Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

William James Linton (ed.):

46) The Illuminated Magazine. New series, nos. I-II

The inconspicuous New Series had only a small print run, and, accordingly, copies are very rare. The copy in the collection has a bookplate of novelist John Fowles.

In the final volume of the magazine that Jerrold had edited, he had announced “a change in the management” and a new start “with more numerous engravings.” Linton was the one who took over the editorship, and he changed the bulky quarto format of the first series into a size “that could scarcely incommode a gentleman’s waistcoat pocket”. Due to the few assets he was able to invest, he devoted the new series “more to the power of the pen than to the productions of the pencil,” in other words: he not only considerably reduced the size of the journal, but also the number of illustrations. He continued to engage some of the best authors from the former series, like Charles Whitehead or Angus B. Reach, but he was forced to write a good deal of the articles by himself. “Another facet of Linton’s individualistic, undiscriminating editorial courage is his publication in the Illuminated Magazine of several then forgotten works by Charles Wells. (...) Their mutual admiration of Wells´ poetry was later to bring Linton and Rossetti into close aquaintance. Rossetti introduced Wells´ work to Swinburne and William Morris, and his chivalric rhetoric and loose rhythmic form were to have an important influence on English poetry in the 1870s and 1880s.” (F.B. Smith)