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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: May 2012

The British Quarterly Review, 1845–1886

from Annotated Bibliography

Devised for middle-class Dissenters, the British Quarterly prioritized French journalism but ran occasional and equally serious pieces on English gazettes.

1. [Vaughan, Robert]. “The Priesthood of Letters.” 3 (1846): 283–319.

Articulated that the best British literature of Queen Anne's day was in periodicals. “Periodical literature, as distinguished from mere periodical news, owes its origin to this country.” By the end of the eighteenth century, 200 periodicals had come, and many had gone in England and Scotland but had influenced the upper and middle classes. The Edinburgh Review, with its talented writers, rejuvenated literary criticism but soon faced the Quarterly Review in a political war. Cheaper serials, aiming to educate but “light, elegant, and amusing in their style,” attracted readers of all classes. Although some periodicals still showed “inanity and bad taste,” the demand for quality was growing. Newspapers, better since Roger L'Estrange's Observator and Daniel Defoe's Review, were by 1846 “models of condensation, clearness, accuracy, and power” and used their power for “salutary and humane” purposes, not to corrupt.

2. [Kirwan, A. V.]. “Journalism in France.” 3 (1846): 468–524.

Tracked French journalism from the seventeenth-century Mercure Français, when “Gazetier signified the Editor of a periodical paper, as well as the Publisher.” The eighteenth-century English Monitor (1759) reputedly inspired the “moral and political articles” of the Moniteur (1760), later the official mouthpiece. Nouvelles à la Main (c. 1750) was an early scandal sheet, but the press of the French Revolution was worse.

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Perceptions of the Press in Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals
  • Online ISBN: 9781843317562
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