Monthly Archives: March 2014

London Literary Locations: Our Mutual Friend

This fascinating online resource features present-day photographs of locations in Our Mutual Friend. Hopefully this will help whet your appetite for our forthcoming reading and blogging project.

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Our Mutual Friend Scholarly Pages

The Dickens Universe at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has put together this fantastic page of scholarly resources on Our Mutual Friend, which includes maps, galleries of illustrations, London walking tours, and a wealth of articles on various aspects of the novel, its publication and its historical context. You may want to explore this rich resource before we begin reading and blogging in May.

The Dickens Universe will be looking at Our Mutual Friend at their annual conference this year, from 3rd-8th August in Santa Cruz, California. We’d like to welcome all of the Dickens Universe delegates who will be joining us on our serial reading adventure!

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First monthly instalment (May 1864)

Read the first monthly instalment (May 1864) of Our Mutual Friend here. We will be blogging and commenting on this post in May 2014 — date TBC.


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Launch of Our Mutual Friend reading blog

Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend was originally published in 19 monthly instalments, from May 1864 to November 1865. Each instalment was 32 pages long, with 2 illustrations by Marcus Stone, and cost 1 shilling. The final instalment was a special double-length part, which cost 2 shillings.

This year, beginning in May, we will be replicating Dickens’s first readers’ experience of enjoying this novel as it came out in monthly parts. You can access high-resolution scans of the original parts on the website of the Clarendon Edition of Our Mutual Friend, based at Queen’s University, Belfast, and edited by Leon Litvak.

These scans include the original wrappers with their high number of advertisements, giving you a great sense of the context of the novel for the original readers. This novel featured the most advertisments of any of Dickens’s serial publications.

Our aim is to share a digital reading experiment that recaptures the materialities and rhythms of nineteenth-century serial reading through social media in the digital age.

We will be posting monthly on the instalments, with lots of posts in between on various aspects of the novel, including its publication, format, original reception and critical readings. Please do join in by commenting and contributing.

This blog is run by the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, with contributions from a number of scholars at other institutions. This is the first project to kick off a year of digital and social media projects to celebrate the 10th anniversary, in late 2015, of Birkbeck’s free, online journal 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century.

If you are interested in contributing posts to the blog – and all are welcome – then please email Ben Winyard ( for editing access.

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