New Paths in Victorian Literature and Culture

New Paths in Victorian Literature and Culture

General Editors: Janine Hatter and Helena Ifill

Proposals are invited for contributions to a new series of edited collections based on innovative or under-researched perspectives on Victorian literature and culture. The aim of the series is to create conversations across popular and canonical literature; literature, art and culture; and literature’s connections to wider contexts and theories. Work that brings to light aspects of the Victorian era which have been previously overlooked or underexamined are sought, as are fresh disiplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to well-established critical fields (such as class and gender); these can be national, transnational or international in scope. Especially welcome are collections which work to further the growing field of popular fiction and culture studies by exploring lived experiences and encounters with text, entertainment and culture. This can be achieved either by engaging directly with Victorian popular literature, or by illuminating areas of Victorian popular culture that contribute to the contextualisation and further understanding of the role of the “popular”.

There are two steps to the application process. Firstly, please fill out the Initial Application Form which outlines the aims and scope of your proposed collection. If this application is successful, you can then develop the more detailed Full Proposal Form, which includes the contributors’ abstracts and bios etc.

Publisher: Edward Everett Root Publishers

Total Word length: 90,000 words, including works cited, notes and index

Please email enquiries and proposals to Janine and Helena at:

 Fashion and Material Culture in Victorian Fiction and Periodicals

Ed. Janine Hatter and Nickianne Moody

Published Autumn 2019

Fashion and Material Culture - Front Cover

As part of the New Paths in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture series, Fashion and Material Culture aims to examine dress, style and performance as a significant pleasure of fiction. As an aesthetic medium, fashion expresses a person’s life course, their ideas, desires and beliefs, and fiction itself is a site where these issues can be resolved. Not only were characters made recognisable through their dress, but readers of serial fiction encountered them in between adverts, cartoons, print and patterns. Thus, how dress is depicted in fiction responds to its material paratext. Furthermore, Victorian dress and literature equally licensed or discouraged particular forms of clothing, fantasies and moralities about men and women, as well as distinctions between generations. As a result, this volume’s multidisciplinary approach acknowledges and engages with theoretical perspectives on dress history, periodical publications, archives and dress collections to illuminates these facets of Victorian life.

Split into four distinct sections, this volume engages with fashion and material culture not only from an interdisciplinary methodology, but also through fashion’s multiple performances as depicted in text, image and design. Part 1, ‘Fashion and Hierarchies of Knowledge’ examines how periodicals, journalism and couture established ‘fashion’ as a discipline. Part 2’s ‘Artistic Engagement with Fashion’s Material Culture’ focuses on how fabric, printed patterns and illustrations critique social constructions of beauty and femininity. In Part 3, ‘Conduct and Clothing’, novelistic depictions of fashion with regards to scientific, racial and gender identities are cross-related to reader consumption and behaviour. Part 4’s ‘Consumption and Fashionable Performance’ considers periodicals, genres and drama as performative in their own right. Overall, this edited collection examines the ways in which Victorian writers, illustrators, periodicals, designers and clothing manufacturers have critiqued the social ideologies inherent in dress, fashion and imaginative engagement with clothes.

The collection was published with Edward Everett Root Publishers, who are also publishing the Key Popular Women Writers seriesunder the general editorship of Helena Ifill and Janine Hatter. The founder, John Spiers, used to run Harvester Press, and you can find out more about the publisher here:

Review of Fashion and Material Culture in Victorian Fiction and Periodicals

“The twelve interdisciplinary essays in this first volume of Edward Everett Root’s New Paths in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture series make a persuasive case for reconsidering fashion and fashionable discourse as a window into the cultural landscape of the Victorian era … The collection, particularly impressive for its interdisciplinary nature, provides models for interrogating the intersections of fashion and fiction … While a niche collection in one sense, this volume makes significant contributions to the broader study of periodicals.” – Julia McCord Chavez, Victorian Periodicals Review, Volume 53, Number 3, Fall 2020, pp. 457-460 (Review of Fashion and Material Culture in Victorian Fiction and Periodicals)