The Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize

routledge handbook nineteenthWe are pleased to announce that this year’s winner of the Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize is The Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers co-edited by Andrew King, Alexis Easley and John Morton. 

The Committee describes the book as “a standard reference work” that offers “cutting-edge, comprehensive scholarship by experts in each area”. The volume was seen as “wide-ranging and diverse” in ways that stepped beyond Great Britain to consider British newspapers and periodicals in relation to North American, European, Australian and Asian publications.

The Colby Prize is awarded annually to the book published during the preceding year that most advances our understanding of the nineteenth-century British press. It is awarded in memory of Robert and Vineta Colby, both long standing members of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals and themselves authors of significant books about nineteenth century magazines and newspapers.

Of the fourteen nominated titles for this year’s award, four were shortlisted for further consideration. As well as the Routledge Handbook the shortlisted books were Maria Damkjaer’s Time, Domesticity and Print Culture in Nineteenth-Century Britain; Jude Piesse’s British Settler Emigration in Print; and Kimberley Stern’s The Social Life of Criticism: Gender, Critical Writing, and the Politics of Belonging.

It is heartening to see such a range of ambitious, volume-length publications that relate in different ways to the further understanding of Victorian periodicals and newspapers, and we are grateful to the members of the Colby Prize Committee, chaired by , for their careful and thorough consideration of the nominated volumes.

Our congratulations go to this year’s winning volume!


Previous winners of the prize:

  • 2016: Mary Shannon for Dickens, Reynolds, and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street, (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015).
  • 2015: Caroline Bressey,  Empire, Race and the Politics of Anti-Caste (Bloomsbury, 2014), Honorable mention: Martin Hewitt, The Dawn of the Cheap Press in Victorian Britain: The End of the ‘Taxes on Knowledge,’ 1849-1869 (Bloomsbury, 2014).
  • 2014: Fionnuala Dillane, Before George Eliot: Marian Evans and the Periodical Press (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and David Latané, William Maginn and the British Press: A Critical Biography (Ashgate, 2013)
  • 2013: Aileen Fyfe, Steam-Powered Knowledge: William Chambers and the Business of Publishing, 1820-1860 (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2012) and Robert Patten, Charles Dickens and “Boz”: The Birth of the Industrial Age Author (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • 2012: Joel Wiener, The Americanization of the British Press, 1830s-1914 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2011).
  • 2011: Patrick Leary, The Punch Brotherhood: Table Talk and Print Culture in Mid-Victorian London (London: British Library, 2010).
  • 2010: Mark Schoenfield, British Periodicals and Romantic Identity (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2008) and Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor (eds) The Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism (Gent and London: Academia and the British Library, 2009).
  • 2009: Catherine Waters, Commodity Culture in Dickens’s Household Words: The Social Life of Goods (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008).
  • 2008: Kathryn Ledbetter, Tennyson and Victorian Periodicals: Commodities in Context (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).
  • 2007: David Finkelstein, Print Culture and the Blackwood Tradition, 1805-1930 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005).
  • 2006: Linda Hughes, Graham R.: Rosamund Mariott Watson, Woman of Letters (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005).
  • 2006: Peter Morton, The Busiest Man in London: Grant Allen and the Writing Trade, 1875-1900 (0New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).