Harper’s [New] Monthly Magazine*

*Harper’s was first published in 1850 under the title, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. From 1900–1925, it was called Harper’s Monthly Magazine; in 1925, the title was shortened again to Harper’s Magazine. 

Andrew Lang was London editor of Harper’s in 1884 but dismissed from the position in November of 1885. (See Marysa Demoor’s “Andrew Lang versus W. D. Howells: a Late Victorian Literary Duel” p. 417). Andrew Lang also wrote many articles for Harper’s between 1884–1912.

Lang also first heard of Rider Haggard through his position as London editor of Harper’s (and through the mediation of W. E. Henley, at that time Lang’s friend, but later in bitter feud with him, and likely to have written the National Observer review that panned Haggard and Lang’s co-written The World’s Desire as moving “this critic . . . to curse his literary gods and die at the thought of the most complete artistic suicide it has ever been his lot to chronicle” [“Culture and Anarchy,” National Observer, 13 Dec. 1890, p. 99]). In The Days of My Life, Haggard writes that Henley brought a manuscript of Haggard’s to Lang’s attention, resulting in a March 28 [1885]* letter in which Lang wrote, “My dear Sir, —Your paper “Bottles” has reached me as London editor of Harper’s. I am much pleased by it, but I am unable to accept anything except by permission of the American editor.” When Lang later received King Solomon’s Mines, Lang’s tone is slightly less formal, though he still uses “Mr.” in his address: “Dear Mr. Rider Haggard,— I have got so far as Sir Henry’s duel with the king. Seldom have I read a book with so much pleasure: I think it perfectly delightful.” Lang then tries to think of a place to publish it: “The question is, what is the best, whereby I mean the coiniest, way to publish it? As soon as possible I will find out what Harper’s Boy’s Magazine is able to do. I believe that all boys’ magazines pay hopelessly badly.” [Haggard published the novel with Cassells.]

*Haggard misdated the letter to 1883; Lang usually does not include a year in his letter dates. However, as Lang mentions Haggard’s novel The Witch’s Head (1885) in the same letter, the date must be 1885, as Marysa Demoor dates it in her catalog of Lang’s letters.

You may see the Online Books Page entry for Harper’s Magazine. Cornell University Library’s Making of America has volumes 1–98 (1850–1899). It is also possible for libraries to subscribe to Harper’s Magazine online through Chadwyck-Healey.

Source Recommendations: 

Allen, Frederick L. Harper’s Magazine, 1850–1899: A Centenary Address. New York: Princeton UP for the Newcomen Society in North America, 1950. pp. 5–11.

Demoor, Marysa. “Andrew Lang vs. W. D. Howells: A Late Victorian Literary Duel.” Journal of American Studies. Vol. 21, Number 3 (Dec. 1987): 416–22. (Project MUSE.)

Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 1850–1865. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1938. p. 391.

Phegley, Jennifer. Educating the Proper Woman Reader: Victorian Family Literary Magazines and the Cultural Health of the Nation (The Ohio State University Press 2004).

—. “Literary Piracy: Nationalism, and Women Readers in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, 1850–1855.” American Periodicals, Vol. 14, Number 1 (2004): 63–90. (Project MUSE).

—. “The Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press and the Emergence of Transatlantic Studies.” American Periodicals, Vol. 25, Number 1 (2015): 62–67. (Project MUSE.)