'Meteor Wreaths'

Harriet Martineau, 'L.E.L', Fame and Fraser's Magazine

in Critical Survey
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  • 1 University of Hull v.r.sanders@hull.ac.uk
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‘How ought women to be treated in controversy?’ asked John Robertson in the London and Westminster Review of April 1839.2 It was a good moment to be asking. The 1830s – in many ways a peculiar decade of the nineteenth century, marking the decline of Romanticism and only a gradual emergence of something not yet definable as ‘Victorianism’ (if such a complex cultural phenomenon can be defined) – saw the intensification of an interest in personalities, not unlike that which we see in today’s gossip columns and Sunday supplements. This was the decade of what came to be known as ‘Crokerism’, after John Wilson Croker (1780- 1857) who boasted of ‘tomahawking Miss Martineau in the Quarterly’.

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