See caption
Cover of the September 1917 edition of the magazine, featuring Sherlock Holmes
Wikimedia Commons

The Strand Magazine is a monthly publication founded by the English publisher George Newnes, (1851–1910), published in the United Kingdom from January 1891 to March 1950, running to 711 issues.[1][a]The magazine’s original offices were on Burleigh Street, off The Strand, London. At its zenith it had a circulation of more than 400,000 copies a month, with a probable readership of between two and three million.[2]

Priced at sixpence,[b]2½p in decimal currency. the magazine was about half the price of comparable publications.[3] A United States edition was published from February 1891 until February 1916, initially with identical content to the UK edition but with a one-month time lag.[4] The initial idea behind The Strand Magazine was the brainchild of H. Greenhough Smith, who was appointed as the magazine’s first editor. His idea was for a magazine consisting of short stories translated from foreign authors, although it very quickly became much more than that,[1] featuring illustrated articles, popular politics, fine-art features, children’s, jokes, puzzles and photographs sections, interviews with well-known personalities, alongside fiction.[2]

The popularity of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, created by Arthur Conan Doyle, became widespread after first appearing in the magazine in 1891, and greatly contributed to The Strand‘s success.[2] During his collaboration with the magazine Conan Doyle contributed 120 short stories and 9 serialised novels.[5] Other writers whose work was featured in the magazine include Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Dorothy L. Sayers,[2] P. G. Wodehouse, Rudyard Kipling and G. K. Chesterton.[6]

The Strand Magazine was merged with Men Only in 1950, which then evolved into the large glossy soft pornography magazine it is today, an imitation of Playboy and Penthouse.[7]

If we are so minded, we could look at a current issue of Men Only on a newsagent’s top shelf and muse, “there goes the last incarnation of The Strand Magazine …”[7]


When The Strand was launched in 1891, the normal practice of rival publications was to serialise lengthy novels, but for the first five years of its existence the magazine’s rule was that every issue had to be complete in itself, establishing “an important model for future periodical publishing” by introducing the short story to a British audience.[8] The magazine first broke its own rule in January 1896, with the serialisation of Conan Doyle’s historical adventure Rodney Stone, in twelve parts. The then editor, H. Greenhough Smith, justified this change of direction by saying that “each instalment will … have separate incidents of its own, [but] there will be a plot running through them all”. [9]

Many of the Sherlock Holmes short stories were first published in The Strand in the UK, some previously or simultaneously published in US magazines.[10] Thirty-eight of the Sherlock Holmes stories, including The Hound of the Baskervilles, were illustrated by Sidney Paget, helping to cement Holmes’s popular image in the public imagination.[11]

A number of short stories by Agatha Christie were first published in The Strand in the UK, including the Hercule Poirot stories collected in The Labours of Hercules.[12] Many short stories by P. G. Wodehouse, including most of his Jeeves stories, were also first published in The Strand in the UK.[13]


  • H. Greenhough Smith (January 1891 – December 1930)
  • Reeves Shaw (January 1931– September 1941)
  • R. J. Minney (October 1941 – May 1942)
  • Reginald Pound (June 1942 – September 1946)
  • Macdonald Hastings (October 1946 – March 1950)


a The magazine’s original offices were on Burleigh Street, off The Strand, London.
b 2½p in decimal currency.