Contributor Guidelines: Reviews

Dickens Quarterly publishes reviews of new editions of works by Dickens, books about Dickens, and other books highly relevant to Dickens studies. Reviews are almost always commissioned by the review editor and it is unlikely that we will accept unsolicited contributions.

Reviewers are asked to submit their work as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) file to the review editor, Margaret Darby, at:

Please provide bibliographic information at the head of your review. as in these examples:

Charles Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities. Edited by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, W. W. Norton, 2020. Norton Critical Editions. Pp. xliii + 395. $13. 75; £5.95. ISBN 978-0-393-26423-4 (pb).

Adam Abraham. Plagiarizing the Victorian Novel: Imitation, Parody, Aftertext.Cambridge UP, 2019. Pp. v + 282. £75.00. ISBN 978-1-108-49307-9 (hb).

The price and ISBN should refer to the format in which you have received the book from the publisher. This format is indicated, as above, by “(pb)” for paperback, “(hb)” for hardback, or “(e-book).” As in the second example, quoting the price in one currency (usually US dollars, UK pounds, or Euros) is sufficient if two or more are not readily available. The ISBN may be quoted without hyphens if these are not shown in the copy that you have received.

Style and references

Like every scholarly journal, DQ has a house style which ensures consistency of presentation. Much time can be saved and fewer changes need to be made if the house style is applied from the start.

Most of the instructions below apply equally to articles and reviews, although in the latter a “Works Cited” will often be unnecessary (if there is no citation of a source other than the work under review), and footnotes will only be used in exceptional cases.

DQ style is based upon the MLA Handbook, 8th edition, 2016, with the addition of footnotes where appropriate. Note that the “Works Cited” style in MLA 8th ed. differs significantly from earlier editions. It includes full provision for audio-visual and online sources, as well as all types of printed material. For 8th ed. style in practice, see recent numbers of DQ (June 2020 onwards) or PMLA. The 9th edition of the MLA Handbook is due to be published in April 2021, and will then become our standard guide. The 9th edition will clarify some matters, but is not expected to introduce further significant changes. For the essential features of current MLA style, see MLA Style Center.

In-text citations of Dickens’s works should include both pagination and chapter number (00; ch. 00) and, where applicable, the original book or volume number (00; bk. 00, ch. 00). Citations from any of the following editions of Dickens are acceptable: the Clarendon Dickens; the Oxford Edition of Charles Dickens (inaugurated by Sketches by Boz towards the end of 2020); the latest series of Oxford World’s Classics; the Everyman Dickens (i.e. the series edited in the 1990s by Michael Slater); Norton Critical Editions; and the latest series of Penguin Classics. Use of other printed or online editions is only appropriate where the text in question is not included in any of the series listed above, or where there is a specific scholarly justification, e.g. in an article concerning publication history or digital media. The most appropriate scholarly edition of Dickens’s journalism will usually be Dickens’ Journalism, edited by Michael Slater and John Drew, 4 vols., J. M. Dent, 1994–2000, although in some cases the first-edition texts, e.g. at Dickens Journals Online, may be preferred. References to Dickens’s letters should whenever possible be drawn from The Letters of Charles Dickens, edited by Madeline House et al., 12 vols., Clarendon Press, 1965–2002 (the Pilgrim Edition), or from the ongoing supplements to this edition at The Charles Dickens Letters Project. For references to Forster’s Life, DQ prefers either John Forster, The Life of Charles Dickens, edited by J. W. T. Ley (Cecil Palmer, 1928), or John Forster, The Life of Charles Dickens, edited by A. J. Hoppé (J. M. Dent, 1966).

Spelling, punctuation, and quotations

DQ follows standard American usage in spelling and punctuation, except in quoted material, when the original source should be followed.

Double quotation marks are used in all cases except for quotations-within-quotations and titles-within-titles, where the inner set of quotation marks should be single. Following standard American usage, periods and commas are placed inside closing quotation marks, even if they are not part of the original quotation.

Any quoted material of more than four lines in length should be set as a “displayed” quotation. Please leave a clear line space above and below. Where a quotation is displayed, no quotation marks at the beginning and end are needed, except if the quotation consists of direct speech.

DQ uses the possessive “Dickens’s” (not “Dickens’”), and the same applies to other possessives formed from names ending in “s.”

Dates should be given in the form “7 February 1812,” except in footnotes and the Works Cited, where months with names of longer than four letters are abbreviated according to MLA style, e.g. “7 Feb. 1812.”

In a range of numbers (also in the case of years), the second number should be given in full up to one hundred, e.g. 3–45, 88–100. In the case of larger numbers, the second number is normally reduced to its last two digits, e.g. 133–45, 401–02, 1812–70 (years), unless additional digits are necessary for clarity, e.g. 88–101, 1,598–634.

Ellipses within quotations should be placed within square brackets, […], unless it is obvious that they were not present in the original text. Any other alterations within quotations should also be placed in square brackets. Please always check and double-check all quotations for accuracy, including details of spelling and punctuation.

Please include your affiliation (on the left), and your name (on the right) on a separate line at the end of your review, followed by the Works Cited (if applicable).

Proofs and contributor notes

Once your review has been accepted, with any revisions that may have been requested, the reviews editor will forward it to the general editor, who will read it and possibly request further revisions before forwarding it to the production editor for setting. Once set, proofs are sent in pdf form to each contributor and to the general editor for checking and correction. Please deal with this as quickly as possible and email all minor amendments to the production editor. Any substantive amendments should be discussed with the general editor. Further revised proofs will be sent for checking if necessary.

For all accepted submissions, including reviews, please send a short biographical statement to the general editor, max. 80 words, comparable to those that you will see in previous issues of DQ. You may wish to emphasise recent or forthcoming publications likely to interest readers of the journal, as well as any other Dickens-related roles or activities. Please also send to the general editor the postal address to which you would like JHUP to send your copy of the issue in question.

Please make sure that you have the editors’ email addresses in your email address book or in the list of exceptions in your spam filter, as many university and other institutional systems block emails with links or attachments from unknown sources.