The Illustrated London News

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First page of the first edition of the London Illustrated London News

The Illustrated London News is a weekly English magazine founded by Herbert Ingram and Mark Lemon in 1842 .

History of the magazine

The first edition of the Illustrated London News appeared on May 14, 1842, and had a starting price of sixpence . One edition contained 16 pages and 32 woodcuts . The first issue contained pictures of the Afghan war , the Hamburg fire , a train accident in France, a steamship explosion in Canada and a picture of a colorful evening ball at Buckingham Palace .

The first edition sold 26,000 copies. Towards the end of the year the sales figures were 60,000 magazines per issue. 1848, in the course of the European revolutions, the magazine increased its weekly sales figures to 80,000 copies through its illustrations of these. During the Crimean War , the magazine sent six war draftsmen to the front, whose war drawings were shown in the issues. To celebrate the success of the magazine, a color supplement was published for the first time in the 1856 Christmas issue. The newspaper was the first long-term successful periodical that regularly provided its (especially middle-class) readers with current images of world events. This also made it an important organ that shaped the image of politics and politicians among readers of the 19th century.

Napoleon III's deathbed Illustration in the January 25, 1873 edition

Sales at the time were 200,000 copies. The annual profit was £ 12,000 a year, so Herbert Ingram was able to buy out a rival, The Illustrated Times .

The founder Herbert Ingram died in a tragic accident in September 1860 in a steamship collision on Lake Michigan . His wife took control of the company until 1872. From then on, his sons were old enough to take over the management of the company. William Ingram remained a driving force in the magazine until 1900 while his younger brother Charles became director and remained so until his death in 1931.

At the end of the 1960s the magazine had more and more financial difficulties. Its circulation dropped to just 50,000. In 1970 James Bishop took over the magazine and decreed the transition of the magazine from a weekly magazine to a monthly magazine. This move was a logical consequence of the superiority and predominance of television in reporting the news.

The magazine's sales figures from July to December 1972 averaged 85,673. One issue was priced at £ 1.20 in January 1984. From 1989 the magazine appeared every two months, then quarterly and since 1994 twice a year.

The Illustrated London News has not appeared since the December 2003 issue. The publisher continues to exist as the Illustrated London News Group .


Following the example of the Illustrated London News, L'Illustration was published in Paris and, from July 1, 1843, the Illustrirte Zeitung in Leipzig .


  • Detlev Mares: The visual staging of the modern politician. William Ewart Gladstone in the "Illustrated London News" . In: Lutz Raphael , Ute Schneider, Sonja Hillerich (Ed.): Dimensions of Modernity. Festschrift for Christof Dipper . Lang, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2008, ISBN 978-3-631-57298-6 , pp. 309-330.

Web links

Commons : The Illustrated London News  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Illustrated London News  - sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Brief record - The illustrated London news . Catalog entry at the Library of Congress. Retrieved May 14, 2012.