Invitation to Participate

What Are the Goals of This Critical Edition?

The sections below describe what this critical edition seeks to help participants understand and accomplish. The primary objectives are in bold. Examples of more specific actions associated with these objectives are listed below them.

Historical Knowledge

After reading this text, you should be able to describe some of the ways that evolving technologies, social conditions, literary forms, and cultural value systems shaped how nineteenth-century readers encountered fiction.

More specifically, the essays and activities in this collection invite you to: 

  • Summarize several of the ways in which the expansion of transportation systems changed how Victorians acquired and read novels.
  • Outline factors that may have influenced how quickly an individual person might have accessed the latest installment of The Woman in White in 1859 and 1860. (This edition includes accounts of how class, social position, and location influenced nineteenth-century readers’ encounters with newly published novels, so you will be able to draw from this research.)
  • Differentiate between printed materials that were easily accessible to people who were privileged and people who were marginalized during the mid-nineteenth century.

Contemporary Connections

This edition invites you to analyze the similarities and differences between nineteenth-century media cultures and those that have emerged during the present day.

More specifically, the essays and activities in this collection invite you to: 

  • Compare and contrast your own media consumption practices with those that were common in 19th-century Anglophone contexts.
  • Explore the conditions of nineteenth-century audiences whose social situations were markedly different from yours, using creative and empathetic strategies to drive your research process.


Critically reflect on the social and economic structures that shape how—and whether—present-day readers are able to access and interact with texts.

More specifically, the essays and activities in this collection invite you to: 

  • Identify how to locate primary sources relevant to Victorian studies.
  • Describe strategies for accessing secondary sources outside of paywalled databases.
  • Determine which Creative Commons license or copyright status best suits your goals for a published online essay.

Communication and Collaboration

Compose critical, creative, and research-informed statements that invite other participants to explore Victorian media cultures in more detail.

More specifically, the essays and activities in this collection invite you to: 

  • Assess the degree to which a written essay makes broad generalizations about Victorian readers rather than attending to the specific social and historical contexts that shaped readers’ experiences in different ways during the 1860s.
  • Apply communication and citation conventions that will allow your readers to engage with your writing and explore authoritative information sources in more detail.
  • Compose a research reflection statement explaining how you approached a writing project, addressing your statement to readers who may want to undertake a similar writing project of their own.


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The Woman in White: Grangerized Edition Copyright © 2020 by The 19th-Century Open Pedagogy Project is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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