The presentation of fiction through provincial newspapers is an area of scholarly research which has been largely ignored yet there are many questions waiting to be answered both in terms of providers and recipients.
How, for example did social and commercial conditions govern the transmission of the novel from publisher, or bookseller, and essentially, to newspaper proprietor or editor, and finally to the recipient provincial reader? Was there a difference in the way in which novels were advertised in a London paper and in the provinces? Were the same writers advertised in both?
This introduction and database does not propose to give definitive answers to these and other questions, but offers material for future researchers who wish to explore this area of academic study more fully. There will be difficulties for those scholars wishing to follow research in the field of newspaper fiction; any study of this nature can give no more than a general impression of reading and readers during a given period and inevitably there will be a degree of speculation.
It is also accepted that many provincial readers would have read London newspapers as well and heard about current fiction from other sources. This study is intended, through a Database of all fiction listed in the Hampshire Chronicle, 1772-1829, to provide a tool to enable researchers to trace authors, titles, and booksellers in order to establish whether or not they were known and read in at least one provincial area of the country; it also demonstrates advertising methods used at the time.
This work is therefore offered as an incentive to further thought and research in an area of study which has been insufficiently examined and as a way by which more can be learnt about the growth and presentation of fiction in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Full introduction [PDF].
British Library catalogue website
British Fiction 1800-1829 website
The English Novel 1770-1829, a bibliographical survey, Garside, Raven and Schowerling, 2000
Fiction in the Hampshire Chronicle, a provincial newspaper, from 1772 to 1829
How to use the documents [PDF]
Fiction in the Hampshire Chronicle 1772 -1829 [PDF]
Fiction A-Z by Title [PDF]
Fiction A-Z by author [PDF]
Publisher/booksellers advertising in the newspaper [PDF]