All the Year Round

All the Year Round

"All the Year Round" was a Victorian periodical, being a British weekly literary magazine founded and owned by Charles Dickens, published between 1859 and 1895 throughout the United Kingdom. Edited by Charles Dickens, it was the direct successor to his previous publication "Household Words", abandoned due to differences with his former publisher. It hosted the serialization of many prominent novels, including Dickens's own "A Tale of Two Cities". After Dickens's death in 1870, it was owned and edited by his eldest son Charles Dickens, Jr.


In 1858, Charles Dickens was the editor of his then magazine "Household Words", published by Bradbury and Evans; a petty dispute with them led Dickens to realize that he was at the whim of his publisher, and to decide that he would create a new weekly magazine that he would own and control entirely.Allingham, "Household Words", op. cit., last section "Wrapping Up Household Words"

1859–1870, conducted by Dickens Sr

In 1859, "All the Year Round" was founded by Charles Dickens, also its editor. Similarly to his previous magazine, Dickens searched a title that could be derived from a Shakespeare quote. He eventually found it on 28 January 1859 (in Othello, act one, scene three, lines 128-129), to be displayed before the title:Forster, op. cit., book 8, part 5: " 'All the Year Round" and 'Uncommercial Traveller' (1859-61)"

'The story of our lives, from year to year.' — Shakespeare.


A weekly journal.

Conducted by Charles Dickens.

The new weekly magazine had its debut issue on Saturday 30 April 1859, featuring the first instalment of Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities".LOC, op. cit., says "Published/Created: London : Chapman and Hall, 1859-1895." and adds "Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 30, 1859)-v. 20 (Nov. 28, 1868); n.s., v. 1 (Dec. 5, 1868)-v. 43 (Dec. 29, 1888); 3rd ser., v. 1 (Jan. 5, 1889)-v. 13 (Mar. 30, 1895)." as well as explicit mention of extra issues for spring 1894, summer 1894, and Christmas 1894. Plus "Notes: Editors: 1859-June 1870, Charles Dickens; June 25, 1870-1895, Charles Dickens, Jr."Overell, op. cit.The launch was a success, Dickens writing about it, "So well has "All the Year Round" gone that it was yesterday able to repay me, with five per cent. interest, all the money I advanced for its establishment (paper, print etc. all paid, down to the last number), and yet to leave a good £500 balance at the banker's!"

One month after the launch, Dickens won a lawsuit in the Court of Chancery against his former publisher Bradbury and Evans, giving him back the trade name of his previous journal. On Saturday 28 May 1859, five weeks after the launch of "All the Year Round", Dickens terminated "Household Words", publishing its last issue with a prospectus for his new journal and the announcement that, "After the appearance of the present concluding Number of "Household Words", this publication will merge into the new weekly publication, "All the Year Round", and the title, "Household Words", will form a part of the title-page of "All the Year Round"."Dickens, "Contributions to All The Year Round", op. cit., chapter 1, "Announcement in 'Household Words' of the Approaching Publication of 'All the Year Round'" (28 May 1859). AYR's full title then acquired a fourth item: " All the Year Round. A Weekly Journal. Conducted by Charles Dickens. With Which Is Incorporated Household Words. "

"All the Year Round" contained the same mixture of fiction and non-fiction as "Household Words" but with a greater emphasis on literary matters and less on journalism. Nearly 11 per cent of the non-fiction articles in "All the Year Round" dealt with some aspect of international affairs or cultures, discounting the American Civil War, which Dickens instructed his staff to avoid unless they had specifically cleared a topic with him first. Old tales of crime (especially with a French or Italian setting), new developments in science (including the theories of Charles Darwin), lives and struggles of inventors, tales of exploration and adventure in distant parts, and examples of self-help among humble folk, are among the topics which found a ready welcome from Dickens.

After 1863, although Charles Dickens continued to micromanage the editorial department, scrupulously revising copy, his own contributions fell off considerably, largely because he spent more and more time on the road with his public readings.

A few weeks before 28 November 1868, Dickens announced a new series for "All the Year Round": "I beg to announce to the readers of this Journal, that on the completion of the Twentieth Volume on the Twenty-eighth of November, in the present year, I shall commence an entirely New Series of All the Year Round. The change is not only due to the convenience of the public (with which a set of such books, extending beyond twenty large volumes, would be quite incompatible), but is also resolved upon for the purpose of effecting some desirable improvements in respect of type, paper, and size of page, which could not otherwise be made."Dickens, "Contributions to All The Year Round", op. cit., chapter 12, "Address Which Appeared Shortly Previous to the Completion of the Twentieth Volume" (1868).

In 1869, Dickens hired his son Charles Dickens, Jr as subeditor of the magazine.See sources Lieberman and Perdue at the "Charles Dickens, Jr" article.

1870–1895, conducted by Dickens Jr

In 1870, Dickens bequeathed "All the Year Round" to his eldest son Charles Dickens, Jr ("Charles Dickens the younger" in the testament) one week before his death.Forster, op. cit., [ "13. Appendix: The Will of Charles Dickens"] , codicil from 2 June 1870: "I, Charles Dickens [...] give to my son Charles Dickens the younger all my share and interest in the weekly journal called 'All the Year Round,' [...] In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand the 2nd day of June in the year of our Lord 1870."After Dickens's death on 9 June 1870, the magazine was owned and edited by Charles Dickens, Jr from June 25 1870 until the 1895 end (or possibly just until 1888).Sources consulted: scans of "All the Year Round" (1869, 1870, 1871, 1882, 1884) at Google Book Search. In the 1870-1871 magazines, the head of pages had the original " [Conducted by Charles Dickens.] " replaced with " [Conducted by Charles Dickens, Jun.] " (at least by 1882, it was back to just " [Conducted by Charles Dickens.] ") Associated metadata say, "Editors: 1859-June 1870, Charles Dickens; June 25, 1870-1895, Charles Dickens, Jr." Exact same textual data at LOC, Google is probably using the same source database as LOC.Allingham, "All the Year Round", op. cit., quotes again " [Drew 12] " saying that AYR "continued under Charles Dickens Jr.'s editorship until 1888", but it's the very same quote claiming AYR stopped in 1893 instead of 1895, which weakens its credibility; both bits of information are also found at [ David Perdue's Charles Dickens] , but probably derived from the same source. Ultimate confirmation or refutation would demand research in libraries collections, so as to find or not physical issues for 1894 and 1895, and to check the "conducted by" line of post-1888 issues. The LOC 3-series timeline indeed sets a series change at 1888, maybe Dickens Jr's involvement changed at that point.

In 1889, the magazine started a "Third series". It is unclear how much Dickens Jr was involved with the new series.

In 1895, "All the Year Round" ended. It had its last issue on 30 March 1895 , after three series:Allingham, "All the Year Round", op. cit., quotes his 1999 source " [Drew 12] " saying that AYR "ceased publication in 1893", but it seems to be an error or a typo. All book and library databases such as list the series as "1859-1895". LOC and Overell concur.

# (First Series): Vol. 1 (30 April 1859) to Vol. 20 (28 November 1868)
# "New Series": Vol. 1 (5 December 1868) to Vol. 43 (29 December 1888)
# "Third Series": Vol. 1 (5 January 1889) to Vol. 13 (30 March 1895)

Each volume was 26 numbers long, half a year (thus Vol. 1 was Nos 1 to 26, Vol. 2 was Nos 27 to 52, Vol. 3 was Nos 53 to 78, but the annuals and seasonal extras counted for additional numbers.)


A number of prominent authors and novels were serialized in "All the Year Round", including:

* Charles Dickens
** "A Tale of Two Cities" (June 1859 to December 1859)CHEAL, op. cit.
** "Great Expectations" (1 December 1860 to August 1861)
** "The Uncommercial Traveller" (28 January 1860 to 13 October 1860, plus 1863-65 and 1868-69)
* Wilkie Collins
** "The Woman in White" (29 November 1859 to 1860)
** "No Name"
** "The Moonstone"
* Anthony Trollope
** "The Duke's Children" (1879 to ????)
* Edward Bulwer-Lytton
** "A Strange Story" (10 August 1861 to 8 March 1862) then anonymous
* Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
* Charles Lever
* Charles Reade
* Frances Trollope

Other contributors included:

* Sheridan Le Fanu - 6 short stories in 1870 (later collected in "Madam Crowl's Ghost")
* Adelaide Anne Procter - poems (later collected in "Legends and Lyrics")
* Hesba Stretton - children's literature
* Walter Goodman - humorous sketches
* George Augustus Sala - travel sketches from Constantinople, Rome and St Petersburg
* E A Worthington - humorous illustrated sketches

Staff writers included:

* Henry Morley - informative though rather congested articles on historical, political, economic and literary topics, including the background to the American Civil War
* Charles Collins (younger brother of Wilkie Collins and son-in-law to Dickens) - reportage and articles on art and architecture, marked by a distinctive vein of melancholy humour. He wrote as 'David Fudge' and 'Our Eye-Witness'
* Eliza Lynn Linton

: Expand-section|date=May 2008

Almost all articles were printed without naming their author; only the editor, "Conducted by Charles Dickens", was mentioned on the first page and the head of every other page. While a complete key to who wrote what and for how much in "Household Words" was compiled in 1973 by Anne Lohrli (using an analysis of the office account book maintained by Dickens's subeditor, W. H. Wills), unfortunately the account book for "All the Year Round" has not survived. However, Ella Ann Oppenlander has attempted to provide something comparable in a 1984 book not easily procured, "Dickens' All the Year Round: Descriptive Index and Contributor List".

Noted anonymous articles include:

* 1861 - "The Morrill Tariff", 28 December 1861 (cited in the Morrill Tariff article)
* 1871 - [ "Vampyres and Ghouls"] (aka "Vampires and Ghouls"), 20 May 1871, pp. 597-600 (later collected in: Gilbert, William (2005). "The Last Lords of Gardonal". Dead Letter Press)


; Sources consulted

* Cite web
author = Allingham, Philip V.
date = 2004-11-30 update
title = "All the Year Round"
work = The Victorian Web
url =
archiveurl =
archivedate = 2007-02-06

* Cite web
author = Allingham, Philip V.
date = 2004-07-11 update
title = "Household Words"
work = The Victorian Web
url =
archiveurl =
archivedate = 2005-11-27

* Cite web
author = CHEAL
date = 1907-1921
title = "Dickens. Bibliography." in "Vol. 13. The Victorian Age, Part One."
work = The Cambridge History of English and American Literature at
url =
archiveurl =
archivedate = 2006-01-13

* Cite web
author = Dickens, Charles
date = 1859-1868
title = "Contributions to "All The Year Round" by Charles Dickens"
work =
url =
archiveurl =
archivedate = 2004-03-01

* Cite web
author = Forster, John
date = 1872-1874
title = "The Life of Charles Dickens"
work =
url =

* Cite web
author = LOC, U.S.
date = 2007 online
title = "Full Record" tab on "Basic Search" for LCCN: "sf 96091284"
work = Library of Congress Online Catalogs
url =

* Cite web
author = Overell, Richard
date = 2006-12-18 update
title = "27. All the year round : a weekly journal. (London : Chapman & Hall, 1859-1895)"
work = Catalog to: An Exhibition of material from the Monash University Library Collection
url =
archiveurl =
archivedate = 2006-12-18

; Endnotes

Further reading

* Cite book
author = Oppenlander, Ella Ann (compiler)
origyear = 1978 thesis
year = 1984 book
title = Dickens' All the Year Round: Descriptive Index and Contributor List
location = Troy, NY
publisher = Whitston Publishing Company
id = ISBN 0-87875-252-8

External links

; Facsimiles of "All the Year Round" pages
* [ Opening page of the first issue] , launching Dickens's novel "A Tale of Two Cities"
* [ Contents page for the 1859 annual]
* [ Opening page of the Christmas 1859 extra issue] , with Dickens's short story "The Haunted House"

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