‘Cheap, Healthful Literature’: The Strand Magazine, Fictions of Crime, and Purified Reading Communities.

Wikis > 'Cheap, Healthful Literature': The Strand Magazine, Fictions of Crime, and Purified Reading Communities.

Pittard, Christopher. “‘Cheap, Healthful Literature’: the Strand Magazine, Fictions of Crime, and Purified Reading Communities.” Victorian Periodicals Review 40.1 (2007): 1-23. Web. 9 November 2015. http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.lib.ryerson.ca/stable/20084167?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

The success of The Strand Magazine as proposed by Pittard, stems from its branding as being “cheap, healthful literature.” Pittard suggests that the magazine’s purified collection of “fiction, interviews, articles, and illustrations” reflected the interests of the aspiring middle-class audience that the magazine was targeting (2). Though Pittard looks specifically at detective stories, he suggests that the purification of content is a relevant claim across all pages in The Strand. Further, this article discusses how images in The Strand were essential to its brand as being “healthful literature” and were often used to “reinforce the suppression of sensationalism” (12). This was achieved through integrating images that would soften the more sensational elements seen in the accompanied text. This article serves as a useful resource when trying to identify how The Strand’s target readership influenced both the content and the ideology of the magazine.

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