This resource provides a detailed chronology of Mary Shelley's life and work, as well as several contemporary reviews of her novels and of a play inspired by Frankenstein.
The main repository of Quarterly Review material is the archive of John Murray (Publishers) in London. Thousands of letters and other documents pertaining to the journal have survived at Murray's. Over the past dozen or so years these materials have been systematically consulted by the present writer, along with letters and documents preserved in the archives, libraries, and other institutions noted below.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge the support and encouragement that I have been given over the years by family, friends, professional colleagues, and strangers.
My greatest debt is to the publishing house, John Murray, and to the Murray family for granting me unrestricted access to their wonderful archive. The Murray archive is, by any measure, a national treasure worth whatever many millions of pounds it will take to keep it intact and in the United Kingdom. I cannot express too strongly how grateful I am to Mrs. Virginia Murray and the late Mr. Murray for their many kindnesses to me during numerous visits to Murray's. Thank you too to Mr. John R. Murray for permission to cite and quote extensively so many letters and documents still worthily preserved at 50 Albemarle Street. When the archive finds its new home in Scotland or elsewhere, as it is soon to do, I hope that future students are as graciously welcomed as I and so many generations of scholars have been by the Murray family. Regretfully, future scholars will not enjoy the pleasure of reading the Murray manuscripts in the first floor drawing room of 50 Albemarle Street, where once stood Coleridge, Scott, Southey, Gifford, Canning, Barrow, Ellis, Croker, Heber, Whitaker, D'Israeli, Milman, Monk, Mitchell (Quarterly Reviewers all), and the cavalcade of other figures associated with Murray's illustrious history.
In preparing materials on the Quarterly Review I have over the past fifteen years surveyed all relevant primary sources that I have been able to locate. I started out by consulting the indexes and database of the National Register of Archives, Historical Manuscripts Commission, and all the standard indexes, catalogues, and databases that cover ALS and documents repositories in the English speaking world (as well as the primary ones for France and Germany). In a search for uncatalogued material, I have corresponded with every public archive and record office in the UK, and (so far as I have been able to identify them) all relevant libraries and museums. Many librarians and archivists have gone out of their way to recheck indexes and catalogues for me; some have uncovered material that had escaped their indexes.
Not a few institutions have supplied photocopies or microfilm, including Centre of Kentish Studies, Maidstone, Kent; Durham Record Office, Durham; Hampshire Record Office, Winchester, Hampshire; Norfolk Record Office, Central Library, Norwich; East Sussex Record Office, Lewes; Dudley Libraries and Archives, Coseley, Dudley; West Yorkshire Archive, Wakefield; Hampshire Record Office, Winchester; The Courtney Library and Cornish History Archive, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro (Ms. Angela Broome, Librarian heroically transcribed Gifford's crabbed hand for me); Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere, Cumbria; University of Birmingham library; University of Reading library; John Rylands University library, University of Manchester; Leeds University library; University of Keele library; University of Liverpool library; City of Liverpool Central Library; Central Library, Birmingham; William Salt Library, Stafford; Lambeth Palace Archives, London; Guildhall Library, London; Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London; Institution of Electrical Engineers, London; The Library, Friends House, London; Royal Society, London; Linnaean Society, London; Society of Antiquaries, London; British Library; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull; National Library of Wales; Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh; National Library of Scotland; Houghton Library, Harvard University; The Howe Society, University of Florida; University of Iowa library; William R. Perkins library, Duke University.
The University of Southampton Library has forwarded hundreds of pages of computer printout, gratis. The executive of the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Northumberland Record Office), and the Devon County Record Office (Mrs. M. M. Rowe, archivist) have been more than usually helpful.
During sometimes extended visits, I have been made welcome and offered many kindnesses by archivists and librarians at the old and new Manuscripts Reading Room, British Library, London, and India Office and Colindale Newspapers libraries in the British Library, London; the National Library of Scotland; the Leeds District Archives (Mr. W. J. Conner, the District Archivist, now retired, was most attentive); University of London library; the Linnaean Society, London (where I spent a delightful sunny day and was kindly offered tea); Public Record Office, Kew; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; the venerable library of the Royal Society, London; the beautiful library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London; the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, and also at Oxford, the delightful college libraries of Christ Church, Oriel, and Keble; Trinity College and the University libraries, Cambridge; the Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and Robarts Library and the Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto (my home university, where the interlibrary loan librarians function with great efficiency).
I have consulted antiquarian booksellers and manuscripts dealers, via correspondence or their catalogues; Maggs Brothers has been especially helpful in correspondence about Sir John Barrow. (Mr. John F. Maggs took the time to write personally and offered helpful suggestions.)
Other correspondents who in providing useful advice have given me far more time and effort than I could have expected include Mr. John Pollock, Rose Ash House, Devonshire; Mr. A. J. G. Barrow, Brixton, London; Dr. Joanne Shattock, University of Leicester; Dr. David Sutton, University of Reading; and, recently, Professors Donald H. Reiman, John van Wyhe, Nan Sweet, Jack Lynch, John Blackwell, Lydia Syson, Avery Gaskins, Eric Nye, Gavin Budge, and Mr. Ronald Solomon. Dr. Christopher Stray of Swansea, Wales deserves special mention here, with my thanks for his taking on many tasks large and small. I extend my thanks to Dr. Peter Morgan for the gift of his now well-worn copy of Shine. Thanks also, of course, to Neil Fraistat, Michael Duvall, Kate Singer, Melissa Sites and the staff of Romantic Circles for their patience and assistance in setting up the Quarterly Review Archive. The errors that appear in these pages are of course due entirely to me.
I am happy again to acknowledge a supporter who at my hands has suffered more that the usual impositions, Professor Robert Colby of New York, Wellesley Index issues editor for Victorian Periodicals Review. To him I know I resemble (lamentably in one respect only) a remarkable man, Robert Grant. Although it was upon Grant that the first success of the early Quarterly Review depended, he was, nevertheless, the cause of no end of grief to his editor, William Gifford; Grant exemplified that criminal class of writer, the inveterate procrastinator, for whom Dante undoubtedly imagined a just punishment.
Thank you to Dr. Kim Bradley and Mr. Paul Bradley and to Mr. Bob Slinn for providing me with comfortable, convenient, and free accommodation in their Surbiton and London homes.
Once again I dedicate my work to my family, to Sylvia and to Philip, Laura, and Benjamin (not least for their patience during a Quarterly Review tour of London and the Counties in the winter of 2003).
It is my fondest hope that whatever is of value in my work honours a model scholar, the late Dr. John M. Robson, editor of the remarkable John Stuart Mill Collected Works. Jack, who was my mentor and thesis supervisor and who employed me as a researcher on the Collected Works, first suggested that I dip into the Wellesley Index and that I consider nineteenth-century periodicals as a serious area of study. I cannot say better than J. H. Burns, who in his tribute to Jack Robson expressed "our admiration and gratitude for what a great and generous scholar has left us—left not only on our bookshelves but, for so many of us, in our memories of an enriching friendship."