A Technology column in the January 27, 2013, edition of The New York Times featured Matthew Jockers’s forthcoming book Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History.
ANY list of the leading novelists of the 19th century, writing in English, would almost surely include Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Mark Twain. But they do not appear at the top of a list of the most influential writers of their time. Instead, a recent study has found, Jane Austen, author of “Pride and Prejudice, “ and Sir Walter Scott, the creator of “Ivanhoe,” had the greatest effect on other authors, in terms of writing style and themes. . . . Using similar criteria, Harriet Beecher Stowe was 20 years ahead of her time, said Mr. Jockers, whose research will soon be published in a book, “Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History” (University of Illinois Press).