“Janzen Kooistra makes a superb contribution to the literature on the history of the book…. This volume itself is a beautiful artifact, generously illustrated with examples of gift-book engravings, often displaying the entire printed page in order to display the interplay between text and illustration. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”
“Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing is an important book that identifies a fertile area for future study. Kooistra provides consistently acute analysis on the commodification of poetry, the impact that this had on author-publisher relationships, and the interaction between material and literary culture. This is a mature piece of scholarship that shows a profound grasp of the subject and the related methodological and theoretical implications.”
Tennyson Research Bulletin
“A model of lucid analysis and a valuable addition to the understanding of nineteenth-century book production and consumer culture.”
Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900
“Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing is the third and perhaps the best in a series of monographs in which Lorraine Janzen Kooistra has explored the ways in which the material forms of Victorian illustrated books produced meanings and audiences…. Her new book amounts to nothing less than a critical inquiry into the place of poetry in the modern world.”
In Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing eminent Rossetti scholar Lorraine Janzen Kooistra demonstrates the cultural centrality of a neglected artifact: the Victorian illustrated gift book. Turning a critical lens on “drawing-room books” as both material objects and historical events, Kooistra reveals how the gift book’s visual/verbal form mediated “high” and popular art as well as book and periodical publication.
A composite text produced by many makers, the poetic gift book was designed for domestic space and a female audience; its mode of publication marks a significant moment in the history of authorship, reading, and publishing. With rigorous attention to the gift book’s aesthetic and ideological features, Kooistra analyzes the contributions of poets, artists, engravers, publishers, and readers and shows how its material form moved poetry into popular culture. Drawing on archival and periodical research, she offers new readings of Eliza Cook, Adelaide Procter, and Jean Ingelow and shows the transatlantic reach of their verses. Boldly resituating Tennyson’s works within the gift-book economy he dominated, Kooistra demonstrates how the conditions of corporate authorship shaped the production and receptionof the laureate’s verses at the peak of his popularity.
Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing changes the map of poetry’s place—in all its senses—in Victorian everyday life and consumer culture.
Lorraine Janzen Kooistra is professor emerita of English and founding codirector emerita of Toronto Metropolitan University’s Centre for Digital Humanities. She is the author of The Artist as Critic: Bitextuality in Fin-de-Siècle Illustrated Books and Christina Rossetti and Illustration: A Publishing History. She is co-editor of The Culture of Christina Rossetti: Female Poetics and Victorian Contexts and The Yellow Nineties Online. More info →
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68 illus. · 325 pages · 6 × 9 in.
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312 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Release date: October 2014
“Kooistra persuasively argues that in the 1860s, the illustrated book of poetry became one of the most important literary commodities of the third quarter of the nineteenth century. With great clarity and depth, she articulates the central relevance of ornamental, illustrated poetic gift books to literary culture, British identity, and the place of poetry in histories of authorship, reading, and publishing…. There is nothing stale about her contribution to book history studies.”
“[A]n important contribution to Victorian studies, as well as to the fields of visual and material culture, popular literacy, and book history … confirming [Lorraine Janzen Kooistra] as the leading authority on Victorian illustrated books of poetry.”
The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies
“Janzen Kooistra writes with formidable insight into the vast, intermingled range of…influences—artists, engravers, businessmen, and consumers—upon 1860s gift-book production…. Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing does much to recapture the dual importance of the gift book as commercial and cultural object.”
Victorian Periodicals Review
“Thoroughly researched and lucidly argued, Kooistra’s study makes a convincing case for the centrality of the gift book to understanding Victorian poetry, illustration, book production, and consumer culture.”
Elizabeth Carolyn Miller, author of Framed: The New Woman Criminal in British Culture at the Fin de Siècle
“Over five lavishly illustrated chapters…Kooistra presents case studies of individual texts, including many examples from Tennyson, and illuminates different phases of production, from commissioning and marketing to illustrating and to facsimile engraving.”
The Inscription of Values in Word and Image
By Julia Thomas
The Victorians were image obsessed. The middle decades of the nineteenth century saw an unprecedented growth in the picture industry. Technological advances enabled the Victorians to adorn with images the pages of their books and the walls of their homes. But this was not a wholly visual culture. Pictorial Victorians focuses on two of the most popular mid-nineteenth-century genres—illustration and narrative painting—that blurred the line between the visual and textual.Illustration
Art History · Literary Criticism | European | English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh · Popular Culture · Victorian Studies
Forget Me Not
The Rise of the British Literary Annual, 1823–1835
By Katherine D. Harris
Katherine D. Harris assesses the phenomenal rise of the literary annual and its origins in English, German, and French literary forms as well as its social influence on women, its redefinition of the feminine, and its effects on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century print culture.
Literary Criticism | European | English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh · Book and Periodical Studies · Gender Studies · Victorian Studies
Drawing on the Victorians
The Palimpsest of Victorian and Neo-Victorian Graphic Texts
Edited by Anna Maria Jones and Rebecca N. Mitchell
· Afterword by Kate Flint
Late nineteenth-century Britain experienced an unprecedented explosion of visual print culture and a simultaneous rise in literacy across social classes. New printing technologies facilitated quick and cheap dissemination of images—illustrated books, periodicals, cartoons, comics, and ephemera—to a mass readership. This Victorian visual turn prefigured the present-day impact of the Internet on how images are produced and shared, both driving and reflecting the visual culture of its time.From
Literary Criticism | European | English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh · Comics and Graphic Novel Culture · Victorian Studies
The Plot Thickens
Illustrated Victorian Serial Fiction from Dickens to Du Maurier
By Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge
In the early 1800s, books were largely unillustrated. By the 1830s and 1840s, however, innovations in wood- and steel-engraving techniques changed how Victorian readers consumed and conceptualized fiction. A new type of novel was born, often published in serial form, one that melded text and image as partners in meaning-making.These
Literary Criticism | European | English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh · Book and Periodical Studies · Victorian Studies