Studies in Newspaper and Periodical History: 1995 Annual

By Michael Harris ; Tom O'Malley | Go to book overview

selected events and meetings throughout the country that tended to show reformers in a positive light. The view from London was that the provincial press represented an echo of what was happening in the capital, albeit on occasions an impressive and resounding echo. Lord John Russell wrote in 1821: "What statesman can bear with unshaken nerves that voice which, beginning in the whispers of the metropolis, rises into the loud tone of defiance within the walls of parliament, and is then prolonged by means of the hundred mouths of the press until its innumerable echoes rebound from the shores of Cornwall and the mountains of Inverness?" 65

The evidence from Newcastle and Bristol suggests that rather than representing a mere echo, reform newspapers maintained an independent and self-sustaining agenda of their own and could possess considerable local influence.


NOTES
1
E.g., Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine XXXVI ( 1834): 373-91; Fraser Magazine IV ( 1831): 127-42, 310-21; Edinburgh Review LXV ( 1837): 196-213.
2
A. Aspinall, The Circulation of Newspapers in the Early Nineteenth Century, Review of English Studies XXII ( 1946): 43.
3
Asa Briggs, "Press and Public in Early Nineteenth Century Birmingham," Dugdale Society Occasional Papers No. 8 ( Oxford, 1949); Derek Fraser, "The Nottingham Press 1800-1850," Transactions of the Thoroton Society (Nottingham, 1963), pp. 46-66; "The Press in Leicester c. 1790-1850," Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society 42 ( 1966-67): 53-75; Donald Read, Press and People ( London, 1961); "Reform Newspapers and Northern Opinion c. 1800-1848," Proceedings of the Leeds Phil. and Lit. Soc. VIII ( 1959): 301-14. The phrase quoted is taken from this latter article (p. 301). Exceptions to this general rule include Michael Murphy, Cambridge Newspapers and Opinion 1780-1850 ( Cambridge, 1977) and Maurice Milne, "Survival of the Fittest? Sunderland Newspapers in the Nineteenth Century," in The Victorian Periodical Press; Samplings and Soundings, ed. J. Shattock and M. Wolff ( London, 1982), pp. 193-223.
4
Cf. A. E. Musson, "Newspaper Printing in the Industrial Revolution," Economic History Review X ( 1957-58): 411-26.
5
"The Journals of the Provinces," New Monthly Magazine XLVIII ( 1836): 142.
6
I. Asquith, "The Whig Party and the Press in the Early Nineteenth Century," Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research XLIX ( 1976): 283.
7
Liverpool Mercury, 3 June 1814.
8
Morning Chronicle, 8 March 1812; Read, Press and People; Edward Baines Jr. , The Life of Edward Baines ( 1859), p. 36.
9
Cobbett's Political Register, April 1809; L. Horner, ed., Correspondence of Francis Horner, 2 vols. ( London, 1853), pp. ii, 17, Letter to Lord Webb Seymour, 3 Jan. 1810.

-64-

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