Browse Exhibits (2 total)

The Transatlantic Digital Moonstone: Part 5

An exhibit of digitized images of The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins featured in the February 1st, 1868 editions of Harper's Weekly and All the Year Round

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The Transatlantic Moonstone Part IIX

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This Exhibit will focus on the emphasis of the epistolary as seen in Harper's Weekly, The American serialisation of Wilkie Collins' "The Moonstone", and how it aids the audience's reading of the text while simultaneously promoting a pro-epistolary lifestyle. In comparison there will also be images centrering on the lack of emphasis on the epistolary as seen in the British serialization All the Year Round, which chooses instead to focus solely on Collins' text. At the time of printing, as noted by David M Henkin in his book The Postal Age, The Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth Century America epistles were becoming a "broadly acknowledged utility of everyday life" (37). Soon they were used not just for special ocassions or for foreign correspondences but also to play an "intensely modern function in everyday life" (Henkin IX). From the invention of the stamp to the "Valentine Mania" (Henkin 149) that would sweep the nation, to the carelessness and confusion that would result in the Dead Letter Office, the importance of the Postal System coud no't be ignored, and as this exhbit will show, you couldn't pick up a Harper's magazine without being forced to acknowledge it's prominence. Whether that promininence was fictional, as seen through Wilkie Collins' novel "The Moonstone" or in real life practics of correspondence as depicted througout Harper's Weekly. Furthermore by promoting the idea of the sending and receiving of letters, Harper's Weekly strives, in a greater fashion than All The Year Round, to promote the idea of serialization, which could be argued to be a one way correspondence between a publication and it's reader's. This can be seen in both the American and British publication, though the emphasis is obvoius in Harper's as seen in the photos that comprise this exhibit, through the repeated imagery and use of text that revolve around the physical depiction of the letter and the impact is had on American culture. 

 Works Cited:

All The Year Round. 22 February 1868. 241-256. Print.

Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print. 

Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization. 22 February 1868. Print.

Henkin, David M. The Postal Age, The Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth-Century America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. Web. 

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