Date of Submission



Nineteenth-century periodical literature, recognised today as a distinctive and significant feature of Victorian public communication, is voluminous. Yet in order to argue that the editor-publisher Elizabeth Hayes made a significant contribution to evangelising journalism, this thesis finds it imperative to situate her work within the enormous outpourings of the Victorian periodical press. For a Victorian woman to succeed in journalism was impressive and this investigation argues that Hayes capably led an international journal of religious ideas to stability and longevity. The investigation will show that Hayes, foundress of an organisation which edited, published and distributed a Franciscan monthly journal - to date scarcely investigated- was prepared prior to 1872 for her subsequent journalistic mission. The argument that Hayes made a significant contribution to nineteenth-century Catholic journalism appears strongest when evidence of the immense power of the press for good and evil is provided. This is accomplished hopefully though an examination of both secular and religious periodical literature and in particular by situating Hayes’ output within this milieu. The argument is further strengthened through a detailed examination of the actual contents of Hayes’ Annals of Our Lady of the Angels, of the numerous contributions to her Annals and of the editing, publishing and distribution methods which she employed in her mission. The argument shows Hayes’ publication to be a significant contribution in the literary field to a growing body of research on late nineteenth-century professional women who enriched society with religious periodicals. The thesis argues that Hayes provided matter of interest to general readers and presented the progress and development of the Franciscan Order. The journal’s range of themes adds weight to the growing body of evidence of how women’s topics varied in the Victorian religious periodical press. It is argued that Hayes’ diffusion of good literature was an authentic medium of evangelisation over twenty-one years. As writer, editor, publisher, manager of printing and distribution, it is argued that Hayes was a significant contributor to the Apostolate of the Press and that she used her journal as a tool of both adult education and entertainment.


School of Theology

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Arts and Sciences

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