chapter  4
37 Pages

ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINES

By the turn of the century, the great success stories of the Victorian periodical publishing explosion were reaching their flnal stages, if they had not folded completely. Among the monthly journals, Bentlry's Miscella'!J had folded in 1868, incorporated in Temple Bar; it was followed in the 1870s and 1880s by Broadwt!J, Fraser's and St. James's. Ar;gory and Temple Bar carried on until 1901 and 1906 respectively; The Gentleman's Magazine kept on until 1922, though with a circulation far lower than the 10,000 it had boasted in 1870 (Ellegard 1957: 32). All suffered falls in circulation: The Comhill, launched in 1860 with an early circulation estimated at 80,000, had fallen to a mere 12,000 in 1882 (33). All of these were magazines largely concerned with fiction, with various proportions of factual articles and reviews, generally referred to as 'padding'. Mostly available through Mudie's Circulating Library alongside the novels for borrowing, they appealed to a range of readers from upper-middle to lower-middle class, with a diversity of educational levels. The reasons for the decline in readership are not my primary concern; yet it is clear that one was the competition they faced from a new type of magazine in which visual interest was prominent.