Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Journalism

Dictionary of Nineteenth Century JournalismDICTIONARY OF NINETEENTH-CENTURY JOURNALISM

One of the perks of running a successful web-site (albeit one where success isn't measured in much hard cash) is the occasional freebie. Typically, this is the odd book, or the opportunity to give an occasional lecture (I've done the full range, from bored public schoolboys - never again - to a week at an Australian summer school). Once, I even got theatre tickets (kudos to the Old Vic's marketing company!). This week, however, it's the turn of the book - a rather hefty book, at that - a Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism.

Like any reference work, the academic library is the intended market. I can't really provide a 'review', because I'm not a scholar. However, the coverage appears to be what you'd expect. I had a look through the journalists whose work I've digitised - James Greenwood, George Sala, Edmund Yates et al. - and they're all present and correct. There are some nice little pieces on aspects of the periodical and journalism - eg. Crime Reporting - and coverage of not only writers but artists, in terms of caricaturists and illustrators. Probably the best reference use for this book is the brief introduction it provides to numerous minor publications (eg. selected at random, The Writer and Reader, Aug.-Oct. 1888), which may save much rooting about in other sources. The only complaint, perhaps, is that the entries can be too brief. For instance, the article on 'Price and Cover Price' can't be more than 150 words: I came to it hoping for something a bit more. Nonetheless, a useful little book (well, actually rather large) which I'm very happy to have received.

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