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Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Country House

Octavo (14¼ x 22 cm) magazine published at 6d. The Country House was subtitled “A Magazine for Town & Country Readers” and was published for the Proprietors by John Thomas Brown, 30 Fleet Street, London E.C., although the editorial address was listed as Dacre House, Arundel Street, London W.C. John Thomas Brown at 30 Fleet Street was also responsible for The Cable, “a popular illustrated agricultural paper” published every Friday for 1d, edited by the Earl of Winchilsea which contained “a leading article by the Earl of Winchilsea, authoritative and reliable articles on poultry, pigs, goats, the dairy, bees, &c; current gossip; and a page devoted to the Children’s Order of Chivalry.”

The editorial column, ‘Rusticus in Urbe’, is signed P. Penyng, who says “We hope that the Country House may bring a whiff of rusticity to many a reader who is condemned to hard labour in town… We start on the assumption, and in the belief, that a large section of the reading public are interested primarily in the Land, and that they are sufficiently numerous to support a magazine devoted to rural interest.” Clearly the target market was landowners who worked in the city (“unkind fate may tear him from the soil, though a tangle of bricks and mortar may encumber his life, his heart ranges ever round the countryside. Many a man who spends his days in a dingy office and his nights in a stuffy street still cherishes the sweet spirit of the country in his soul”). Articles on local taxation and a feature on famous regiments were not aimed at the average farmer.

The contents at first glance were uninspiring, but the second article by Boy’s Own Paper regular Gordon Stables contained a delightful photograph of Stables’ famous caravan ‘The Wanderer’ and its occupants. The magazine also contained a good proportion of fiction (including stories by S. Baring-Gould and Arnold Golsworthy).

The title ran for a full volume and three issues of a second, from January 1895 to March 1896.

The Country House [v1 #1, October 1895] (6d, 128pp, cover by W. Winter)
1 * Lawes, Sir J. B. * Making a Pasture * ar
10 * Stables, Gordon * From Berkshire to Balmoral in my Caravan * ar
19 * Paget, Sir R. H. * Land and Local Taxation * ar
23 * Gale, Norman * Nature’s Teaching * pm
24 * Baring-Gould, S. * Cicely Crowe * ss; illus. E. Shute
39 * Anon. * Country Gentlemen I—The Right Hon. Walter Hume Long, M.P. * ar
42 * Kebbel, T. E. * The Tenth Muse * ar; illus. E. C. Woodward
52 * Mason, Finch * Angels on Horseback * ss; illus. Finch Mason
61 * Winchilsea, Earl of * Co-operation for Farmers * ar
70 * Abbott, Angus Evan * Regiments of Renown I—The Blues * ar; illus. Thomas Beaufort
86 * Winter, John Strange * The Old House at Home * ss; illus. A. B. Woodward & J. A. Christie
97 * A Son of the Marshes * Shrikes * ar; illus. R. Vanderlyn
103 * Golsworthy, Arnold * Wide Shots * ss; illus. Starr Wood
109 * Pendered, Mary L. * The Sign of the Brass Tea-Kettle * ss
115 * Anon. * Sport Through the Month * cl
126 * Penyng, P. * Rusticus in Urbe * ed

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