British Journalism and Ephemera Catalog

Presented for sale by Phil Barber, Cambridge, Mass. 02139 Telephone (617) 492-4653

Catalog Page 3: The Illustrated London News

About This Newspaper
The first issue of the Illustrated London News appeared on May 14, 1842. Founded by Herbert Ingram and his friend Mark Lemon, the editor of the new humor magazine Punch, it was the first weekly newspaper to carry topical engravings. This paper is the ancestor of all subsequent illustrated news weeklies, from Frank Leslie's and Harper's Weekly, which imitated it quite directly, to today's Time and Newsweek magazines.

As early as 1806, the London Times had experimented with the use of woodcut illustration, but these simple, crude productions were little more than novelties and proved too expensive and time-consuming to produce. Several other titles came and went with weekly illustration, but these tended to have subjects other than current news as their main features. As a weekly, the Illustrated London News had more lead time to collect and create illustrations of news events. It was printed on a higher quality paper and after initial setbacks became a great success with the public, faithfully producing a new issue each week until 1971, after which it survived another eighteen years as a monthly and finally as a quarterly. In the 1890s, the format changed to a glossy magazine character, and so remained until the end.

We have selected and offer here some of the better issues of the period, from our extensive inventory, which give the best portrayals of their times. These wonderful old papers offer the modern collector a treasury of high quality engraved pictures of the people, places, and events in the news of times gone by, composed by contemporary eyewitnesses. On their pages is preserved an illustrated history of the nation, recorded as it was happening, a unique and today highly collectible heritage. There are also lengthy feature articles, news reports, and editorials, all of which bring the past to life in a vivid way that no other medium can duplicate. There are alos advertisements of all sorts which also faithfully mirror the interests of past generations.

The weekly paper is large quarto in size, about 12" by 16", and contains sixteen or more pages to the issue. About half the pages are devoted to illustration, with the rest letterpress. I have listed the issues here by a very brief summary of what we consider the highlights of their content. There is much more in every issue than I have the space to describe. Their condition is problem-free fine, unless otherwise noted. Many issues were removed from bound annual volumes, which preserved them well over the years; they may thus exhibit some normal spine separation, which affects no content. Any losses, damage, or defects to text or illustration will be described where it exists. Because the collector value of these papers is dependent on the quality and condition of the prints we have endeavored to save describe the same carefully. To save space I have adopted the following abbreviations to describe the size of the engravings:

  • TP - titlepage or cover illustration, usually a full page subject.
  • FP - fullpage, an illustration filling the entire page on which it is printed
  • CF - centerfold, or doublepage illustration, highly collectible and most impressive for framed display. Unless noted, these prints listed below were "tipped in" and have none of the customary binding pinholes or other condition problems.
American News Coverage
This great paper regularly reported news from the United States. As it existed years before there was an American illustrated press, its coverage of U.S. news events is unique and historically significant. For your browsing convenience I have included issues that have significant American news content in my regular catalogs. To view these papers, please click on the following links, which will take you to the appropriate catalog listings:

About The Catalog Listings
items in this catalog are unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine and accurately described. Each catalog entry is briefly described for its general appearance, historical significance, and content. Every one contains hours of additional historic reading, much more than I could find the space to describe here.

Please see Page One for full catalog ordering information.

Please consult my collector information pages and glossary of terms page linked below, if you are not sure what the descriptions mean. Your comments are always welcome, as are your inquiries, if you have questions about these historic collectibles.Enjoy your browsing!

Glossary of Terms Page | Collector Information Page | Want List Page | Home Page

How to Order from This Catalog

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Continue to British Catalog Page 1 2 4 5 6

Many more issues are scheduled to be catalogued shortly.

Continue to British Catalog Page 1 2 4 5 6

Related Catalog Links
Please click here to go to my Introductory Catalog, for an extensive selection of "atmosphere" issues of English newspapers and periodicals of all periods.
Please click here to go to my Indenture Catalog, for an offering of attractive collectible large sheepksin legal documents, dating from about 1600 through 1895.

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Contents ©:2016 Phil Barber.