The Leader (1850-1859)
On the public advertising placards of the Leader now going about, the names of the following contributors…appear: -- Foxton, Larken, Kingsley, Dawson, Neale, Owen, Froude, Thornton Hunt, Holyoake, Landor, Marotti, Martineau, Manzini, Newman and others, ‘whose names are reserved for special reasons.’ Should any of these gentleman object to the mention of their names in this place --- we can only say that this is no publication of them; they are public already, placarded at every railway station, for anybody to see who likes. The paper is announced in obtrusively large letters as a ‘first class family newspaper,’ and as intended to ‘develop the utmost freedom of intellect, energy of production, popular power, and in the political and social relation of all the classes the paramount influence of natural affection. (‘The Social Regeneration School’, [Church] Guardian, 5 Nov 1851. Cited in Brick 1957, 137) 1
As indicated by this Guardian editorial early in the Leader’s run, the new paper managed to harbour a spectrum of radicals, from Republicans to Christian Socialists in a fragile and contested weekly space. The Leader was a mid-century, six pence weekly of 24 pages which began as a radical and pervasively political paper 2 , with its ‘master principle’ ‘the right of every opinion to its own free utterance’. Dedicated to publication of ‘actual opinion’ rather than policed, acceptable views, it vowed to offer ‘free utterance to the most advanced opinion’ in its manifesto (22). In the same document it identified itself as ‘A Weekly Newspaper’ and, although in July 1855 its subtitle became A Political and Literary Review (1855-1858), it was only under new titles in 1860, that it renounced its newspaper status and became a full-fledged Review 3 Its three titles after 1858 – the Leader: A Political, Literary, Commercial and Family Weekly Newspaper, and Record of Joint Stock Companies (Jan-Dec 1859), the Leader and Saturday Analyst (January-June 1860) and the Saturday Analyst and Leader (July-December 1860) indicate its struggle to survive. This transformation within a decade is perhaps the most extreme testimony of the dynamics of change that characterised the Leader’s run, a pattern which may be seen as typical in the nineteenth-century of many and possibly most serial titles when they are scrutinised closely. An example of stability and longevity such as the Spectator, achieved by the unusual tenure of its editors 4 is the exception rather than the rule.
As for the Leader, within ten years it had five (possibly six) editors, five titles, five printers and four publishers. While there are a number of explanations for its rocky fortunes, they tend to be historical or generic, and not applicable to the Leader alone. They include the peculiar tensions of radical papers, such as internal ideological disagreements, dearth of advertising and a paucity of financial backers. At its launch, the moment seemed auspicious for new directions in the radical press. At the tail end of Chartism 5 , the Leader could stage fresh campaigns for suffrage, universal education, and working class rights. However, the Crimean War (1853 / 54-1856) gave an impetus to the daily press, with its new technology of ‘instant’ reporting, the telegraph. Unstamped ‘War Telegraph’ newspapers appeared in a number of British cities, including one published by G. J. Holyoake, a founder of the Leader, and daily or thrice weekly news sheets pipped the weeklies in feeding the appetite for ‘news’. The other function of the weeklies, interpretation of the news might well suffer under the pressure for hard news of a society at war. This problem of the incursion of the proliferation of dailies on the functions of the weeklies did not disappear with the cessation of the war, and eventually was the basis for the remodelling of the Leader in 1860.
Half way through its run, the Leader also coincided with a significant upheaval in the market induced by the repeal of the Stamp Duty in June1855. This resulted not only in a cheaper press, but a proliferation of weekly papers in general. Specifically for the Leader, two new, cheap, repeal-related rivals appeared. The two pence (and quickly one penny) Daily Telegraph was edited at first by Thornton Hunt, a former founder / editor of the Leader. The cheeky, splenetic Tory Saturday Review set its ambitions high, seeking to invigorate the genre, become the Times of the weeklies, and capture the bulk of this niche market – and it succeeded in all three. While the cost of the Leader went down after repeal, from 6d stamped to 5d unstamped, the novelty and liveliness of the two new titles were powerful attractions. Both overlapped with the coverage of the Leader, with Hunt taking care to add art and literary coverage to the new daily paper, and the Saturday specifically stating that it was a Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art, a sub-title that mapped directly onto the subjects of the Leader.
In March 1850, with its three ruled columns and folio format, its appearance was unmistakably newspaper-like, and at least from 13 April1850 – and probably from the beginning, it articulated its strong link to news and orientation to the newspaper press with respect to time by publishing more than one edition of each weekly issue 6 . As a newspaper carrying news before the disappearance of the Newspaper Stamp Duty, it was stamped, which offers us insight into its circulation figures until repeal 7 . Like a newspaper it had no cover and its masthead topped page one, with its number, date and price below. However, unlike many newspapers of the day, until 1859 it confined its advertising to the back pages, and the masthead and date line were followed by a list of the contents in tabular form with pagination. Immediately below the table was the first department; again, newspaper-like, it was news-oriented: the ‘News of the Week’ was rounded off by a ‘Stop Press’ column called ‘Postscript’, and this tended to be followed by ‘Public Affairs’, a more interpretative space and the second major department in the front half of the journal. Other newspaper elements, at the back of the journal, included commercial news and prices from the exchanges, and ‘Register’ information of births, marriage and deaths. Although these persistent elements of the Leader may appear alien to our present-day notions of weeklies, they are instances of types of information – the news of the latest prices and the record of parish facts – associated with the earliest contents of newspapers 8 .
In 1850, at the same time as promulgating its bona fide newspaper identity, its coverage was dual, including aspects of contemporary culture such as the arts, science and social science as well as political news. Imitating the structure of its primary rival at the time, the Spectator, the Leader divided its 24 pages roughly in the middle, with the front half politics and much of the back half review. This was already a conventional format, evident in Leigh Hunt’s Examiner (1808 ff) as well as the Spectator, and one adopted by its future rival, the Saturday Review (1855ff). Such weeklies were hybrids, as the usage of the words ‘review’ and ‘newspaper’ in the Leader’s own descriptors implies. This genre of weekly publication combines an orientation to politics and the past week that links it generically to newspapers, and coverage of current books, performance and science that links it to (monthly or quarterly) unstamped Reviews, but also to a weekly such as the unstamped Athenaeum, which eschewed politics and exclusively covered contemporary culture. Interestingly, the Leader formally signalled its links to the reviews in its back half by its page layout and typography. Initially only the innovative ‘Portfolio’ department, devoted to poetry, fiction, and essays 9 , was printed in a review-like two columns rather than three, but from 14 Feb 1852, this format was also adopted for the rest of the arts coverage, reverting to three columns for the Commercial news and adverts. The other significant variation of format between the two parts of the paper is the size of the font: that the font of the political half is larger than that of the culture half suggests, again conventionally for the newspaper press at the time, a hierarchy of significance, with political news taking precedence over all other types of copy. Nevertheless, as the manifesto and subsequent adverts state, the founders and editors of the Leader were as interested in the cultural half of the journal and its quality as they were in the avowedly political front, and their initial organisation of the conduct of the paper attests to this: it involved two editors, a political editor (Thornton Hunt) and a literary editor (G H Lewes).
Despite the division of labour, the Leader was a radical paper from its beginning to its demise 10 , and its politics pervaded the whole. The bleeding of the politics of the front half into the back was indicated in the Department that was located from 1850 at the point of transition between the two parts and, for a few years was indicated graphically by a woodcut of a winged lion (not a griffin), possibly an ornament to hand of the printers, Palmer and Clayton. Called ‘Open Council’, it was prefaced with an epigraph from Milton’s ‘Of True Religion, Heresy, Schism, Toleration’ that made the argument for free expression of contrary opinions. It also echoed, silently, a principle of more recent radical journalism, whereby John Stuart Mill and his fellows in the London Review in 1835, advocated signature in an effort to reveal the variety of opinion that the editorial ‘we’ of the earlier Westminster Review denied. Returning the compliment, John Chapman, who became the proprietor-editor of the Westminster soon after the Leader was launched, replicated the Leader’s version of this tradition and introduced into his new property an ‘Independent Section’, which appeared sparsely and intermittently from 1852 to 1854, and again after 1867. The English Woman’s Journal also followed the Leader, by adopting the title ‘Open Council’ for its Correspondence columns in 1858. The point here is the continuity of the radical tradition in the press, in which the Leader placed itself, reflexively, and in which it was seen by others. That said, the extent and nature of this department changed over the run of the Leader, from a platform for signed mini-essays, which were treated as serious contributions, equal to staff pieces, in the early years, to its diminution, shorn of its graphic logo from October 1853, and confined to short letters to the editor. In 1850 the editors took care to get this feature right, and successive notes to correspondents appear adjacent to the column, addressed to future contributors in general, and to present hopefuls often with admonitions: ‘To the letter signed “B” we have given insertion, although the length made us hesitate. So able a writer might have made it shorter […].’
As for readership, the 1850 manifesto identified it as ‘All classes, the People’, an aspiration that matched its radical orientation. However, by early 1851 its untenable claim in Mitchell’s Newspaper Press Directory to comprise ‘A Complete, First-class Family Newspaper’ bears out Brick’s suggestion that by this date the Leader was in financial trouble (Brick 1957, 203). This bid to increase circulation and to widen its advertising base also seems calculated to try and address more generally its growing reputation as a wildly radical journal, as seen in the epigraph from the Guardian above. This desire (and perhaps the necessity) to assure advertisers and readers survived through 1855 when, again in Mitchell’s, it assures its advertiser-readers that the Leader ‘excludes all objectionable Advertisements; and its condensation of Police cases and Criminal Records carefully expunges all offensive details’ (Mitchell 1855, 93) 11 . While the back half of the journal with its arts coverage and original literary pieces in ‘Portfolio’ might be expected to attract women readers – thus explaining this boast of self-censorship and respectability – the concomitant politics of the journal would have functioned as a barrier to most women who, deprived of the vote and holding of any office, saw domestic politics as alien and unengaging. So, although Harriet Martineau and Marian Evans contributed to the journal (anonymously), the Leader probably had few women readers.
Another attempt to broaden its readership to a different constituency and to enhance its circulation more generally is detectable in advertisements of 1855, in which the Leader recommends itself to journalists and editors for ‘scissors and paste’ journalism, commonplace at the time. This involves the (invisible) incorporation of copy from one title into another, and Leader texts are touted as reliable and easily customised 12 . As a rising and burgeoning profession, journalism was relatively reflexive in this period, especially after 1855, and the Leader’s address to fellow journalists both as readers and potential disseminators of its message is part of this wider self-consciousness.
As a paper of reform written by radicals the Leader comes to this discourse with the 1830s call for universal education and ‘the march of intellect’ still clearly in view, for which print culture is the medium. The campaign against newspaper taxes, which were called ‘taxes on knowledge’ in this discourse was a cause that fuelled the paper up to 1855, to which numerous articles, reports, and adverts on these subjects in the Leader testify 13 . Its regular deployment of quotations or mottos, in the masthead, and attached to departments like ‘Public Affairs’, ‘Open Council’ and ‘Literature’ likewise stems its intent to educate its readers on the model of the Examiner, as well as from its self-conscious identification with politics or ‘positions’. Like Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal (1832ff), it also informs its readers self-consciously of certain in-house developments such as change of format, publishers, titles, etc. This is of great interest to students of the press, and in a publication of this sort, one can often connect formal changes in the journal with its commercial or editorial history. Here, for example, the date of the re-formatting of the second half of the paper on 14 February 1852 may be linked with the contents of its note ‘To Our Subscribers and Agents’ on 7 February, in which the sacking of its deputy publisher Mr John Clayton due to irregularities in delivery is announced, along with the advent of new paper and new type in the next issue.
A glimpse of the potential reach of the readership, the location of reading, and a profile of the industry in 1850 may be caught in an advertisement for a newsagent that appeared in the first number of the Leader. Under the heading ‘The Earliest Newspaper Office’ appears the following, for A. Dyson, agent for the Leader:
To Gentleman, Merchants, Professional and Commercial Men, Publicans, Beer-sellers….All the Daily, Weekly and other Newspapers, the Cheap Editions of Standard Works in all Departments of Literature, the Magazines, Reviews, Medical, Scientific, and Political Journals, Railway Guides, and all other productions of the press punctually supplied immediately on publication [….] The Leader […] particularly adopted for Coffee and Reading-Rooms, and for Family Reading. (24)
Notable for its identification of London-based communal reading locations such as public houses, Coffee and Reading-Rooms, and Beer Halls as potential reading locations for the Leader, the advert is also indicative that the Leader’s aim for family readership was present from the start.
One opportunity for enhancing its readership was probably not pursued sufficiently, and that was its readership outside London. We know from several sources that Lewes was delegated to travel to the North during the period of the formation of the journal to raise capital for its launch. This he duly did, and the question arises how this element of the readership was served during the Leader’srun. As early as 1 February 1851 G.J. Holyoake began to contribute ‘Letters to Chartists’, a series of critical if conversational articles to the Leader’s ‘Democratic Intelligence’ department, under the pseudonym of Ion, which he had transferred from his former paper, the Spirit of the Age. Disapproval from the Northern Star ensued, as Holyoake (and the Leader's editor Thornton Hunt), still sat on the Chartist Executive, and readers in the North were alerted. So, there were ideological problems between the Leader and a spokesman of the North, as well as the issue of the Leader's distribution.
We have surmised that from 1850 two editions for each date appeared, an early edition, called a Country edition from January 1851 to 5 February 1853, which made the Friday trains for shipping to regional newsagents so that it could be delivered and read on the date on its masthead, and a later edition published at 1:30 pm Saturday, called the Town Edition, in existence for the same period as the ‘Country Edition’, which was intended for circulation in London, where the Leader was printed. But distribution seemed imperfect from the start, as a note ‘To Correspondents’ in issue 9 states, and a note of 6 December 1851 reiterates, setting out the advantages and disadvantages of each edition and asking readers to choose. Early in 1852, its printer (Clayton) was sacked in part for distribution problems and irregularities. This series of iterations of distribution problems finally results in a note to subscribers in the issue of 5 February 1853 giving testy notice of the cancellation of the two editions, and their amalgamation into one, to be printed on Saturday. So ‘Country’ readers have the choice made for them: they will get the full week’s news, but two days late. The Leader’s solutions to its distribution problems at every turn endorsed the dominance of the metropolitan centre with its timely access to news and the distance from the centre and its news of the ‘Country’. For more on the multiple editions, click here.
Tacitly dictated by financial problems, the disappearance of the two editions is publicly attributed to the weight of the disadvantages over the advantages, without stating in detail what they were. They were various and complex. 1852 had proved a difficult year for the Leader financially and ideologically. Financial problems had arisen as early as June 1851 and many of its Northern backers had withdrawn late that year, due to the financial risk. At the same time Edward F. S. Pigott, a man of 27, to whom the first concept of the Leader has been attributed 14 salvaged the paper by purchasing a controlling share. In January 1852 he took over the editorship from Hunt; by 19 June he was forced to reduce all salaries of Leader staff (Brick, 1957, 203–4). In April Holyoake went north to lecture. Public and private quarrels among the radicals arose that summer, with George J. Harney in July, W.J. Linton, and even Thornton Hunt, now no longer the editor, objecting in September to the Leader’s attack on the Red Republican. Brick judges that these ideological battles cost the Leader more of its Northern readers (1957, 219).
Change and turmoil at the centre continued, as soon afterward, in October 1852 Pigott introduced into the Leader's columns a talented parliamentary reporter, Edward Whitty who, by 21 July 1853 was installed as editor. Lasting just under a year, until spring 1854, Whitty was not popular with staff: his conservative politics and Catholic orientation alienated Holyoake, and prompted Harriet Martineau and Francis Newman to withdraw support. Whitty having left ignominiously 15 , Pigott was back in harness by 22 March. Movement of key figures from the centre continued: Lewes left in July 1854 for Germany with Marian Evans, and by 1855 Thornton Hunt was editing a new daily. Beset by the left, by the Liberals 16 , and the right, the position of the Leader was never easy.
The staff, founders, and backers of the Leader were for the most part experienced journalists from different facets of the radical camp. Thornton Hunt, son of Leigh Hunt, editor of the Examiner (1808-1821) and latterly of the Monthly Repository (1837-1838) had spent years in prison with his father as a child; he came to the Leader as an experienced journalist from the Spectator, seeking a space offering freedom of expression. Hunt was also socially radical, living in a succession of communes in which free-union was advocated by some residents. G J Holyoake, a co-founder, had been jailed for blasphemy in 1842 as an atheist, and had edited short-lived, radical newspapers, such as Cause of the People (1848) with W.J. Linton (a Republican and another of the Leader founders), Spirit of the Age (1849), and People’s Review (1850). One of the Leader's principal backers was a radical clergyman, Edmund Larken, who had translated George Sand. Among the minor shareholders were George Dawson, a radical preacher and Republican orator, Richard Congreve, a Comtian clergyman, and several printers, including Palmer and Clayton, printers of the Leader who also printed the Spectator. G.H. Lewes came to the Leader as an experienced journalist of ten years’ duration, mentored by J.S. Mill and a longstanding friend of Thornton Hunt. Author of a history of philosophy published by Charles Knight and of two novels, Lewes’s diverse areas of interest were continental philosophy including Comte, German literature, drama, and science. Not only did the staff of the Leader have diverse antecedents which tied them to earlier print titles and political movements, but many of them went on from the Leader in this central decade of the century to important roles in other well-known press titles: Hunt to edit the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator, Lewes to contribute to the Westminster Review, to contribute to and help edit the Cornhill, and to found and edit the Fortnighly. From 1874 Pigott became an unpopular Examiner of Plays, who disliked Ibsen and was in turn disdained by Shaw and Wilde.
Pigott’s tenure as editor (and proprietor) of the Leader, 1852-July 1853, March 1854-May 1858 makes him its most stable and long-lived associate, who only sold the title in 1858 because he could no longer sustain the losses. Among his changes of policy was to relax the anonymity, which had been the rule in its first two years; the youthful Wilkie Collins had his first regular employment from Pigott; other renowned contributors over the run include Marian Evans, Harriet Martineau, Francis Newman, and Herbert Spencer. Much of Lewes’s best work appears here. However, it is reductive to view, much less assess the Leader through the filter of individuals, whether they are editors, proprietors or contributors. While sales reveal the verdicts of readers of the day, subject as they are to rivals, war, politics, and economic factors, later students of the press should not be beguiled by others’ judgments of the ‘strength’ of the journal in its first, radical years, its ‘falling off’ under Pigott, etc. We need to look at the whole run, and diverse sources of meaning which, for us, is differently defined and from a different perspective than that of the original readers. With respect to its ‘contents’, it does have a variety of strengths – detailed commentary from radical perspectives of day-to-day national, international and local (London) politics; regular coverage of and intermittently dedicated departments for science, foreign literature, and social science; high quality and appreciative reviews of Anglophone literature, for example, Wuthering Heights, Moby Dick, In Memoriam, Thackeray’s fiction, Jane Austen, and a critique of Dickens’s bad science in Bleak House; and an assiduous coverage of the London theatre, especially 1850-1854, when Lewes, writing as ‘Vivian’, was reviewing it. Other particular series of articles, or columns are similarly outstanding, such as Holyoake’s letters to Chartists, and the concomitant ‘Letters to Unitarians’.
Conventionally defined ‘contents’ remain only part of its meaning. Paratextual material such as the wrappers, the adverts, the mastheads, the imprints, the timing of Supplements, the mottoes, the ‘Notes to Subscribers’, the ‘Tables of Contents’, the multiple editions, and the indexes are all of moment. The advertising in the Leader is not only remarkably robust, but its contents is richly informative about the intellectual and political context of the paper, as well as its financial status. The shakier the funding, the more adverts for patent medicines; but adverts are also closely linked with other forms of copy, and affiliations of the current staff. For example, Thornton Hunt was the founder of the Committee for Repeal of the Newspaper Taxes which advertises frequently in the period up to 1855.
The Leader’s annual indexes offer both a detailed account and digestible oversight of the structure and weighting of the paper in the last 12 months, but also a review of the political and cultural year, keyed in to commentary on it, geared to journalists at the time, and also of use to later scholars and historians such as ourselves. The internal structure and organisation mapped in the Index also repays further investigation over the run: the evolving vision of the whole; changing departments (their appearance and disappearance, and the waxing and waning of those that survive); the weighting of different elements of the weekly; how the absence, departure or arrival of individuals – contributors, editors, proprietors – affects contents and policy; and the influence on them of changing finances. Given the richness of the archive with respect to the Leader,the title is open to this type of complex analysis, as Brick’s invaluable work indicates.
The endgame of the Leader is also of real interest. This was not a merger; there was no former existence of the Saturday Analyst before this title was appended to the original and well-known trade mark, initially as a sub-title, and then as the main title. Brick suggeststhat the final vision of the Leader is its successful rival, the new title invoking the Saturday Review, with which by this time Pigott was editorially connected (1857, 258). In a final effort to survive, the Tomlins (the new proprietors of the Leader),reject the function of a weekly paper to disseminate news that was originally adopted in 1850. Arguing that weekly newspapersare old-fashioned and no longer viable, an explanatory note to subscribers and agents in 1859 points to the rapid dissemination of news by the proliferating dailies and the telegraph, which combine to render weekly news sheets redundant. Rather, weeklies should be reviews, it concludes,adopting the case and the model of the Saturday Review, which in 1855 had itself self-consciously set out to re-invigorate and rethink the weekly as a form. The Leader from start to finish seems imbricated in nineteenth-century journalism and, given its origins in one journal, Galignani’s, it is appropriate to find its demise modelled on another.
The Leader in ncse
This edition of the Leader is sourced from the hard copy located in the British Library’s newspaper collections at Colindale. Initially, we were going to draw on extant microfilm at the British Library for March 1850–July 1854, and then create new film for 1855-1860. However, on reviewing the tiff images that were produced from the microfilm, we found that some of the multiple editions had not been included. With the cooperation of the Biritsh Library we created new microfilm from the hard copy for 1850-1854. The only exception to this was the first half (January-June) of 1854. We were unable to locate the volume for 1854, and so had to use the existing microfilm for the first portion of the year.
- Anonymous [W.R. Greg], 1851, Edinburgh Review, 1–33.
- Brick, Allan, 1957, ‘The Leader: Organ of Radicalism’, unpublished PhD thesis (Yale University).
- Kichel, Anna T., (1933), George Lewes and George Eliot. A Review of the Records, (New York: John Day Co.).
- McCabe, Joseph, 1908, The Life and Letters of G J.Holyoake, (London: Watt and Co.).
- Mitchell, Charles, ed., 1855, Mitchell’s Newspaper Press Directory (London)
- Sullivan, Alvin, ed., 1983, British Literary Magazines, 4 vols (Wesport, Connecticut: Greenwood).
- Collins, W., 2005, The Public Face of Wilkie Collins. Collected Letters, ed. by W. Baker, Andrew Gasson, G. Law, and Paul Lewis, 4 vols (London: Pickering and Chatto).
- Kent, Christopher, 1984, ‘The Leader’, in British Literary Magazines, ed. by A Sullivan, vol. 3, ‘The Victorian and Edwardian Age, 1837-1914’ (Westport, CT: Greenwood), 185-189.
- Whitty, Edward, 1857, Friends of Bohemia, or Phases of London Life (London: Smith, Elder and Co.)
- Earlier in the year, In January, the Leader had been attacked by another part of the Establishment, the Whig/Liberal quarterly, the Edinburgh Review. Back to context...
- There are two excellent and informative sources on the Leader in addition to the journal itself, one accessible, pithy, and relatively brief and the other inaccessible, usefully detailed, and lengthy. These are respectively by Christopher Kent in (Sullivan 1984), and by Allan Brick whose Yale dissertation on the Leader submitted in 1957 is available on microfilm (Brick 1957). Readers may glean a profile of the paper from Kent’s entry in Sullivan. In this piece I have tried to write an account that reflects our work on the title in ncse. Back to context...
- In an advertisement in the issue for 31 December 1859 they claim it ‘will consist entirely of original articles […] the character of a newspaper will be so far abandoned that nothing will be admitted but a specially written analysis and record of all the political, literary, scientific, and artistic accounts of the week’. Back to context...
- Its first editor, Robert Rintoul, who was also a founder served 30 years, 1828-1858, and then from 1861 to 1897 Meredith Townsend and R H Hutton presided for over 35 years, as Political and Literary Editor respectively. Back to context...
- The Northern Star, the Chartist weekly, endureduntil 1852, and its overlap with the Leader affords an interesting view of the old guard and the new; Thornton Hunt and George Holyoake, two of the founders of the Leader knew each other from the Chartist Committee, on which they both still served when the Leader began. Back to context...
[footnote 6 text] Although there is no second edition for issue three of the Leader in the British Library (and so it is also absent from ncse), a second edition of issue threee is referred to in issue four, 20 April, just below the Postscript heading (p. 82).Back to context...
- Mitchell’s Newspaper Press Directory 1855 for 1856 includes stamp returns for the Leader as follows: 1851: 115, 000; 1852: 98,000; 1853 120,000. Back to context...
- The presence of these sections seems particularly vulnerable to change over the run, ranging as it does from minimal traces to highly developed departments. A study of these variations and their relation to the vision and fortunes of the paper over the decade might prove very interesting. Back to context...
- Its contents were selected by George Henry Lewes during his tenure as Literary Editor at the journal, 1850-1854. Back to context...
- Its commitment to reform is evident, for example, in the tone and subject matter of two anonymous pieces in 1860, its attack on the new Cornhill Magazine , and its vehement critique of a pamphlet on the perils of life insurance, in a supplement devoted to this topic in April. An advert in the Supplement for ‘An Essay on Life Insurance’ by one H. W. Porter, B.A. may indicate the author of the Supplement piece. Back to context...
- It invites the unexpected comparison of the Leader with the Cornhill Magazine (1860ff) which, under the direction of Thackeray in 1860, geared its contents from the outset to the alleged sensibilities of women and children. In fact, the Leader’s stance in the advertising directories causes us to reconsider the overlap of contributors between the two titles, notably G.H. Lewes. Back to context...
- The advert for the Leader in Mitchell’s Newspaper Press Directory explains ‘the particular mode of compiling the news offers great facility for expanding such portions as may be most interesting, while no matter indispensable to completeness is omitted’ (Mitchell 1855, 93). Back to context...
- The Committee for Repeal is ubiquitous in its pages, which become understandable when it is realised that Thornton Hunt was among its founders. Back to context...
- Kichel (1933, 64) attributes ‘the actual formulation of the scheme’ to Pigott, ‘an Oxford man […] well known in journalistic circles.’ His idea was to found a paper based on Galignani’s Messenger, with ‘no special reports of particular events, merely combining in its articles and paragraphs some information with considerable critical comment.’ Back to context...
- Whitty published a novel, Friends of Bohemia, or Phases of London Life in 1857. Its acerbic account of the Leader in chapter 23 earned an angry review in the Leader on 7 Mar 1857, and a more favourable piece in the Athenaeum on the same date. Back to context...
- In an article in the January 1851 issue of the Edinburgh Review, W.R. Greg attacked in a piece, ‘English socialism and communistic assosications’ (Anonymous [W.R. Greg] 1851, 1-33). Back to context...