4to. 115 numbered issues bound in one volume. 4 pp. each (except no. 59, comprising 8 pp.). With numerous woodcut illustrations. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards with giltstamped spine and spine-title.
A remarkable ensemble of 115 complete issues of the popular anti-corn law periodical, edited by the social reformer and politician Livesey (1794-1884), "one of the unsung heroes of the anti-corn law campaign" (Miller). Issued from December 1841 until the repeal of the laws in 1846, the periodical amounted to 235 issues in total, reaching up to 15,000 readers a week - a "unique reach compared to other free trade periodicals" (ibid.). In his journal Livesey "anticipated the working-class liberalism that developed after Chartism. The content of 'The Struggle' bears a close affinity to the key tenets of later Gladstonian liberalism, with its emphasis on Cobdenite free trade, manly independence, self-improvement, and respectability" (ibid.).
Each issue begins with a political caricature attacking trade restrictions, featuring prominent figures like Sir Robert Peel and Queen Victoria, as well as allegorical depictions with characters including "Buckingham Badger, the monopolist" compared to "Cheap John, the free trader".
The present volume comprises issues 1 through 120, omitting only 6 issues (nos. 9, 35, 62, 64, 79 and 109). No. 120 is followed by no. 224; no. 29 bound after no. 30. Binding somewhat rubbed; spine professionally repaired. Paper with some marginal tears, sometimes causing slight loss to text; occasionally brownstained. Provenance: from the collection of Chimen Abramsky (1916-2010), London.
Miller, "Free Trade and Print Culture: Political Communication in Early 19th-Century England", Cultural and Social History 14.1 (2017), pp. 6, 21. Brake/Demoor, Dictionary of 19th-Century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland, 370.