From the Editor
Dickens Quarterly has existed for 50 years – including the period of 1970–83, when its originally modest aims were expressed in the title Dickens Studies Newsletter. It was founded, in other words, in the year of the Dickens centenary, and it will forevermore celebrate major anniversaries that coincide with those of the man himself.
Now, as we mark the 150th post-Dickens year, I am truly honored (and only slightly daunted) to assume the editorship after David Paroissien, who has done so much to foster Dickens scholarship since he took over the Newsletter, as it still was, in March 1983. I thank David most sincerely, as well as the other members of the editorial team and the Dickens Society, for their generous help and support. David has kindly agreed to become a member of the Editorial Board, and I am very confident that he will continue to write for us on a regular basis.
Among the great virtues of Dickens Quarterly has been its equal hospitality towards established scholars and new voices. The current issue continues this tradition, including articles from both the President-elect of the Dickens Society and a doctoral student – united here as joint appreciators of Our Mutual Friend. We also follow tradition in accommodating work by life-long literary academics and, in William Long, a writer whose notable Dickensian productivity follows a distinguished background in a very different field. Diversity of this and other kinds will continue to be a watchword of the Quarterly. We will be faithful to its record of thoroughly researched, fact-based, eminently readable scholarship, while also finding space for theoretical speculation and experiment. We will dig out further revelations about Dickens in his own time, but will also seek new arguments for his relevance to ours, within literary academia and beyond.
The reviews in this issue – not least of the final parts of Duane DeVries’s extraordinary bibliography – as well as those already lined up for subsequent numbers, give clear evidence of the fact that interest in Dickens continues to flourish. Only Shakespeare can compare (which would have been fine with Dickens) as a single author who is practically an academic discipline (as well as a cultural dynamo) in himself. We publish alongside two other [End Page 5] admirable organs – the Dickensian and Dickens Studies Annual – but each has its own identity, and there will be plenty of good material to go around.
I look forward, therefore, to many new developments in Dickens studies, which the Quarterly will do its best to nurture and disseminate, and to receiving a steady stream of scholarly contributions, whether they come from great eminences within the field, early-career scholars, or indeed from infant phenomena who, as we go to press, may just have turned their first Dickensian page. [End Page 6]
Dominic Rainsford is Professor of Literature in English and Head of the Department of English at Aarhus University, Denmark, as well as general editor of this journal. The expanded 2nd edition of his Studying Literature in English, rebranded as Literature in English: How and Why, will appear from Routledge in June 2020.