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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Though many thousands of poems were published in magazines over the course of the eighteenth century, magazine verse has long been considered “trite or sentimental ‘filler’ worth no one’s time.” Arguing that magazine verse was a rich and vital component of eighteenth-century literary culture, this chapter offers a sketch map of a vast, and largely unexplored, literary terrain. The first half of the chapter traces the development of the magazine, from the early (and often short-lived) periodical miscellanies to the magazine boom which began in the 1730s, and the subsequent expansion and diversification of the format as the century progressed. The second half of this chapter then looks at the different kinds of poetry that found a home in magazines—from riddles and rebuses to verse reflecting cutting-edge literary and cultural trends—and explores the strategies employed by editors to ensure the poetry pages of their publications were well filled.

Keywords: poetry, popular poetry, magazines, periodicals, publication, miscellanies

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