"The Transatlantic Moostone Part: XXII"

Wilkie Collin’s released The Moonstone serial, in both Harper’s Weekly and All the Year Round. Although both magazine’s covered the identical story, they each presented The Moonstone in a different style corresponding to the style of their individual magazines. 

Harper’s is more inclined to add pictures to The Moonstone, possibly to enhance the reader’s experience in reading this serialized text. In All the Year Round, the magazine sticks strictly to text, with no illustrations to help guide the reader’s imagination. This non illustrated format could arguably be seen to present a better experience, because the readers get to use their imagination and not the illustrator’s imagination imposed upon them.

In Katie Lanning’s article, “2011 VanArsdel Prize Essay Tessellating Texts: Reading The Moonstone in All the Year Round,” she describes the way in which serialized readings were tessellated with the other articles in the papers. She describes tessellated readings as a process where the “reader fits texts or pieces of texts together to create a mosaic of meaning. A tessellation is necessarily made up of multiple pieces; thus, the term “tessellated reading” emphasizes the multiple texts with which a reader engages in a periodical” (1). She argues that both the advertisements in Harper’s, and in All the Year Round incline the readers to do a tessellated reading between The Moonstone and the advertisements placed around The Moonstone.

The May 30, 1868 instalment of The Moonstone, covers chapters 2 and 3 of the third narrative, told by Franklin Blake. These chapters consist of Franklin Blake returning from England to keep searching for the Moonstone. He finds Betteredge reading his copy of Robinson Crusoe. Betteredge and Franklin receive a letter from Limping Lucy which leads them to the quicksands where Rosanna has hidden a clue to the mystery. Franklin finds the thief’s nightgown that Rossana hid. He finds out that it was, in fact, his nightgown. 

Lanning explains that tessellated readings were used advantageously to catch reader’s attention for “editors were “sensitive” to the connections readers made between texts in an issue, and editors often carefully selected and arranged materials with those possible connections in mind” (15). There are clear examples of these placements in both Harper’s Weekly and All the Year Round. In Harper’s, we see advertisements for diamonds and pipes. Similarily, in All the Year Round, we see stories relating to quicksand, and an advertisement for a news vendor with graphic pictures of death.


Lanning, Katie. “2011 VanArsdel Prize Essay Tessellating Texts: Reading The Moonstone in All the Year Round.” Victorian Periodicals Review 45.1 (2012): 1-22. Web.



Brenden Banerjee