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Gendering the Victorian Irish child reader as buyer

Lauren Clark (Department of English Language and Literature, Rustaq College of Applied Sciences, Rustaq, Oman)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 11 February 2014




The aim of this paper is to examine the role of children in an emergent Irish consumer culture and advertising from 1848-1921. In particular, the significance of children's gender and reading materials in the process of consumption will be evaluated.


An analysis of primary sources, literature and secondary sources substantiates this research.


By evaluating advertisements, magazines, school textbooks and children's literature from the 1848-1921 period, this article argues that Irish children were encouraged to engage with an emergent consumer culture through reading. This article also evaluates the importance of gender in considering children as consumers and it focuses upon a number of critically neglected Victorian, Irish, female authors who discussed the interface between advertising, consumption and the Irish child.


This article is an original contribution to new areas of research about Irish consumerism and advertising history. Substantial archival research has been carried out which appraises the historical significance of advertisements, ephemera and critically neglected children's fiction.



The author wishes to express her gratitude to her doctoral supervisors, Dr Alison O'Malley-Younger and Professor John Strachan for their continued support and is grateful for the assistance provided by the Leverhulme Trust throughout her doctoral research.


Clark, L. (2014), "Gendering the Victorian Irish child reader as buyer", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 8-28.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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