The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

IV. The Growth of Journalism

§ 19. The Press

A much more important publication was The Press, originated, in 1853, as a weekly representative of progressive conservatism, its first moving spirit being Disraeli, who, for some time, was a frequent contributor. Its editor was Samuel Lucas (not the Samuel Lucas of The Morning Star) and the writers included Bulwer Lytton, George Smythe, Shirley Brooks, Tom Taylor, lord Stanley, Sir J. E. Tennant, H. L. Mansel (afterwards dean of St. Paul’s) and Edward Vaughan Kenealy. Among later contributors were Richard Holt Hutton and Sir J. R. Seeley. It never obtained a circulation of more than 3500, and though, at its best period, it seems to have been financially stable, it ceased to exist in 1866.

Journalism has always allowed equality of literary opportunity to men and women, to men who have made their mark at the universities and to those whose chief or only schooling has been such as they could pick up in the intervals of other occupations. Swift’s judgment of Mrs. Manley was that her writing, at times, was better than his own. Defoe had an audience greater than that of Addison or Steele. In the early part of the nineteenth century, one of the self-educated had popularity and influence equal to those of any of his contemporaries. This was William Cobbett, born in 1762, of whom, and of whose Political Register, something has been said in a previous volume of this history.