Browse Exhibits (3 total)

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. 

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The Transatlantic Moonstone Part IIX


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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The Transatlantic Moonstone: Part XXVIII


In Chapter X of The Moonstone, Franklin comes to understand the implications of his situation through a series of materials presented to him. This structure of materials draws parallels to the manner in which the serial novel, and its genre, is presented to contemporary readers. The interplay between sensationalism and realism occurs in both the knowledge Mr. Blake encounters in this chapter, and the material surrounding these publications in their print form. The material culture that is presented in both Harper's Weekly and All the Year Round influence the Victorian reader's interpretation of The Moonstone's genre. 

Some scholars argue that "this interplay of realism and sensation, illustrations played a key role, as magazine illustrators frequently referenced the visual strategies of one genre as they worked in the other ... " (Leighton 68). Furthermore, this role of illustration creates "two forms of literacy: first knowledge of inter-pictorality, and second, an awareness of the relationship between illustration and genre" (Leighton 71). However, illustration was not the sole factor to interpret genre, particularly in the case of All the Year Round. The appearance of agony and etiquette columns, personal advertisements, and other text-based materials in the newspaper affect the contemporary reading of The Moonstone. Victorian readers come to understand the texts genre as realist or sensationalist, due to the influence of the material surrounding the text. 


Referenced material:

 Rubery, Matthew. "The Personal Advertisements." The Novelty of Newspapers: Victorian Fiction after the Invention of the News. New York: Oxford UP, 2009. 47-79. Print. 
 Leighton, Mary Elizabeth, and Lisa Surridge. "The Plot Thickens: Toward a Narratological Analysis of Illustrated Serial Fiction in the 1860s." Victorian Studies 51.1 (2008): 65-101. Print. 
"queer street, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 6 October 2015.
 Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone. Ed. John Sutherland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print. 

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