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A World of Fiction

Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History

Katherine Bode

Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Imprint: University of Michigan Press
Published: 01/2018
Pages: 260
Subject: Literary Criticism - Australian & Oceanian, Computers - Digital Media/General, History - Study & Teaching
Print ISBN: 9780472130856
eBook ISBN: 9780472900831


During the 19th century, throughout the Anglophone world, most fiction was first published in periodicals. In Australia, newspapers were not only the main source of periodical fiction, but the main source of fiction in general. Because of their importance as fiction publishers, and because they provided Australian readers with access to stories from around the world -- from Britain, America and Australia, as well as Austria, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, and beyond -- Australian newspapers represent an important record of the transnational circulation and reception of fiction in this period. Investigating almost 10,000 works of fiction in the world's largest open-access collection of mass-digitized historical newspapers (the National Library of Australia's Trove database), A World of Fiction reconceptualizes how fiction traveled globally, and was received and understood locally, in the 19th century. Katherine Bode's innovative approach to the new digital collections that are transforming research in the humanities is a model of how digital tools can transform how we understand digital collections and interpret literatures in the past.


“Bode has been influential in Australian literary studies since she began publishing about a decade ago, and there is no doubt this book will be a field-defining intervention. It is a model of scholarly work, especially in its redefining of the literary system. Literary history and digital literary humanities are lucky to have such an intellectually accomplished and confident worker in the field.”
—Philip Mead, University of Western Australia