4. Marketing and Distribution

While his volumes were marketed in the catalogues of publishers, they were also promoted extensively through other channels. They were advertised in newspapers and journals throughout the country (for example, Leicester Chronicle: or, Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser [Leicester, England], 27 May 1854: [1]). Works were advertised in advance of publication (for example Collectanea Parts I, II, in Notices of New Works, 18 Nov. 1843, West Kent Guardian). Personal connections were important in this respect; for example, he established a close relationship with William Hargrove (proprietor of the York Herald) (Table 1), who reported on and advertised his work: 'Mr William Hargrove appears to have been one of my earliest friends in York' (Figure 3). He praises Hargrove's use of the Herald for asserting the importance of the antiquities of York (1886, 58–59). As a subscriber to Smith's volumes, Hargrove is listed as 'Proprietor of York Herald' and 'Author of The History of York' (Table 1), showing the importance of the lists for self-promotion. James Thompson was proprietor of the Leicester Chronicle, later the Leicester Daily Mercury, which also regularly publicised and championed Smith's publications and projects; Thompson was a leading authority on the history of Leicester and a founder member of the Leicester Architectural and Archaeological Society (Thompson 1876).

Figure 3
Figure 3: Literary Notices. In York Herald, and General Advertiser, 3972, Saturday, November 25, 1848, pg. 6. British Library Newspapers, Part II, 1800–1900. © British Library Board.

Having established his reputation through the 1850s and 1860s, Smith became a regular contributor to the Gentleman's Magazine, editing the 'Antiquarian notes' (1865–68), which allowed him to promote his causes to a wider audience. He was also supported by friends (the majority of whom subscribed to his volumes) who edited or wrote for other popular journals; they took full advantage of these opportunities to support and promote each other's work; for example, Llewellynn Jewitt (Smith 1886, 80–83) was editor, and Thomas Bateman and Eliza Meteyard (Smith 1886, 106–11) were both regular contributors to The Reliquary (Bedo 1872–73, 141–47); Samuel Carter Hall was editor of the New Monthly Magazine and the Art Journal; George Godwin was editor of The Builder (Smith 1886, 93–97); William Ainsworth (Smith 1886, 84–86) was associated with Ainsworth's Magazine, Bentley's Miscellany and New Monthly; Charles Wentworth Dilke was editor of the London Magazine and proprietor of The Athenaeum; John Bruce was an editor of The Gentleman's Magazine; William J. Thoms founded Notes and Queries; John Mitchell Kemble (Williams 2006) edited the British and Foreign Review (1835–44) and Fraser's Magazine; John Timbs was sub-editor of Illustrated London News; William Blackwood and Sons published some of the most eminent writers of the day, including Eliot, Oliphant and Trollope and published Blackwood's Magazine from 1879. Smith acknowledges the importance of many of these periodicals in promoting his causes. For example, he expresses gratitude to George Godwin of The Builder:

'for the high-minded and equitable manner in which its columns were open to my pen, at a critical time when it was necessary for the interests of truth that I should speak out' (Smith 1886, 94).

The instrumental role which the periodical press played in the dissemination of archaeological knowledge, and in establishing or challenging professional reputations, merits further study (see Dawson et. al. 2015 on the importance of popular journals in the science and information revolution of the nineteenth century).

Smith often refers to forthcoming volumes, giving details of subscription costs. He took on much of the responsibility for the administration (for example, see a flyer in the back of Vol. III of his Retrospections in the University of Leicester Library, with a note of thanks to the purchaser (Scott 2013b). Further insights into the production and funding of his volumes can be found in a notice found in Collectanea III:

The first part of Volume III, of the Collectanea Antiqua, is now ready and will be forwarded in any way the Subscribers may direct. The safest and best way is through the Booksellers, in which case it is necessary to be provided with the names of those in the country and their town agents also.
The volume will be completed before Christmas, in three or four deliveries as circumstances may determine.
The author trusts that the proposed mode of payment (either in advance or on receipt of the first part) will be found agreeable to the Subscribers, and he begs that Post Office orders be made payable to him (in the name of Charles Smith, in full) at the chief office, St Martin's Le Grand*.
Subscription, 24s. The volume for 1853. (Smith 1854b, note in preface)
*The General Post Office

Financial concerns were clearly a major concern (see also address to BAA in Dunkin 1845, 27 regarding the burden of collecting subscriptions):

In order to carry on effectively a work involving a considerable outlay, it is suggested that payment, as heretofore, be made either in advance, or on the receipt of the first part (Smith 1854b, note in preface; see also Smith 1861, notice to subscribers 245)

His efforts to record and publish British archaeology were very successful despite the challenges that he faced. He was supported by an extensive and generous network of supporters both in Britain and further afield (899 for the 11 volumes in Table 1), which merits further study. Subscribers were not only an important source of financial support; subscription lists also lent status to both the author and subscriber (Genette 1997; Wallis 1974; Robinson and Wallis 1975). The importance of this relationship within Smith's circle is articulated in a letter from Sir William Boyd to Thomas Pettigrew:

I shall consider it a favour if you will permit me to put your name into my list of subscribers, with that of your friend Mr Hudson Gurney. I do not pretend to be disinterested in this, as I am aware that the respect which your name is regarded as that of a profound classical scholar, is likely to be of much advantage to my work (Pettigrew Letters, Box 2, folder 65; Boyd to Pettigrew, July 29th, 18?).

It will be shown that Smith's volumes provided an important opportunity for subscribers to highlight and consolidate their own key achievements, affiliations and connections.


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