‘Speaking in Fleet Street’: the feminist politics of the editorial in the London Echo, 1868–1875



Working three mornings a week, from December 1868 to March 1875, Cobbe was second-leader writer for the London Echo, an evening paper that inaugurated the new half-penny format. Published in response to the 1867 Reform Bill that increased working-class male suffrage, the inaugural issue came out on December 8, 1868. It quickly rose to a circulation of 100,000, the largest circulation to date of an evening paper. Its success was achieved in the face of initial antagonism towards the paper from newsagents, who refused to handle the paper because of the low profit margin its cover price represented. The Echo used newsboys, girls and women as deliverers in response. Early advertisements in the paper suggest that the low price was aimed at a working-class audience, and ads continued to address working-class male readers throughout the Echo’s run. But the paper, offering racing news and stock prices from the 11:30 am London Stock Exchange report, became a commuter paper as popular with city ‘gents’ as the desired working-class readers. Writing three second-leader articles a week, Cobbe earned two guineas for each leader, a sum rather less than the three guineas she received for a similar column in the Standard or the Daily News.


Domestic Violence Royal Commission Feminist Analysis Domestic Violence Case Judicial Separation 
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© Susan Hamilton 2006

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