The Impact of Reviews on The Yellow Book Volume 2

During class today in our discussion on The Yellow Book Volume 2 I was intrigued by the innovation that was inspired from the first volume to the second. This is especially interesting due to the mere few months time between the publication of the first volume in April 1894 to the second in July 1894. Despite there not being much time to make major changes the second volume of The Yellow Book was able to enhance what the first volume had started by making important but small changes to the book itself. All the changes that were influenced by the review that was included in the second volume by Philip Gilbert Hamerton, assisted to enhance the magazine into more of a “high art” form, despite being so popular. In particular I found the change of the titles for the types of work inside the magazine to be telling of this idea. The writing went from being titled “Letterpress” in volume one to “Literature” in volume two, a word that works to elevate the work published in the section into the caliber of classic novels for example that are constantly referred to as literature. The artwork was also elevated to the word “Illustration” rather than “Pictures” however I found this interesting because the images in The Yellow Book are not there to accompany the literature depicted as illustrations are typically. This is a change that the magazine made to enhance the artistic depiction of the magazine, but the images continue to be presented as their own pieces. Perhaps a better word to use as an alternative to “Pictures” would have been something like “Visual Art.”