The Transatlantic Moonstone: Part XXIX
As Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge point out in their article, “The TransAtlantic Moonstone: A Study of the Illustrated Serial in Harper’s Weekly”, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins was a heavily commodified publication in both the United States and England in the 1860s (Leighton and Surridge 207). They point out that although there are many interpretations of The Moonstone, all the interpretations looked at by Leighton and Surridge believe that “they are all reading the same text” (Leighton and Surridge 207). However, as the text was commodified and directed toward different audiences in the United States and England respectively, “The Moonstone took on strikingly different forms- and hence different meanings- in different markets” (Leighton and Surridge 207). Looking specifically at Part 29 of the periodical in both Harper’s Weekly and All the Year Round, in the journal of Ezra Jennings, the story of The Moonstone is laid out very differently. There is enough consistency in both publications to say that they are giving two tellings of the same story. As in the original oral traditions of tales and stories, a single story may be adapted based on preferences and values of the current audiences. The Moonstone was “cut up” (Leighton and Surridge 207) and tailored and retold to suit specific audiences while still being recognizable. It was then sold on both sides of the Atlantic in its respective forms. The form of both publications is a function of the commodification of literature, specifically showing that The Moonstone is a work that achieved literary prestige as a marketable investment.
Leighton, Mary Elizabeth and Surridge, Lisa. "The Transatlantic Moonstone: A Study of the Illustrated Serial in Harper's Weekly." Victorian Periodicals Review 42.3 (2009): 207-243. Project MUSE. 7 Oct. 2015. Web.