|January 1891 issue of All the Year Round
Given this publishing history, it’s rather odd that we now read these texts in single-volume form, paying little, if any, attention to the original breaks in the narrative. The same is true when we approach the numerous letters and diaries – both real and fictional – produced in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; we consume huge chunks at once without a second thought for their chronology in terms of composition or publication.
If, like me, you’ve always fancied having a go at reading one of these texts in the instalments in which it was first produced or published, you’ll be delighted to hear about a recent project called Journal Lists. Set up by Hazel Wilkinson and Will Bowers, this website allows you to receive instalments of a variety of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century works straight to your inbox – and all free of charge.
|Lord Byron by Thomas Phillips
I’m currently subscribed to John Clare’s The Shepherd’s Calendar, which pings into my inbox on the first of each month, and to William Cobbett’s Rural Rides. Daily issues of The Spectator and instalments of Dickens’s Hard Times are currently going strong. I’m very much looking forward to Mary and Percy Shelley’s Geneva letters, which start on 17 May – I’ve already signed up for this one!
To explore the other texts available for subscription and to find out more about this brilliant project, visit the Journal Lists website.