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

Typical Leslie's Masthead
About This Newspaper

Expatriate English newsman Frank Leslie (1821 - 1880) began this, the first great illustrated newsweekly, after years of experience on the staffs of the Illustrated London News, Gleason's and the Illustrated News. Today his paper offers a vibrant look at the passing scene, with spirited wood engravings of people and places in the news, plus extensive coverage of crime, disasters, and several notable early reformist crusades. His widow continued the venture after his death; the paper survived until 1922. Relatively few issues seem to have been saved, as it is considerably harder today to find than its chief rival, Harper's, and for this writer the paper captures more of the zest for life and the excitement of those remarkable times.

These weekly papers are large quarto in size, about 12" by 16", and contain sixteen pages to the issue. We 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. I have attempted to describe the illustrations only. In addition to its eight pages of woodcuts, each newspaper contains eight more pages of reading material, in the form of features, stories, editorials, etc.

All items are in problem-free fine condition, unless otherwise noted. Many of the issues were removed from bound annual volumes, which preserved them extremely well over the years; they may thus exhibit some normal spine separation, which affects no content. Any losses, damage, or defects to text or illustrations 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 describe the same carefully and not generally to note trivial matters such as margin wear that does not affect the collectible content.

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 double page illustration, highly collectible and most impressive for framed display.

Please note that all available issues of Frank Leslie's are now catalogued in my regular online newspaper catalogs. They are listed by date as follows:

For issues dated 1855 to 1861 and 1865 - 1910, please click here
For issues dated during the Civil War, 1861 - 1865, please click here

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Gleason's Pictorial Catalog Harper's Weekly Catalog The Daily Graphic Catalog

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Contents ©:2016 Phil Barber.