Illustrated periodicals: Literature
Cassell’s Illustrated Family Paper
Date range: 1856-1857
First published: 1853
Content: Literary recreation for a family audience. It includes educational articles and serialisations of novels.
Illustrations: Large format, similar to the Illustrated London News. Around five wood engraved illustrations per eight page issue, often large, some double page spreads.
Date range: 1860-1876
First published: 1860
Price: One of the more expensive Victorian monthly periodicals, priced at one shilling, the Cornhill competed with the serialised novel.
Content: For the price of a single part-issue of a novel, readers could instead obtain the Cornhill, which featured instalments of two novels by prominent authors, plus short stories, poetry and essays. It enjoyed staggering commercial success. Over the years, the journal published novels in serial form by William Thackeray, Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, Henry James, Thomas Hardy and Wilkie Collins. The Cornhill was largely responsible for ending the trade in part-issues of novels.
Illustration: Two wood engraved plates and two small insets to accompany the serialisations.
Date range: 1866-1867; 1870-1871; 1873; 1875; 1880
First published: 1862
Content: Subtitled ‘an illustrated magazine of light and amusing literature for the hours of relaxation’, it was published between 1862 and 1898. The magazine printed miscellaneous articles, short fiction (mostly anonymous), and serialised novels, and has been poorly compared to the Cornhill Magazine.
Illustration: Two wood engraved plates each month.
Once a Week
Date range: 1859-1873
First published: 1859
Content: ‘An illustrated miscellany of literature, art, science, and popular information’. Founded as a result of a dispute between Charles Dickens and Bradbury and Evans, the publishers of his magazine Household Words. Dickens stopped work on Household Works and founded his own magazine, All the Year Round. Bradbury and Evans responded by founding the rival magazine Once a Week. They distinguished it from Dickens’ publications by filling their issues with illustrations, and pricing it slightly higher (3d rather than 2d). It featured new literature from upcoming authors.
Illustration: Literary works were illustrated by original wood engravings by well-known illustrators such as Frederick Sandys, Holman Hunt, John Tenniel and George du Maurier. Once a Week was heavily illustrated compared to rival publications, such as the Cornhill Magazine and Good Words.
Date range: 1891-1935
First published: 1891
Price: 6d. ‘A monthly magazine costing sixpence but worth a shilling’ was the slogan used to advertise the Strand – which was half the price of most monthlies of the period.
Content: ‘It will contain stories and articles by the best British writers... illustrated by eminent artists.’ Aimed at a mass market family readership, and featuring a mix of factual articles, short stories and serials, most of which are illustrated. Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the most prolific and popular contributors. It was one of the most popular magazines of its time.
Illustration: Featured paintings and engravings reproduced using photomechanical means. Despite expense and production difficulties, it aimed to feature a picture on every page - a valuable selling point at a time when the arts of photography and process engraving were in their infancy.