The Penny Magazine was an illustrated British magazine aimed at the working class, published every Saturday from 31 March 1832 to 31 October 1845. Charles Knight created it for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in response to Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, which started two months earlier. Sold for only a penny and illustrated with wood-engravings, it was an expensive enterprise that could only be supported by very large circulation. Though initially very successful—with a circulation of 200,000 in the first year—it proved too dry and too Whiggish to appeal to the working-class audience it needed to be financially viable. Its competitor—which included a weekly short story—grew more slowly, but lasted much longer.
- Secord, Victorian Sensation, p. 68; Altick, English Common Reader, p. 333–4
- James A. Secord, Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. University of Chicago Press, 2000. ISBN 0-226-74410-8
- Richard Altick, The English Common Reader: A Social History of the Mass Reading Public, 1800–1900. 2nd ed., Ohio State University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8142-0794-4
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