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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.