Good words

RA Collection: Book

Record number



London: Alexander Strahan and Co., 1860-1906

Extent of Holdings

1861, 1863, 1864, 1866, 1867, 1868 and 1873

General Note

Publishers: Alexander Strahan (1860-1904); Pitman's (Jan.-Oct. 1905); Amalgamated Press, Ltd. (Nov. 1905-Apr. 1906).
Each Christmas (December) number from 1861 has the special title : Good cheer.

Summary Note

The periodical press of the 1860s was dominated by three illustrated magazines: The Cornhill Magazine, Once a Week, and Good Words. Each was a show-case for contemporary illustrators. The Cornhill published illustrated serials and Once a Week promoted visualized readings of poetry. Good Words also contained miscellaneous literature, but was primarily intended as an ‘improving publication’ incorporating fine visual material.

Good Words was established in 1860 by Scottish publisher Alexander Strahan. Its first editor was Norman Macleod. After his death in 1872, it was edited by his brother, Donald Macleod.

Good Words was directed at evangelicals and nonconformists, particularly of the lower middle class. The magazine included overtly religious material, also fiction and nonfiction articles on general subjects, including science.

The foremost wood-engravers of the time, the Dalziel Brothers were tasked with commissioning artists to provide drawings to illustrate the magazine.

Arthur Boyd Houghton, John Everett Millais, Robert Barnes, William Small, Thomas Morten, George Pinwell, Edward Burne-Jones and others were all commissioned in this way, in each case deploying the monumental forms and painterly draughtsmanship that were characteristic of the style of the 1860s. These qualities were accentuated by the solid blocking and bold contrasts of black and white which feature throughout the Dalziels’ engraving style.

In 1906, Good Words was amalgamated with the weekly Sunday Magazine, and published in that format until 1910. [Source: The Victorian Web].


Images from this book

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