Literary Authors, Parliamentary Reporters: Johnson, by Nikki Hessell

By Nikki Hessell

Samuel Johnson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Hazlitt and Charles Dickens all labored as parliamentary journalists, yet their reports within the press gallery haven't obtained a lot scrutiny. Nikki Hessell's learn is the 1st paintings to think about all 4 of those canonical writers as gallery journalists, supplying an in depth photo of this interesting episode of their careers. Hessell demanding situations preconceived notions in regards to the function that emergent literary genius performed of their luck as newshounds, arguing as an alternative that they have been consummate gallery pros who tailored themselves to the journalistic criteria in their day. that pro historical past fed in to their inventive paintings in unforeseen methods. through drawing on a wealth of proof in letters, diaries and the click, this examine offers clean insights into the ways that 4 nice writers learnt the craft of journalism and taken these classes to endure on their profession as literary authors.

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Extra resources for Literary Authors, Parliamentary Reporters: Johnson, Coleridge, Hazlitt, Dickens

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They are the characteristics that are used in the critical literature to suggest that the author in question was a gifted gallery journalist. The critics who propose these readings are not necessarily wrong in this assessment; in fact, they are often right. But they are right for the wrong reasons. They assume that what makes a great gallery reporter is the ability to make reporting a literary activity or to approach it in a manner quite distinct from that of one’s peers. 47 The assumption that gallery reporting becomes more successful as it becomes more literary fits well with the preoccupations of a biography or critical study of an author’s corpus, but it is neither the only way to consider parliamentary reporting, nor an unproblematic one.

The following four chapters provide the specific evidence that Johnson, Coleridge, Hazlitt and Dickens were exemplars of this collaborative sublime when they worked in the press gallery and I will return to this notion in my conclusion, which considers the wider significance of their careers as reporters for our understanding of their careers as a whole and their writing styles. ch apter 2 Samuel Johnson: beyond Lilliput In the records of the British House of Commons for April 1738, sandwiched between a debate on the bill for securing trade to America and another on the Button and Button-Hole Bill, lies an important slice of journalistic history.

New Writings, i: 31–45 and i: 94–120. Forster, Life of Charles Dickens, 39, 37 and 41, respectively. 35 Forster, Life of Charles Dickens, 40. 33 34 The critical heritage: Charles Dickens’s renowned accuracy 11 Forster’s evidence and analysis have formed the basis for all subsequent interpretations of Dickens’s parliamentary reporting. In the decades following the publication of Forster’s Life, scholars devoted significant attention to Dickens’s early years. 36 These studies helped to establish much of what we know about Dickens’s years as a reporter and about his shorthand technique.

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