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Anthologies, Periodicals and the Press: Publicising Manchester Poetry in the early 1840s

Harry Bark (University of Oxford)

Published In:
Published Date:

March 2019


Poetry, Anthologies, Periodicals, Manchester, Gender, Regionalism


This paper takes a bibliographic approach to the engagement with and promotion of Manchester poetry within the city in the early 1840s. It focuses on two poetry anthologies produced by Manchester cultural societies, The Festive Wreath (1842) and Athenæum Souvenir (1843), and considers the position of local poetry in the short-lived The North of England Magazine. The paper argues that poetry was key in negotiating an early-Victorian cultural identity for the city, as literary-minded communities sought to defy the reputation of Manchester as a site of mere industry whilst countering the growing literary and publishing dominance of London. The role of women poets within these communities is also considered, and the paper points towards potential future areas of research, beyond a bibliographic focus, that will enrich understandings of the cultural identity and negotiations of the Cottonopolis in the 1840s.

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32 - 45

Date of Publication:

March 2019

About the author

Harry Bark (University of Oxford)

Harry Bark studied for a BA in English Literature at the University of Leeds and recently completed an MSt in English (1830-1914) at the University of Oxford.

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