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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Chapman's Magazine

Edited by Oswald Crawfurd and published by Chapman & Hall, Chapman's Magazine was not illustrated and expected to survive on its content alone. No doubt readers were drawn in by the names of popular authors Bret Harte, Anthony Hope and Violet Hunt. The contents were an odd (by modern standards) mixture of stories and brief plays—even Violet Hunt’s serial was described as “a story in scenes” and is partly told in the form of a play.

There was no editorial introduction, only an announcement that the contents of the second issue would contain the continuation of Bret Harte’s and Violent Hunt’s serial novels plus stories by Mrs. Clifford, S. R. Crockett, George Gissing, Morley Roberts, Eden Phillpotts, George Ira Brett, and the first act of a Play-Story, entitled “A Gentleman Adventurer”.

Mike Ashley, in his splendid The Age of the Storytellers, relates that editor Crawfurd was a man whose ambitions outreached his abilities and, while he hoped that Chapman's Magazine would attract the literary establishment. The contents were, however, more likely to find a market amongst those who read The Strand or The Idler.

Falling between two camps, it lasted only 42 issues, folding with vol.2 no.2 , October 1898. Crawfurd, tired of the criticism he was receiving from his publishers, resigned and took his magazine with him. He sold it to New Century Press where it was revived as Crampton's Magazine, but it had no-less a turbulent time and eventually passed through two more publishers before coming to a final close in 1902.

Contents of first issue:

Chapman’s Magazine [v1 #1, May 1895] (6d, xxiv+112pp, cover: design)
1 * Harte, Bret * In a Hollow of the Hills [Part 1 of ?] * sl
15 * Hope, Anthony * Bad Matches * pl
28 * Weyman, Stanley J. * For the Cause * pl
49 * Brett, George Ira * Experiences of Inspector Battle (of the Criminal Investigation Department): The Murder at Jex Farm [Part 1 of 2] * nt [Inspector Battle]
63 * Payn, James * A Noiseless Burglar * ss
67 * Moore, F. Frankfort * Reggie’s Rival * ss
83 * Hunt, Violet * A Hard Woman [Part 1 of ?] * sl
106 * Davidson, John * An Age-End Ballad of a Poet Born * pm

1 comment:

  1. 6d for an un-illustrated magazine that looked more like it was from the 17th century than the 19th? In the age of such things as the Union Jack? I'm suprised it lasted 5 issues!

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