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History in the Victorian Periodical Press Online: HiPPo

HiPPO is an online reference work, a database containing 2721 records of accounts of history published from about 1809 to 1916 in nineteen Victorian periodicals – magazines, journals and reviews aimed at various reading publics. The genres of historical writing include book reviews, scholarly narratives, anecdotes, comic and satiric discourse, and other kinds of text, all building on Victorian Britons’ preoccupation with the past of their own country, of their empire and of the world. (An initial 1400 records, in fifteen periodicals, was released in the spring of 2012.)

HiPPo is a representative array of materials; it makes no claim to be comprehensive. For details of the research methodology, see History in the Victorian Periodical Press Online: A Revised Informal Introduction to HiPPo.

HiPPo would not have been be possible without the online publication, by ProQuest (British Periodicals) and Gale Cengage (Nineteenth-Century Periodicals), of subscription-based digital editions of numerous 19th-century British periodicals. These databases have transformed the study of the Victorian periodical press, but they in turn would not have been possible without decades of scholarship in the study of the Victorian Periodical Press, and in particular the Waterloo Directories of Victorian Periodicals (www.victorianperiodicals.com)

HiPPo would also have been impossible without the support of a grant awarded to Leslie Howsam in 2007 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She was able to engage a series of research assistants to work through a selection of periodical titles, looking in a systematic way for articles, reviews and other accounts of history.  They created entries which included the name of the author (if available), the title and date of the article or review, plus a brief summary of its content. Howsam reviewed all these records and revised them before releasing the material for web publication.

HiPPo19 connects to a pdf document containing all 2721 records from the full set of 19 periodicals, sorted chronologically. This will allow word searches, and also comparisons within a period of time; to select a specific periodical, and see the entries (again sorted chronologically), click on its title in the list below.

Brief notes on the periodicals’ audiences, editors and proprietors have been drawn from the entries in Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism, eds. Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor (Academic Press and The British Library, 2009 and available online to subscribers through ProQuest’s C19 portal.  DNCJ not only offers a more extensive account of most of the periodicals, but also contains a bibliography of books and articles about all aspects of the Victorian periodical press and the history of journalism in the period. For further information on DNCJ go to www.dncj.ugent.be.

In the case of those periodicals captured in the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (5 vols; University of Toronto Press 1965-1988; available online to subscribers through ProQuest’s C19 portal, extensive essays with precise details of proprietors, publishers, editors and contributors may be found in that publication.

Academy 1869-1914 (863 entries). Published 1869-1916. Signed articles; initially monthly, later fortnightly then weekly, first at 6d, later 4d. Founded by Charles Appleton ‘as a more scholarly, and signed, version of the Athenaeum’ and ‘as a British counterpart to Germany’s Litterarisches Centralblatt’ In later period, it was ‘Britain’s liveliest literary journal, providing best-seller lists, readers’ contests and short, snappy reviews.’ (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.)  

Boy’s Own Magazine 1855-1869 (17 entries) Published 1855-1874. Monthly, 2d. Editor/proprietor was Samuel Beeton, ‘perhaps the first boys’ magazine to achieve significant and lasting success’ and offering ‘a robust combination of stirring tales and enlightening articles’. Sold to Ward, Lock in 1866. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.) 

Boy’s Own Paper 1879-1900 (254 entries). Published 1879-1967. Weekly, 1d. Proprietor was the Religious Tract Society; conceptualized as a wholesome alternative to other periodicals for boys; high production values and strong moral and imperial ethos. Conducted by subeditor George Andrew Hutchison until 11912, with RTS oversight. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition Gale Cengage) 

Chambers’s (Edinburgh) Journal 1832-1897 (72 entries). Published 1832-1956 Weekly, 1½d. Published and edited by William and Robert Chambers. Very popular and widely circulated. ‘Largely unsigned or excerpted articles with an emphasis on moral instruction . . . targeted at the lower and middle classes, particularly young people.’ Like its competitor, the Penny Magazine, a general-interest magazine. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.) 

Dublin Review 1836-1910; included in Wellesley Index (301 entries). Published 1836-1968). Monthly, 6s. Published in London, primarily for English (not Irish) readers. Owned by Nicholas Wiseman and Daniel O’Connell, the Dublin was‘part of the Catholic revival of the first quarter of the nineteenth century’ taking ‘a moderate editorial line.’ A New Series began in 1863, with more history and extended book reviews. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.) 

English Illustrated Magazine 1891-1912 (8 entries). Published 1883-1913. Monthly 1s (later 6d). Initially published by Macmillan and edited by J. W. Comyns Carr, but with several subsequent proprietors and publishers. A combination of fiction and non-fiction, richly and well-illustrated, combined with celebrity profiles and articles on sport. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.) 

English Review 1910-1914 (12 entries) Published 1908-1937. Monthly. Published by The English Review Ltd. (London). Editor was Austin Harrison, 1910-23. Founding editor Ford Madox Ford, described the review as “consecrated to the arts, to letters and to ideas.” (Outside the purview of DNCJ; see The Modernist Journals Project (www.modjourn.org); online edition ProQuest.)

Fortnightly Review 1865-1914; included in Wellesley Index (80 entries) Published 1865-1954. Monthly, 1s. Signed contributions. ‘Sought to create a new middle-class reading market, one that would accept serial fiction alongside weighty articles and reviews.’ ‘Became known as a Liberal, free-thinking journal . . . serious, often reformist’. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest) 

Fraser’s Magazine 1830-1882; included in Wellesley Index (104 entries) Published 1830-1882. Monthly. Modelled after its chief competitor, Blackwood’s as a miscellany ‘with a strikingly diverse, even playfully wide range of articles’. Published from 1847 by J. W. Parker; the historian J.A. Froude became editor in 1860. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.) 

Girl’s Own Paper 1880-1900 (63 entries) Published 1880-1956. Weekly, 1d. A companion to the Boy’s Own, also published by the Religious Tract Society. Edited by Charles Peters, ‘offering information and entertainment without evangelical rigor’. Interestingly, ‘the non-fiction was more progressive than the fiction’. Extensively illustrated. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition Gale Cengage.) 

Imperial Magazine 1819-1834 (80 entries) Published 1819-1834. Monthly. Editor was the Methodist theologian Samuel Drew. Published first in Liverpool, later in London. Subtitle: Monthly record of religious, philosophical, historical, biographical, topographical, and general knowledge, embracing literature, science and art. (Not yet in DNCJ; information from Waterloo Directory; online edition ProQuest.)

London Review 1858-1862; included in Wellesley Index (21 entries). Published as London Quarterly Review 1853-1968, and as London Review 1858-62. Quarterly. A Methodist periodical, featuring reviews of religious publications, but also including science and literature. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.) 

Nineteenth Century: A Monthly Review 1877-1905; included in Wellesley Index (32 entries). Published 1877-1901; title changed to Nineteenth Century and After in 1901. Signed articles. Monthly. ‘One of the most important and distinguished monthlies of serious thought in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.’ Contributors were ‘the major public intellectuals and opinion-makers of the day.’ (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.) 

North British Review 1844-1871; included in Wellesley Index (50 entries). Published 1844-1871. Quarterly. Beginning as a Scottish journal associated with the evangelical wing of the Church of Scotland, the North British later ‘acquired a national reputation, and became a serious rival to both the Edinburgh and the Quarterly in the quality of its literary reviewing. E.A. Freeman and other historians were among the contributors. In 1869, under a new proprietor, it became ‘the organ of the liberal Catholic movement’. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.) 

Practical Teacher 1890-1911 (81 entries). Published 1881-1911. Monthly. Published and edited by J. Hughes. Subtitle: A Monthly Educational Journal and Review for the Schoolroom and the Study. And advertisement described its threefold purpose: to supply materials to teachers for practical work; to bring teachers into touch with ‘the Educational Topics . . . etc.;; and to help young teachers to prepare for professional examinations. (Not yet in DNCJ; information from Waterloo Directory; online edition ProQuest.)

Quarterly Review 1809-1904; included in Wellesley Index (179 entries). Published 1809-1967. Quarterly, 6s. This was the high Tory review, and the first among its competitors to be founded – before the Whig Edinburgh or the Radical Westminster. It was published by John Murray. Historian contributors included Lord Acton and J. A. Froude. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources; online edition ProQuest.) 

Review of Reviews 1890-1916 (43 entries). Published 1890-1936. Monthly, 6d. Founded, published and edited by the entrepreneurial journalist W. T. Stead, this ‘scissors-and-paste’ publication aimed to ‘sift through the mass of periodical literature for those articles that merited republishing’. It was meant to be ‘a digest of the heterogeneous content of the periodicals’ and as such is particularly valuable as an index to historical discourse in the periodical press. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources.)

Saturday Review 1855-1862 (262 entries) ]. Published 1855-1938. Unsigned, but some contributors have been identified by M.M. Bevington in The Saturday Review (Columbia University Press, 1941). Weekly; 6d. This midcentury publication found a place between established quarterlies and monthly magazines. Included leading articles, ‘middles’ (on general subjects) and substantial book reviews. ‘The robust, at times rambunctious nature of its prejudices and reviews led to its nickname, the Saturday Reviler.’ (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources.) 

Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine 1832-1859 (200 entries); included in Wellesley Index. Published 1832-1861. Monthly, 1s. A rival to Blackwood’s Magazine. Initially published by politically radical Edinburgh bookseller William Tait and later moved to London. Began as a political periodical but later became more literary. (See DNCJ, where all quotations appear, for further information and references to additional sources.)