Star rating – 9/10
It is really exciting to be part of breathing new life into historical literature in the way in which this University of Buckingham project has made possible. I, along with thousands of others, responded to the call after seeing an article in last weekend’s Observer for budding editors to help to bring long forgotten journal articles by Charles Dickens back into circulation.
The idea was to help the university team with over 1,000 editions of articles that Dickens wrote for periodicals such as ’Household Words’, later retitled, ‘All the Year Round’, that needed to be edited from the photocopies of the original articles, to iron out any spelling mistakes and other flaws in the digitally reproduced pages that the team are working with.
And what a success story this has been. Within a few days of the national publicity, so many people have rallied around and decided to be part of this exciting project, that they are currently only around 50 editions left to be edited. That’s a shame as I was just getting very excited about doing a few more, but I did get a real thrill out of editing the version I was lucky enough to get my hands on. In case you were wondering it was ‘All the Year Round’ Volume 3, No. 71, 1st September 1860. And a jolly interesting read it was too. It’s fascinating to see how Dickens used this medium, which is really equivalent to today’s soap operas, to draw in his readers with his literary genius, and leave then wanting much more.
Let’s have more of this mass participatory stuff to breathe new life into old classics. And there is no greater writer ever to have graced this planet than Mr. Dickens in my humble opinion. Look for yourself at http://www.djo.org.uk/