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Submission Guidelines

Guidelines for Reviewers

The editors and editorial board at Nineteenth Century Prose consider the reviews we publish to be important contributions to the academic community, informing them of new scholarship and providing informed assessments of these books. We are more interested in receiving quality reviews than in making our reviewers follow strict requirements for length or format.

Even though we tell reviewers to concentrate on writing as much as they need in order to do a good job evaluating the book(s) assigned to them, we know that some reviewers are concerned about “word count.” Our back issues contain reviews of single works that are as short as 700-800 words and as long as 2,000 words; reviews covering multiple titles tend to run from 1,200-2,500 words. Some review essays have run more than 4,000 words. Again, we urge you to consider these typical word lengths as guidelines, not limits.

We respect the diversity of critical approaches that contemporary scholars use in their work. You may comment on the appropriateness of the use of that approach, but there is no requirement to praise or devalue any theoretical perspective. When writing your review, please provide a summary of the book’s contents and an evaluation of its merits. Feel free to praise or criticize as necessary and compare your book to others that are similar in content or approach.

Nineteenth Century Prose is unusual among scholarly journals in that we frequently publish review essays in which scholars use the assigned book or books to write about wider issues. If you believe the book(s) you are reviewing warrant such commentary, we encourage you to take the opportunity to expand your review in this fashion. This is especially appropriate if you are assigned more than one title.

Format: Generally we have few restrictions. We favor reviews written in academic style rather than journalese. Most reviewers do not write in the first person, but that is not prohibited as long as the review is not too conversational or chatty.

We prefer that you prepare your review in MS Word or similar program, using the program to insert all special characters and typefaces (umlauts, accents, italics). If you cannot insert these characters, let us know when you submit the review. Our practice is not to send proofs to reviewers; we proof reviews in-house.

We assume our reviewers will quote accurately and cite any sources used in the review. Please list any outside works you use in a “Works Cited” list at the end of your review. We follow conventions of American spelling, grammar, and mechanics, but we don’t expect our overseas reviewers to know all of these; we’ll make changes when we receive your review.

Often we include titles for review essays, so feel free to suggest one. We generally do not title shorter reviews. We would appreciate your including the following information at the beginning of your review:

Author’s name in regular order, Book Title in Italics (city of publication, publisher, date of publication) number of pages. Binding, price.

Paul Johnson, Darwin: Portrait of a Genius (New York: Viking, 2012), 164 pp., $25.95 cloth.
At the end of your essay, include your name and academic address, e.g.:

David De Laura

University of Pennsylvania

Send your completed reviews to Professor Laurence Mazzeno, Book Review Editor, at

If you have additional questions, please contact Professor Mazzeno or Professor Barry Tharaud, Editor, at and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Once your review is published, we will send you a copy of the issue in which it appears. If you wish to have a PDF of your review for your personal use, please let us know.

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