The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals is pleased to announce that the winner of the Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize for 2016 is Mary L. Shannon, for her book Dickens, Reynolds, and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street published by Ashgate/Routledge 2015. Honorable Mention goes to Marianne VanRemoortel for her monograph Women, Work, and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press, published by Palgrave Macmillan.
Mary Shannon's Dickens, Reynolds and Mayhew on Wellington Street is an innovate expansion of the current interest in tracing networks into a consideration of the more concrete juxtaposition of bodies and buildings in space. Structured creatively around a day in the life of the street, the book entices us into seeing what would have been obvious to the Victorian eye and ear, but which our standard narratives have occluded. Shannon connects some of the more ephemeral products of the press and the situation of their production with canonical works, such as Bleak House, produced in the same milieu.
Marianne VanRemoortel's Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical is an elegantly written and carefully researched picture of the lives of women press workers who were part of the growth of Victorian periodicals in the mid and late century. With great insight and a sophisticated ability to use new tools to track lives, she persuades us of the interest and value of knowing the biographical details not only of the well-known women who contributed, such as Rossetti, but also the lesser known creators such as "Mrs. Warren" (Eliza Warren Francis) of the Ladies' Treasury.
Many congratulations on these excellent new contributions to periodical studies and book history.
Mary Shannon will deliver the annual Colby Lecture at RSVP's conference in Kansas City, September 9-10 2016.