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By Accident or DesignWriting the Victorian Metropolis$
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Paul Fyfe

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732334

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732334.001.0001

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Street Literature and the Remediation of Accident

Street Literature and the Remediation of Accident

Chapter:
(p.132) 4 Street Literature and the Remediation of Accident
Source:
By Accident or Design
Author(s):

Paul Fyfe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732334.003.0005

Accidents were favourite subjects for the enterprising publishers of broadsides and ballads—ephemeral publications that were often sung and sold on the streets themselves. Such street literature was part of a rising tide of cheap, popular literature or ‘reading for the million’ as it was variously called by middle-class writers who sneered at the seeming randomness of its production, contents, and circulation. But randomness expresses an important feature of Victorian print media at mid-century: how it becomes a chaotic system organized by the contingencies of modern urban life. The remediation of accident reveals how Victorian popular print became the ‘new media’ of its moment.

Keywords:   Victorian, periodicals, ephemera, broadsides, ballads, street literature, remediation, new media, metropolitan

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