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Title: "Allow me to introduce myself - first, negatively" : Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, William Makepeace Thackeray and first-person journalism in the 1860s family magazine
Author: Mackenzie, Hazel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 0747
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines the editorial contributions of W.M. Thackeray, Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope to the Cornhill Magazine, All the Year Round and Saint Pauls Magazine, analyzing their cultivation of a familiar or personal style of journalism in the context of the 1860s family magazine and its rhetoric of intimacy. Focusing on their first-person journalistic series, it argues that these writers/editors used these contributions as a means of establishing a seemingly intimate and personal relationship with their readers, and considers the various techniques that they used to develop that relationship, including their use of first-person narration, autobiography, the anecdote, dream sequences and memory. It contends that those same contributions questioned and critiqued the depiction of reader-writer relations which they simultaneously propagated, highlighting the distinction between this portrayal and the realities of the industrialized and commercialized world of periodical journalism. It places this within the context of the discourse of family that was integral to the identity of these magazines, demonstrating how these series both held up and complicated the idealized image of Victorian domesticity that was promoted by the mainstream periodical culture of the day, maintaining that this was a standard feature of family magazine journalism and theorizing that this was in fact a large part of its popular appeal to the family market. The introductory chapter examines the discourse of family that dominated the mid-range magazines of the 1860s and how this ties in with the series’ rhetoric of intimacy. Chapter One looks at Thackeray’s ‘Roundabout Papers’, examining the manner in which Thackeray establishes a sense of familiarity between his editorial persona and the reader, only to consistently undermine his own efforts, viewing this within the context of Thackeray’s realist aesthetic. Chapter Two turns to Dickens’s ‘The Uncommercial Traveller’, and traces the relationship between Dickens’s use of the personal, his concept of the ‘Uncommercial’ in the series and his preoccupation with the forces of commercialism and Utilitarianism, which it reads as ultimately concerned with his own sense of complicity in the commercialization of literature. Chapter Three studies ‘An Editor’s Tales’ within the context of its publication during the last months of Trollope’s editorship of Saint Pauls and reads the ambivalent relationship of the series to the personal and its unconventional treatment of the family in relation to this, viewing the series as a part of Trollope’s reaction to the failure of the experiment he undertook with Saint Pauls.
Supervisor: Bowen, John ; Broughton, Trev Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available