The Fly, a literary and pictorial miscellany
Date range: 1837-1840
First published: 1837
Content: News, fables, biographies, poetry, song, advertisements. Similar to The Star.
Illustration: Illustrated with ‘lithographic drawings by eminent artists’. Each issue came with an ‘exquisitely-executed lithographic print’. Each issue contained two pages plus a print. These tended to be sentimental, domestic scenes, otherwise they were connected with news events.
Date range: 1837-1841
First published: 1837
Content: An aspirational publication aimed at the working class, the main purpose of each issue was to supply an affordable, quality lithograph with which to decorate the home. ‘The object of this publication, which is entirely devoted to subjects of miscellaneous interest, unconnected with politics, is to supply the lovers of art with a unique and original work.’ Printed on low quality multi-coloured paper – yellow, pink, green, orange, blue, purple. Similar to The Fly.
Illustration: Two pages plus a lithographic plate relating to the lead feature.
Date range: 1868
First published: 1860
Price: 6d, half the price of the Cornhill.
Content: Good Words was aimed at a devout, middle class audience. The magazine included overtly religious material, but also fiction and nonfiction articles on general subjects, including science, by popular middlebrow writers. The intention was to provide content suitable for families to read on Sundays. In 1906 it merged with the weekly publication, Sunday Magazine.
Illustration: Plates, insets, borders, wood engraved images on most pages. Full page illustrations by reputable artists such as Millais and Holman Hunt.
Date range: 1731-1763; 1765-1788; Jul. 1789-1799; 1801-1815; 1817-1866; Jul.-Dec. 1867; Jul. 1870-Jun. 1872; 1873-1875; Jul. 1876-1907
First published: 1731
Content: Founded in 1731, the Gentleman’s Magazine ran uninterrupted for 200 years, making it an excellent source for comparative historical studies. It was notable for aiming at political neutrality in its reporting, a concept unheard of at that time. Its aim was to provide a monthly digest of news and commentary on public affairs and politics, plus book reviews, current prices for various commodities, stock prices, births, deaths, and weather reports. It mostly collected, edited and republished articles of interest from other newspapers, but also carried original content from regular contributors. It made the first use of the term ‘magazine’ (meaning ‘storehouse’) to refer to a periodical.
Finding aids: A list of wood engraved illustrations is provided at the beginning of each volume.
Illustration: One or two illustrations each month.
Harper’s Monthly Magazine
Date range: 1880-1910; 1913-1914; [1930-1947 incomplete]
First published: Launched in 1850, with a British edition in 1880, it is still in print today.
Content: An American monthly magazine publishing literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, with a generally liberal perspective.
Finding aids: Articles and illustrations are listed at the beginning of each volume.
Illustration: Illustrations are frequent and often produced using photomechanical processes.
Date range: 1833-1844
First published: 1832
Content: The Saturday Magazine was an Anglican rival to the Penny Magazine. Aimed at the self-education of the working man, a typical issue began with an account of some exotic place; at this time the British Empire was expanding rapidly and there was great interest in the discoveries this led to. Other articles cover nature, science, history, and technology.
Finding aids: An index to engravings is provided at the beginning of each volume.
Illustration: One half-page engraving on frontispiece, inset engravings
Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction
Date range: 1823-1847
First published: 1822
Content: 16 pages of miscellaneous content reprinted from books and other periodicals. Subtitle reads describes the contents: ‘original essays; historical narratives; biographical memoirs; sketches of society; topographical descriptions; novels and tales; anecdotes; selected extracts from new and expensive works; poetry, original and selected; the spirit of the public journals; discoveries in the arts and sciences; useful domestic hints, etc.’
Illustration: One half-page engraving on frontispiece.
Irish Penny Journal
Date range: 1840-41
First published: 1840
Content: The Irish Penny Journal was founded in 1840 and lasted just one year. The magazine contained biographies, folklore, legends and topographical descriptions. Such popular journals were an important channel for disseminating knowledge of Irish history among a wider Irish readership.
Finding aids: A list of engravings is provided at the front of the volume.
Illustration: Illustration of front page of each to accompany lead article.