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Tag: London

Mary L. Shannon, Dickens, Reynolds, and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street

Mary L. Shannon. Dickens, Reynolds, and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015. xviii, 261p. ill. ISBN 9781472442048. £65.00 (hardcover).

As someone who designs guidebooks for different UK cities (in the Art Researchers’ Guide series), and who studies Victorian book illustration, I appreciate this well-researched volume by Mary L. Shannon on different levels. Shannon writes a social history of a specific part of London and Melbourne told through key figures of nineteenth-century literature and publishing. She not only records where the likes of Charles Dickens, G.W.M Reynolds, and Henry Mayhew worked, socialised, and went to be entertained, but she also maps a typography of invisible networks that encompass Britain’s print culture intersecting a greater Empire.

James Loxley, Anna Groundwater, and Julie Sanders, eds. Ben Jonson’s Walk to Scotland: An Annotated Edition of the “Foot Voyage”

James Loxley, Anna Groundwater, and Julie Sanders, eds. Ben Jonson’s Walk to Scotland: An Annotated Edition of the “Foot Voyage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. xvii, 237 p., ill. ISBN 9781107003330. £65.00 / US $99.00 (hardback).

As many readers will know, Ben Jonson’s narrative accounts of his 1618 “foot voyage” from London to Edinburgh, well documented as side notes in the anecdotal writing of Jonson and others, seemingly met their demise in his 1623 study fire, or, unsurprisingly, were lost to history. One particularly appealing glimpse into what stories might have been found in these documents comes from William Drummond, who hosted Jonson on his travels and spoke, in his remarkably stilted way, of some of the poet’s encounters. But for centuries the full content of Jonson’s travels remained unspoken and unread.

James Raven, Bookscape: Geographies of Printing and Publishing in London before 1800

James Raven. Bookscape: Geographies of Printing and Publishing in London before 1800. (The Panizzi Lectures, 2010.) London: The British Library, 2014. xv, 208 p., ill. ISBN 9780712357333. £50.00 (hardback).

This important work, which has its origins in the Panizzi Lecture series delivered by James Raven at the British Library in 2010, is densely stuffed with fact: names, addresses, dates. The work of a major book historian, it paradoxically verges on being book history without the book.

Peter Blake. George Augustus Sala and the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: The Personal Style of a Public Writer

Peter Blake. George Augustus Sala and the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: The Personal Style of a Public Writer. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015. 286 p., ill. ISBN 9781472416070. UK £60.00 (hardback).

George Augustus Sala was a central figure to the New Journalism that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century. With a seemingly equal and vocal amount of devout followers and vehement detractors, Sala’s personal style of writing was both praised and lambasted. This dichotomous reception appears to remain to this day.