the Pen is Mightier than the Sword
In this website you will find many references to news magazines and weeklies that were published while the Great War was being fought. To say that the war was a boon to the publishing media would be one of the understatements of the century. Wars sell newspapers and magazines. It's as simple as that. And from 1914 onwards, publishers on both the Allied and the Central Powers side cashed in on the public's thirst for news and information.
Nowhere was this more apparent than in Fleetstreet London, at the time the publishing capital of the world. All sorts of weekly and monthly war-related magazines and books were published, these publications being intended for all classes of society : penny magazines for the working class, expensive magazines for the upper classes and mid-priced publications for the middle classes. Everyone wanted to read about the war, thrill to the daring exploits of 'our boys' and marvel at photos and illustrations of great battles and fierce combat against an insidious foe. The great and small publishing houses willingly obliged and an impressive array of war magazines was put on the market, sometimes with a confusement of names : 'The War Illustrated' , 'The Illustrated War News' , 'Newne's Illustrated' (not a spelling mistake : 'Newnes' was a publisher), 'The Illustrated War Record', 'The War Pictorial', 'The War Budget', 'The Penny War Weekly', 'The Great War', 'The Great War in Europe', 'The War of the Nations', 'The Times History of the War', 'Nelson's Portfolio of War Pictures', 'T.P.s Journal of Great Deeds of the Great War' .....
There were many more. Each of these magazines had a distinctive appearance and an editorial policy in regards to content and the veracity thereof. Put another way, many editors never let truth stand in the way of a good story. This was most apparent in the cheaper publications aimed at the working class. It was considered more important to create a sense of patriotism by publishing accounts of atrocities, by recounting feats of courage and daring by the own troops, by giving examples of the enemy's despicible and un-civilized behavior. It is in such magazines that the hand-drawn illustration flourished. 'The Penny War Weekly', 'The War Budget' and 'Newne's Illustrated' are magazines which can be listed under that category.
On the other hand there were also prestidgious publications such as 'The Great War', 'The War of the Nations' and of course 'The Times History of the War'. The main article of commentary and history of the war in 'The War of the Nations' for instance was written at first by William Le Queux, a well known scaremonger and defense critic and later taken over by Edgar Wallace (who made a more deserved name for himself after the war as crime and murder mystery author). Other famous writers such as H.G.Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling also contributed to various publications at one time or another.
In between these two extremes were the publications intended for the middle classes : 'The Illustrated War News', 'The War Pictorial', 'The War Illustrated'.
All publications were lavishly filled with photographs and illustrations, which make them interesting and valuable sources. The wealth of graphic material which is to be found in these magazines is quite unbelievable.
General News and Cultural Magazines
- T.P.'s Journal
- of Great Deeds
Land and Water
- The Tatler
Serial History Magazines
- La Guerre
- (French language)
War Photography Magazines
Humor and Children's Magazines
- World War 1914-1918
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