Thackery's most popular novel during his lifetime.
The University of Michigan Press is proud to announce that it has assumed publication of the Thackeray Edition, the first full-scale scholarly edition of Thackeray's works to appear in over seventy years. This edition is the only one ever to be based on an examination of manuscripts and relevant printed texts. It is also a concrete attempt to put into practice a theory of scholarly editing that gives new insight into Thackeray's own compositional process.Thackeray's The Newcomes, the first volume to be published by the University of Michigan Press, is best characterized by its own subtitle: "Memoirs of a Most Respectable Family." Serialized in twenty-three monthly installments in London from October 1853 through August 1855, it was Thackeray's most popular novel and endured in that popularity throughout the nineteenth century. Moreover, The Newcomes forms the major basis for most revaluations of Thackeray's achievement by feminist critics, who for the most part give Thackeray high marks for sensitivity to the position of women in Victorian society.The edition provides a clear reading text, representing the form of the work that the author produced at the time of original publication. The text is edited to correct errors and to represent authorial practice rather than publishing house conventions. Just over half of the manuscript survives: the proposed edition is based on all known manuscripts, and on the first edition when there is no manuscript. Other authorial forms of the text, whether alterations in the manuscripts or revisions in printed works, are presented in the apparatus so that the composition and revisions can be studied.Peter L. Shillingsburg is Professor of English, Mississippi State University.