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|A scrap from Anne's reading
Written by Tarn
(10/9/2008 8:27 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Paper trail., penned by nan duval
The Mirror of Fashion seems to be the 'entertainment' section of the Morning Chronicle, although really, it could hardly be called a section - papers then were a very different beast to what they are now. The general format was that the classifieds (the most lucrative part of the paper) occupied the front and back of the paper, where nowadays we would expect to find the headlines and sport. The inside of the paper contained a hotchpotch - roughly the Naval stores notices, then the shipping news, frankly jingoistic war news from embedded reporters War (often letters by the captains of ships, sent to the Admiralty – FW Austen’s name sometimes appears), followed by lists of the latest publications, and the offerings at Covent Garden and Dury Lane (plays, that is); followed by other sorts of news. The Murdoch dynasty seem to be the only modern newspaper publishers to preserve the Regency definition of news – think ‘infotainment’ with a strong flavour of vested interest. Stories of people who have lived to extraordinary old age (like 120 or 130 years old), next to the obituaries; salacious gossip of a more minute, explicit and defamatory kind than our far less strict (but possibly more expensive) defamation and national security laws would allow, about the rich and the famous; a far greater interest in poetry and literature – it seems to have an equal share with the news of scientific advancement and natural wonders; the commodities prices and business news unobtrusively near the bottom; the ever popular crime and court sections are there of course, next to the bankrupts listings; and anything weird and sensational . All crammed into the inside of a 29½ X 23½ inch sheet of paper, folded in half (only four pages in a typical newspaper), interspersed with stories of miracle cures and marvellous devices that are, on closer examination, paid advertisements.
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