Drawing on extensive research, John Sutherland builds up a fascinating picture of the cultural, social and commercial factors influencing the content and production of Victorian fiction, discussing major writers such as Collins, Dickens, Eliot, Thackeray and Trollope alongside writers also very popular with the reading public - Reade, Lytton and Mrs Humphry Ward - but whose fame has not endured. Richly informative on the Victorian literary and cultural scene, this new reissue of John Sutherland's important 1995 study is essential reading for all those interested in the evolution of the Victorian novel, and includes a new Preface situating the book in current research being carried out on the history of the book and print culture.
John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at UCL and has been, for ten years, an annually Visiting Professor of Literature at the California Institute of Technology, USA. He has published seventeen books, some 30 editions, many articles in learned journals on a variety of subjects - but mostly concentrating on Victorian fiction, the history of publishing, and twentieth-century literature. His most recent books are: Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? (Oxford, 1998), Henry V: War Criminal (with Cedric Watts and Stephen Orgel, Oxford, 1999), The Literary Detective (Oxford, 2000), Last Drink to LA (Short Books, 2001), Reading the Decades (BBC Books, 2002) and Stephen Spender: The Authorized Biography (2004). He also writes a weekly column for the Guardian, and is currently engaged on the Oxford Companion to Popular Fiction.