The Travels of John Magee: Tracing the Geographies of Britain's Itinerant Print-Sellers, 1789–1815

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Abstract

This article is concerned with the circulation of topical print culture in Britain during the Napoleonic Wars, focusing on carriers rather than texts. Centred on the biographical and autobiographical accounts of ballad singers and chapmen, especially John Magee's Travels, it maps the geographies of numerous print-selling itinerants. By stressing the role of these individuals as mediators of topical material, it argues that our reading of the reception of news, in an age of propaganda, should privilege the agency of transmitters as much as that of writers. The article's geographies also challenge a London-centric model for the diffusion of topical material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-216
Number of pages22
JournalCultural and Social History
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

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