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Science and SalvationEvangelical Popular Science Publishing in Victorian Britain$
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Aileen Fyfe

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226276472

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226276465.001.0001

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The Ministry of the Press

The Ministry of the Press

(p.184) V The Ministry of the Press
Science and Salvation
University of Chicago Press

The most common image for authorship in the mid-nineteenth century was as a learned profession, primarily because of the possibility it offered of earning a genteel living. Other ways of making money had less highbrow connotations. Chambers's Journal, for instance, suggested the image of “authorcraft.” This gave authorship the status of a highly skilled but manual occupation. Although the combination of physical activity with skill was an accurate description of many writers’ lives, authorcraft was not a commonly used image. Most writers were from the middle classes, and preferred to gloss over the physical aspect of their work. An alternative image for authorship was as a trade, such as publishing, which was, “like all other trades, undertaken with the one object of making money by it.” A trade was purely mercenary and involved no apparent creativity.

Keywords:   authorship, profession, manual occupation, physical activity, publishing, trade

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