1st Edition

The Periodical Press Revolution E. S. Dallas and the Nineteenth-Century British Media System

By Graham Law Copyright 2024
    190 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores a key aspect of journalism history from a sociological perspective: the rise of the periodical press. With a focus not on the economic and technological causes of this revolution but on the social and political consequences, the book takes a global look at this key development in the British press.

    Taking as a point of departure the theory of E.S. Dallas, who defined the periodical as 'the great event in modern history', the book explores these premises and conclusions regarding authorship, publishing, and readership, considering the nineteenth century as a whole. After an introductory section discussing questions of theory and method, the analysis first offers an overview of the quantitative growth of the periodical market, whether measured in terms of publications, readership, or authorship, before turning to a more detailed consideration of its qualitative determinants and effects, again distinguishing the same three aspects.

    Offering new insight into this key turning point in journalism history, this book will be of interest to all students and scholars of journalism and journalism history, media history, media and communication studies, British history, and modern history.

    Ch. 1. Introduction: Dallas on the Rise of the Periodical Press 

    Ch. 2. Media History and Theory: A Literature Review

    Part A. Quantitative Analysis

    Ch. 3. Periodical Growth over the Century 

    Ch. 4. Changing Periodical Distribution 

    Part B. Qualitative Analysis

    Ch. 5. Periodical Authorship 

    Ch. 6. Periodical Publishing

    Ch. 7. Periodical Readership

    Ch. 8. Conclusion: A Revolution in Communications


    Graham Law is Honorary Professor of Waseda University, Tokyo, to which he has been affiliated since 1992. He has taught literary and media history at various academic institutions in Japan since 1981. He has authored many articles and books on nineteenth-century studies, including Serializing Fiction in the Victorian Press (2000), and worked on a number of scholarly editions in the same field, most notably The Collected Letters of Wilkie Collins. With Jenny Bourne Taylor, he has recently completed E. S. Dallas in 'The Times', an edited anthology of Dallas's work as a journalist.

    Awarded Honorary Mention in the prestigious annual RSVP (Research Society for Victorian Periodicals) Colby Book Prize for 2024!

    "The award committee praised The Periodical Press Revolution for offering 'a bold and ambitious argument centred on E. S. Dallas's influential 1859 essays for Blackwood's Magazine. Based on an intertwined methodology of quantitative data and qualitative argument, this is an impressive book about press transformations underpinned by a media theory approach. Graham Law gives fresh and valuable perspectives in particular on structural change and developments in the British nineteenth-century press through Dallas as an organizing figure.'"

    Fionnuala Dillane, Professor, University College Dublin