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The moods of eighteenth and nineteenth-century England were complex, volatile, and constantly changing. And as is often the case during times of conflict and burgeoning liberalism, the British periodical literary press became a fertile ground for dynamic new ideas.

The forty periodicals in this series, selected from UMI®'s larger collections, English Literary Periodicals and Early British Periodicals, provide a mirror image of popular thought through significant publications and journalists of the period.

Among these forty journals, twenty-three were edited by celebrated men such as Samuel Johnson and Charles Dickens. The collection is particularly valuable for undergraduate students in English, journalism, drama, and the fine arts.


Eighteenth-Century Journalists Samuel Johnson dominated the late eighteenth century as much in periodicals as in other types of literature. This series contains both his Rambler (1750-52) and his Universal Chronicle (1758-60), where he published his renowned "Idler" essays.

In addition, this collection provides periodicals by the journalistic giants Addison and Steele:


  • Tatler (1709-11)
  • Spectator (1711-14)
  • Guardian (1713)
  • Englishman (1713-15)
  • Lover (1714)

Literature students can study Defoe and Swift, the Tory rivals of the Whiggish Addison and Steele, thus coming to appreciate the journalistic roots of Defoe's Moll Flanders and Swift's Gulliver's Travels.


Poets, Novelists, and Political Reformers Represented in offerings from the nineteenth century are Bentley's Miscellany (1837-1968), which serialized Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, and Dickens' own periodicals, Household Words (1850-59) and All the Year Round (1859-95) where Hard Times, Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations first ran in serial form. By reading these novels in their original serialized format and in the context of other materials in the same journal issues, literature students gain insight into both their structure and their subject matter.

Drama students and scholars of the fine arts will also discover in this collection works of the Pre-Raphaelites and the Decadents such as:


  • Germ (1850), which published Pre-Raphaelite essays and poetry
  • Savoy (1896), which featured contributions by G. B. Shaw, W. B. Yeats, and Ernest Dowson
  • theater journals such as Dramatic Censor (1800-01) and Mirror of the Stage (1822-24)

Focus on English Literature has important and varied applications. It is a reference support for English history, a backbone for English literature courses, and a primary resource collection for research. The titles reveal the character of England as expressed by men who were acknowledged as brilliant and witty commentators on the times in which they lived. These titles were selected by Professor Daniel Fader of the University of Michigan.


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