Front page for May 1759
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Gentleman’s Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer as it was originally known, founded in London by the publisher Edward Cave in 1731, was intended to be a monthly compendium of the best news, essays and information gathered from the daily and weekly newspapers.[1] It was a great success from its inception, and by 1739 had achieved monthly sales of almost 10,000.[2] Cave himself was a frequent contributor, writing under the name of Sylvanus Urban,[3] and his close friend Dr Samuel Johnson also contributed regulary; via Johnson’s reports from Lilliput[a]Lilliput is a fictional island nation invented by Jonathan Swift that appears in his Gulliver’s Travels (1726). the magazine succeeded in evading the official sanction on reporting the proceedings of parliament.[1]

The magazine, one of the first to use that word in its title,[b]The word magazine derives from the Middle French magasin, meaning a store or repository.[4] continued in production until 1914.[1] The image of St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, the magazine’s original office and where it was printed, appeared on the title page of every issue.[5]

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Citations



Bibliography


British Library. Gentleman’s Magazine. https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/the-gentlemans-magazine.
Drabble, Margaret, et al. “Urban, Sylvanus.” Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature, Oxford University Press, 2013, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199214921.001.0001/acref-9780199214921-e-6287.
Griffiths, Dennis. The Encyclopedia of the British Press, 1422–1992. Macmillan Press, 1992.
OED. “Magazine, n.” Oxford English Dictionary, Online, Oxford  University Press, 2021, https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/112144.