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19th-Century Books Presentation Feb. 23 at Malpass; Next Installment of "Texts and Images" Series

February 18, 2011

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MACOMB, IL -- Join Sarah Horowitz, rare book librarian at Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) and master's degree candidate in the Western Illinois University Department of English and Journalism, for her presentation, "19th Century Illustrated Books," at noon Wednesday, Feb. 23 in WIU's Leslie F. Malpass Library, room 180. Horowitz's talk is part of the "Texts and Images" series this spring at Western.

According to Bill Thompson, associate professor at University Libraries, Horowitz's presentation is a historical look at the engagement of texts and images, particularly in the 19th century, when it was common to illustrate novels with pictures.

"These pictures sometimes became as iconic as the novels in which they were published," Thompson noted. "Consider John Tenniel's illustrations of 'Alice in Wonderland.' We still see Alice as Tenniel drew her, or see Sherlock Holmes as Sidney Paget drew him. During the 1890s, there was a particular proliferation of illustration, not only of new publications but also of English classics."

In her presentation, Horowitz will explore how illustration influences the reading of two very popular novels republished with illustrations in the 1890s: Elizabeth Gaskell's "Cranford" and Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."

"This analysis will pay particular attention to issues of plot and gender, addressing the question, 'How do illustrations shape a reader's experience of these books—and by extension the experience of any book?' This talk will be of interest to anyone interested in literature, in the questions of how images shape our understanding of narrative, of a reader's self-understanding (there is a reason advertisements are image driven) and of the history of illustration and drawing," Thompson added.

"Texts and Images" is co-sponsored by University Libraries and the English and journalism department. Previous talks in the series have engaged contemporary practices of reading (and creating) texts and images together, looking at image-texts as various as Google Earth, photographs in newspapers and the use of "charticles" in print and online media. More information about the series is available at

For more information, contact Thompson at (309) 298-2785 or

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