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Reviews Review and Eliap Cook'sJournal, aldiough die reason for choosing these two journals in particular is not fully articulated The middle chapters on the home, imperialism, and feminism, are somewhat less effective than die odiers in demonstrating the importance of the periodical form to the dieme in question. These themes, particularly home and imperialism, are perhaps too broadly-defined. In die chapter on cultural imperialism, the audiors concede that, given the vastness of die archive on the issue, diey are able to offer only a sketch of the extant material. The authors then touch on die gendered meanings of Englishness widiin debates on assisted female emigration, boys' adventure stories, and representations of Australia as a colonial destination and space of resistance. In marshalling a range of sources, and in combining an empirical methodology widi close textual analysis, Fraser, Green andJohnston's book adds greater texture to gender studies within Victorian periodical criticism, and is therefore a welcome addition to die field. It is a pleasurable book to read, and perfect for dipping into as one would her favourite magazine. Janice Schroeder Cadeton University Martin Garrett, ed Elhpbetb BarrettBrowning andRobertBrowning: Interviews andRecollections (Basingstoke & New York: Macmillan and St Martin's, 2000), xvii + 173. Popular response to the Brownings and the fascination widi dieir personal lives in the nineteenth century is an illuminating index of die development of celebrity culture in the period Although Martin Garrett does not make this development a focus, his collection of "interviews and recollections" opens an interesting window on it. Garrett's collection does not include "interviews," stricdy speaking In fact, one might see the application of this somewhat anachronistic term to the Victorian period as anodier manifestation of die growth of a mass culture and its various technologies of information. Instead, he brings together excerpts from letters, memoirs, Victorian Review (2004)105 Reviews anecdotal reminiscences, and autobiographical sketches dike Elizabeth Barrett 's lively "Glimpses Into My Own Literary Character" written when she was fourteen). Among the "recollections" included here is an account from the PallMaUBudget, 19 December 1889, in which an anonymous "American correspondent" describes Robert Browning, the elderly lionized poet, pursued by a "party of Yankee schoolmarms" round and round the Albert Memorial (131). There is no doubt "some exaggeration in this account," as Garrett notes: the stereotypically portrayed Yankee ladies "whoop" when they first spot Browning, according to the correspondent But the PallMallBudgetgossipy account of "Browning and his lady admirers " does capture, albeit in a caricatured form, the interest in the lives of the famous that underlies the appeal of a collection like Garrett's. In the case of literary couples like the Brownings, this voyeuristic interest often tends to be magnified more than twice over. As the tabloids and People magazine indicate in our time, the idea of two famous people romantically and sexually united typically results in an exponential increase in celebrity power. While it would be uncharitable and unfair to compare Garrett's collection to a kind of People's magazine compilation, it would be naïve to deny some of the sources of its appeal, for scholars as well as for general readers. Garrett divides his collection into four sections. The first two relatively brief sections focus on the earlier years of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning respectively, up to 1846, the year of their marriage. The third presents excerpts associated with the Brownings' years of married life, up to Elizabeth's death in 1861; while the fourth focuses on Robert's long years as a widower and an increasingly lionized author. Within each section, the organization is less structured and more miscellaneous. The scholarly specialist will find litde that is new here (all of the material comes from previously published sources), and some accounts that are of questionable authority, including an incident that Garrett admits may or may not have occurred in Barrett Browning's childhood, taken from Anne Thackeray Ritchie's anecdotal Dictionary of NationalBiography essay. Nevertheless, Garrett does conveniently bring together and annotate many of the most often cited or colourful accounts of the two poets, emphasizing through his selections sketches of their appearance and personalities at strategic points in their lives and artistic careers (their childhood...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 105-109
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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