The Communications Broker and the Public Sphere

Victoria Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Later eighteenth-century newspapers have been credited with shaping and reflecting readers' politics and growing sense of regional and national identity. However, historians have long ignored the role that newspaper proprietors played in the construction of those newspapers. Through a close study of one provincial proprietor, John Ware of Whitehaven, this article demonstrates that newspaper owners were shrewd operators in the public sphere. They were businessmen and women for whom the imagined community of readers was a real community of friends and business associates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-557
Number of pages25
JournalCultural and Social History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • business
  • identities
  • networks
  • newspapers
  • proprietors
  • sociability


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