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"Cheap, healthful literature": "The Strand Magazine", fictions of crime, and purified reading communities

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At the turn of the twentieth century, Arthur Conan Doyle took a trip to the Continent. He later wrote of his journey in a letter to the literary editor of The Strand Magazine, remarking that "Foreigners used to recognise the English by their check suits. I think they will soon learn to do it by their Strand Magazines. Everybody on the Channel boat, except the man at the wheel, was clutching one." Publishing historians have usually taken Doyle's anecdote to reveal the extent to which George Newnes's periodical the Strand had established a firm reading community, and expanded that community to include a sense of nationhood. Such a concept of the reading community has become crucial to recent developments in the study of Victorian periodicals and serial fiction. The idea is a development of the work of Stanley Fish on "interpretive communities," being a set of readers who bring certain "interpretive strategies" to bear on a text, and in terms of periodical history the idea is seen as a more useful critical tool...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalVictorian Periodicals Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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