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Title: The school magazine in Victorian England
Author: Sloan, Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 6588
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis is the first detailed study of a neglected source: the school magazine. Most studies of secondary schools argue that the ideals and lifestyles of adult editors, teachers and parents defined a new cohesive middle class in nineteenth-century England, seeing pupils in terms of their conformity or rebellion to adult society. Yet this study traces middle-class ideals back to secondary schools which nurtured rich and lively youth cultures. School magazine production boomed from the mid nineteenth century, with hundreds of school magazines established across England, which remains a rich yet untapped body of periodical material. This thesis uses the archives of four secondary schools, containing an astonishing seventy-two magazines in total - alongside other pupil writings, and associational and institutional documents - to gain an insider's view of social, cultural and educational developments in the lives of middle-class English youths. It analyses new ideals of youth and collective identity which were negotiated in magazines written and produced in schools and then circulated to create expansive educational networks across England, Britain, and the British Empire. The analysis reveals conformity and rebellion as too stark to account for a new youth-driven dynamic which was shaping middle-class ideals and lifestyles long before the turbulent youth cultures of the 1960s. In addition, the thesis argues that the school magazine was shaped by youths' denominational, gendered, classed, local, and ethnic identities, complicating the picture of a cohesive middle class. By uncovering these youth-driven currents of social and cultural change, this thesis makes a substantial contribution to histories of print culture, education, and youth in the nineteenth century. It also challenges assumptions that all youths were passive witnesses or recipients of adult ideals by uncovering middle-class English teenagers as key beneficiaries and proponents of broader changes to culture, class, and imperialism.
Supervisor: Gleadle, Kathryn ; Bellaigue, Christina de Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education, Secondary--England--History--19th century ; Children--Great Britain--History--19th century ; Youths' periodicals--Great Britain--History--19th century ; British periodicals--History--19th century