The Death of Maggie Scott: Blackwood’s, the Scots Magazine and Periodical Eras

Stewart, David (2015) The Death of Maggie Scott: Blackwood’s, the Scots Magazine and Periodical Eras. In: Before Blackwood’s: Scottish Journalism in the Age of Enlightenment. The Enlightenment World (29). Pickering and Chatto, London, pp. 117-128. ISBN 9781848935501

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Blackwood’s Magazine proudly characterised itself as a radical break with its periodical predecessors, an opinion shared by many historians of periodical literature. Blackwood’s and the many magazines which followed it seem part of a literary culture dominated by markedly new conditions: a much larger audience and a decisively commercial motivation for publishing. Older magazines, notably the Scots and Gentleman’s magazines, seem representatives of a past age in which the relationship between writer and consumer that Blackwood’s mobilised was instead a relationship between writers and readers who could themselves become writers. Yet Blackwood’s, in the very act of claiming its periodical modernity, did so through incessant allusion to these magazines, allusions that seem all the odder given that they are directed towards a reading public that the magazine seems to assume has forgotten magazines like the Scots. This chapter will suggest that this allows us to question the conventional history of periodical culture in the long eighteenth century. It might be that the Blackwood’s writers were repaying a debt to magazines like the Scots which had been before them, fashioning new ways of reaching and commanding the attention of an audience that was dominated by the inundation of print.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Q300 English studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
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Depositing User: Dr David Stewart
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 10:14
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 19:24

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