How Local Newspapers Came to Dominate Victorian Poetry Publishing

Hobbs, Andrew orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5943-475X and Januszewski, Claire (2014) How Local Newspapers Came to Dominate Victorian Poetry Publishing. Victorian Poetry, 52 (1). pp. 65-87. ISSN 1530-7190

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This article examines the poetry found in the most popular type of Victorian newspaper, the local paper, and argues that this was the type of publication in which most Victorian poetry was published and—from the 1860s—in which most Victorian poetry was read. We estimate that in the order of four million poems were published in this way during Victoria’s reign in England alone. At least half of these poems were reprinted from elsewhere, but between a third and a half of them were original and locally produced. This article introduces the local newspaper as a significant and major publisher of poetry and traces the
links between the local press and metropolitan periodical and book publishing. Five local papers are selected as case studies, from which trends are extrapolated to present a national picture of the scale and nature of poetry publishing in the local press, providing context for a brief examination of local poetry.

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