Serialized Fiction in the Victorian Era

"This is indeed the age of publication. A printing mania sure hath seized the nation"

Punchinello Jan. 17, 1846

Introduction
Scope
Subject Headings
Browsing Areas
Key to Locations
Important Articles
Books
Bibliographies
Encyclopedias
Handbooks
Indexes and Abstracts
Journals
Web Resources

Introduction

During the Victorian Era (1837-1901), in England, a publishing trend rose to popularity in the world of the novel called serialized fiction. The greatest novelists of the time, including Charles Dickens, George Eliot, William Thackeray and Joseph Conrad, chose to publish their newest works of fiction in installments. These installments ran in popular magazines and newspapers or were produced in cheaply bound sections over a period of many months. Because this format was more affordable, people outside of the upper class could purchase books for the first time. The publishing phenomenon sparked a growth not only in the number of people desiring to read, but also in literacy rates.

Scope

This topic can be examined from many directions - a publishing fad, a sociological and psychological evaluation of the people and the time, as well as how this trend affected the shape of the literary works themselves. This pathfinder will outline the best available resources on the subject, suitable for undergraduate or graduate level research projects at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. It is meant only to introduce the user to the various branches of the topic. Further research is required for more specific information. Most of the resources, which include reference materials such as guides and subject encyclopedias, frequently mentioned books, indexes, abstracts, journals and websites, are available in the UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University libraries.

Subject Headings

Use these subject headings when performing searches in databases and catalogs to produce the most relevant results.

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Browsing Areas (Library of Congress Classification)

Explore these areas in both reference and general collections for related materials on this topic.

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Key to Locations

Davis REF University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Davis Library, Reference section
Davis University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Davis Library, Stacks
NC State North Carolina State University, Raleigh, D. H. Hill Library, Stacks (Tower)
SILS University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Information and Library Science Library, Stacks

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Important Articles

Books and Frequently Mentioned Texts

These books offer both introductory and detailed information on the authors, readers, and publishers of serialized fiction. They also elaborate on the different forms of serialized fiction, and how it changed throughout the time period.

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Bibliographies

Encyclopedias

The encyclopedias mentioned here are useful for understanding the Victorian Age as a whole, both in England and the rest of the world.

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Handbooks

The handbooks mentioned here act as guides to the entire body of literature produced during the Victorian era. They also offer factual information on the key persons involved with the production of literature.

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Indexes and Abstracts

The abstracts and indexes mentioned here will produce the best results in searching for more specific studies on and examinations of serialized fiction during the 19th century.

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Journals

The journals listed here frequently publish articles and reviews of books about serialized fiction and literature of the Victorian Era. They are indexed in the aforementioned databases.

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Web Resources

The following websites are free, and accessible anywhere. They focus on the Victorian Era as a whole, so searching is required for this topic, but most of them are searchable. The majority of the information available is scholarly, there are also images and useful chronologies.

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This pathfinder was created by Kathryn Gundlach on April 18, 2001.
School of Information and Library Science, UNC-CH
Please send comments/suggestions to: gundlach@email.unc.edu
Last updated: May 2, 2001