During the course of my work on Of course, the first book I looked up on this database was Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, and despite being in the fourth year of a PhD on Last Man texts I was really pleased to find a couple of references which I haven’t come across before. Alongside some familiar references to the novel from Mary Shelley’s own letters, I found observations on The Last Man from the correspondence of Washington Irving, Mary Leadbeater, and Lady Louisa Stuart. The list of advertisements for the novel was comprehensive and clearly set out, and the information from circulating-library catalogues was similarly well presented and useful.
Without very much effort at all, undergraduates can use this site to enhance their understanding of an author or specific text, quickly accessing information about the contemporary reception and availability of a huge number of works. Likewise, postgraduates and other researchers should find it a helpful starting point when approaching a work of fiction from this period. From Jane Austen to Sophia F. Ziegenhirt, this database covers both canonical names and lesser-known authors, and offers some really nice features, such as the ability to browse by publisher. …read more