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Fraser’s Magazine and the Instability of Literary Fashion

  • Richard SalmonEmail author
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Abstract

This chapter examines the relationship between literature and fashion in one of the most influential nineteenth-century literary periodicals, Fraser’s Magazine. Established in 1830 under the editorship of William Maginn, Fraser’s became known for its scathing satirical treatment of ‘fashionable novels’ and the cult of dandyism, most notably embodied by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Yet texts such as Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus (1833–4) and William Thackeray’s Yellowplush Papers (1837), both serialized in Fraser’s during the 1830s, express a more ambivalent fascination with the analogy between literature and fashion than their satirical mode might suggest. Fashion in clothing becomes a productive metaphor for considering the nature of literary production within an expanding market economy, characterized by the proliferation of periodicals and other forms of print ephemera.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EnglishUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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