Histories for the Many: Historical Lifeworlds in Victorian Family, Women’s and Children’s Periodicals
Periodicals were the dominant mass media of the nineteenth century with great influence, particularly in Great Britain as the leading newspaper and magazine nation. While newspapers provided up-to-date news, magazines offered a mixture of entertainment and information on a vast range of topics, which, to a high degree, included historical knowledge. The specific representation – or diversity of representation – of this knowledge within nineteenth-century periodicals is, however, still to a large extent unexplored. During Queen Victoria’s reign, British periodicals were increasingly differentiated for specific readerships; family magazines were a major market segment – for readers of the middle classes as well as the working classes; other periodicals catered to special interests, with publications for female and juvenile readers forming further important market segments. The aim of the project is the analysis of representations of the past in a selection of family magazines as well as women’s and children’s periodicals during the second half of the nineteenth century with regard to topics, intentions and arrangement of diverse, juxtaposed formats, both factual and fictional.
Project Director: Prof. Dr. Barbara Korte (English Studies)