The Foundation and Early Years of the News of the World: ‘Capacious Double Sheets’
The News of the World (NOTW) was established in 1843 and quickly found a readership. By 1846, when Charles Mitchell first published his Newspaper Press Directory, the NOTW was claiming a weekly circulation of over 35,000. In this chapter, I consider how the NOTW carved out such a remarkable place for itself in the mid-nineteenth-century market, becoming one of the largest-selling newspapers of all time. The Sunday newspaper was fairly well established, the first — E. Johnson’s British Gazette and Sunday Monitor — had appeared in 1779, but it was the papers that emerged in the 1840s that demonstrated the large potential audience for cheap weekly newspapers. These papers, led by Edward Lloyd’s Lloyd’s Illustrated Newspaper (later Lloyd’s Weekly London Newspaper, then Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper 1842–1931), took advantage of the reduction of the newspaper stamp duty in 1836 to keep their prices as low as possible while orienting their contents towards the interests of this emerging market. Their success in identifying and cultivating a readership amongst the working- and lower-middle classes meant that they reached more readers than newspapers ever had before. It is in this context, as a pioneering publication in the vanguard of a new and successful newspaper genre, that we should consider the NOTW.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.Raymond Williams, ‘The Press and Popular Culture: An Historical Perspective’, in George Boyce, James Curran and Pauline Wingate (eds), Newspaper History: from the 17th Century to the Present Day, London, 1978, pp. 41–50.Google Scholar
- 4.Stanley Morison, The English Newspaper: Some Account of the Physical Development of Journals Printed in London between 1622 and the Present Day, Cambridge, 1932, p. 229.Google Scholar
- 6.Alison Adburgham, Women in Print: Writing Women and Women’s Magazines From the Restoration to the Accession of Victoria, London, 1972, pp. 185–86;Google Scholar
- Stephen Koss, The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain, 1981; London, 1990, p. 51;Google Scholar
- Cheryl Law, ‘Bell’s Weekly Messenger: The Country Gentleman and Landowner’s Journal (1796–1896)’, in Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor (eds), DNCJ: Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism, Gent and London, 2009, p. 47.Google Scholar
- 7.G.A. Cranfield, The Press and Society: From Caxton to Northcliffe, London and New York, 1978, p. 86.Google Scholar
- 8.Harold Herd, The March of Modern Journalism: The Story of the British Press from 1622 to the Present Day, London, 1952, p. 83.Google Scholar
- 19.James Grant, History of the Newspaper Press, 3 vols, 3, London: George Routledge, 1871, p. 92.Google Scholar
- See also Ian Haywood, The Revolution in Popular Literature: Print, Politics and the People, 1790–1860, Cambridge, 2004, pp. 163–64.Google Scholar
- 49.H.R. Fox Bourne, English Newspapers: Chapters in the History of Journalism, 2 vols, 2, London: Chatto and Windus, 1887, pp. 122–23.Google Scholar