The Arc of the Victorian Illustrated Book
This introduction presents Golden’s methodological approach to connect illustrative styles across decades, genres, and national borders to offer a new framework for viewing the arc of a vibrant genre. Across this chronological sweep from the serial to the graphic novel, illustrative styles of caricature and realism are applauded, scorned, refashioned, revaluated, maintained, and revised. This introduction lays out how this study differs from, builds upon, and complements previous examinations of the Victorian illustrated book by providing a single-authored, sustained record of the illustrated book from the vantage point of the genre’s evolving aesthetics, paying particular attention to material culture. The introduction provides summaries of the book’s four body chapters and conclusion. The introduction concludes with an examination of important antecedents of the Victorian illustrated book—including the classical concept of ut pictura poesis, medieval manuscripts, and eighteenth-century graphic satire and caricature—all of which created an audience for the Victorian illustrated book, which, in turn reimagines techniques that resurface from these earlier dual art forms.
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