(P1) VICTORIAN authors often published in magazines ANONYMOUSLY. But notes by Charles Dickens himself have REVEALED the ILLUSTRIOUS authors behind many of the pieces in the PERIODICAL he edited.

(P2) A newly discovered BOUND collection of All the Year Round, a magazine edited by Dickens, shows the Great Expectations author’s own handwriting. His ANNOTATIONS INDICATE that PREVIOUSLY anonymous short stories, poems and articles were written by North and South author Elizabeth Gaskell, Alice in Wonderland creator Lewis Carroll and The Woman in White author Wilkie Collins.

(P3) ANTIQUARIAN book DEALER Jeremy Parrott discovered the MARGINALIA in a previously unopened collection of 20 volumes of the magazine, which he bought from a fellow book dealer in Wrexham.

(P4) “When I saw the listing of 20 volumes in red cloth with GILT edges for sale I was excited,” said Parrott. “There was no mention of annotation but when I opened the box and saw the notes it was all my Christmases at once.

(P5) “To realise it was Dickens’s own set and his own handwriting revealing who wrote everything was incredible. That has never been public information because the pieces were DELIBERATELY published without ATTRIBUTION, as Dickens’s name appeared on the top of every page.”

(P6) The discovery IDENTIFIES the authors of 2,500 CONTRIBUTIONS to the magazine and shows many previous ASSUMPTIONS as to the authorship of these pieces to have been wrong. The BBC broadcaster and Wilkie Collins EXPERT Paul Lewis was present at the Ghent University conference in which Parrott UNVEIL his findings.

(P7) “This is the ROSETTA STONE of Victorian studies because it gives you the key to what hundreds of people wrote,” said Lewis. “When this list EMERGES it will change Victorian SCHOLARSHIP.”

(P8) Parrott added that “this rewrites, EFFECTIVELY, many authors’ BIBLIOGRAPHIES throughout the 19th century”.

(P9) Studies by other leading academics have CONFIRMED the LIKELIHOOD that the notes are in the hand of Dickens. There is also EVIDENCE that he wrote some of the pieces himself.

(P10) The editors of Victorian periodicals often contributed to them anonymously, so the discovery of two articles co-authored by Dickens comes as no surprise. The writer’s annotations also show that he used the magazine as a PLATFORM for his family’s literary ASPIRATIONS. Two articles in the paper have been newly attributed to the author’s then teenage sons Sydney and Francis.

(P11) Among the 2,500 pieces written by more than 300 authors, two articles have been revealed to be by Gaskell, eight pieces to be by Collins, and a poem is now thought to be by Carroll. Eliza Linton, the first SALARIED female journalist in Britain, has been identified as the author of more than 100 of the articles. Around 40 percent of the articles are attributed to women writers.

WORDS: 466



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Charles Dickens is one of the world’s classic novelists. Do you enjoy classic literature, CONTEMPORARY literature, or both?
  3. Why were the pieces in “All the Year Round” published anonymously?
  4. Why is it significant that 40% of the articles are by women?
  5. This is one of the major literary discoveries in recent years. What sort of discoveries and developments excite you?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Rosetta Stone



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