Quick Facts

  • 221,136 pages
  • Approximately 3,000 catalog records
  • Includes the works of more than 1,000 authors
  • Covers 240 years: 1660-1900

GEOGRAPHY COVERED:

TIME PERIOD: 1660–1900

 

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Related Subject Areas
British Empire
British History
British Literature
European History
Literary History
Literature
Theatre
Women/Gender

Related Areas of Interest
British Empire
Renaissance/Reformation
Restoration/Enlightenment
Stuart England
Victorian/Romantic Era
Women's Studies

British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900 is the first release in Gale’s groundbreaking British Literary Manuscripts Online series. This extensive digital archive includes hundreds of thousands of pages of poems, plays, essays, novels, diaries, journals, correspondence and other manuscripts from the Restoration through the Victorian era.

These priceless documents — once available only on microfilm or to those with access to the source libraries’ manuscripts collections — can now be accessed by students, instructors and researchers everywhere. This unique collection provides an intimate look into the lives and works of more than 1,000 authors and delivers insights into the culture and context surrounding centuries of British Literary achievement.

You can select British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900 as a stand-alone product or for a more comprehensive resource it can be combined and cross-searched with the other collections in the series.

Summary: British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900 presents facsimile images of literary manuscripts — including letters and diaries, drafts of poems, plays, novels, essay, journals and more — from the Restoration through the Victorian era. It encompasses extensive materials related to major literary figures from the Bronte sisters to Sir Walter Scott to Oscar Wilde.

With this valuable resource, manuscripts can, for the first time, be brought into the classroom, providing unique access to the authors’ social networks, attitudes and education, as well as the development of their writings. Scholars will welcome the rare opportunity to search and review manuscripts online in order to identify items for closer study.

Significance: This period — from the Restoration to the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 – saw the development of Britain as a world power. Correspondingly, the emergence of English literature was a significant and often dominant feature of international culture. Simultaneously, the global ascendance of colonial power and the spread of new thinking about democracy, human rights and political and social equality cultivated new forms of literary expression — including journalism, the novel and literary criticism. 

Source: The primary source content of British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900 has been digitized from some of the most prestigious collections in the world, including the:

  • British Library
  • Bronte Society Collection at Haworth Parsonage
  • Forster and Dyce Collections
  • National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.
  • Princeton University Library, Princeton, New Jersey
  • Huntington Library, San Marino, California
  • William Andrew Clark Memorial Library, University of California Los Angeles

Structure: British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900 offers an intimate look into the lives and works of major literary figures from the Restoration through the Victorian era. Everyone from serious researchers to casual readers will find a unique perspective on the history, culture and context of more than two centuries of British literary achievement. Among the highlights of the collection are:

  • Several autograph manuscripts of Alexander Pope, including his translation of Homer's “Iliad”
  • William Blake's notebook known as "The Rossetti Manuscript," with early drafts of the "Songs of Experience," "The Everlasting Gospel," "The Vision of the Last Judgement" and "The Public Address," along with manuscripts of "The Four Zoas" and "The Phoenix."
  • Partial drafts of Fanny Burney's novel “Camilla” as well as assorted letters and poems
  • Samuel Johnson's journals from travels in Wales and France
  • 156 poems of Robert Burns, including the autograph draft of his last major narrative poem, "Tam O'Shanter"
  • Thomas Carlyle's letters expressing his sympathy for the urban poor
  • Complete manuscript drafts of 12 of Charles Dickens's major novels, including “A Tale of Two Cities”, “Bleak House”, “David Copperfield”, “Hard Times”, “Little Dorrit” and “Oliver Twist”. The collection also includes page and galley proofs of “Great Expectations” and “Nicholas Nickleby”.
  • Complete autograph manuscripts of Charlotte Bronte's “Jane Eyre”, “Shirley”, and “Villette”, and autograph copies of three of her early unpublished stories and of Emily Bronte’s “Gondal Poems”.
  • Partial manuscript drafts of several of Sir Walter Scott's novels, including “Ivanhoe” and “Castle Dangerous”, as well as numerous poems and his “Life of Napoleon”
  • Original typescripts of Oscar Wilde's “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “Mrs. Arbuthnot (A Woman of No Importance)” with the author's corrections and emendations
  • Letters and papers of William Cowper, Charles Dickens, Edward Gibbon, Elizabeth Montagu, Samuel Richardson, Jonathan Swift and Hester Thrale Piozzi

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