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GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE ...
The Gentleman's Magazine: or, monthly intelligencer. ... Collected chiefly from the public papers by Sylvanus Urban.
London: printed and sold by F. Jefferies, and by most bookseller [sic] in town and country, 1731--1825.
95 vols [in 137] ; 21.5 cm. (8º)

Description based on the volume for 1731 ('Volume the First'). Imprint varies. Subtitle varies: The Gentleman's Magazine; and historical chronicle, vol. 6--77, Jan. 1736--Dec. 1807; New Series, vol. 78--103, Jan. 1808--Dec. 1833. 'Sylvanus Urban' was the editorial pseudonym of the printer and magazine proprietor Edward Cave. Edited by Cave, 1731--54; by D. Henry and R. Cave, 1754--78; by J. Nichols and D. Henry, 1778--92; and by J. Nichols from 1792 to 1826 followed in turn by his son John Bowyer Nichols. The magazine began as a review of news, essays and comment from other journals, but by January 1739 it was publishing original work. Parliamentary reporting was undertaken by William Guthrie from 1732 until 1740. Samuel Johnson became a regular contributor, at first editing but soon also contributing the parliamentary reports. Johnson influenced the character of the paper, encouraging Cave to adopt a more serious tone. Immediately upon publication this became the most popular and enduring journal of the century. As a result, the early numbers were reprinted as many as nine times to meet unexpected demand. In addition to these early re-impressions and re-printings, there were counterfeits, many subsequent reprints, facsimile reprints and new editions through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and annual volumes may contain any assortment of impressions or reprints of the monthly numbers. "The bibliographical history of the Gentleman’s Magazine is entirely conjectural" (Todd, p. 81). The Gentleman's Magazine continued to be published until 1922. See W.B. Todd, 'A bibliographical account of The Gentleman's Magazine, 1731--1754', Studies in Bibliography, Vol. 18 (1965), pp. 81--109. A close examination of Soane's set remains to be done, and no attempt is made here to match individual volumes to Todd's schedules of editions or to individual ESTC records. See ESTC p2776.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Bound in 137 volumes with 2 parts a year from vol. LIII, 1783. The early numbers are of various editions. The set is complete to June 1825, but advertisement supplements and printed wrappers are not present. '48 No. @ 1/14 (?)' bought from E. Macklen, 14 December 1805, £2 14s. (Spiers Box. Misc. Booksellers). An obituary of Mrs. Elizabeth Soane appears in the issue for December 1815 (p. 569) and the Library has extra copies of this number.
Copy 2: 23.0 cm. March 1807 issue only. With the printed blue paper wrappers present and seven separately printed flyers bound in at the end, as follows: an advertisement for vol. I of Chalmers's Caledonia, 1807 (q.v.); an advertisement for The rising sun, a serio-comic satiric romance (q.v.); an advertisement for the 'State Lottery ... 14th April, 1807' (q.v.); a request for contributions to the London Hospital (q.v.); a list of works sold by issued by the booksellers Champante and Whitrow (q.v.); a list of books published by Crosby & Co. (q.v.); four flyers advertising medical products (q.v.).
Copy 3: 23.0 cm. December 1815 issue only. Includes an obituary of Mrs. Elizabeth Soane (p. 569). With the advertisement supplement present and two separately printed flyers bound in at the end, being a prospectus for G.S. Faber's The origin of pagan idolatry (q.v.) and a catalogue of works published by J. Booth and T. Egerton (q.v.).
Copy 4: 22.4 cm. Issues for February and March 1832 only. With advertisement supplements present. The February issue with four separately printed flyers bound in at the end: Sir William Meredith, Punishment of death, [1832] (q.v.); a list of works published b Fisher, Son, & Jackson (q.v.); an advertisement for S.T. Bloomfield's edition of The Greek Testament (q.v.); and a prospectus for Tait's Edinburgh Magazine (q.v.). The March issue with two separately printed flyers bound in at the end: an advertisement for 'Hancock's Caoutchouc Economics' (q.v.) and a prospectus for The British Magazine and Monthly Register (q.v.).

Binding Copy 1: Late 18th-century (or later, matching) tree- calf, gilt-tooled Greek-key borders, gilt-tooled spine compartments with oval paterae, black & red morocco spine-labels. Payments to T. & W. Boone on 12 January 1826 of £12 13s. 6d. for binding the volumes from 1806 to June 1825 (39 volumes), and £11 15s. 9d. for 'Binding d[itt]o Calf Extra to Pattern Calf extra 41 vol s5/9'. (Spiers Box).
Copies 2--4: Bound in a numbered series of late 19th century half calf pamphlet volumes. (Archive, Trustees' Minutes 18 June 1866). With binder's stamp 'Bound By Mansell' on front pastedown.

Reference Number 210


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