Writing with "one hand for the booksellers": Victorian Poetry and the Illustrated Literary Periodical of the 1860s




Ehnes, Caley Liane

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Focusing on the poetry published in the Cornhill, Once a Week, Good Words, and the Argosy, four of the most prominent illustrated literary periodicals of the 1860s, this dissertation contends that the popular poetry found in mid-century periodicals is not only essential to our understanding of the periodical press, but also that the periodical is integral to our understanding of Victorian poetics. Each chapter examines the poetry and poetics of a single periodical title and addresses several key issues related to the publication of poetry in the periodical press: the power and influence of illustrated poetry in contemporary visual culture, the intended audience of the literary periodical and the issues that raises for editors and poets, the sociology and networks of print, and the ways in which periodical poetry participated in contemporary debates about prosody. This dissertation thus offers an alternative history of Victorian poetry that asserts the centrality of the periodical and popular poetry. In other words, it argues that without a consideration of the vital importance of periodical poetry, Victorian poetry studies is quite simply anachronistic.



Poetry, Victorian, Nineteenth-Century, Periodical Press, Illustration, Poetics, Cornhill, Once a Week, Argosy, Good Words