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v2.1 Reference

Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture

Canadian Periodicals in English and French, 1925–1960

A century ago, the golden age of magazine publishing coincided with the beginning of a golden age of travel. Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture centres on Canada, where commercial magazines began to flourish in the 1920s alongside an expanding network of luxury railway hotels and ocean liner routes. The leading monthlies—among them Mayfair, Chatelaine, and La Revue Moderne—presented travel as both a mode of self-improvement and a way of negotiating national identity.

The authors take a new cross-cultural approach to periodical studies, relating both French- and English-language magazines to an emerging culture of aspiration. Mainstream magazines, Hammill and Smith argue, forged a connection between upward mobility and geographical mobility. Fantasies of travel were circulated through fiction, articles, and advertisements, and used to sell fashions, foods, and domestic products as well as holidays.

"A major contribution to Canadian studies and the study of print culture in a North American context. This volume should prove useful to scholars in a wide range of fields, including cultural and social history, publishing, literary studies, cultural studies, and communications." —Dr. Gillian Roberts, University of Nottingham

About the Authors

Michelle Smith is a poet and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.


"'Don't you get tired of just reading about things?' the frustrated traveler George Bailey is asked in It's A Wonderful Life. Bailey, like the film audience, accepted he could never get away. So, they dreamed.... To read Magazines, Travel & Middlebrow Culture is to revisit an era when Middle Canada worked a six-day week and fantasized about the fine things in life." [Full review at]—Holly Doan, Blacklock's Reporter

"In Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture, Hammill and Smith suggest that magazines, by circulating fantasies of travel, were instrumental in forging a link between geographical mobility and upward mobility. Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture is sorely needed, since the mainstream magazine has so far received even less analysis than other genres of Canadian periodical."—

"An impressively written, organized and presented collaboration of original and seminal scholarship, [this book] should be a required addition to academic library 20th Century Canadian Popular Culture reference collection and supplemental studies reading lists."—Julie Summers, Reviewer's Bookwatch

Forming a coherent site of inquiry out of so much information that had been hiding in plain sight due to its association with an ostensibly blank, mainstream modernity is in itself an accomplishment; that Hammill and Smith have uncovered such an abundance of approaches, connections, and raw subject matter for scholars in a variety of areas and disciplines only adds to this achievement." [Full review at]—Carl Watts, American Review of Canadian Studies

"This book breaks new ground in print culture studies through its close examination of a selection of Canadian mainstream magazines, and through its robust engagement with on-going scholarly debates surrounding 'the middlebrow'.... [T]his study undertakes valuable work to recover the histories of these magazines and their prominent editors and contributors." [Full review at]—Sarah Galletly, Cultural and Social History

"[This book] represents an especially important contribution to the growing field of periodical studies in Canada.... Given the dearth of cross-cultural, cross-linguistic studies in Canada, the book is both enlightening and refreshing.... The book is not, however, solely concerned with providing a cultural history of Canada's leading commercial periodicals. As its title suggests, the text's examination of magazines is organized around two principal themes: middlebrow culture and travel... " [DOI:]—Billy Johnson, University of Toronto Quarterly

"... [T]his book addresses some significant gaps in existing print culture scholarship, in particular the general dearth of research in middle-class consumer Canadian magazines from the first half of the twentieth century and the absence of comparative studies of English and French-language magazines in Canada.... [T]his book is a testament to an extraordinary amount of archival work the authors have undertaken.... ." [Full review at]—Katia Lee, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada

"Focusing on Canada, the study begins in the 1920s. The six magazines, three catering for French Canadian readers, and three for English Canadian readers, are Mayfair, Chatelaine, MacLean's, La Revue Moderne, the Canadian Home Journal, and La Revue Populaire, all of which began publishing in the opening two decades of the last century. These magazines have received very little if any scholarly attention. Travel, and Middlebrow Culture concludes with an alphabetically arranged, enumerative bibliography (pp. 185–203), a name-orientated double-columned index (pp. 205–12), and, inserted at the end, twenty-nine full-page colour figures from the texts discussed."—William Baker, The Year's Work in English Studies

9781772120837 : magazines-travel-and-middlebrow-culture-hammill-smith
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256 Pages
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