Chapter 7

Photograph Photograph

“To a contributor” prospectus for The Cornhill Magazine, 1859. *EC85.T3255.859t.

Thackeray publishes the first issue of The Cornhill Magazine, November, 1859.

In the mid-1850s, Thackeray approached his friend and publisher George Smith with an idea of forming a literary journal. Many of his fellow writers had found success with similar ventures, and Thackeray had enjoyed the time spent editing periodicals in the early days of his career. The plan came to fruition in 1859, when Smith agreed that Thackeray would edit the magazine for £1,000 per year, and would produce serialized novels for another sum, while giving Smith, Elder, & Co. the rights to their complete publication. They named the magazine Cornhill, for the location of Smith’s offices.

Thackeray sent this prospectus letter to solicit contributors; a flow of manuscripts followed, and Cornhill’s early contributors included Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Trollope, and Alfred Tennyson.

*EC85.T3255.859t. Gift of Herbert L. Carlebach, 1951.