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
Articles and reviews on literature
- “The Angel in the House” (April 1863)
- “Miss Braddon’s Last Novel” (February 1863)
- “Miss Braddon’s Novels” (October 1864)
- A review of George MacDonald’s David Elginbrod (January 1863)
- “Miss Mulock’s Fairy Book” — A review of Diana Mulock Craik’s Fairy Stories
Articles and reviews on philosophy & religion
- The Bible and Science: Dean Trench and Mr. Maurice
- Mr. John Stuart Mill and His Influence (April 1863)
- Review of D.D.Home's Incidents in My Life (March 1863)
- “Spiritualism” — a hostile review of William Howitt's History of the Supernatural (March 1863)
- The Gnostics — a Victorian review of King’s The Gnostics and their Remains, Ancient and Mediaeval
Articles and reviews on politics and society
Articles and reviews on the visual arts
- Review of “Exhibition of the Society of Female Artists” (April 1863)
- “Mr. Whistler’s Etchings” (April 1863)
- [Critical comments and high praise of Millais's Eve of St. Agnes
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