Critical editions: Innovative critical approaches to works of fiction and nonfiction that steer away from the historicist tradition in book editing. Universitas favors editions that look at texts from postcolonial, feminist, queer, and other contemporary perspectives.
Scholarly editions: Modern approaches to editing and annotating classics, to favor an extensive reading, with contextualized information relevant to today’s reader.
Dracula: The Postcolonial Edition
Eds. Cristina Artenie and Dragos Moraru
This is the first postcolonial edition of Bram Stoker’s gothic classic. For scholars interested in decolonization in literary studies this is a prime example. Jonathan Harker’s colonial adventure and Bram Stoker’s imperialist discourse are restored to their original context of British economic and political involvement in East-Central Europe. This edition relies both on British and Romanian sources and exposes the cultural appropriation and distortion of Romanian history and folklore. Among the many threads the editors have followed is the very significant one related to the superimposition of the vampire onto Romanian beliefs. It avoids the misinformation perpetuated by previous editions of Dracula published during the last four decades.
Introduction: Diana C. Archibald
This is a scholarly edition, annotated and illustrated, addressing the modern reader. Dickens fans and students will find the most balanced approach to annotate and contextualize the writer’s travel impressions, as well as a chronology following Dickens’s itinerary chapter by chapter.
“American Notes for General Circulation was published shortly after Dickens’s return from his six-month trip to North America. While his intention to publish a travel narrative was not publicly disclosed before or during his trip, it was widely assumed that he would write a travel book. After all, many European visitors, especially authors, had written such books in the past.
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
Introduction: Sylvia Hunt
First published in 1749 in London, John Cleland’s novel remained banned until 1963 in the US and until 1970 in the UK. Ever since the ban was lifted, it has been the object of academic study and one of the most frequently read novels of the eighteenth-century. The erotic adventures of Fanny Hill, a kept mistress and prostitute, are a pretext for a detailed account of social relations and sexual practises in 18th-century London. At the same time a bawdy tale of endless amorous encounters and a vivid chronicle of mores in the tradition of picaresque realism, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure is also a story of passionate and consuming love.
The Trail of the Serpent
Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Catherine M. Welter, Introduction
Paperback, 330 pages, 6 x 9
Victorian England’s best-selling woman novelist Mary Elizabeth Braddon still captivates readers with this chilling story of murder, betrayal, and friendship. Hailed as the first detective novel, The Trail of the Serpent is enjoying a much deserved revival. The Trail is both a sensation novel and a detective novel. It has all of the usual elements of a sensation novel, including family secrets, crime, and adultery (a ruse, in this case), and it depicts these as features of middle- and upper-class life. Yet The Trail’s role as a detective novel is arguably more important, for while it is an early example of both genres, it has the distinction of being the first British detective novel.