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Novelty fair – British visual culture between Chartism and the Great Exhibition - Manchester Scholarship Online
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Novelty fair: British visual culture between Chartism and the Great Exhibition

Jo Briggs


First performed on 21 May 1850, the satirical play Novelty Fair; or Hints for 1851 opened at almost exactly the middle of the 19th century. Its plot juxtaposes 1848, Chartism and republicanism, with 1851 and the coming Great Exhibition. Using Novelty Fair as inspiration, this book brings together Victorian people, things and places typically understood to be unrelated. By juxtaposing urban fairs and the Great Exhibition, daguerreotypes and ballads, satirical shilling books and government backed design reform, blackface performers and middle-class paterfamilias, a strikingly different picture o ... More

Keywords: Chartism, Great Exhibition, 1848, 1851, class, popular culture, print culture, visual culture, social history, mid 19th century

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780719089640
Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719089640.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jo Briggs, author
Assistant Curator of 18th- and 19th-Century Art at the Walters Art Museum