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The Late-Victorian Little Magazine

Koenraad Claes

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Charts the origins and development of the little magazine genre in the Victorian period

Fed up with the commercial and moral restrictions of the mainstream press, the diverse avant-garde groups of authors and artists of the Aesthetic Movement developed a new genre of periodicals in which to propagate their principles and circulate their work. Such periodicals are known as ‘little magazines’ for their small-scale production and their circulation among limited audiences, and during the late Victorian period they were often conceptualized as integrated designs or total works of art in order to visually and materially represent the ideals of their producers. Little magazines like the Pre-Raphaelite Germ, the Arts & Crafts Hobby Horse and the Decadent Yellow Book launched the careers of innovative authors and artists and provided a site for debate between minor contributors and visiting grandees from Matthew Arnold to Oscar Wilde. This book offers detailed discussions of the background to thirteen major little magazines of the Victorian era, both situating these within the periodical press of their day and providing interpretations of representative items, in doing so, it outlines the earliest history of this enduring publication genre, and of the Aesthetic Movement that developed along with it.

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1. The Germs of a Genre: The Germ and the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine

2. Mounting the (Century Guild) Hobby Horse

3. The Little Magazine as a Periodical Portfolio: the Dial, the Pagan Review and the Page

4. Selling the Yellow Nineties: the Yellow Book and the Savoy

5. Politicised Aestheticism outside London: the Quest and the Evergreen

6. Little Excursions Outside the Avant-Garde: the Pageant, the Parade and the Dome


About the Author

Koenraad Claes is a Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) Postdoctoral Fellow at Ghent University (Belgium). He has published on several topics related to British literature and print culture of the long nineteenth century, focusing on the Romantic period and the Victorian Fin de Siècle, and he serves as the managing editor for the open-access journal Authorship.


A notable intervention in the history of little magazines that counters the modernist-centric focus of the field. This detailed and much-needed account of late-Victorian little magazines deftly argues for the importance of these publications in this history, attending carefully to the aesthetic, material, social, and political contexts of their production.

- Kirsten MacLeod, Newcastle University

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