This issue’s forum was inspired by the 2016 meeting of members of the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada at Dalnavert Museum, an 1895 house museum in Winnipeg, Canada. Our contributors examine both the history of the nineteenth-century museum and the role of museums in the preservation—or, perhaps more accurately, the invention—of nineteenth-century culture. While museums that preserve homes or have their origins in homes are explored here, so too are small-scale domestic equivalents of the museum—the album and the mantelpiece collection. We hope readers will be prompted by the research and personal reflections shared here to think anew about the history and the future of museums and also to reflect on the role museums play, or might play, in our teaching and research.
The editorial committee is pleased to announce the winning essay of the 2016 Hamilton Prize competition: “To Talk of Many Things: Chaotic Empathy and the Anxieties of Victorian Taxidermy in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” by Lin Young of Queen’s University. We warmly congratulate her on this outstanding achievement. Honourable mention goes to Justin Tackett of Stanford University for his essay “John Clare’s Poetic Treatment of Vocalization and the Written Word.” Our grateful thanks go to the advisory board members who generously served as judges for the 2016 Hamilton Prize: Kirstie Blair, Britta Martens, and James Hanley.
This issue of Victorian Review marks an important, if melancholy, milestone in the journal’s history, as we say goodbye to Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge. Mary Elizabeth and Lisa have been the guiding lights of the journal’s editorial team for the past decade. Under their inspired leadership, the journal’s look, from its typeface to cover design, was transformed and the journal’s finances put in order, first through federal grants and then through our current publication arrangement with the Johns Hopkins University Press. Moreover, they undertook to broaden the journal’s horizons, digitizing the back catalogue and introducing new features such as the forum, a venue that has not only included a dazzling array of established scholars but helped launch the publication careers of many emergent and independent scholars. Propelled by their energy, enthusiasm, and sheer ingenuity, the journal has become a force to be reckoned with, attracting some of the most significant and widely read interdisciplinary work in Victorian studies. According to JSTOR, 36,372 articles from Victorian Review [End Page v] were viewed/downloaded in 2016, up from 34,088 in 2015. Project Muse reports a further 12,613 views/downloads in the same year. That means, on average, 134.2 articles from the journal are viewed or downloaded each day, or 5.59 articles every hour. For this success, and for such more, we owe them our thanks and gratitude. [End Page vi]