We are a partner in the city-wide ‘Everybody’s Reading’ festival of literature. For the first festival in 2010 our Dickens offering was: ‘Serial Readers: Dickens and the Victorian Soap Opera’, which took place on Tuesday 5 October 2010 in the Special Collections Room of the David Wilson Library.
This free public workshop explored a Victorian experience of reading in installments, using rare original parts of Dickens’s novels held in the University Library’s Special Collections. This event offered an overview of Victorian serial publishing by staff from the School of English and the Charles Dickens Museum, asking whether serial parts, complete with starring characters, suspense and cliff hangers, anticipated the experience of modern soap opera.
Participants compared bound first editions to original serial parts and enjoyed a hands-on encounter with some of Dickens’ possessions, and some original Dickens manuscripts, loaned by the Charles Dickens Museum.