The Reader, which was published in London, had a very brief life, something especially unfortunate since this magazine’s often anonymous articles often have real value for anyone interested in cultural life around the middle of Victoria’s reign. I first came upon the journal while carrying out research for my book on William Holman Hunt, because somewhere (probably Dick Fredeman’s Pre-Raphaelite bibliography) I read that the painter had written a multi-part essay on his friend, Augustus Egg. Brown University’s Rockefeller Library had a copy of The Reader on microfilm, and I obtained a photographic copy of the article. Three and a half decades later when I worked an edited version of the Hunt essay, I realized what interesting review articles it had to offer.

According to the contributors page in volume I, those who wrote for the magazine included the painter E. Armitage, Shirley Brooks, Lowes Dickinson, F. J. Furnival, Mrs. Gaskell, Thomas Hughes, R. H. Hutton, David Masson, F. D. Maurice, Laurence Oliphant, Mart Pattison, W. M. Rossetti, Leslie Stephen, Tom Taylor, and various members of the faculties at the University of London and Oxford. And Prince Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein.

Thus far the only issues online of The Reader I have been able to locate are the Hathi Digital Library Trust’s presentation of the periodical’s first volume, which covers the first half of 1863, and the fourth, which covers the second half of 1864; both copies are at Princeton. As time permits, I'll continue to mine the available online versions for interesting articles. — George P. Landow

Introductory material

Articles and reviews on literature

Articles and reviews on philosophy & religion

Articles and reviews on politics and society

Articles and reviews on the visual arts

Articles and reviews on science, medicine, public health, and the environment


The Reader: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Art. London: “Published at 112, Fleet Street.” Hathi Digital Library Trust web version of a copy in the Princeton University Library. 18 July 2016.

Last modified 20 July 2016