This article examines how “Essays and Notices” and subsequent notices columns redefined the Contemporary Review after its highly publicized identity crisis in 1877. Although the column was initially used to counter bad press and reassert the journal’s identity, it set the stage for an inquiry into critical authority that would profoundly alter the Contemporary’s open platform and influence its later attitudes toward fiction and readers. Using the Contemporary’s notices as a case study, the article also draws attention to notices as an understudied genre within nineteenth-century periodicals.


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