Session 3 – Annotated Bibliography – Amy Anderson

Primary Sources:

“The Queen”, The Northern Star, Saturday 12th October, 1839

Using the instruction provided for this session, this source was accessed via the Library Subject Guides and the ‘British Library Newspapers 1600-1950’ resource. This newspaper archive, rich in material, will be imperative to my research, and by refining my searches with key words such as ‘Prince Albert*’ and specific dates such as ‘2nd May 1851’, this will provide me with a more concise collection of material to work with.

The Northern Star, and more specifically, the article entitled “The Queen” provides clear clarification of the xenophobia Albert experienced in Britain. This account, written in speculation of the Queen’s engagement, not announced until November 1839, gives a glimpse into how Albert was tainted by Britain’s distaste for Germans long before it was certain he was to marry the Queen, and before he took up permanent residence within Britain. With The Northern Star being a Chartist and radical paper, there is no doubt that this type of account is exclusive, and The Northern Star thus, worth investigating more.

“H.R.H.F.M.P.A at it again!”, Punch, 12th July 1855 

Using the methods provided by Jordanova in “Approaching Visual Materials” in Gunn and Faire’s book, a lot can be gained from this caricature, especially when considering the wider context, and Albert’s reputation in the British media prior. This source somewhat contradicts ideas of The Great Exhibition of 1851 being a complete turning point in Albert’s public image in the media. Albert is once again painted in a deceitful light by Punch. The hidden messages concealed within the clever illustrations of Punch’s material never fail to provide an abundance of information about wider opinions, and will therefore furnish the focal point of my research.

(Image taken from The Victorian Web, accessed Monday 1st February 2021, but Punch’s own Archive and The British Museum also provide caricatures of this nature)

Secondary Sources:

Fredeman, William E, “A Charivari for Queen Butterfly: ‘Punch’ on Queen Victoria”, Victorian Poetry, Vol. 25, No. 3/4 (1987): 47-73.

Despite this articles main focus being on the image of Queen Victoria in such periodical, Fredeman provides useful information on the rise of Punch throughout the Victorian period, and the strong satirist relationship it would come to have with British royalty. Along with this, the article teases the reader on Punch’s unmerciful attacks on Albert. Albert attempted to settle into the British monarchy in conjunction with the birth of Punch and his foreign ways and Saxe-Coburg ties, Fredeman hints, provided endless content for the “Anti-Albertianism” that spread like wildfire throughout the country. This article was found when searching JSTOR specifically for articles on Punch’s early publications on royalty.

Wilson, A. N, Prince Albert: The Man Who Saved the Monarchy, London: Atlantic Books, 2019.

This book is one of only few modern biographies of the German Prince, and Wilson’s sincere praise and appreciation for Albert as a figure who not only invigorated the British monarchy, but one in which looked out for the British people in a way no British royal had ever done before, is refreshing . This book is my own personal copy. The fifteenth chapter – “The Great Exhibition of 1851: The Making of the Modern World” – provides intricate detail on Albert’s involvement in the The Great Exhibition of 1851 and the negative reaction this got from the British press . This chapter provides useful insight into Wilson’s own opinion about the true nature of this scrutiny and how he believes Albert as a figure was at a forefront. Secondly, through extracts from such publications as The Times, The Illustrated London News, and the Spectator, Wilson is able to show a clear shift in Albert’s image in the British press after the roaring success of The Great Exhibition of 1851 which opens the floor for further and deeper investigation into the particulars of Albert’s public image in the media throughout his time in the British monarchy.

One thought on “Session 3 – Annotated Bibliography – Amy Anderson”

  1. If you are interested in Albert’s initial reception – even before 1851, I’d not start with the Northern Star – it tended to see the monarchy as part of ‘old corruption’ – leeches and parasites on the social order. Perhaps investigate what The Times reported and if a Liberal paper like the Morning Chronicle was equally critical. And don’t forget that most discourse took place in periodicals, rather than newspapers – all the major C19th ones are accessible via the library history subject guide. Well done for using the British Museum Images database – an amazing source for images

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