Regional news in 'Peacetime': The Dumfries and Galloway Courier in the 1820s

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Abstract / Description of output

On 28 January 1817, the Dumfries and Galloway Courier led with an editorial explaining that Rev. Henry Duncan was handing editorial control to John McDiarmid, then arriving from the newly-established Scotsman in Edinburgh. In that notice, Duncan outlined the challenges faced by the paper going forward, specifically:

the increasing difficulty of conducting a Newspaper in times of peace and domestic embarrassment […] During the late war, the public interest was so strongly excited towards one great object of paramount importance […] that the Editor of a Newspaper could not easily mistake the path of duty […] But in such a period as the present […] the part of those who conduct the vehicle of intelligence becomes more arduous and complicated.

This chapter addresses the response of McDiarmid’s Courier to this newly ‘complicated’ newspaper milieu, within the economically tempestuous decade Marilyn Butler described as ‘a curious period of relative stasis’. Updating longstanding tensions about literary register in the press for the 1820s, McDiarmid’s Courier took on a newly lyrical voice, not least in a commitment to history, tales, topography and other subjects intelligible under the category of ‘local description’. In and beyond such material, periodicals like the Courier played a distinctive place-making role for an emergent world-system predicated in print. Regional space, here, emerges from an interaction of local, national and global cultures. At the same time, the 1820s Courier demonstrates a specific and emphatic commitment to its locale that is characteristic of regional periodicals at large and which curiously underlines the role of the literary imagination in the work of geography.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemediating the 1820s
EditorsJon Mee, Matthew Sangster
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781474493307
ISBN (Print)9781474493277
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameEdinburgh Critical Studies in Romanticism
PublisherEdinburgh University Press

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