British Journalism and Ephemera Catalog

Presented for sale by Phil Barber, Cambridge, Mass. 02139 Telephone (617) 492-4653

About This Era and its Newspapers

      I am pleased to be able to present to our Internet customers this sampling of British newspapers, magazines, and ephemeral items. I feature British journalism prominently in my catalogs due to its singular importance to understanding American history, and because it forms a fascinating study in its own right. Our tradition of freedom of the press is firmly rooted in English soil. Many courageous Britons risked flogging, imprisonment, and even execution to publish the news in defiance of the Crown monopoly, an example widely imitated in the American colonies, where British periodicals circulated extensively. It is worthy of note that the stirring for freedom and justice that characterized the "Enlightenment" of the eighteenth century were largely spread to America in the newspapers imported from England when our native press was in its infancy.

British newspapers are also a treasury of early American news in the years before there was an American press. American news was generally sympathetically reported in all but the most conservative Tory newspapers, as Britons were waging the fight for liberty at home at the same time as the colonies were preparing for war with the motherland. The exaggerated claims of rebel propagandists -and there were many- were soundly corrected, however, in contemporary British journals; reading these articles today offers most interesting perspective on the Colonies' actual relations with Britain and how the ultimate separation was engineered. British views of our Civil War, for example, are also quite fascinating and reflect the lingering hostility between the two nations. The final reconciliation and co-operation that finally healed the rift and which has characterized Anglo-American relations is also well documented in contemporary British journalism.

American News in British Papers
For your browsing convenience I have included British periodicals that have significant American news content in my regular catalogs. To view these papers, please click on the following links, which will take you to the appropriate catalog listings:

About The Catalog Listings

All items in this catalog are unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine and accurately described. Any item may be returned within seven days of receipt for a full refund. No reason for return is ever required.They are in fine used condition and are complete with all pages as issued. All papers are free of damage or objectionable defects. We are sure you will be delighted with their exceptional state of preservation. We purchase only the finest condition newspapers that can be found to offer to our valued friends and customers.

These are the finest quality original antique newspapers and magazines, that you might find elsewhere priced at much greater cost. It has always been my policy to present my catalog items at "wholesale to the public" prices. Therefore all catalog items and quoted prices are net, and are not subject to further discount, either for dealers or in consideration of quantity orders. It is our policy to price our items based on what we believe to be their fair market value. I do not set prices at absurdly inflated levels to take advantage of novices or "investors"; nor do employ the common ploy of starting with an unrealistically high price in order to "negotiate" a phony discount later. As over a third of our catalog orders are from dealers buying for resale, at our stated prices, we have every confidence that this policy maintains an ethical standard of integrity and fairness to all.

Newspapers are full folio size unless described as quarto (abbreviated 4to) or octavo (8vo), which are respectively smaller in format. Most newspapers have been removed from bound volumes and may exhibit characteristic minor spine weakness or separation without significant paper loss. Magazines are disbound from annual volumes and lack wraps unless otherwise stated, as these were very rarely preserved in the bound runs. Illustrations are provided of a number of items (more will be added), depicting as much of them as can be shown with my 8 1/2" x 11" scanner. To access the pictures, click on the highlighted link that follows the catalog listing. When done viewing, select the "Back" button in your browser to return to this page.

Each catalog entry is briefly described for its general appearance, historical significance, and content. Every one contains hours of additional historic reading and insights into the world preserved on its pages, much more than I could find the space to describe here.

I pride myself on the quality and accuracy of my catalog descriptions, and strive to provide all the information needed to enable you to make an informed selection. Please consult my collector information pages and glossary of terms page linked below, if you are not sure what the descriptions mean. Your comments are always welcome, as are your inquiries, if you have questions about these historic collectibles. We value our customers, and appreciate the confidence you place in us when ordering from our on line catalogs. We strive to merit your patronage and to enrich your collecting experience through accurate, knowledgeable descriptions, honest pricing, courteous service, and timely order filling. Enjoy your browsing!

Pictures of Cataloged Items
Scans or digital photos are available of many items in this catalog. To view them, click the "VIEW SCAN" button in the listing. You can return to the catalog by using your browser's "BACK" command. These illustrations are of the exact item being offered for sale and depict a full page or a detail close-up of a page of the issue. All papers are complete and undamaged as noted. Photos of newspapers described as "Atmosphere Issues" are of typical issues in stock and are provided to give a general idea of the papers' overall appearance. I hope to be able to provide pictures of all the items, as time allows and as I become more proficient with the scanner and digital camera.

Glossary of Terms Page | Collector Information Page | Want List Page | Home Page

How to Order from This Catalog

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When you are ready to place your order, simply click "submit" on the completed checkout page, and it will be e-mailed to me. As soon as I receive your order, I will confirm the availability of your selections via return e-mail, with your invoice for the total amount due, and I will reserve your confirmed selections for receipt of payment.

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British Catalog Index
Click on the highlighted Page Number to visit that page.
  • Page 1 Pre-1800 Collection, Page 1
  • Page 2 Pre-1800 Collection, Page 2
  • Page 3 The Illustrated London News
  • Page 4 The 19th Century, Page 1
  • Page 5 The 19th Century, Page 2
  • Page 6 The 20th Century
  • Introductory Catalog of atmosphere issues of English and World papers

The Long Reach of Jack The Ripper
GB-001. [SINGLE ISSUE]. THE Daily Telegraph, October 24, 1888. [Complete issue, 4 pages, large folio, 20" x 26" size, published at Launceton, Australia]
"MYSTERIOUS MURDERS IN LONDON" heads a very long Page Three report, datelined September 14 and covering almost two full columns, of the latest gruesome murder, of Annie Chapman, here thought to be the fourth victim of the maniacal slayer. There is extensive description of 25 Hanbury Street, and neighboring Dorset Street, testimonies of possible witnesses, the account of her sometimes companion Timothy Donovan, her landlady, and others at the inquest. Most startling perhaps is the testimony of the Jewish butcher John Piser, who was briefly detained on suspicion of being "Leather Apron". Very detailed on the murder and its aftermath, a vivid glimpse into the terror that stalked London that long-ago Autumn and how it touched even far-off Australia. Quite an uncommon newspaper, the city's second, NO HOLDINGS CITED in the Union List of Serials or The British Union Catalog
Condition is bright very fine on sound rag-based paper . . . 65.00

The Commonwealth Parliament Abolishes of the House of Lords
G1-008. AN ACT FOR ABOLISHING THE HOUSE OF PEERS, March 21, 1648. [Complete issue of 4 pages, quarto size, published at London, England, by Edward Husband, printer to the House of Commons] The passions of the second phase of the English Civil War are dramatically displayed in this rare Act of the House of Commons, formally abolishing the Royalist House of Lords, "finding by too long experience that the House of Lords is useless and dangerous to the people of England to be continued... from henceforth the house of Lords in Parliament, shall be and is hereby wholly abolished and taken away..." Superb English history in this most bitter year of the renewed struggle for freedom, which will end in the execution of the King. Printed throughout in Black Letter type with a very large decorative Page One factotum; final leaf blank as made
Condition is choice crisp very fine, light offsetting not impairing legibility . . . 275.00

Of "Ye" and the "S" that looks like an "F"
New collectors are sometimes confounded by the unfamiliar ways some words are found printed in old newspapers and documents. Foremost among these is the mistaken idea that the letter "f" was used where we today use an "s". In the old Anglo-Saxon alphabet, from which the English alphabet is derived, the lower case "s" was written in two forms: one is the "long s" that resembles my modern letter "f" (but note, it does not have the center bar), which is used when the "s" appears in any position within a word other than as the final letter; the other is the familiar shaped "s" which appears at the end of words. In capital letters the common "S" is always used. This usage is cognate to the two forms of "s" in the Greek alphabet.

What appear to be printed, for example, as "fuccefs", in old newspapers, is in reality nothing more exotic than "success". In capital letters this word would be printed as "SUCCESS", as it is today.
English printer John Bell first phased out the use of the long "s" in his books at the end of the 1700's, and by 1810 or so the new practice was universal in printed material. Interestingly, though, the use of the old long "s" continued in handwritten documents for many years, through the 1870's. This innovation must have saved typesetters much labor!

The second common misunderstanding is the idea that "ye" (as in "ye olde") is pronounced "ye". It is not and never was! Again, what appears to be the modern letter "y" in this usage is in fact the diphthong from the old Anglo-Saxon alphabet called thang, which is pronounced "th", and which was used as a form of shorthand, being easier to set one letter than two.

A Fine Georgian Map of South America
G1-021. MAP from Guthrie, A NEW..GRAMMAR...OF THE WORLD.., printed by Charles Dilly at London, England in 1788. Quarto foldout plate size, measuring 8" x 10.
This excellent copper-engraved map depicts "South America, from the best Authorities", showing the Spanish and Portuguese colonies of the New World in their original names. Quite nice. The maps in this fine early work on the history and present condition of the world were executed by the celebrated Royal Cartography Thomas Kitchin, and are of the highest quality of their time. A photocopy of the book's titlepage is included for verification. .
Condition is fine . . . 55.00

Map of the German States and Their Neighbors
G1-022. MAP from Guthrie, A NEW..GRAMMAR...OF THE WORLD.., printed by Charles Dilly at London, England in 1788. Quarto foldout plate size, measuring 8" x 10.
"GERMANY and the NETHERLANDS" is the title of this fine map, which shows the many Germany city-states almost a century before unification, together with Switzerland, Bohemia (modern Czechoslovakia), western Poland (then a Russian province), northern Italy, Turkey, etc. Fine map of a world long gone. The maps in this fine early work on the history and present condition of the world were executed by the celebrated Royal Cartography Thomas Kitchin, and are of the highest quality of their time. A photocopy of the book's titlepage is included for verification. .
Condition is fine . . . 45.00

Reference Books
Some references consulted in the preparation of this catalogue and suggested for further reading include the following

  • Andrews, Alexander, The History of British Journalism, London, 1859. Reprinted Scholarly Press, 1968
  • Crane & Kaye, A Census of British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1620 - 1800. University of North Carolina, 1927
  • Graham, Walter. English Literary Periodicals,. 1930. Reprinted Octagon Books, 1966, 1980.
  • Grant, James, The Newspaper Press, Its Origin, Progress, and Present Position. London, Tinsley Brothers, 1871.
  • Jackson, Mason, The Pictorial Press. London, 1885. Reprinted Burt Franklin, 1969
  • Lake, Brian. British Newspapers, A History and Guide for Collectors. London, Sheppard Press, 1984.
  • Morison, Stanley. The English Newspaper. Cambridge, 1932
  • Stewart, British Union Catalog of Periodicals (1955 and supplements)
  • Sulllivan, Alvin. British Literary Magazines, 1689 - 1914. Greenwood Press, 1983

    Related Catalog Links
    Please click here to go to my Introductory Catalog, for an extensive selection of "atmosphere" issues of English newspapers and periodicals of all periods.
    Please click here to go to my Indenture Catalog, for an offering of attractive collectible large sheepksin legal documents, dating from about 1600 through 1895.

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