The Germ (periodical)

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Illustration by Holman Hunt to Thomas Woolner's poem "My Beautiful Lady", published in "The Germ", 1850

The Germ (1850) was a periodical established by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood to disseminate their ideas. It was not a success, only existing for four issues between January and April 1850.

The Germ published poetry by William Michael Rossetti (who also edited the magazine) and other members of the Brotherhood, including his brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Woolner and James Collinson. It also printed contributions of verse and essays on art and literature by associates of the Brotherhood, including Ford Madox Brown and Coventry Patmore, as well as occasional book reviews.

The title The Germ refers to the Pre-Raphaelite belief in the importance of nature (a germ is a seed) and of the human imagination, as implied by the phrase "the germ of an idea". They hoped that the magazine would be a seed from which new creative ideas would grow. It was subtitled thoughts towards nature in art and literature to emphasise the editors' belief that poetry and art should be closely intertwined.

The Germ was printed by Messrs. Tupper and Sons, a firm of lithographic and general printers in the City of London, who took a financial stake in the publication to try to ensure its success..

The magazine was renamed Art and Poetry, being Thoughts towards Nature, conducted principally by Artists for its final two issues.

A special limited edition (only 450 copies) of all four volumes of The Germ was published in 1898 on Van Gelder handmade paper, by Thomas B. Mosher, Portland, Maine, USA.

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