Pearson’s Magazine

Pearson’s Magazine (1896-1939) was a general-interest magazine-format publication established in 1896 by C. Arthur Pearson (1866-1921), who was a Victorian journalist and proprietor of newspapers and magazines. In 1890 he founded Pearson’s Weekly: a newspaper-format journal in which Wells’s The Invisible Man was serialized (June-July 1897) soon after the popularity of The War of the Worlds became apparent. The two publications routinely advertised each other. C. Arthur Pearson conceived Pearson’s as appealing to a popular audience; its audience spanned all cultural and economic classes, with the majority of its readership lower- and middle-class Victorians. A typical issue of the magazine included serialized and short fiction, poetry, satire, essays, news, articles on art, history, science, and other cultural and social issues.

The main draw of Pearson’s was its images, which included illustrations, cartoons, reproductions of popular paintings, and photographs. C. Arthur Pearson used new technologies for image reproduction to make high-quality images central to the magazine’s marketing. The magazines’s tables of contents and volume indices included the names of each piece’s illustrators alongside its authors–a practice that was not followed by many similar general-interest magazines and journals. Each issue had 120 pages, most of which were illustrated. It soon became extremely popular, with a circulation of over one million copies by end of the century. An American edition of Pearson’s was established in 1899.

Digital facsimiles of the nine installments of The War of the Worlds as they were published in Pearson’s Magazine:

    1. Apr. 1897 – Chapters I-IV: (de)collected text and facsimile
    2. May 1897 – Chapters V-VIII: (de)collected text and facsimile
    3. June 1897 – Chapters IX-XI: (de)collected text and facsimile
    4. July 1897 – Chapters XII-XIII: (de)collected text and facsimile
    5. Aug. 1897 – Chapters XIV-XV(part): (de)collected text and facsimile
    6. Sept. 1897 – Chapters XV(cont)-XVI: (de)collected text and facsimile
    7. Oct. 1897 – Chapters XVII-XVIII: (de)collected text and facsimile
    8. Nov. 1897 – Chapters XIX-XXI(part): (de)collected text and facsimile
    9. Dec. 1897 – Chapters XXI(cont)-XXII: (de)collected text and facsimile

With sincerest thanks to HathiTrust and Indiana University for this invaluable resource. Full facsimiles of most Pearson’s issues (in some cases with covers, tables of contents, and/or advertisements removed) can be found here.