Edited by Charles Dickens, All the Year Round was a weekly magazine published between 1859 and 1895. The magazine was edited by Dickens’ eldest son after his death.
An antiquarian book dealer discovered a bound collection of the periodicals annotated by Dickens and it is thought that the annotated volumes were Dickens’ way of keeping a personal record of who wrote what.
Academic and bookdealer Jeremy Parrott ordered a 20-bvolume bound collection of All the Year Round from an online bookseller. When he opened the box of books and saw the notes, he described the revelation as “all my Christmases at once”.
Among the biggest revelations were works by Elizabeth Gaskell, Lewis Carroll and Wilkie Collins, as well as two articles co-written by Dickens. The find also showed that Dickens had used the magazine to publish three works by his then teenage sons, Frank and Sydney.
Dr Parrot and other academics examined the pencil notes in detail and confirmed that the collection was almost certainly annotated by Dickens himself. The discovery, they say, solves the mystery of which Victorian writers were commissioned by Dickens – some 300-400 authors have been identified as responsible for about 2,500 contributions.
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