Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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The Robert Lee Wolff Collection of 19th-Century Fiction

Illustration from a magazine serial of Lady Audley's Secret. Wolff Collection.

Illustration from a magazine serial of Lady Audley's Secret. Wolff Collection.

Wolff, a professor of history at Harvard University, assembled a library of more than 18,000 volumes of Victorian fiction published in Britain between 1820 and 1910. The collection consists of "triple deckers" (novels in three volumes), issues in monthly parts, yellowback and other reprint editions, and magazine appearances. Although the Wolff Collection includes first editions of the major Victorian novelists, such as Dickens, Thackeray, and George Eliot, its strong suit is works of minor writers, particularly women. This vast collection makes it possible to trace themes in works by a variety of authors and may also be useful for the student of publishing history, the marketing of literature, and trade bindings. Wolff's collection of manuscripts by women novelists (particularly Mary Elizabeth Braddon) supplements the books. Printed catalog: R.L. Wolff, Nineteenth-Century Fiction (New York, 1981)

In addition to the Wolff collection, the Center holds especially rich collections of the first editions, monthly parts, and periodical appearances of Charles Dickens (the Halsted Vanderpoel and Edwin Bachmann Collections), William Makepeace Thackeray (the Robert Metzdorf Collection), Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rudyard Kipling.

Printed catalog of the Dickens holdings: L. Carr, A Catalogue of the VanderPoel Dickens Collection at the University of Texas (Austin, 1968)

 

The Reading Room Will Be Closed:

May 17-May 26, 2014
May 31, 2014
July 4-5, 2014
August 18-24

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