Naval heroism in the mid-Victorian family magazine
in A new naval history
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General-interest periodicals are a pre-eminent source for the study of popular views and major discursive formations around the Navy. This chapter offers a cross-title analysis of some of the most widely read family magazines published between 1850 and 1880 (Chambers’s Journal, The Leisure Hour, Household Words and All the Year Round). They reveal the wider social and cultural context in which the mid-Victorian naval-heroic discourse was situated: issues of masculinity, class, a new professionalism, technological advancement and a qualified attitude towards heroes and heroism. The magazines’ depictions of the Navy were not simply laudatory. Above all, they reflected concern that at a time when Britain was still the only world power, its Navy appeared to have entered a post-heroic phase.

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