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The Moonstone

Intrigue, investigations, thievery, drugs and murder all make an appearance in Collins’s classic who-done-it, The Moonstone. Published in serial form in 1868, it was inspired in part by a spectacular murder case widely reported in the early 1860s. Collins’s story revolves around a diamond stolen from a Hindu holy place. On her eighteenth birthday, Rachel…

New Grub Street

New Grub Street is the only one of George Gissing’s two dozen novels never to have gone out of print, and has long been recognized as the most important novel of the nineteenth century on the subject of the writing professions. Indeed, no novel in the English tradition even remotely approximates the thoroughness, sophistication, and…

The Dead Alive

In this 1874 novella by Wilkie Collins, the celebrated British writer of sensation fiction tells the tale of two brothers sentenced to be executed for having committed a murder that never occurred, and of the energetic Naomi Colebrook’s efforts to ferret out the truth and save the two innocents. As editor Anna Clark observes, Collins’s…

Domestic Manners of the Americans

Frances Trollope’s Domestic Manners of the Americans, complemented by Auguste Hervieu’s satiric illustrations, took the transatlantic world by storm in 1832. An unusual combination of realism, visual satire, and novelistic detail, Domestic Manners recounts Trollope’s three years as an Englishwoman living in America. Trollope makes the civility of an entire nation the subject of her…

The Broadview Reader in Book History

Book History has emerged as one of the most exciting new interdisciplinary fields of study in the humanities. By focusing on the production, circulation and reception of the book in all its forms, it has transformed the study of history, literature and culture. The Broadview Book History Reader is the most complete and up-to-date introduction…

Jane Eyre – Second Edition

Jane Eyre, the story of a young girl and her passage into adulthood, was an immediate commercial success at the time of its original publication in 1847. Its representation of the underside of domestic life and the hypocrisy behind religious enthusiasm drew both praise and bitter criticism, while Charlotte Brontë’s striking exposé of poor living…

At the Back of the North Wind

The unique blend of fairy tale atmosphere and social realism in this novel laid the groundwork for modern fantasy literature. In the novel, Little Diamond, a kind and precocious boy living in poverty, is befriended by the mysterious North Wind, who takes him on her nightly adventures. Written in intensely poetic language, At the Back…

Secret Commissions

Lurid, controversial, and vulnerable to accusations of titillation or rabble-rousing, the works of Victorian investigative journalism collected here nonetheless brought unseen suffering into the light of day. Even today their exposure has the power to shock. As one investigator promised, “The Report of our Secret Commission will be read to-day with a shuddering horror that…