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Title: Periodical places : The London Journal 1845-1883.
Author: King, Andrew Lawson.
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis centres on one of the most widely read illustrated fiction magazines of the nineteenth century, The London Journal. Despite its popularity, this penny weekly has received scant attention from either media historians or critics, partly because of the lack of bibliographical tools. My account of its first series (1845 - 1883) aims not only to make up for this lack (notably through its electronic appendices), but, in treating it as a case study, to explore various methods of writing about periodicals in general. I argue the necessity for an interdisciplinary vision that recognises that periodicals are commodities that occupy specific places in a changing market. "Place" here can be understood as where the periodical is located in cultural and geographical space by those who describe it, as well as where it positions itself through its contents in terms of gender and other identity categories. After an Introduction in which I review academic work on the periodical and lay out my theoretical presuppositions, I view the magazine from four main angles. Chapter 2 discusses nineteenth-century accounts of The London Journal, treating it not as a material body but as a polyvalent discursive entity. In the third chapter I read the magazine through the optic of production, examining available circulation figures, labour costs, and profits. I sketch the lives of several of its editors, proprietors and authors, relating them to changes in the magazine's contents, and considering the effects of rivalry with competitors in the same cultural zone and of relations with other now more canonical literary areas. Chapter 4 looks at The London Journal's changing gender profile over its first series, linking it to politics and to consumerism. The electronic appendix maps The London Journal bibliographically. Throughout I seek to locate and thereby defetishise the commodity-text, not least by treating some units of reading that are today considered paracanonical novels as parts of a periodical, rather than as freestanding units. These serials comprise Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret (1863) and a version of Zola's The Ladies' Paradise (1883). A Conclusion seeks an autocritique and proposes areas for continued research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Illustrated fiction magazines; Victorian