1st Edition

W.M.Thackery and the Mediated Text Writing for Periodicals in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

By Richard Pearson Copyright 2000

    This title was first published in 2000:  Thackeray's "minor writings" remain caught in a debate about what constitutes "literature" and whether magazine writing and journalism might be construed as such. This debate was present during the inception of the mass periodical press in the 1830s when Thackeray began his career and forms part of the context of, reasoning within, and techniques of Thackeray's work. Throughout his career, Thackeray was enmeshed in critical arguments about periodicals, novels, "realism" and commercialism. He was himself both (and neither) journalist and literary artist and was at once a product of and critical of emerging writing practices. This book argues that an understanding of Thackeray's writings for periodicals and the literary and commercial context of these is central to an understanding of his literary achievement. Focusing principally on the foundational part of his career, from 1833-1847, but relating this to the novels, particularly "Pendennis" and "The Adventures of Philip" and the "Cornhill Magazine" of the 1860s, the book explores Thackeray's ambiguous response to the burgeoning periodical press, and considers his negotation and critique of the market-place through a variety of publishing media.

    Acknowledgements, Introduction, 1. Investing in the National Standard, representing ’Belles-Lettres', 2. Echoes and Narcissisms: repetitions and structures of self across the periodical lines - signature and persona in the Paris Literary Gazette and Fraser's Magazine, 3. The foreign correspondent: writing across borders in The Constitutional and The Adventures of Philip, 4. Journalistic metamorphoses: women, sensationalism, and periodical fiction - Catherine: A Story and The Ravenswing in Fraser's Magazine, 5. Confronting the French: The Paris Sketch-Book and travelling French letters, 6. The public and the press: journalistic authority, self-advertising, and the periodical commodity in social essays for Fraser's Magazine and Punch, 7. Deconstructing the press: Punch, the journalistic persona, and the contributor of'Fat', 8. Mediahood and manhood in Pendermis, 9. Warring spirits: Comhill’s 'Notch on the Axe' and Dickens' sensational All the Year Round, Appendix 1 : Three contributions to the Paris Literary Gazette, 1835, Appendix 2: Thackeray's contributions to the Original, 1832, Appendix 3: Thackeray's contributions to the National Standard, 1833-4, Selected Bibliography, Index


    Pearson, Richard