Review of A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History, by Katherine Bode

Abstract

Katherine Bode has written a bold and illuminating book. A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History asks difficult questions and is groundbreaking in its interpretations. Treating Australian literature with tools and insights drawn from digital humanities, her work has important implications for literary study writ large.

Katherine Bode has written a bold and illuminating book. A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History asks difficult questions and is groundbreaking in its interpretations Treating Australian literature with tools and insights drawn from digital humanities, her work has important implications for literary study writ large.

Bode began with a simple inquiry: what fiction was published in nineteenth-century Australian newspapers? To better understand a past century she turns to a twenty-first century achievement, the Trove database created by the National Library of Australia. A world-leading resource, the Trove collection of digitised nineteenth- and early twentieth-century newspapers exceeds in both thoroughness and quality comparable efforts in Great Britain, Europe, and the United States Having Trove enables Bode to explore newspaper fiction – most of it written from 1860–1900 – in a way never possible before. However, she does not merely accept Trove as given but instead…

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Published 5 July 2019 in Volume 34, No. 1.. Subjects: Fiction, Newspapers, Digital humanities, Literary datasets.

Cite as: Price, Kenneth M.. ‘Review of A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History, by Katherine Bode.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 34, no. 1, 2019, doi: 10.20314/als.40ccd47432.