Ohio University Press publishes current research in Victorian studies. We are interested in work that extends the boundaries of literary criticism and creates conversations across disciplines, including literature, theater, history, art history, religion, political economy, law, and urban studies.
Our books in Victorian studies foster research that considers how Victorians came to understand and represent their domestic lives, their local communities, and their place in an increasingly integrated, yet still strange world.
Elizabeth Carolyn Miller
University of California, Davis
As “Michael Field,” Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper conversed with fin-de-siècle aesthetic movements and twentieth-century modernism, articulated ideas associated with the New Woman, and expressed queer desire. Essays address Michael Field’s engagements with a range of cultural touchstones, highlighting their work’s radicalism and relevance.
In Collaborative Dickens, Melisa Klimaszewski undertakes the first comprehensive study of Dickens’s Christmas numbers. She argues for a revised understanding of Dickens as an editor who, rather than ceaselessly bullying his contributors, sometimes accommodated contrary views and depended upon multivocal narratives for his own success.
In analyzing depictions of Australian convicts in novels, broadsides, and first-person accounts, Dorice Williams Elliott demonstrates how Britain linked class, race, and national identity at a key historical moment when it was still negotiating its relationship with its empire.
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.
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.
Grounded in literary studies and spanning the Americas, India, England, and Scotland, this book explores the relationship between economic concepts and culture in the period, focusing on how economic tropes were abstracted into other discourses in fields as diverse as evolutionary science, business, or literary narrative.
In Reading for Health: Medical Narratives and the Nineteenth-Century Novel, Erika Wright argues that the emphasis in Victorian Studies on disease as the primary source of narrative conflict that must be resolved has obscured the complex reading practices that emerge around the concept of health.
Before he joined the staff of Punch and designed its iconic front cover, illustrator Richard “Dicky” Doyle was a young man whose father (political caricaturist John Doyle) charged him with sending a weekly letter, even though they lived under the same roof. This volume collects the fifty-three illustrated missives in their entirety for the first time and provides an uncommon peek into the intimate but expansive observations of a precocious social commentator and artist.
In The Victorian Novel of Adulthood, Rebecca Rainof confronts the conventional deference accorded the bildungsroman as the ultimate plot model and quintessential expression of Victorian nation building. The novel of maturity, she contends, is no less important to our understanding of narrative, Victorian culture, and the possibilities of fiction.
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.
In nineteenth-century London, a clubbable man was a fortunate man, indeed. The Reform, the Athenaeum, the Travellers, the Carlton, the United Service are just a few of the gentlemen’s clubs that formed the exclusive preserve known as “clubland” in Victorian London—the City of Clubs that arose during the Golden Age of Clubs. Why were these associations for men only such a powerful emergent institution in nineteenth-century London?
Melodrama is often seen as a blunt aesthetic tool tainted by its reliance on improbable situations, moral binaries, and overwhelming emotion, features that made it a likely ingredient of British imperial propaganda during the late nineteenth century. Yet, through its impact on many late-Victorian genres outside of the theater, melodrama developed a complicated relationship with British imperial discourse.
Anglophone Poetry in Colonial India, 1780–1913: A Critical Anthology makes accessible for the first time the entire range of poems written in English on the subcontinent from their beginnings in 1780 to the watershed moment in 1913 when Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Mary Ellis Gibson establishes accurate texts for such well-known poets as Toru Dutt and the early nineteenth-century poet Kasiprasad Ghosh.
Reading Victorian Deafness is the first book to address the crucial role that deaf people, and their unique language of signs, played in Victorian culture.