Strictly hypothetically, if a publisher were to produce a new line of 18c novels, what would you like to see in terms of editorial policy?
There are of course a dozen ways to buy, say, Robinson Crusoe. The market is competitive. You have the Penguin edition, the Norton, the Oxford World’s Classics, the Bedford Cultural Edition, and the Broadview. There are still others for general readers–Signet, Barnes & Noble, Everyman, etc.
If there were to be one more available, what would you like for it to include or exclude that would set it apart from the other editions? Do you and your students actually use the substantial textual and critical support routinely included in the Nortons and the Broadview editions? Do you find the current scholarly editions limiting or overwhelming? Are your students happy with their prices, the format, etc.?
Specifically, how would you feel about the return of the hardback edition? If Penguin, for example, were to publish the same text, introduction, and notes in a hardback edition with more durable paper within $5 or so of their paperback price, would you order that book for your students instead and do you think they would be glad you did?
I’ve heard from Professor Parker and he’s verified that the week of December 3rd is good for the group reading, so I will put it in our sidebar and send another note to C18-L. Please feel free to publicize this event wherever it is you publicize things! The conversation that comes out of this book should be useful to scholars at all levels and in most areas of interest in our era of English literary studies.
I also would like to remind the assembled that we still have
twoone chapter s (“Transitional Augustan Poetry” and “Johnson and Fideism”) available for anyone who’d like to lead discussion on those days. If we don’t have a volunteer, I will go enlist one of my colleagues, or, especially in the case of the Johnson chapter, I may just do it myself. Also remember that, as with the McKeon discussion, anyone should feel free to jump in with a post at any point in the conversation. The purpose of the schedule is merely to ensure we cover the whole book, not to stifle any other ideas that come to mind.
(Isn’t it nice not to be doing this with the constraints of either print or a conference panel?)
Also, Bill Levine, if you’re reading this, please send me an email at carrieshanafelt at gmail.com so I can add you to our roster of contributors. Done.