"Let the nightingales alone": correspondence columns, the Scottish press, and the making of the working-class poet

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This article examines the presence of poetry and poetic criticism in the correspondence columns of the mid-Victorian Scottish popular press. It argues that these columns are a major, unacknowledged resource in the working-class poetic tradition and that editorial advice helped to shape the form and content of newspaper poetry during this period. It also suggests that these columns fostered satirical as well as serious poetic production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-207
Number of pages19
JournalVictorian Periodicals Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Victorian poetry
  • working-class
  • newspaper
  • Scottish literature


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