The short story I’m choosing to research is from a periodical titled “Kind Words for Boys and Girls”. That periodical however is very difficult to find information on so I have decided to write on the periodical “Good Words” today. In 1861‘Good Words’ became the one of the most popular magazines, and ended up being the most popular monthly magazine that included fiction in the nineteenth century until “Strand Magazine” arose in 1891. The slogan for this magazine was, “Good Words are Worth Much and Cost Little”. And this slogan rang true for the “Good Words”, for it was around seventy pages with illustrations and only cost 6d. At the time that was good value. The magazine was published by an Irish man named Alexander Strahan. Strahan wanted to create something enjoyable the evangelist could read. After launching the “Christian Guest, A Family Magazine for Leisure Hours and Sundays” he received an endorsement from the Society of Purity for “Good Words” it was the first journal of it’s kind to receive such an endorsement. A lot of the magazine’s overall success stemmed from the editor Strahan had chosen. His name was Reverend Norman Macleod and he was a well known figure in the Church of Scotland. Besides just editing the magazine, Macleod actually authored some of the magazine’s most popular stories. His stories were religious but also included traveling and interesting geography. Authors such as Dinah Mulock, Anthony Trollope, Sarah Tytler, Edna Lyall, Charles Kingsley, George MacDonald, Thomas Hardy, and Mrs Henry Wood all wrote for “Good Words” as well. “Good Words” was not just known for it’s writing but also its incredible illustrations. Although the magazine was quite successful, it had many financial issues due to how poorly the business aspect was being handled by Alexander Strahan. Eventually Strahan’s company fell so far behind they nearly had to declare bankruptcy. With his business and finances on the rocks Strahan was forced to retire. “Good Words” gradually sank from the number one magazine and eventually became nothing better than a tabloid but many magazines such as ‘Good Words for the Young’ and ‘Good Cheer’ started appearing around the ideas portrayed in “Good Words” so it did have a lasting impact.
Horsman A. The Oxford History of English Literature. Vol XIII. The Victorian Novel Oxford: OUP, 1990