Friends of the Dickens Forum,
Herb Moscovitz has broad and unfailing sources of information about
the Dickens world and
generously passes it on to the Dickens Forum. The news that a bound
annotated collection of ATYR
has surfaced has stirred considerable interest and drawn its measure of
exaggerated claims. It is not,
pace Thomas L. McDonald, a "discovery [which] essentially rewrites the
history of Victorian literature."
But it draws the curtain away from a body of periodical writing largely
anonymous. Now, as you will
see, concerns are being expressed as to where this new collection will
end up: (pjm)
> *'Rosetta Stone of the Victorian literature'*
> More news on the 'Rosetta Stone of the Victorian literature'. Props to
> the Independent for the consistency in following through the story
> and its detective eye on treating it, raising the issue on
> the whereabouts of the ATYR collection. Prof. Slater duly gives his
> BBC has also decided to give the collection a consideration.
> ** B)
> *Charles Dickens' notes have solved a crucial scholarly question –
> but where will the valuable volumes end up and how much are they worth?*
> Exclusive: Immaculate leather-bound collection belongs to Dr
> Jeremy Parrott
> CAHAL MILMO<http://www.independent.co.uk/biography/cahal-milmo>Author
> CHIEF REPORTER
> Friday 17 July 2015
> With its notes in the spidery hand of Charles Dickens revealing the
> identity of hundreds of contributors to his magazine, the annotated
> collection of/All the Year Round/unveiled this week has been acclaimed
> as of “immense” scholarly value.
> But while aficionados of Victorian literature are salivating at the
> prospect of poring over dozens of previously unattributed works by
> writers including Wilkie Collins, Mrs Gaskell and Lewis Carroll, the
> delicate question is also beginning to be asked of just what the
> 20-volume collection, spread over 12,000 pages, is worth and where it
> might eventually end up.
> As well as being counted among Britain’s greatest novelists and
> judicious observers of human frailty, Dickens is also one of the most
> collectable. His following of monied admirers across the world last
> year ensured that a signed copy of/A Tale of Two Cities/, inscribed
> to George Eliot, was sold for a record-breaking £275,000.
> The result is that scholars are already pressing for the
> groundbreaking discovery of what appears to be the/Oliver
> Twist/author’s personal collection of his weekly periodical to
> eventually end up in an institution, preferably on one in the United
> The immaculate leather-bound collection was bought by Dr Jeremy
> Parrott, an antiquarian bookseller and Dickens expert in his own
> right, from an unnamed online seller in Wrexham for an undisclosed sum.
> Its discovery represents a major breakthrough because, in keeping with
> practice of the Dickensian era, nearly all articles in/All the Year
> Round/were published without the writer’s name. Notes in the margins
> of the volumes bought by Dr Parrott, most apparently in Dickens’ own
> hand, reveal for the first time the identity of up to 400 separate
> contributors to the magazine, which was published between 1859 and 1895.
> Professor Michael Slater, the eminent Dickens scholar and an academic
> advisor the London’s Charles Dickens Museum, told/The Independent/:
> “Like all British Dickens scholars I fervently hope that this uniquely
> important set of volumes, such a rich and major resource for everyone
> interested not only in Dickens but in all those who wrote for him,
> will stay in this country.”
> Prof Slater added that he believed the “natural home” would be in the
> library of the Dickens Museum, or failing that the British Library.
> Interest is, however, also likely to be shown from abroad, in
> particular American libraries and museums.
> For such an outcome to be secured, any organisation with ambitions to
> own the collection will have to raise a substantial sum. One leading
> expert on rare books said it was likely the volumes would have an
> asking price of about £100,000.
> Brian Lake, president of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association,
> said: “It is one of those things that you might happen upon once in a
> lifetime. If the collection is as it has been described, it is very
> important in terms of attributing works to lots and lots of authors.
> In terms of value, it is different from something like the signed copy
> of/A Tale of Two Cities/. But nonetheless I would expect a collection
> like this to have a value around £100,000.”
> READ MORE:WHAT IS SENSATIONAL? BY CHARLES DICKENS
> DICKENS' NOTES SOLVE THE MYSTERY OF UNIDENTIFIED VICTORIAN
> DICKENS REVEALED AS AUTHOR OF ESSAY DEFENDING REPORTING
> Dr Parrott told/The Independent/that he may consider a sale as early
> as later this year but for the moment at least he is more interested
> in the academic rather than monetary worth of the volumes, whose
> significance he only realised after he had bought them last year.
> He intends to spend at least two years working on identifying a full
> list of contributors to All the Year Round based on the volumes and
> said he shared the desire of his fellow scholars to see the collection
> end up in London.
> He said: “I would like the set to go to the British Library or the
> Dickens Museum but there will doubtless be interest from institutions
> abroad, principally the US. Once I have extracted the data for
> analysis, which may be within three months, I would be open to offers.
> Though the set may yet be put into auction at some point.”
> The Dickens Museum, which last year received a lottery grant to buy
> the writer’s desk and chair for £780,000, declined to comment on
> whether it would seek to acquire the collection.
> Paul Lewis, the BBC broadcaster and Wilkie Collins expert, said those
> with an interest in Victorian literature wanted above all to ensure
> that the volumes remained in the public domain.
> He said: “It would be an absolute travesty if the collection was
> somehow squirrelled away by a private collector. Its value as a
> reference point for so much work is incalculable.”