'Half fashion and half passion' : the life of publisher Henry Colburn
This thesis focuses on some of the most significant and least understood aspects of the life of London publisher Henry Colburn (c.1784-1855). Its purposes are to correct the misinformation currently in circulation, to introduce new information, and to reassess Colburn‘s reputation and accomplishments in light of this evidence. The thesis first examines the errors and limitations of previous appraisals of Colburn and how various primary sources can be used to correct and augment them. It next considers Colburn‘s early years before surveying his periodical publications and his controversial publicity methods. The thesis briefly recounts Colburn‘s involvement with the ‘silver-fork’ school of fiction and then examines in greater depth his relationships with writer Benjamin Disraeli and one-time business partner Richard Bentley. Colburn‘s two marriages are also studied as the focus of the thesis moves onto the latter half of his career, his retirement, and his death. The final chapter tenders some general conclusions based on the foregoing matter and suggests further avenues of study concerning Colburn, his role in the history of publishing, and his place in the traditional paradigms of Romantic and Victorian literary culture.