Vanity Fair (magazines)

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This article is about defunct magazines bearing the name Vanity Fair. For the modern magazine of the same name, see Vanity Fair (magazine).
Cover of the June 1916 Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair has been the title of at least five magazines, including an 1859–63 American publication, an 1868–1914 British publication, an unrelated 1902–04 New York magazine, and a 1913–36 American publication edited by Condé Nast, which was revived in 1983.

Vanity Fair was notably a fictitious place ruled by Beelzebub, in the book Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Later use of the name was influenced by the well-known 1847–48 novel of the same name by William Makepeace Thackeray.

American Vanity Fair (1859–63)[edit]

The first magazine bearing the name Vanity Fair appeared in New York as a humorous weekly, from 1859 to 1863.

The magazine was financed by Frank J. Thompson, and was edited by Henry Louis Stephens, William Allen Stephens and Henry Louis Stephens.

The magazine's stature is indicated by a list of its contributors, which included Thomas Bailey Aldrich, William Dean Howells, Fitz-James O'Brien and Charles Farrar Browne.

British Vanity Fair (1868–1914)[edit]

The second Vanity Fair was a British weekly magazine published from 1868 to 1914.

Subtitled "A Weekly Show of Political, Social and Literary Wares", it was founded by Thomas Gibson Bowles, who aimed to expose the contemporary vanities of Victorian society. The first issue appeared in London on November 7, 1868. It offered its readership articles on fashion, current events, the theatre, books, social events and the latest scandals, together with serial fiction, word games and other trivia.

Bowles wrote much of the magazine himself under various pseudonyms such as "Jehu Junior", but contributors included Lewis Carroll, Willie Wilde, P. G. Wodehouse, Jessie Pope and Bertram Fletcher Robinson (editor: June 1904 – October 1906).

A full-page, color lithograph of a contemporary celebrity or dignitary appeared in most issues, and it is for these caricatures that Vanity Fair is best known today.

The final issue of the British Vanity Fair appeared on February 5, 1914.

Vanity Fair U.S. magazine 1902–04[edit]

Vanity Fair was a weekly magazine published by The Commonwealth Publishing Company of 110 West 42nd Street, New York City. The Commonwealth Publishing Company was incorporated in February 1902, and went into bankruptcy in April 1904. 1904 New York Times article - PDF

American Vanity Fair 1913–36[edit]

An American Vanity Fair was edited by Condé Montrose Nast 1913–1936, when it was merged into Vogue. It was revived in 1983 by Condé Nast Publications.

American Vanity Fair 1983–present[edit]

The current Vanity Fair is an American monthly magazine of pop culture, fashion, and politics published by Condé Nast Publications.