Bonnie H. Schuster
(Unpublished MA thesis, University of Montana, 1967)

A copy of this work may be consulted in Oxford (UK) by arrangement with the Charlotte Mary Yonge Fellowship.
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Bonnie H Schuster :
Bio-bibliography of Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901)

Bonnie Schuster is now Emeritus Professor at the University of Montana

Bonnie Schuster's introduction to this document

This paper is a study of one author, Charlotte Mary Yonge – a study of her life and her works. Purposely, however, neither facet is studied from primary sources.

Miss Yonge’s life, discussed in Chapter II, is presented in a manner which is intended to illuminate her writings. The data for this portion of the paper was gathered from secondary sources, which in addition to providing facts about her life also form a checklist of all biographical sources about Miss Yonge known to this writer. This checklist, then, not only indicates further sources for information on Miss Yonge, but also provides a clue to her popularity by the number and types of sources which it includes.

For the biographical checklist, all standard biographical reference works were searched. In addition, both English and foreign encyclopedias were examined.

Similarly, the discussion of Miss Yonge’s writings, Chapter III, is compiled from biographical sources and critical reviews. Again, the reviews form a checklist which reveals both Miss Yonge’s popularity and the popular reception of individual titles, as well as indicating further sources for study of her works.

Reviews were secured through the use of several indexes, including Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature, Nineteenth Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, and the International Index to Periodicals. In addition, the annual indexes to the Academy, the Athaneum, and the Spectator were examined for the time span during which Miss Yonge was publishing.

The bibliography of Miss Yonge’s works, Chapter IV, had its origins as a class project for Library Science 265, Advanced Bibliography (National and Trade). This bibliography differs from many author bibliographies in that it does not attempt any detailed analyses of the books proper – their title pages, collation, pagination, illustrations, or binding – which require personal examination of several copies of every edition. This bibliography is, rather, like the rest of this paper, compiled from secondary sources. Specifically, these sources were national bibliographies. For the United States and Great Britain, the official trade bibliographies – Publishers’ Weekly and British Books (Publishers’ Circular) were most heavily relied upon, although they were supplemented by other sources when pertinent. For other countries, their national bibliographies were utilized.

The purpose of this bibliography is to record all editions of each known title, there by providing an indication of Miss Yonge’ s popularity as well as the popularity and lasting qualities of individual titles. To best serve this purpose, the works are arranged chronologically, and similarly, the editions of a given work are also arranged chronologically. In addition to world-wide popularity, the number of American editions and publishers before 1891, when the International Copyright Law was enacted, serve as a further indice to the popularity of a specific work in the United States.

Besides revealing the substance of Miss Yonge’s greatness, the bibliography also serves as a testing ground for several hypotheses about publishing. Since before the international copyright act of July, 1891, American publishers were restricted only in regard to American authors, they could legally publish books by foreign authors without asking permission or paying a royalty. This led to numerous nuances in American publishing prior to 1891. These nineteenth century practices serve, then, as hypotheses about publishing for this paper, and include the facts that an American edition of a work – especially novels and short stories – by a British author sometimes appeared before the British edition, particularly if the work had previously appeared in serialized form; that several American publishers brought out the same work, and sometimes used the same or duplicate plates – occasionally, even, using the same or duplicate plates as the British edition (although rarely the plates from two or three volume novels, as the paper required for this raised the American price from the field of competition); and that American editions were frequently much cheaper than British editions.

In order to test all of these hypotheses, each edition of Publishers’ Weekly and British Books, from 1872 and 1844, respectively, to date, was examined to derive every edition and its exact time of publication, for purposes of determining priority. Because the data was gathered in this manner, it is not reliable for distinguishing between various printings of a given edition. To uncover serial publication, Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature was searched by title; in addition, The Monthly Packet and The Magazine for the Young, periodicals which Miss Yonge was known to have contributed to, were also searched. Finally, to determine the length of time various works were in print, the 1876 American Catalogue, the United States Catalogues, Price’s Cataloges of Paper Covered Books, the Reference Cataloge, and Books in Print were searched.


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