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Investigating Charles Reade, the Pall Mall Gazette and the ‘Newspaper Novel’

Palmer, BL (2014) Investigating Charles Reade, the Pall Mall Gazette and the ‘Newspaper Novel’ Journal of Victorian Culture, 19 (2).

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Abstract

For many critics Charles Reade (1814-1884) has seemed to fulfil Henry Mansel’s disparaging definition of the ‘newspaper novelist’ as a naïve appropriator who takes the ‘outline of his story […] ready-made’ from the ‘criminal reports of the daily newspapers’. However, this article argues that Reade’s use of the press for source material, usually perceived as unsophisticated or plagiarizing, has over-shadowed the other ways in which he operated strategically and innovatively within networks of press production, influencing the press as much as it influenced his fictions and helping to usher in a new form of journalism that would come to be known as investigative. Reade, and particularly his relationship with the Pall Mall Gazette, begins to trouble the idea of the newspaper as a ‘separate and distinct form of printed text’ whose power relies on difference from other print forms. He saw the novel and the press as interdependent. For Reade the novelist had a duty to make private inequities public and to do so had to utilize the public forum of the press to stir up publicity, to enter into debates, and to provide a space for the serialisation of his novels. Examining the research, publication, and post-publication press correspondence surrounding Reade’s novel Hard Cash (1863) highlights Reade’s unrecognized but important place in the story of the relationship between the novel and the news.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Palmer, BLUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 1 September 2014
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:11
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 17:37
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/805714

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