18 04, 2013
  • timescover

The Pleasures of Print 2: This Time It’s Personal

By |April 18th, 2013|blog, Uncategorized|2 Comments

I'm hooked. Back in December I wrote a blog post about the pleasures of handling the original copies of old newspapers. This week, I managed to get my hands on a few more. I've been researching the history of The Times in advance of a guest appearance on Great British Railway Journeys - the popular BBC2 history series presented by Michael Portillo. It was all rather exciting (I even got my hair cut) until my contribution was squeezed out of the tight filming schedule. TV superstardom will have to wait. On the plus side, I ended up ordering a selection of old newspapers and periodicals to use in the shoot that have since consoled me in my time of disappointment. Once again, the good people at Historic Newspapers (who I'm starting to think of as my 'dealer') ventured into their archive and dug out two copies of The Times from the middle of the nineteenth century. The first comes from 18 October 1845. I ordered it because it contains an editorial on 'Railway Mania' - a financial frenzy of the mid 1840s when thousands of Victorians invested their savings in railway companies, many of which were fraudulent or mismanaged. The Times condemned this craze for speculation and "[contemplated] with pity the enormous [...]

14 04, 2013
  • victoriangents

‘Looming Large: America and the Victorian Press, 1865-1902’

By |April 14th, 2013|blog, Uncategorized|2 Comments

To celebrate the anniversary of finishing my PhD thesis I've decided to make it available online! A substantially updated version should materialize in the form of a monograph sometime in the next year or two, but hopefully this will do until then. If you enjoy the thesis, reference it in your work, or have any comments at all, I'd love to hear from you (unless you spot any typos). 'Looming Large: America and the Victorian Press, 1865-1902' Widespread popular fascination with America, and an appreciation of American culture, was not introduced by Hollywood cinema during the early decades of the 20th century, but emerged during the late-Victorian period and was driven by the popular press. By the 1880s, newspaper audiences throughout the country were consuming fragments of American life and culture on an almost daily basis. Under the impulses of the so-called ‘new journalism’, representations of America appeared regularly within an eclectic range of journalistic genres, including serialised fiction, news reports, editorials, humour columns, tit-bits, and travelogues. Forms of American popular culture – such as newspaper gags – circulated throughout Britain and enjoyed a sustained presence in bestselling papers. These imported texts also acted as vessels for the importation of other elements [...]