John Sutherland and 900 Victorian novelists

The appearance, after more than twenty years, of a second edition of John
Sutherland’s The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction, is exciting news
for Victorian enthusiasts, whether students, academics or readers. For the
book represents a staggering achievement that is unlikely ever to be
equalled. That a single scholar, working un-assisted, should undertake to
synopsize 554 (now 560) novels and offer biographical accounts of 878 (now
900) novelists, as well as compiling entries on forty-seven magazines and
periodicals, twenty-six major illustrators and thirty-eight (now forty-one)
miscellaneous items (“Sandism”, “the Yellowback”, “The Nautical Novel”), is
a feat that beggars imagination, especially since much of the work was
completed before the availability of the internet and searchable digitized
texts. In his Preface to the first edition Sutherland stated that it took
him five years to prepare the Companion. In his Preface to the new edition
he confesses that it was “the work of a decade”.

Here is more and I thank The Browser for the pointer.


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