Victorian Fiction and Victorian Publishing:

a History in Aspects

​John Sutherland

About this book

Publishing History, if not the orphan, is the Cinderella of English Studies - a subject which has never owned its own discipline or curricular space in academia. Professor John Sutherland’s interest is in the culturally formative effect of the institutions and machineries of commissioning, manufacturing, legal frameworks, distribution, and reception. A recent interest is in libraries and e-publishing. His approach has always been materialistic.

A Jstor search will yield a sense of the variety and range of material Sutherland has written in the field: and the liveliness of mind with which he has done it.

This new collection gathers his major pieces, with generous additional interpretative comment, to define the lay of the field and points of illustrative interest in it. To map, as it were, a central area of publishing history, as a kind of summary of Sutherland's decades of work on the subject.
About the author

John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at University College, London. His books include Is Heathcliff a Murderer? Puzzles in Nineteenth-century Fiction (Oxford University Press, 1996); Can Jane Eyre Be Happy? More Puzzles in Classic Fiction (OUP, 1997); Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? Further Puzzles in Classic Fiction (OUP, 1999); Henry V, War Criminal? & Other Shakespeare Puzzles, with Cedric Watts (OUP, 2000); Last Drink to LA (Faber & Faber, 2001); The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (2nd edition, Routledge, 2009); The Boy Who Loved Books: A Memoir (John Murray, 2007); Lives of the Novelists: A History of Fiction in 294 Lives (Profile Books, 2011), A Little History of Literature (Yale University Press, 2013), and George Orwell (Reaktion Books, 2016). His most recent book-length work in the field is Rogue Publisher: ‘Prince of Puffers’: The Life and Works of Henry Colburn, co-written with Veronica Melnyk, just published by EER.

His periodical contributions have also done much to shape and re-shape the discipline. There is more than a monograph’s-worth of articles in learned and trade outlets by Sutherland. A solid core focuses on authors Scott, Thackeray, Dickens, Bulwer Lytton, Trollope, George Eliot, Mary Arnold Ward, Hardy, Henry James, ranging through to Stephen King and E. L. Doctorow. A related focus is on publishers from Archibald Constable, Henry Colburn, John Macrone, Chapman and Hall, George Smith, the Tinsley brothers et al through to Victor Gollancz and Frederic Warburg.


​John Sutherland is "the foremost authority on Victorian publishing." - Richard Mullen, Anthony Trollope. A Victorian in His World.

ISBN 9781912224463  Hardback  £55.00  Order

Available  October 2020


Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.