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Discovering Dickens


Stanford is bringing back its popular Discovering Dickens community reading project — another example of what’s possible with a healthy public domain. (In other words, don’t try this with anything much more modern.)

In December 2002, Stanford’s Discovering Dickens project began with the serial release of Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations. By the time the project concluded in April, 2003, it had enjoyed success far beyond what we had anticipated. Interest in the project, which has attracted participants from around the country and around the world, has remained keen, and we are happy to announce our next project: Discovering Dickens 2004.

Between January 9 and April 16, 2004, Discovering Dickens will rerelease the facsimile of Dickens’ famous novel of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities. In April, 1859, the first serialized part of A Tale of Two Cities provided the lead piece for Dickens’ new periodical All the Year Round. On the strength of this weekly serial, contemporary Victorian readership had swollen to 100,000 before the novel concluded in November, 1859.

Dickens himself played an interesting role in international copyright’s development, back in the day when the U.S. was a pirate nation. (1, 2, 3.)

Posted 24 January 2004