Lillian Nayder, associate professor of English, explores Victorian lives

Lillian Nayder

Lillian Nayder

As a graduate student, Lillian Nayder, associate professor of English, developed a keen interest in Charles Dickens. “He was an amazing writer,” she says. But the Victorian author also used people to his own advantage, says Nayder, whose scholarship has sometimes focused on the unfair treatment Dickens often meted out to those close to him.

Nayder’s forthcoming Cornell University Press book, “Unequal Partners: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and Victorian Authorship,” explores the collaborative relationship between Dickens and Collins, author of “The Woman in White” and “The Moonstone” and considered to be the “father” of the modern detective story. According to Nayder, “the book challenges the widely-accepted image of Dickens as a mentor of younger writers such as Collins by pointing to the ways in which Dickens controlled and profited from his literary ‘satellites.'”

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