Charles Dickens and His Publishers

January 22, 2018


Cover illustration of "Charles Dickens and His Publishers"We are very pleased to announce the publication of the of Robert L. Patten's revised and enlarged second edition of Charles Dickens and His Publishers. (Oxford University Press, 2017, 441 pp.; 978-0-19-880734-6)

Special Discounted Price: For a limited time, the price for the second edition has been reduced from $71.50 to $57.20, a savings of $14.30. This price is valid until 7 March 2018. Place your order by visiting the Oxford University Press website.

In considering the whole range of Dickens' relations with his English and overseas publishers, Professor Patten relates the story of the novelist's social encounters, violent breaches, and uneasy alliances with John Macrone, Richard Bentley, Edward and Frederic Chapman, William Hall, Bernhard Tauchnitz, William Bradbury, F M Evans, and his American publishers in a compelling record of personal and professional associations. Private drama is subordinated to a narrative of 'a very special kind of venture', serial publication. He shows how, during his lifetime, Dickens took advantage of developments in the law, popular literacy, and the new techniques of publishing through the periodical issue of his writings, and through four widely-circulated reprint series that vastly extended the international market for his work. In this new, expended edition, Patten identifies the sources and size comprising Dickens's estate, traces the posthumous devolution of ‘Dickens’ to the family, to other ‘Dickensians’, and eventually to a style of character and narrative, and provides the history since 1870 of Dickens’s global publishing and adaptations, culminating in an extensive analysis of audited sales figures for five titles in nine countries during the bicentenary year, 2012. This newly expanded study, defined by John Sutherland in its original format as ‘the first comprehensive treatment of a complex subject’, now further establishes that the conditions of publishing had much to do with the shape and success of Dickens's lifetime career and afterlife world-wide fame.