Charles Dickens and His Publishers, by Patten, Robert L.
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- ISBN: 9780198807346 | 0198807341
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 2/28/2018
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. Drawing extensively on the accounts rendered to Dickens by Bradbury and Evans, and Chapman and Hall every six months from 1846, Robert Patten traces the fluctuating fortunes of each of the books, from Sketches by Boz to Edwin Drood. He shows how 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 market for his work. He identifies the sources and size of Dicken's income, comparing it to that of his contemporaries; and the costs and sales, the printing history, and the profits and losses on all books where Dickens shared copyright are set out in detail in four appendices. The study skilfully establishes that the conditions of publishing had much to do with the shape and success of Dicken's career.