Printed Image and the Transformation of Popular Culture 1790-1860
In mid-nineteenth-century Britain, literacy was by no means universal, and printed imagery captured the popular imagination in a way that words alone could not. This study shows how the widening dissemination of print led to the transformation of popular cultural...
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In mid-nineteenth-century Britain, literacy was by no means universal, and printed imagery captured the popular imagination in a way that words alone could not. This study shows how the widening dissemination of print led to the transformation of popular cultural experience such that by 1840< br> an essentially modern mass culture had begun to develop. Focusing on four illustrated magazines, but looking also at penny fiction and broadsides, Anderson interprets a wide variety of neglected sources. A recurring theme is the decline of the role of high art reproduction. Anderson combines modern< br> cultural theory and historical evidence to demonstrate how people of all kinds--especially workers and women--interacted with the printed image, helping to shape the increasingly visual culture that was ultimately to lead to the growth of twentieth-century mass media.
'The book has a number of strengths. It is thoroughly researched and in fact the footnotes and bibliography are an excellent guide to students in the field of early Victorian periodicals. The book is also to be commended for the effort to theorize the material ... the book is written withgreat clarity, a fact even more impressive in the light of the large number of secondary materials the analysis rests on. Thompson wears her research lightly. Finally, Oxford University Press has done well in the production of the book; it has a good number of illustrations, all of them importantexamples of the material under discussion ... a useful contribution to the analysis of the nineteenth-century periodical press and the ongoing analysis of the development of mass culture.'Anne Humpherys, City University of New York, Nineteenth-Century Literature 47:4 (March 1993)