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date: 08 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Illustration was a defining feature of the Victorian novel, despite the fact that it has since been marginalized in both published editions and scholarly work. This essay argues for the significance of illustration as a process of interpretative engagement between texts, images, and readers. In so doing, the essay participates in and outlines the emergence of a new illustration studies, which regards illustration as a distinct object of criticism and analyses the way that illustration signifies in relation to the words it accompanies, its cultural context, and other images. The essay takes as its focus pictures that appeared in novels by a range of canonical and less well-known authors (including Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, Florence Montgomery, Jane Sexey, and Ellen Wood). The presence of illustrations in these works, the essay argues, impacts on how the novels are read and can modify and shape the texts themselves.

Keywords: artists, authors, illustration, images, publishing, readers, texts, Victorian, visual

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