The Fraserians

The Fraserians, an etching by Daniel Maclise (1806-1870) in Fraser's Magazine, January 1835, following p. 14 (two-page spread; the page line has been digitally removed). The "Fraser" in the middle foreground is either Hugh Fraser, co-founder of the magazine, or (much more likley, judging by references in the text to contributions etc.) the publisher and editor James Fraser: he is apparently slipping a copy of the magazine into a back pocket. William Maggin, who was co-founder with Hugh Fraser, stands opposite him at the top, looking the worse for drink. A more inebriated member droops on his shoulder. Also to be seen are Thackeray, the first to be shown full-face at the top left, and Carlyle, also at the top, fourth from the right. The illustrator James Mahoney sits next-but-one to him, wearing glasses. Of this group, Kimberly Stern explains that Maclise's

etching of the circle ... features the magazines contributors convening — and drinking — around William Maginn‘s editorial table.... Fraser's, like so many other vehicles for Romantic criticism, presented itself as sociable, public, assertive, and highly theatrical. Above all, as the arrangement of [Maclise's] etching suggests, it was a corporate body of men poised shoulder to shoulder in their effort to bring order to the expanding world of nineteenth-century letters. [63-64]

(There is a slight slip here, as Stern ascribes the etching to Maginn in the last sentence.)

Image acquisition, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the source and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Related Material


"The Fraserians." In Vol. XI (1835): following p. 14. Hathi Trust. Contributed by the University of Michigan. Web. 9 April 2017.

Stern, Kimberly J. The Social Life of Criticism: Gender, Critical Writing, and the Politics of Belonging. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016. [Review].

9 April 2017