Illustrating Mobility: Networks of Visual Print Culture and the Periodical Contexts of Modern Australian Writing

Victoria Kuttainen


This article reviews the illustration history of Australian periodicals to place modern illustrated short stories in this context.  It argues that illustrated periodicals drew on networks of etchers, engravers, printers, promoters, advertisers, authors, and artists that were globally distributed as well as locally contentrated.  As Victorian Studies have experienced a visual turn in the last decade, and as modern periodical studies have also gained momentum, this paper argues that the time is past due to consider Australian Literature in terms of its connections to visual print culture, especially in the peridocial scene. Of the several reasons this article offers to account for persistent oversights of this material in the Australian context, it explores the ways that modern magazines challenge existing paradigms of national literature because of their intensive investments in travel, mobility, and commercial culture. Yet, in their original contexts, illustrated short stories in modern Australian magazines that celebrated these values existed side-by-side with nationalist literature and national brands.


Sydney Ure Smith; The Home; The BP Magazine; magazines; illustration; visual print culture; short fiction

Full Text:



AustLit, “Hilary Lofting,” “Henrietta Drake Brockman.” 22 June 2016. Web.

Ardis, Anne. "Towards a Theory of Periodical Studies." Roundtable: What is a Journal? Towards a Theory of Periodical Studies. MLA Convention 4 January 2013. ESPRIT. 16 April 2015. Web.

Argus (1848-1957). Trove. 20 June 2016. Web.

Bennett, Bruce, ed. Cross Currents: Magazines and Newspapers in Australian Literature. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire, 1981. Print.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. London: Fontana, 1968. 214-218. Print.

Beetham, Margaret. “Towards a Theory of the Periodical as Publishing Genre.” Investigating Victorian Journalism. Ed. Laurel Brake, Lionel Jones and Lionel Madden. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990. 19-32. Print.

Blainey, Geoffrey. The Tyranny of Distance. 1967. Rpt. Sydney: Macmillan, 2001. Print.

Bode, Katherine. “‘To Be Continued’: A World of Serial Fiction in Australian Newspapers.” Island 141 (2015): 62-67. Print.

The BP Magazine (1928-1942). Print.

Caban, Geoffrey. A History of Australian Commercial Art. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1983. Print.

Campbell, Jean. “Minns, Benjamin Edwin (1863–1937),” Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 22 June 2016. Web

Carter, David. Always Almost Modern: Australian Print Cultures and Modernity. North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2013. Print.

- - -. “The Conditions of Fame: Literary Celebrity in Australia between the Wars.” Journal of Modern Literature 39.1 (2015): 170-87. Print.

- - -. “Modernity and the Gendering of Middlebrow Book Culture in Australia.” The Masculine Middlebrow, 1880-1950: What Mr. Minniver Read. Ed. Kate Macdonald. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 135-45. Print.

- - -. “The Mystery of the Missing Middlebrow or the C(o)urse of Good Taste.” Imagining Australia: Literature and Culture in the New New World. Ed. Judith Ryan and Chris Wallace-Crab. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2004. 173-201. Print.

Cooke, Simon. Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s. London: British Library, 2010. Print.

Craig, Judd. “The Art of Adrian Feint.” Art and Australia 32.1 (Spring 1994): 45-66. Print.

The Courier-Mail. (1933-). Trove. 21 June 2016. Web.

Dillard, Leigh G, Patricia Okker and Nancy M. West. “Teaching Illustrations and Periodicals: Three Scholars Share Their Ideas and Materials.” Victorian Periodicals Review, 39.4, Periodical Pedagogy (Winter, 2006), pp.365-382. Print.

Dowling, Peter. Chronicles of Progress: The Illustrated Newspapers of Colonial Australia. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Monash U, 1997. Print.

- - -. “1861-62: Seminal Years in the Publishing History of Illustrated Newspapers in Australia.” La Trobe Journal 88 (December 2011). 13-26. 19 June 2016. Web.

Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. 1912. Trans. Joseph Ward Swain. New York: Free Press, 1965. Print.

Eggert, Paul. Biography of a Book: Henry Lawson’s “While the Billy Boils.” Sydney: Sydney UP, 2013. Print.

Gaudry, Anne-Marie. “Jardine, Walter Lacy (1884–1970).” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 19 June 2016. Web.

Gelder, Ken and Rachel Weaver. The Colonial Journals and the Emergence of Australian Literary Culture. Crawley: University of WA P, 2014. Print.

Green, H.M. A History of Australian Literature: Pure and Applied, Volume I, 1789-1923. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1961. 719-736. Rpt. Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Lynn M. Zott. Vol. 116. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 10 June 2015. Web.

Hammill, Faye and Michelle Smith. Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture: Canadian Periodicals in English and French 1925-1960. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2015. Print.

Holden, Robert. Cover Up: The Art of Magazine Covers in Australia. Sydney: Hodder and Stoughton, 1995. Print.

The Home (1920-1942). Print.

Illustrated Melbourne Post (1862-1868). Print.

Illustrated Sydney News (1853-55 and 1864-99). Print.

Johnson-Woods, Toni. Beyond Ephemera: The “Australian Journal” (1865-1962) as Fiction Publisher. Unpublished PhD Thesis. U of Queensland, 2000. Print.

Kendall, Judy, Manuel Portela and Glyn White. “Introducing Visual Text.” European Journal of English Studies 17.1 (2013): 1-9. 21 June 2016. Web.

Kirkpatrick, Peter and Robert Dixon, eds. Republics of Letters: Literary Communities in Australia. Chippendale: Sydney UP, 2012. Print.

Latham, Sean. “Affordance and Emergence: Magazine as New Media.” Roundtable: What is a Journal? Towards a Theory of Periodical Studies. MLA Convention 4 January 2013. ESPRIT. 16 April 2015. Web.

Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2005. Print.

Leighton, Mary Elizabeth and Lisa Surridge. "The Illustrated Novel.” Dickens in Context. Ed. Sally Ledger and Holly Furneaux. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011. 166-77. Print.

- - -. "The Transatlantic Moonstone: A Study of the Illustrated Serial in Harper's Weekly" Victorian Periodicals Review 42.3 (2009): 207-43. Print.

Lindsay, Norman. Bohemians of the Bulletin. Sydney: Angus and Robertson: 1965. Print.

Lindesay, Vane. The Inked-In Image: A Social and Historical Survey of Australian Comic Art. Richmond: Hutchinson, 1979. Print.

Luke, Jarryd. “Breaking Graphic Conventions: Capturing Stories Through Text and Image.” LiNQ 40.1 (2013): 100-114. Print.

Matthews, Jill Julius. Dance Hall and Picture Palace: Sydney’s Romance with Modernity. Sydney: Currency Press, 2005.

Nile, Richard. The Making of the Australian Literary Imagination. St. Lucia: U of Queensland P, 2002. Print.

Ohmann, Richard. Selling Culture: Magazines, Markets and Class at the Turn of the Century. New York and London: Verso, 1996. Print.

Philp, Angela. “Payne, Frances Mallalieu (Frank) (1885–1976),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 23 June 2016. Web.

Reid, Thomas Wemyss. William Black, Novelist. London and New York: Harper and Brothers, 1902. Print.

Sillars, Stuart. Visualisation in Popular Fiction 1860-1960: Graphic Narratives, Fictional Images. London and New York: Routledge, 1995. Print.

Sunday Times (1895-1930). Trove. 19 June 2016. Web.

Strauss, Jennifer. “Literary Culture 1914-35: Battlers All.” The Oxford Literary History of Australia. Ed. Bruce Bennett and Jennifer Strauss. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. 107-129. Print.

Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser: A Journal of Commerce, Mining, Agriculture, Science, Mechanics, and General Information (1860-1938). Trove. 16 June 2016. Web.

Underhill, Nancy. Making Australian Art 1916-49: Sydney Ure Smith, Patron and Publisher. Melbourne: Oxford UP, 1991. Print.

Webby, Elizabeth. “Before the Bulletin: Nineteenth Century Literary Journalism.” Cross Currents: Magazines and Newspapers in Australian Literature. Ed. Bruce Bennett. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire, 1981. 4-34. Print.


  • There are currently no refbacks.