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Title: James Crossley : publisher, critic, collector and bibliographer: a Manchester man of letters.
Author: Collins, Stephen Frank.
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2000
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Through the life and work of James Crossley, this thesis explores the important and often neglected significance of middle-class power and influence in the nineteenthcentury industrial city of Manchester. Born in the first year of the century, Crossley can be considered a paradigm of one section of a class divided along political and sectarian lines. He was a lawyer by profession, and a 'Church and State' Tory by inclination. After successive defeats, political ambitions gave way to antiquarian and especially literary interests, which he pursued in common with an influential network of other like-minded individuals. It is principally in this area that he made a significant contribution to the cultural maturation of the burgeoning city, and achieved the highest recognition during his lifetime. The principal topics investigated in successive chapters, through manuscript and printed sources, are: 1) Education and early literary interests. 2) The beginnings of a lifelong friendship with William Harrison Ainsworth, many of whose novels depended on source material provided by Crossley. Early literary journalism in Blackwood's Magazine and the Retrospective Review. 3) Legal training, the formation of the Manchester Law Association. 4) Political affairs, particularly in opposition to the Charter of Incorporation. 5) Dickens's visits, the expansion of Manchester's cultural infrastructure, including the Athenaeum Club 6) The growth and importance of publishing societies in the nineteenth century. Crossley's role in shaping and maintaining the Chetham Society. 7) The founding of the Manchester Free Public Library, Crossley's part in the selection and purchase of the stock, and the public recognition of this work. 8) The importance of the private collector in nineteenth-century literary research. Crossley's collection (particularly of the works of Daniel Defoe), and his influence on the work of contemporary bibliographers. 9) The Manchester man of letters, his accomplishments and status. It was concluded from this study that the life and achievements of James Crossley provide a valuable insight into the cultural development of Manchester in the nineteenth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: 19th century middle classes; Literary collection History Literature Mass media Performing arts