The team behind a new critical edition of his 1914 novel The Titan reveal the intriguing story of its publication. The American novelist Theodore Dreiser fought many battles against censorship, winning some and losing others After Harper & Bros. suddenly dropped The Titan, having already typeset and printed 10,000 copies. It was the British publisher John Lane who stepped in to bring out the book. Drawing on new research, Roark Mulligan traces why and how this happened, focusing especially on the influence of the American-born Emilie Grigsby, herself an author and a prominent London socialite friendly with King Edward VII, Rupert Brooke, and Henry James, whose early life is fictionalised in The Titan.
Jude Davies will talk about how the historical censorship of Dreiser’s novels affects contemporary readers. Focusing on the critical editions of Sister Carrie and The Titan, he will examine how successive editors have grappled with the questions of which text to use and how to present it to readers.
Jude Davies is Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Winchester, and General Editor of the Theodore Dreiser Edition. Roark Mulligan is Professor of English, Christopher Newport University, and is volume editor of The Financier (University of Illinois Press, 2011) and The Titan (University of Winchester Press, 2016).
Presented in collaboration with Winchester University Press.