In A Question of Style, we want to assess the assumption that early nineteenth-century periodicals succeeded in creating, through a “transauthorial discourse”, a unified corporate voice that hid individual authors behind an impersonal public text (Klancher 1987). The project focuses on the Edinburgh Review during the period 1814-1820 and employs methods from periodical studies, book history, computational linguistics and computational stylistics. We will utilise Natural Language Processing software and resultant statistics to create stylistic profiles of the Edinburgh Review and its main authors, and our literary and historical interpretation to generate critical knowledge out of our measurements. We will then qualitatively describe the results of this stylistic analysis and evaluate them within the context of both literary scholarship on nineteenth-century periodicals and computational linguistics scholarship.
Francesca Benatti and David King