Macmillan's Magazine

Date began: 
01 Jan 1859
Precise date began unknown: 
Date ended: 
01 Jan 1907
Precise date ended unknown: 

Macmillan’s Magazine was a monthly literary magazine, generally regarded as the first shilling periodical in Britain. It was also one of the first periodicals in which authors were expected to sign their names.

Founded in 1859, the magazine was the brainchild of the bookseller Alexander Macmillan, UCL Professor of English David Masson, the lawyer John Ludlow and above all Thomas Hughes, the author of Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Hughes saw the gap in the market for a new thoroughgoing literary magazine, with ‘everyone to sign his own name and no flippancy or abuse allowed.’ Although the four men did not intend Macmillan’s to serve as an organ of Christian Socialism, as a publication it was somewhat imbued with their ethos of service and plain-speaking in matters of social concern.

The magazine is noted for rejecting Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles due to what Mowbray Morris termed excessive ‘succulence’, and also for promoting the work of the young Rudyard Kipling in England, sometimes under the pseudonym ‘Yussuf.’  Other pieces by Indians or about India included stories by Cornelia Sorabji and Flora Annie Steel. From 1883 to 1885 the magazine was edited by John Morley, future Secretary of State for India and co-architect of the Morley-Minto governmental reforms.


Contributors included: Rudyard Kipling, Cornelia Sorabji, Flora Annie Steel.

Secondary works: 

Innes, C. L., A History of Black and Asian Writing in Britain, 1700–2000. 2nd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Worth, George J., Macmillan’s Magazine, 1859-1907: ‘No Flippancy or Abuse Allowed’ (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003)