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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2022
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Book description

Bringing the collaborative process to life through an array of examples, Heather Witcher shows that sympathetic co-creation is far more than the mere act of writing together. While foregrounding the material aspects of collaboration – hands uniting on the page, blank space left for fellow contributors, the writing and exchanging of drafts – this study also illuminates its social aspects and its reliance on Victorian liberalism: dialogue, the circulation of correspondence, the lived experience of collaboration, and, on a less material plane, transhistorical collaborations with figures of the past. Witcher takes a broad approach to these partnerships and, in doing so, challenges traditional expectations surrounding the nature of authorship itself, not least its typical classification as a solitary activity. Within this new framework, collaboration enables the titles of 'coauthor,' 'influencer,' 'editor,' 'critic,' and 'inspiration' to coexist. This book celebrates the plurality of collaboration and underscores the truly social nature of nineteenth-century writing.

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