Slow Print: Literary Radicalism and Late Victorian Print by Elizabeth Carolyn Miller

By Elizabeth Carolyn Miller

This booklet explores the literary tradition of Britain's radical press from 1880 to 1910, a time that observed a flourishing of radical political job in addition to the emergence of a mass print undefined. whereas Enlightenment radicals and their heirs had visible loose print as an agent of progressive transformation, socialist, anarchist and different radicals of this later interval suspected mass public couldn't exist outdoor the capitalist approach. In reaction, they purposely lowered the size of print by way of beautiful to a small, counter-cultural viewers. "Slow print," like "slow nutrients" this present day, actively resisted commercial creation and the commercialization of recent domain names of lifestyles. Drawing on under-studied periodicals and files, this ebook uncovers a principally forgotten literary-political context. It appears to be like on the wide debate in the radical press over the best way to situate radical values inside of an evolving media ecology, debates that engaged probably the most well-known writers of the period (William Morris and George Bernard Shaw), a bunch of lesser-known figures (theosophical socialist and contraception reformer Annie Besant, homosexual rights pioneer Edward chippie, and proto-modernist editor Alfred Orage), and numerous nameless others.

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It is now well known that we are only a small band of wage-slaves who devote the few moments allowed us by our exploiters to carry on the printing and publication of what we consider is greatly needed in this country. . We have managed, by practicing the utmost economy in all things, to cut down our expense to £1 15s. per week! . This is cutting it very fine indeed; in fact as fine as possible. (1 November 1896: 3) The Alarm folded after its tenth issue. This was a common fate for many radical papers.

Odd type, ink, furniture, wearing apparel, boots, jewellery, books, back numbers or sets of any paper, used or unused stamps, American paper currency, tea, sugar, cocoa, crockery ware, cutlery. (27 September 1896: 2) The next issue declared: “Advertise in The Alarm: Cheapest Advertising Medium Known” (11 October 1896: 4). In its third issue the Alarm announced that it would stop justifying lines, following Benjamin Tucker, editor of the American anarchist 22 Introduction p­ aper Liberty. Under the headline “Typography Turns over a New Leaf,” the Alarm called Tucker “the first printer to break through hide-bound conventionality and print his paper in the nonjustification style.

And by encouraging the union of the working classes towards Revolution” (1 May 1886: 33). This all-or-nothing insistence on a complete break from existing social reality mirrors the formal features of Utopia. Even beyond its political ideology, however, the Commonweal constructed itself as a utopian print space by way of art and literature. Beginning with its second issue, the paper featured a decorative heading designed Figure 5. Handbill advertising weekly entertainments to benefit the Socialist League Strike Fund (1888).

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