W.T. Stead and The Review of Reviews

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W.T. Stead & The Review of Reviews (1890-1912)

The Review of Reviews was started in January, 1890 by W. T. Stead and Tit-Bits proprietor, George Newnes. It was originally to be called the Six Penny Monthly and Review of Reviews, but this was changed at the last minute. According to Stead, the Review of Reviews was “the maddest thing” he had yet done, on account that the venture had been decided on only a month before. The Review mirrored Stead’s own restless imagination and was written almost exclusively by him. Along with the dozens of magazine and book reviews it contained, it also included a running commentary of world events entitled, “The Progress of the World”, and a character sketch of a current “celebrity”. The first issue was an instant success, and opened with numerous facsimiled welcome messages which Stead had courted from various dignitaries of the time. However, Stead’s relationship with Newnes came under strain when the latter strongly objected to Stead’s scathing character sketch of The Times newspaper (eventually published in March). Perhaps seeing this discord as a sign of things to come, Newnes severed ties, exclaiming that the whole venture was “turning his hair grey.” After buying out Newnes’ share, Stead shaped the Review after his own image. With article titles such as “Baby-killing as an Investment” and “Ought Mrs. Maybrick to be Tortured to Death?”, Stead showed he had lost none of the sledge hammer force of his journalistic days… Read More