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Periodicals of Queen Victoria's Empire

Periodicals of Queen Victoria's Empire: An Exploration

J. Don Vann
Rosemary T. VanArsdel
Copyright Date: 1996
Pages: 372
  • Book Info
    Periodicals of Queen Victoria's Empire
    Book Description:

    Contemporary research in periodical literature has demonstrated conclusively that the nineteenth century in Britain was the age of the periodical. It also has shown that, in Victorian society, the circulation of periodicals and newspapers was both larger and more influential than that of books.

    The six essays in this volume investigate the extent to which this was equally true of Britain's colonies during the period up to 1900. In chapters devoted to periodical publishing in Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Southern Africa, and the 'outposts' of the Empire (Ceylon, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Malaya and Singapore, Malta, and the West Indies), the contributors also consider the function and importance of periodicals in colonial life. They identify and describe all locally produced publications that appeared at weekly or longer intervals and that contained, for example, local news, poetry, fiction, criticism, commentary on the arts, news from home, shipping information and commodities reports.

    Each chapter presents an evaluation of the quantity and quality of guides available to periodical literature in each region, from basic bibliographies of periodicals, directories, and finding aids, to microfilm records and databases on the Internet.

    Periodicals of Queen Victoria's Empireis an initial step towards understanding and analyzing what its editors regard as the 'unseen power' of the periodical press in the British Empire of the nineteenth century.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7836-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-17)

    Research in periodical literature over the past thirty years has demonstrated conclusively that the nineteenth century in Britain was uniquely the age of the periodical. It has also shown that the circulation of periodicals and newspapers was wider and more influential than that of books in Victorian society. (See Vann and VanArsdel,Victorian Periodicals and Victorian Society, University of Toronto Press 1994). The question which occurs to the student of Empire is whether or not this was equally true in Britain’s colonies. Did the custom of periodical publication follow the colonists to their new lands, and, if so, was this...

  5. 1 Australia
    (pp. 19-59)

    The first magazine to be published in Australia appeared in May 1821. It was a monthly called theAustralian Magazine, edited in Sydney by a group of Methodist missionaries. One of the last new journals to attempt to find readers in nineteenth-century Australia was also a monthly called theAustralian Magazine. It first appeared in March 1899, again in Sydney, and was edited by some of Australia’s first professional literary men. It survived for six months; the 1821 version had lasted more than twice as long.

    To trace the history of journals in nineteenth-century Australia is not, then, a matter...

  6. 2 Canada
    (pp. 61-174)

    Canada is a confederation of ten provinces and two territories. From east to west these consist of the four ‘Atlantic’ provinces of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island; the two ‘central’ provinces of Quebec and Ontario; the three ‘prairie’ provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta; the ‘Pacific’ province of British Columbia; and, north of the ten provinces, the Northwest and Yukon Territories. This vast territory, exceeded in size only by the Russian Republic, had a population of 2.4 million in 1851, 3.3 million in 1867, and 5.4 million in 1900 (versus 27.3 million in 1991).

    Canada as...

  7. 3 India
    (pp. 175-201)

    In 1824, William Stevenson, a contributor toBlackwood’s Magazine, wrote, ‘Periodical publications are a surer index of the state of progress of the mind, than works of a higher character.’ The Victorian period may be referred to as the golden age of periodical publications not only in Britain but also in its colonies, especially in India. Such publications began because Englishmen at home recognized that ‘colonization, to be enduring and beneficent, must be based on intellectual power, and that the English race [could] only prosper as colonists, or as rulers of foreign peoples, through means of their systematic culture and...

  8. 4 New Zealand
    (pp. 203-241)

    The following survey has been compiled largely through access to periodicals held in the Alexander Turnbull Library, a research library within the National Library, Wellington; and to newspapers held in the National Newspaper Collection administered by the Turnbull Library. These collections are the country’s main repositories. Holdings of early periodicals tend to be incomplete, and may in fact be bound in with others in ‘scrapbooks.’ A number are available on microfilm. The National Newspaper Collection is substantial, having inherited the holdings of the original parliamentary library. A good number are now on microfilms which include missing issues held in other...

  9. 5 Southern Africa
    (pp. 243-299)

    Of the four territories which came together as the Union of South Africa in 1910, only two, the Cape Colony and Natal, had been parts of the Victorian Empire, though the Transvaal had been under British annexation for a brief period between 1877 and 1881, and the Orange Free State had been similarly annexed between 1848 and 1853 as the Orange River Sovereignty.¹ Given the historical interrelation of the territories, however, it was obviously essential for this survey to include material from the Transvaal and the Orange Free State for the whole period. To avoid a crippling one-sideness, it was...

  10. 6 Outposts of Empire
    (pp. 301-332)

    Arthur Ravenscroft comments in his Foreword toCommonwealth Literature Periodicalsthat ‘newspapers and literary journals have always existed in the British colonies’ (xii), and in some places, such as Jamaica, the journalistic tradition was strong and deep. At the Royal Commonwealth Society Library, for instance, one is able to consult a copy of theJamaica Gazettefor 1788 (4:54–97, 2 July–29 November), judged to be probably the only copy extant in the world. It carried general news of the colony, vital statistics, shipping news, plus many advertisements pertaining to the slave trade, to an interested eighteenth-century audience. This...

  11. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 333-336)
  12. Index
    (pp. 337-371)