Contemporary research in periodical literature has demonstrated conclusively that the nineteenth century in Britain was the age of the periodical. It also has shown that, in Victorian society, the circulation of periodicals and newspapers was both larger and more influential than that of books.
The six essays in this volume investigate the extent to which this was equally true of Britain's colonies during the period up to 1900. In chapters devoted to periodical publishing in Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Southern Africa, and the 'outposts' of the Empire (Ceylon, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Malaya and Singapore, Malta, and the West Indies), the contributors also consider the function and importance of periodicals in colonial life. They identify and describe all locally produced publications that appeared at weekly or longer intervals and that contained, for example, local news, poetry, fiction, criticism, commentary on the arts, news from home, shipping information and commodities reports.
Each chapter presents an evaluation of the quantity and quality of guides available to periodical literature in each region, from basic bibliographies of periodicals, directories, and finding aids, to microfilm records and databases on the Internet.
Periodicals of Queen Victoria's Empire is an initial step towards understanding and analyzing what its editors regard as the 'unseen power' of the periodical press in the British Empire of the nineteenth century.