Date range: 1841-1967
First published: 1841
Content: Punch, or the London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of social and political satire. For today’s readers, its humorous perspective on domestic and foreign affairs, fashion and culture, and technological change allows a unique insight into the Victorian mindset. Aimed at the middle classes, but soon became a household name at all levels of society.
Illustration: Cartoons (full-page or smaller); wood engravings; humorous drawings, caricatures, sketches.
Illustrated London News
Date range: 1842-1906; 1958-1962; 1971-1972; 1975-1992
First published: 1842
Content: The world’s first pictorial weekly newspaper, its objective was to produce a lavishly illustrated but relatively inexpensive magazine. Its pictorial coverage and reporting of special events was a key to the magazine’s success; for example, the magazine provided extensive coverage of both The Great Exhibition of 1851 and the Crimean War. The price was dropped to 5d when the newspaper tax was removed in 1855.
Finding aids: An index of illustrations is provided at the front of each volume.
Illustration: Each 16 page issue included 32 wood engravings. The first edition included pictures of the war in Afghanistan, a train crash in France, a steam-boat explosion in Canada, and a fancy dress ball at Buckingham Palace. Such images of events from around the world were highly coveted by a population which had often not travelled beyond town in which they were born. Later issues boasted of the publication’s wealth and success by featuring large illustrations, sometimes several feet long, which folded up inside the newspaper – an ostentatious demonstration of the number of engravers it could afford to employ.
Date range: 1869-1901; 1905
First published: 1869
Content: The Graphic was launched in 1869 to rival the Illustrated London News, which had been in production for almost 30 years and had begun to suffer from a lack of competition, its content growing dull and repetitive. In addition to its home market the paper had subscribers all around the British Empire and North America. The Graphic covered home news and news from around the Empire, and devoted much attention to literature, arts, sciences, the fashionable world, sport, music and opera. Royal occasions and national celebrations and ceremonials were also given prominent coverage. There were at least three pages dedicated to advertising, which tended to focus on health and hygiene.
Finding aids: An index to names, subjects and illustrations is provided at the front of each volume.
Illustration: Illustrations by well-known artists such as Luke Fildes, Hubert von Herkomer, Frank Holl, and John Millais. In its first year, it described itself to advertisers as ‘a superior illustrated weekly newspaper, containing twenty-four pages imperial folio, printed on fine toned paper of beautiful quality, made expressly for the purpose and admirably adapted for the display of engravings’.