The Victorian Era saw a revolution in communication technology. Millions of texts emerged from a complex network of writers, editors, publishers and reviewers, to shape and be shaped by the dynamics of a rapidly industrializing society. Many of these works offer fundamental, often surprising insights into Victorian society. Why, for example, did the innocuously titled Essays and Reviews (1860) trigger public outrage? How did Eliza Lynn Linton become the first salaried woman journalist in England? What is "table-talk"? Critical approaches to Victorian prose have long focused on a few canonical writers. Recent scholarship has recognized a wide diversity of practitioners, forms and modes of dissemination. Presented in accessible A-Z format, this literary companion reinstates nonfiction as a principal vehicle of knowledge and debate in Victorian Britain.
Kathy Rees has written several articles and book chapters on topics relating to life-writing, allusion and intertextuality, and Victorian transnational publishing. She lives in Cambridge, UK.