We’re delighted to bring you the 2015 interim issue of the Wilkie Collins Journal. Leading up to the publication of this issue there have been some major changes in the Journal’s editorial team. Firstly, I’d like to introduce myself as the new general editor of the WCJ. I am a lecturer at both Falmouth and Bath Spa University and my research is concerned with men’s relationship to food in the Victorian novel. My PhD thesis focuses, in part, on some of Collins’ novels. More information about my work is available on my website.
Verity Burke will now be Associate Editor of the Journal, which is a much deserved promotion from her previous role as Editorial Assistant. More about Verity’s work, which focuses on the body as a scientific subject (for example, vivisection in Collins’s Heart and Science) can be found on her Academia page. Her MA thesis analysed the representation of knife crime in nineteenth-century literature, including some of Collins’s short stories. She also loves a good chat on Twitter (@VerityBurke_).
This interim issue of the journal has been co-edited by Anne-Marie Beller and myself. Anne-Marie has stepped down from her role as editor but we are delighted that she will, instead, be re-joining the editorial board, where her expertise will be invaluable. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Anne-Marie for all her hard work on the journal.
Dr. Fiona Peters will also be joining the board. Fiona is a Senior Lecturer and Higher Degrees Tutor in English at Bath Spa University. Her teaching specialisms include Crime Fiction – her 2011 monograph is on Patricia Highsmith, with her second, on Ruth Rendell, forthcoming in 2016. She teaches a Crime Fiction module to second year students that follows the development of the genre from the mid-nineteenth century to today, and a Contemporary Crime Fiction module to a Third Year group. The Crime Fiction module begins with The Moonstone as the first full-length detective novel, and she has also published on the Sensation Novel. So with her expertise in criminality, Fiona is well-placed to advise on our editorial board.
In addition to the staffing changes, the Journal will also be undergoing a transformation. We will be re-launching the Journal with a special issue on the ‘heart’ and ‘science’ of Wilkie Collins in January 2017 and we will also be holding a conference on this theme later in the year. The call for papers/articles will be released this month. The special issue is an exciting new development for the journal and I would like to thank Verity Burke for her excellent choice of theme.
In this 2015 interim issue, we have two valuable and timely contributions to the field of Victorian studies. In our first article, Emma Butcher examines infanticide in Ellen Wood’s George Canterbury’s Will and Pen Oliver’s All But: A Chronicle of Laxenford Life. In her analysis, Butcher considers how the instability of male fiscal power in the late Victorian period is revealed through the presentation of paternal trauma in these two sensation novels. Secondly, Professor Carolyn Oulton, discusses the domestic in Ellen Wood’s East Lynne and asserts that this novel ‘reclaims the value of domestic realism’, insisting upon the reader’s focus on this space as essential, despite the text’s typical sensation features of murder and sexual transgression. The issue also offers a range of reviews of recent relevant publications.
We hope that you enjoy this issue and that you are also looking forward to seeing our new developments emerge over the coming year. If you would like to share your thoughts about the Journal, and we are very keen to hear your views, then please email me at the address below or send a tweet to @WilkieCJournal.
Joanne Ella Parsons