Review of The Colonial journals and the Emergence of Australian Literary Culture, Rev. ed., by Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver.

The work under review deals with one of the many facets surrounding and supporting writers and their works: periodicals with literary content produced in the Australian colonies (later states) from 1821 to 1914. For much of this period, book publishing was undeveloped (usually a sideline of newspaper publication or bookselling) and periodicals constituted the staple local outlet for colonial writers. The majority of the pieces in four anthologies of genre fiction in the Australian colonial period previously produced by Gelder and Weaver from 2007 to 2011 (covering, respectively, gothic, crime, romance and adventure fiction) are sourced from collections brought out by London publishers. Only a handful are by local book publishers, which reflects this lack, at least until later in the century, with the establishment of the New South Wales Bookstall Company in 1879 and Angus & Robertson in 1888. That these anthologies also contain pieces from a small number of well-known magazines and newspapers points to the alternative local outlet for colonial literary creations but does not mirror the prevalence and importance of these periodicals. Their latest work does.

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Published 1 October 2014 in Reading Communities and the Circulation of Print. Subjects: Periodicals.

Cite as: Morrison, Elizabeth. ‘Review of The Colonial journals and the Emergence of Australian Literary Culture, Rev. ed., by Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver..’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 29, no. 3, 2014. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.a5a2539255.