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By Gillian Williamson
The Gentleman's journal used to be the major eighteenth-century periodical. via integrating the magazine's background, readers and contents this learn exhibits how 'gentlemanliness' used to be reshaped to house their social and political goals.
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Additional resources for British Masculinity in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1731 to 1815
99 Historians, on the other hand, largely concentrate on the agency of owners, editors and professional writers in the development of both the periodical and their later careers. Their studies are all restricted to the Edward Cave period. They tend to search for precedents for Cave’s new venture and, in common with literary scholars, make much of what was, in the scheme of things, the relatively brief involvement of Samuel Johnson before he was a ‘famous name’. The history of the magazine under Cave is the subject of literary historian C.
G. g. blacksmithing). 8 These people with Spufford’s and Whyman’s informally taught readers and letter-writers were potentially the Gentleman’s Magazine’s market. Their participation in literate culture marked them out, for reading and writing was recognized as an important constituent of cultural and educational capital. It promoted occupational advancement and extended participation in Enlightenment modernity. In 1782, Presbyterian minister and writer Andrew Kippis (1725–95) explicitly linked this to engagement with periodical literature: The Magazines have opened a way for every kind of enquiry and information.
It is still widely found in country house and ‘stately home’ libraries. 71 In the 1730s and 1740s there was a luxurious and expensive version of the magazine advertised as ‘printed on ﬁne Royal Paper, large Margin, for the Curious, at 1s. 73 This is, however, a tiny sample biased towards those who bound and kept their monthly numbers, unrepresentative of the readership as a whole. A far more substantial body of evidence demonstrates that the Gentleman’s Magazine was not primarily aimed at those who were already gentlemen by birth, but rather deliberately and successfully sought its readers among the aspirational ‘middling sort’.
British Masculinity in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1731 to 1815 by Gillian Williamson