First Media Monarch
The nineteenth century saw the arrival of the mass media: high-volume illustrated newspapers and magazines, photography, and the telegraph which connected every part of the Empire. From the beginning, royalty was an essential subject for the media; Victoria's reign was documented in a detail never known before: her accession and coronation, her very public marriage, her travels at home and abroad, her Jubilees, and ultimately her death and funeral.
John Plunkett's book is the first to study the role of the media in Queen Victoria's reign. He argues that the development of popular print and visual media in the nineteenth century helped to
reinvent the position of the monarchy in national life. He reveals how the royal family was one of the principal beneficiaries of the growth of cheap newspapers and illustrated periodicals and the advent of new media. He brings to light a wealth of previously unexamined material, including a detailed account of the emergence of royal journalism and the role of functionaries like the Court Newsman, and shows how photographs of Victoria were routinely retouched and manipulated in the latter
decades of the century.