The Cornhill Magazine
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Issue for January 1862
|Editor||William Makepeace Thackeray (1860–1862)|
|Publisher||George Murray Smith|
The Cornhill Magazine (1860–1975) was a monthly Victorian magazine and literary journal named after the street address of the founding publisher Smith, Elder & Co. at 65 Cornhill in London. In the 1860s, under editor William Makepeace Thackeray, the paper saw a large circulation, peaking at around 110,000. Due to emerging competitors, circulation fell to 20,000 by 1870. The following year, Leslie Stephen took over as editor. When Stephen left in 1882, circulation had further fallen to 12,000. The Cornhill was purchased by John Murray in 1912, and continued to publish issues until 1975.
History and profile
Cornhill was founded by George Murray Smith in 1859 and the first issue displayed the cover date January 1860. It continued until 1975. It was a literary journal with a selection of articles on diverse subjects and serialisations of new novels. Smith hoped to gain some of the same readership enjoyed by All the Year Round, a similar magazine owned by Charles Dickens, and he employed as editor William Thackeray, Dickens' great literary rival at the time.
The magazine was phenomenally successful, selling many more issues than anyone had thought likely, but within a few years circulation dropped rapidly as it failed to keep pace with changes in popular taste. It also gained a reputation for rather safe, inoffensive content in the late Victorian era. A mark of the high regard in which it was held was its publication of Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands by Queen Victoria. The stories were often illustrated and it contained works from some of the foremost artists of the time including: George du Maurier, Edwin Landseer, Frederic Leighton, and John Everett Millais. Some of its subsequent editors included G. H. Lewes, Leslie Stephen, Ronald Gorell Barnes, James Payn, Peter Quennell and Leonard Huxley.
Contributors to The Cornhill in the 1930s and 1940s included Elizabeth Bowen, Rose Macaulay, Mary Webb, D. K. Broster, and Nugent Barker. From 1917 the magazine was published by John Murray of Albermarle Street, London.
Notable works published
Important works serialised in the journal include the following:
- Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope
- Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
- The White Company and J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Tithonus by Alfred Tennyson
- Washington Square by Henry James
- Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold
- Romola by George Eliot
- "The Lagoon" by Joseph Conrad
- Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
- Unto This Last by John Ruskin
- Armadale by Wilkie Collins
- Emma (Posthumous Fragment) by Charlotte Brontë
- Daisy Miller by Henry James
- "Cornhill Magazine - The John Murray Archive - National Library of Scotland". digital.nls.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor, Dictionary of nineteenth-century journalism in Great Britain and Ireland. Gent: Academia Press; London: British Library, 2009. ISBN 071235039X (p. 145).
- Schmidt, Barbara Quinn (Fall 1999). "Introduction: "The Cornhill Magazine": Celebrating Success". Victorian Periodicals Review. 32 (3): 202–208. JSTOR 20083681.
"Business Correspondence of Smith, Elder, and Co., 1850–1908: Finding Aid". Princeton University Library. 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
Abstract. Consists, for the most part, of business correspondence of George Smith relating to the Cornhill Magazine, which he founded in 1859, and other publishing business of Smith, Elder, and Co., the London publishing firm.
- Eddy, Spencer L. (1970). "The Founding of The Cornhill magazine". Ball State University. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- Jack Adrian, "Introduction" to The Ash-Tree Press Annual Macabre 2003: Ghosts at 'The Cornhill' 1931–1939 Ash-Tree Press, 2003, ISBN 978-1-55310-060-7.
- Cornhill Magazine. v.5 (1862); v.8 (1863); v.11 (1865); v.19 (1869); v.25 (1872); v.35 (1877).
- Cooke, Simon. Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s. Pinner, Middlesex: Private Libraries Association, 2010 ISBN 978-1-58456-275-7.
- "UH Research Archive. 'Discourses of Distinction' the reception of the Cornhill Magazine 1859-60". University of Hertfordshire. 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
Citation: Maunder, A 1999, ' "Discourses of Distinction": the reception of the Cornhill Magazine 1859-60', Victorian Periodicals Review, vol 32, no. 3, pp. 239–59. Files in This Item: File: 901212.pdf Size: 6.66 MB Format: Adobe PDF
- Ockerbloom, John Mark. "Serial archive listings for The Cornhill Magazine". The Online Books Page. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
Media related to The Cornhill Magazine at Wikimedia Commons