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In the fiercely competitive serial publication market of the English capital in the late nineteenth century The English Illustrated Magazine achieved greatness by publishing first-rate illustrators and writers of fiction. It survived three decades, folding just before the First World War. At its inception in October 1883, it faced only Cassell's Magazine as a serious competitor as an illustrated monthly magazine with an emphasis on new short fiction. Between its inception and its termination in August 1913 it ran monthly for 359 issues under six editors. Although its features included articles on travel and topography, it was chiefly a vehicle for the late Victorian fiction of Max Beerbohm, Thomas HardyHenry James, Stanley J. Weyman, and Max Pemberton. It also published poetry by A. C. Swinburne and Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar”. Under its third editor, the celebrated and prolific Clement King Shorter, it published two stories by George Gissing: "The Fate of Humphrey Snell" (October 1895) and "An Inspiration" (December 1895).

Its gifted illustrators included such luminaries of British commercial art as Walter Crane, Carlo Perugini,  Alma-Tadema, Louis Davis, Louis Wain, and Fred Barnard. This last veteran illustrator associated with the Household Edition of Dickens's works published chiefly in three series: XII (October 1894-March 1895), XIII (April-September 1895), and XIV (Oct. 1895 – March 1896). From October 1893 through  September 1898 The English Illustrated Magazine was published by Shorter's chief periodical, The Illustrated London News. Although it carried the occasional lithograph, its standard illustrations were composite woodblocks illustrations such as Barnard's satirical A Meeting of the Parish Council. Its early emphasis on quality illustration and new, avante-garde short fiction forced it to up its price from one shilling to 6d in October 1893. Although it had a distinguished editorial history, its chief force as an illustrated periodical was its third editor, Clement King Shorter  (October 1893 – August 1899), who increased its monthly page count to 94 between October 1894 and September 1896.

Illustrated articles on Agriculture and Country Life

Illustrated articles on Manufacturing and Mining

Illustrated articles on Education

Illustrated articles on Artists and Writers

Illustrated articles on Cities, Counties, and Castles

Illustrated articles on the British Empire

Fred Barnard's Illustrations for Two Gissing Short Stories (Autumn 1895)

Related Material


Barnard, Fred. "A Meeting of the Parish Council." The English Illustrated Magazine XII (November 1894): 84.

Becker, Bernard H. "China-Making at Stoke-on-Trent." The English Illustrated Magazine. 2 (1884): 781-90. Hathi Trust version of a copy in the Pennsylvania State University Library. Web. 3 January 2021.

Gissing, George. "The Fate of Humphrey Snell." Illustrated by Fred Barnard. The English Illustrated Magazine. No. 145 (October 1895): 1-10.

_______. "An Inspiration." Illustrated by Fred Barnard. The English Illustrated Magazine. No. 147 (December 1895): 268-75.

Rimmer, Alfred. "Old Chester." The English Illustrated Magazine. 4 (1886): 739-50. Hathi Trust version of a copy in the Pennsylvania State University Library. Web. 6 January 2021.

Last modified 21 August 2021