Cover of third series, January 1891 issue
|Author||Editor: Charles Dickens|
|Original title||All The Year Round, A Weekly Journal conducted by Charles Dickens|
|Series||Weekly: 1859 – 1895|
|Publisher||Chapman & Hall|
|Media type||Print (Serial)|
|Preceded by||Household Words|
|Followed by||Household Words, new series|
All the Year Round was a Victorian periodical, being a British weekly literary magazine founded and owned by Charles Dickens, published between 1859 and 1895 throughout the United Kingdom. Edited by Dickens, it was the direct successor to his previous publication Household Words, abandoned due to differences with his former publisher.
It hosted the serialisation of many prominent novels, including Dickens' own A Tale of Two Cities. After Dickens's death in 1870, it was owned and edited by his eldest son Charles Dickens, Jr., with a quarter-share being owned by the editor and journalist William Henry Wills.
In 1859, Charles Dickens was the editor of his magazine Household Words, published by Bradbury and Evans; a petty dispute with them led Dickens to realize that he was at the publisher's whim, and to decide that he would create a new weekly magazine that he would own and control entirely.
In 1859, Dickens founded All the Year Round, taking William Henry Wills with him from Household Words as part-owner and sub-editor. As with his previous magazine, the author searched for a title that could be derived from a Shakespearean quotation. He found it on 28 January 1859 (in Othello, act one, scene three, lines 128–129), to be displayed before the title:
|“||So well has All the Year Round gone that it was yesterday able to repay me, with five per cent. interest, all the money I advanced for its establishment (paper, print etc. all paid, down to the last number), and yet to leave a good £500 balance at the banker's!||”|
|— -Charles Dickens|
One month after the launch, Dickens won a lawsuit in the Court of Chancery against his former publisher Bradbury and Evans, giving him back the trade name of his previous journal. On Saturday 28 May 1859, five weeks after the launch of All the Year Round, Dickens terminated Household Words, publishing its last issue with a prospectus for his new journal and the announcement that, "After the appearance of the present concluding Number of Household Words, this publication will merge into the new weekly publication, All the Year Round, and the title, Household Words, will form a part of the title-page of All the Year Round." AYR's full title then acquired a fourth item: " All the Year Round. A Weekly Journal. Conducted by Charles Dickens. With Which Is Incorporated Household Words. "
All the Year Round contained the same mixture of fiction and non-fiction as Household Words but with a greater emphasis on literary matters and less on journalism. Nearly 11 per cent of the non-fiction articles in All the Year Round dealt with some aspect of international affairs or cultures, discounting the American Civil War, which Dickens instructed his staff to avoid unless they had specifically cleared a topic with him first. Old tales of crime (especially with a French or Italian setting), new developments in science (including the theories of Charles Darwin), lives and struggles of inventors, tales of exploration and adventure in distant parts, and examples of self-help among humble folk, are among the topics which found a ready welcome from Dickens.
After 1863, although Dickens continued to micromanage the editorial department, scrupulously revising copy, his own contributions fell off considerably, largely because he spent more and more time on the road with his public readings.
A few weeks before 28 November 1868, Dickens announced a new series for All the Year Round: "I beg to announce to the readers of this Journal, that on the completion of the Twentieth Volume on the Twenty-eighth of November, in the present year, I shall commence an entirely New Series of All the Year Round. The change is not only due to the convenience of the public (with which a set of such books, extending beyond twenty large volumes, would be quite incompatible), but is also resolved upon for the purpose of effecting some desirable improvements in respect of type, paper, and size of page, which could not otherwise be made."
After hiring him as the subeditor of the magazine a year earlier, Dickens bequeathed All the Year Round to his eldest son Charles Dickens, Jr. ("Charles Dickens the younger" in the testament) one week before his death in June 1870. After Dickens' death, his son would own and edit the magazine from 25 June 1870 until the end of 1895 (or possibly just until 1888).
Each volume was 26 numbers long, half a year (thus Vol. 1 was Nos 1 to 26, Vol. 2 was Nos 27 to 52, Vol. 3 was Nos 53 to 78, but the annuals and seasonal extras counted for additional numbers.)
Dickens collaborated with other staff writers on a number of Christmas stories and plays for seasonal issues of the magazine, including:
A number of prominent authors and novels were serialised in All the Year Round, including:
Other contributors included:
Staff writers included:
Most articles were printed without naming their author; only the editor, "Conducted by Charles Dickens", was mentioned on the first page and the head of every other page. While a complete key to who wrote what and for how much in Household Words was compiled in 1973 by Anne Lohrli (using an analysis of the office account book maintained by Dickens' subeditor, W. H. Wills), unfortunately the account book for All the Year Round has not survived. Ella Ann Oppenlander has attempted to provide something comparable in a 1984 book not easily procured, but only manages to identify less than a third of the contributors: Dickens' All the Year Round: Descriptive Index and Contributor List. In July 2015 antiquarian bookseller and Dickens scholar Jeremy Parrott announced at a conference in Belgium that he had discovered Dickens's own annotated set of "All the Year Round", naming all the contributors. A full guide to the magazine is now in progress and should be published in 2018.
Noted anonymous articles include:
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