Friends of the Dickens Forum,

    Robert Newsom stands back and reminds us of the power and control
Dickens exerted over everything that appeared in the pages of his
journals, *Household Words* and *All the Year Round*:              (pjm)
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The discovery of the annotated-by-Dickens set of AYR is of course
tremendous and will vastly simplify the jobs of future scholars and editors
interested in Victorian periodicals. But we should keep in mind that
Dickens's hand touched every article that appeared in AYR and that the
anonymity of its authors was for a purpose: to keep the whole of the
journal under Dickens's conducting. Anonymity also freed its contributors
from being held responsible for their unsigned work. If I write an unsigned
article, I'm going to give my employer what he wants and he in any case is
going to edit and even re-write as he sees fit.

Everything in AYR was in effect endorsed by Dickens and nothing others
contributed, if unsigned, was endorsed by them. So I do not feel the
critical ground shaking underneath me. (And I live in California.)