Victorian Popular Fictions

The Journal of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association

click on the issue links below to access

OUT NOW! Issue 6.1 (Spring 2024)

Issue 5.2 (Autumn 2023), a special number on Religion and Victorian Popular Literature, guest edited by Naomi Hetherington and Clare Stainthorp

issue 5.1 (Spring 2023)

issue 4.2 (Autumn 2022), a special number on Reappraising Penny Fiction, guest edited by Stephen Basdeo and Rebecca Nesvet

issue 4.1 (Spring 2022)

issue  3.2 ( Autumn 2021 ),  a special number on Unintended Authors: Piracy, Plagiarism and Property, guest edited by Monica Cohen

issue 3.1 (Spring 2021)

issue 2.2 (Autumn 2020), a special number on the Victorian Short Story, guest edited by Lucy Andrew and Vicky Margree

issue 2.1 (Spring 2020)

issue 1.2 (Autumn 2019), a special number on maps and mapping in Victorian popular fiction, guest edited by Minna Vuohelainen

issue 1.1 (Spring 2019)

Future issues

Issue 6.2 (Autumn 2024), a special number on “Victorian Transfictions and Transmedia Storytelling,” edited by Erica Haugtvedt and Beth Palmer. Submissions to this issue are now closed.

OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS issue 7.1 (Spring 2025), a general issue (the closing date for submissions is 31 January 2025).

OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS Issue 7.2 (Autumn 2025), a special number on “Re-Articulating ‘The Third Sex’: Victorian and neo-Victorian Engagements with LGBTQIA+” will be guest edited by the VPFA “Third Sex” Reading Group organisers: Helena Esser, Mollie Clarke, Matt Crofts, and Claire O’Callaghan. The full CFP can be found here: 3rd Sex VPFJ CFP 2024 (the closing date for submissions is 31 October 2024).

Editors:  Prof. Mariaconcetta Costantini and Dr Helena Ifill

Associate  Editors:  Dr Janine Hatter  and  Dr Fiona Snailham

Book Review Editor: Dr Mara Mattoscio and Bethany Dahlstrom

Victorian Popular Fictions is the journal of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association. The VPFA was established in 2009 in order to offer a regular forum for the dissemination and discussion of new research into nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century popular narrative. Mariaconcetta Costantini and Andrew King launched Victorian Popular Fictions (the VPFJ) in Spring 2019 to publish the new research of the organisation on an Open Access online platform to a wider audience.

VPFJ comes out twice a year, in Spring and Autumn.

Scope of the VPFJ

Focussing on popular narrative in all its forms, VPFJ solicits articles which help us re-evaluate our view of Victorian culture as a whole and how that might be considered, including debates about canonicity and hybridity, digitisation, and the identification of pedagogical issues in the teaching of Victorian popular fictions. We also invite critical annotated editions of short nineteenth-century texts that will be of interest to our readers.

VPFJ takes it for granted that “Victorian” means the long nineteenth century and that “popular” means widely disseminated, but at the same time it welcomes challenges to those definitions. It invites the identification and analysis of tropes that coalesced into tales for a few years and subsequently dissolved to make new solutions. It also welcomes discussions of Neo-Victorian re-imaginings of nineteenth-century popular fiction.

VPFJ encourages the critical examination of now neglected fiction, forgotten creators, disseminators and interpreters of stories ‑ poets, dramatists, novelists, journalists, journals, publishers, artists, critics and readers.

Remembering that the American Harriet Beecher Stowe and the French Dumas were amongst the most widely read and adapted “Victorian” writers, VPFJ urges submissions on the trans-Atlantic and transnational circulation and translation of narrative.

Submission, Peer Review, Copyright, Open Access

Believing that rigorous peer-review and scrupulous editing are essential to forwarding exploration of our field, the VPFJ benefits from a distinguished international Editorial Board. Each submission is at least double blind peer reviewed and undergoes a careful editorial process based on the VPFJ Style Guide (downloadable here). Where we feel it is appropriate, we shall not hesitate to screen for plagiarism.

We are proud to maintain the highest standards in the VPFJ and edit and select accordingly, but we do not think rigour is antithetical to civil communication and friendly council. Alert to the necessity of working to reduce the physical, social and economic barriers to academic participation and to fostering an environment where all persons enjoy equal respect, we are committed to Open Access and fostering new talent as well as new ideas.

This commitment is underpinned by an Ethical Code which can be downloaded here.

For the same reasons, we have also chosen to make public the VPFJ Peer Reviewer Check List which lists the basic criteria our readers use when evaluating a submission.

Authors retain their own copyright and there are no submission or processing charges. The cost of the DOIs is borne by the VPFA. We operate according the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The normal length of article is 7-8,000 words, but every issue starts with a longer polemical piece which seeks to redefine how we think of “Victorian Popular Fictions.” These longer pieces may be either single- or joint-authored, and, subject to scholarly rigour and readability, may be more experimental in form. Please do not hesitate to contact us at an early stage if you wish to submit one of these longer pieces.

In all cases, please follow the VPFJ Style Guide for all submissions, whether articles or reviews.

Finally, when you think of the VPFJ, don’t think of the squabbles in the Athenaeum Club or the oracular pronouncements of the Higher Journalism, but the energy, ambition, range and conversation of the Beetons, Braddon and Eliza Cook.

Archiving, Depositing, Indexing

The VPFJ is archived by the British Library.

Contributors are encouraged to deposit their pieces in their institutional repositories. As research managers in the Humanities ourselves, we think depositing published versions is preferable, though contributors are at liberty to deposit accepted and submitted versions on the understanding that these will not have complete data (such as page numbers or DOIs), and that, in the case of pieces simply submitted, there is no guarantee that submissions will be accepted for publication in the VPFJ. If you choose to  submit pre-published versions to your repository, we ask you to make all this clear to your repository managers.

The VPFJ is, as of 2021, indexed by SCOPUS, DOAJ and ROAD. It is also recognised as an “academic journal” by the Italian Government (it has “riconoscimento scientificità” according to the “Delibera del Consiglio Direttivo n. 155 del 14 luglio 2021 ANVUR”).


Enquiries as well as submissions are welcomed by the editors, Mariaconcetta Costantini and Helena Ifill, at

Offers to review books, film and plays should be addressed to Bethany Dahlstrom and Mara Mattoscio, also at

ISSN: 2632-4253       Journal DOI:


Hosted  by  Victorian  Secrets

The  headpiece  of  the  VPFJ  was  kindly  created  by  Dr  Ann  M.  Hale,   based  on  a  section  heading  in  the  Stationery Trade Review  for  1887  (courtesy of

Creative Commons License
The VPFJ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.