After the guilty verdict was delivered by the jury, Palmer scrawled a note to his counsel; 'It was the riding that did it'.
8 These cheaper prints contained many more crime stories than their 4d. and 5d. rivals like The Times. More to the point here, the ld. press with its larger circulation and more competitive tone fostered what we now call investigative reporting. The investigative reporter has close affinity with the detective (whether private or in the force) and in the modern thriller the two types are interchangeable as heroes. The Telegraph's most famous investigative reporter was George Augustus Sala-who had learned his craft on Household Words.
Sala was an exact contemporary of Wilkie Collins, a comrade on the Household Words team, and like Collins he went on to become a pioneer sensation novelist (if a less successful one). Among everything else, Household Words can be seen as a nursery of investigative journalism and a cradle of sensation fiction-stories with the immediacy of the day's newspaper headlines. I want now to turn to Collins's idiosyncratic or 'high impact' mode of narration in The Woman in White. Collins expounds his technique to the reader in the 'Preamble' to the novel, using Hartright's voice: As the Judge might once have heard it, so the Reader shall hear it now.
Victorian Fiction: Writers, Publishers, Readers by J. Sutherland