View the current issue: BAVS Newsletter (24.1) Spring 2024

View Newsletter Archive (2009-24)

The Association’s tri-annual newsletter provides a combination of review articles, topical features, and announcements of recent publications relating to the world of Victorian studies.

The Newsletter Editor is Clare Stainthorp and the Editorial Assistant is Sarah Wride. They warmly welcomes submissions for future issues (see guidelines below). Please contact them with any items for inclusion at

Calls for papers and details of forthcoming events related to Victorian studies are shared on The Victorianist and are sent out regularly to all members via the BAVS Circular.

Page Contents:

Book Reviews

Recently Published Work
Foundational Texts series

Newsletter Submission Guidelines



The BAVS Newsletter is always looking for new reviewers, particularly among postgraduate, early-career and independent researchers. To express an interest in reviewing, please include your name, affiliation (if applicable), current status and five research keywords in an email to the Editor, Clare Stainthorp ( If you are particularly interested in reviewing one of the books listed below or have another book in mind, please also include its title. Reviewers will be required to join BAVS if they have not done so already.

The Newsletter reviews two types of writing: (a) recently published work on any aspect of Victorian history, literature and culture and (b) foundational contributions to Victorian studies, published between 1950 and the present. We are also keen to publish reviews of recent exhibitions, theatre productions, and other cultural events of Victorianist interest.

Recently Published Work

This is a list of books that are available to be sent out to reviewers:

If you are interested in reviewing a recent book that is not listed here, you are welcome to contact us via email to suggest a title and we will endeavour to request a review copy from the publisher. Authors, editors and publishers of recent work on any aspect of Victorian history, literature and culture are also invited to get in touch to suggest titles for review. Reviews printed in the BAVS Newsletter are distributed to over 1000 members around the world and then archived here, on our open-access website. Reviews will be returned to each book’s publisher to aid their publicity efforts.

Foundational Texts series

We ask that reviewers revisit a foundational contribution to Victorian studies, published between 1950 and the present. How has it been built on, nuanced, and challenged by subsequent scholarship? Is it still a ‘game-changer’?


  • Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (Yale UP, 1979, 1984)
  • Gillian Beer, Darwin’s Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983; CUP, 2000, 2009)
  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (1985)
  • Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (1993)

Please note that in most instances it will not be possible for us to provide a copy of these books. Any and all ideas very welcome, do get in contact at

Newsletter Submission Guidelines


All contributors to the BAVS Newsletter are provided with our Guidance Document (PDF).

A full summary of our guidelines will be sent with the title for review, but the key points are as follows:

  • Single reviews should be 750-850 words, while reviews of two or more titles are limited to 1250 words.
  • Reviews should offer a description of the book or resource, as well as analysis of its achievements and its place within current scholarship.
  • Parentheses rather than footnotes, endnotes, or bibliographies should be used for references.
  • The BAVS Newsletter otherwise follows MHRA guidelines for spelling, grammar, and bibliographical references.
  • The review heading should appear as follows: Book Title, by Author (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), XXpp., £XX
    (paper/hardback), ISBN XXX-X-XXXX-XXXX-X

All book review submissions go through an editorial review process, which may entail requests for revision prior to publication. Please note that the editors work with the BAVS Executive Committee to ensure that quality standards are maintained, and in some instances this may necessitate a blind peer review process.

Our Guidance document which provides the bare bones of what we expect from a review in terms of form and content. But what distinguishes an interesting, engaging, and useful review from one that is simply a chapter overview? Opinions differ, but we can recommend the following short pieces on the art of reviewing to prompt reflection on this often-tricky form of academic writing:

With thanks to all those on Twitter who helped to source these recommendations. Further reading suggestions can be found in this thread.


The BAVS newsletter appears three times a year and so it usually more suitable to send time-sensitive announcements such as calls for papers and details of forthcoming events to The Victorianist, through which they will be sent to members via the BAVS Circular. However, if you wish to submit an announcement to the newsletter, please follow the following guidelines:

  • All announcements should be attached either as a MS Word document (not PDF please) or included in the text of the email
  • All images attached as JPEGs (including book covers)
  • Please include all details you wish to be published in the newsletter in the submitted text
  • Please make sure any links included are live (including Twitter handles)
  • Single quotation marks should be used