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James Mussell. Science, Time and Space in the Late Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: Movable Types. Burlington: Ashgate, 2007. xiii + 237 pp. $99.95
CONSULTING PERIODICAL LITERATURE comes naturally to the experienced researcher, but how often do we really stop to consider what we are doing or how effective our search strategy may be? James Mussell presents a scientific approach to the search and proposes a new methodology for understanding the periodical press in terms of its movement in time and space. His thesis is "that it is the combination of immutability across space, enabling periodical numbers to be distributed to readers, combined with mutability across time, enacted by the serial appearance of successive numbers, that defines the periodical as genre." He discusses the periodical as cultural object and looks at the way this object moves through culture and what happens to it on its way.
Admittedly, dealing with the whole of nineteenth-century periodical literature is a challenge. Even merely looking at the vast amount of it is daunting. It has been estimated that the number of individual periodical titles published during …