Steady sellers like The Wide, Wide World were often printed with metal plates made using stereotyping, electrotyping, or lithography. With this method, printers did not have to store standing moveable type in order to print new versions of the novel. Based on comparisons of all known versions, there are fifty different plate sets from which the Wide, Wide World was printed. Versions of the novel printed from the same plate set have the same number of pages, and text begins and ends in the same place on each page. Differences among plate sets are sometimes substantial, including variant chapters, character names, and excised text. This chronological list provides access to each edition of the novel printed from a specific set of plates, along with the basic textual characteristics of each plate set.

Plate Set 1, Published by George Palmer Putnam, New York, December 4, 1850

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Plate Set 2, Published by Sampson Low, London, April 8, 1852

London publisher Sampson Low used this plate set to print one edition in 1852. 

Features

  • Two volumes
  • Volume 1 has 380 pages, Volume 2 has 490 pages
  • Chapter epigraphs throughout
  • Title is included on the first page of text
  • Continuous chapter breaks, with a ruled line between
  • No chapter titles on chapter breaks
  • 6 point font
Full text is available at the "Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature." University of Florida Digital Collections. Web. 28 Mar. 2018.

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Plate Set 3, Published by George Palmer Putnam & Co., New York, April 17, 1852

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Plate Set 4, Published by James Nisbet, Sampson Low, Hamilton, Adams and Co., London, September 1, 1852

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Plate Set 5, Published by Clarke, Beeton, & Co., London, December 18, 1852

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Plate Set 6, Published by T. Nelson & Sons, London & Edinburgh, 1852

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Plate Set 7, Published by T. Nelson & Sons, London, January 1, 1853

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Plate Set 8, Published by H.G. Bohn, London, January 28, 1853

London publisher H. G. Bohn used this plate set to print four editions from 1853 to 1854. The plate set’s most distinctive feature is a unique running header describing the action on each page of text.

Features

  • One volume
  • 519 pages
  • Chapter epigraphs throughout
  • Title is included on the first page of text
  • Continuous chapter breaks, with a ruled line between
  • No chapter titles on chapter breaks
  • 10 point font

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Plate Set 9, Published by Eli Charles Eginton & Co., London, February 5, 1853

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Plate Set 10, Published by James Nisbet, Hamilton, Adams, London, February 5, 1853

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Plate Set 11, Published by E. Farrington, London, February 27, 1853

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Plate Set 12, Published by James Nisbet, Sampson Low, Hamilton, Adam, and Co., London, April 8, 1853

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Plate Set 13, Published by George Routledge & Co., London, April 8, 1853

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Plate Set 14, Published by G .P. Putnam & Co., New York, November 24, 1853

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Plate Set 15, Published by B. Tauchnitz, Leipzig, 1854

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Plate Set 16, Published by J.B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1862

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Plate Set 17, Published by Milner & Co., Halifax, 1866

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Plate Set 18, Published by Milner & Sowerby, London, 1867

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Plate Set 19, Published by Ward, Lock, & Co., London, 1873

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Plate Set 20, Published by William Nicholson & Sons, London, 1874

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Plate Set 21, First Published by George Routledge & Sons, London, 1874

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Plate Set 22, Published by Milner & Co., London, 1877

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Plate Set 23, First Published by Ward, Lock & Co., London, 1877

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Plate Set 24, Published by Milner & Sowerby, London, 1879

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Plate Set 25, First Published by James Nisbet & Co., London, 1879

London publisher James Nisbet first used this plate set in 1879. Nisbet, London publisher Frederick Warne, and London publisher Li-Quor Tea continued producing variant editions through 1896. 14 editions used this plate set.

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Plate Set 26, Published by John F. Shaw & Co. 1883. London

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Plate Set 27, Published by George Routledge & Sons, London, 1885

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Plate Set 28, Published by G. Bell, London, 1885

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Plate Set 29, Published by Ward, Lock, & Co., London, 1885

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Plate Set 30, Published by W. Nicholson & Sons, London, 1887

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Plate Set 31, First Published by J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, 1892

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Plate Set 32, First Published by Walter Scott, Ltd., London, 1893

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Plate Set 33, First Published by R. E. King & Co. Ltd., London, 1894

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Plate Set 34, First Published by William L. Allison Co., New York, 1894

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Plate Set 35, First Published by D.H. & Co., Chicago, July 1894

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Plate Set 36, First Published by S.W. Partridge & Co., London, 1896

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Plate Set 37, First Published by Bliss, Sands, & Co., London, 1897

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Plate Set 38, Published by Keen, Robinson, & Co., Ltd., London, 1898

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Plate Set 39, First Published by W.B. Conkey, London, 1900

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Plate Set 40, Published by Hurst & Co., New York, 1900

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Plate Set 41, First Published by C. Arthur Pearson, London, November 24, 1900

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Plate Set 42, Published by Ward, Lock, & Co., London, 1902

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Plate Set 43, Published by T. Nelson & Sons, London, 1903

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