Cheltenham Looker-On

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The Cheltenham Looker-On was a social and literary weekly periodical published in Cheltenham, England between 1833 and 1920.

The Looker-On was founded in 1833 by Henry Davies, then the librarian and bookseller of Montpellier Spa,[1] with its first issue in May 1833. Davies had established his own newspaper in preference to taking a post offered with the Gloucester Chronicle.[2] Initially, the Looker-On was a literary periodical professing itself to be "A Note Book of the Sayings and Doings of Cheltenham". It quickly established a reputation as a weekly fashionable and literary paper, the Gentleman's Magazine in 1837 crediting the editor "whose talents as an essayist and editor have been honourably displayed".[3] The periodical's news and social gossip was widely quoted. For example, its report regarding the nursing of Queen Victoria's daughter was quoted in 1841 as far away as New Zealand[4] as was a report in 1847 of the Turkish Minister's wife arriving at Court in Court Dress rather than veiled.[5]

The Looker-On mixed social news and literary contributions and followed its editor's opinions being very partisan in the Conservative cause.[6] Following the death of its founder and editor for 57 years in 1890, it was taken over by his son Edward Llewellyn Davies until his death in 1898. The Looker-on became more a journal of news and fashion, and remained in publication until 1920. The Looker-On's Printing Works were also employed for local publications.[7]

The Cheltenham Looker-On has been widely referenced in local studies publications,[8][9] biographies,[10][11][12] music [13][14] and miscellaneous articles.[15]

Historical copies of the Cheltenham Looker-On, dating back to 1833, are available to search and view in digitised form at The British Newspaper Archive.[16] The Cheltenham Local Studies Centre at Cheltenham Public Library holds physical copies of the periodical.[17] There is also a set at the British Museum.[18]