Empires of Print : Adventure Fiction in the Magazines, 1899-1919 book cover
1st Edition

Empires of Print
Adventure Fiction in the Magazines, 1899-1919

ISBN 9780367880293
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

At the turn of the twentieth century, the publishing industries in Britain and the United States underwent dramatic expansions and reorganization that brought about an increased traffic in books and periodicals around the world. Focusing on adventure fiction published from 1899 to 1919, Patrick Scott Belk looks at authors such as Joseph Conrad, H.G. Wells, Conan Doyle, and John Buchan to explore how writers of popular fiction engaged with foreign markets and readers through periodical publishing. Belk argues that popular fiction, particularly the adventure genre, developed in ways that directly correlate with authors’ experiences, and shows that popular genres of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries emerged as one way of marketing their literary works to expanding audiences of readers worldwide. Despite an over-determined print space altered by the rise of new kinds of consumers and transformations of accepted habits of reading, publishing, and writing, the changes in British and American publishing at the turn of the twentieth century inspired an exciting new period of literary invention and experimentation in the adventure genre, and the greater part of that invention and experimentation was happening in the magazines. ​

Table of Contents


List of Figures and Tables


List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Print in Transition: Magazines, Adventure, and Threats of New Media, 1880-1920

1: Empires of Print: An Imperial History of Late Nineteenth-Century Periodical Expansion

Part I: "The History of Text Involves the History of its Dissemination"

The Imperial Press Conference of 1909

Periodical Expansion, Publishing Networks

Periodical Expansion and the Media Empire

Part II: Popular Adventure Fiction and the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Form

"My Empire is of the Imagination"

2: Imperial Technologies: Adventure and the Threat of New Media in Conrad’s Lord Jim (1899)

Conrad as a Blackwood’s Author

Blackwood’s at the Turn of the Century

Serializing Lord Jim’s Patusan Section

3: Transatlantic Crossings: The Technological Scene of H.G. Wells’s Tono-Bungay (1909)

The Materiality of Texts and Simultaneous Transatlantic Serialization

Collating and Comparing Two "First" Appearances: Title-Level

Collating and Comparing Two "First" Appearances: Issue and Constituent-Level


4: Spectacular Texts: Conan Doyle’s Essays on Photography and The Lost World (1912)

Part I: Essays on Photography

Part II: Picturing the Lost World

5: Deciphered Codes: John Buchan in All-Story Weekly (1915) and The Popular Magazine (1919)

The Pulp Buchan

British Institutions, American Pulps

A Master of Pace: The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)

Breaking the Pulp Code: Mr. Standfast (1919)


Conclusion: Lost in Transit: Sax Rohmer, Conan Doyle, and Baroness Orczy’s Eldorado (1913) in Africa

Appendix A: British and American Books, Magazines, and Newspapers: Titles by Ye

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Patrick Scott Belk is Assistant Professor of English in the Multimedia and Digital Culture program at the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, USA, principal investigator for The Pulp Magazines Project, and webmaster for the Joseph Conrad Society UK.