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Hi. I hope you are finding the W.T. Stead Resource Site helpful. As a subscription-free resource, this website depends on donations to help with the cost of development, hosting and historical research. Please consider making a contribution to help me preserve this valuable resource for future researchers. All donations are very gratefully received and you can donate as much or as little as you like (just hit the PayPal button below). Thank-you.

Owen Mulpetre, BA (Hons) Mphil

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A treasure trove of contemporary documentation..
Richard Webster - The Secret of Bryn Estyn: The Making of a Modern Witch Hunt

Thank you for creating & maintaining such a quality and extensive Stead archive. I've written before, I'm currently writing a historical fiction of William. Your website is invaluable. Expect more donations from me! Thx..
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W.T. Stead & the Review of Reviews

The Review of Reviews was started in January, 1890 by W. T. Stead and Tit-Bits proprietor, George Newnes. It was originally to be called the Six Penny Monthly and Review of Reviews, but this was changed at the last minute. According to Stead, the Review of Reviews was "the maddest thing" he had yet done, on account that the venture had been decided on only a month before. The Review mirrored Stead's own restless imagination and was written almost exclusively by him. Along with the dozens of magazine and book reviews it contained, it also included a running commentary of world events entitled, "The Progress of the World", and a character sketch of a current "celebrity". The first issue was an instant success, and opened with numerous facsimiled welcome messages which Stead had courted from various dignitaries of the time. However, Stead's relationship with Newnes came under strain when the latter strongly objected to Stead's scathing character sketch of The Times newspaper (eventually published in March). Perhaps seeing this discord as a sign of things to come, Newnes severed ties, exclaiming that the whole venture was "turning his hair grey." After buying out Newnes' share, Stead shaped the Review after his own image. With article titles such as "Baby-killing as an Investment" and "Ought Mrs. Maybrick to be Tortured to Death?", Stead showed he had lost none of the sledge hammer force of his journalistic days. He also involved the Review in social work, setting up the "Association of of Helpers" and even an adoption agency called "The Baby Exchange". In 1891-92, Stead founded the equally successful American and Australian editions of the Review and, in London, he added to his success with other literary triumphs, such as Stead's Penny Poets and Books for the Bairns, all published under the Review's auspices. However, in spite of such successes, without the business-like Newnes to guide him, Stead frequently drove the Review to death's door, despite the best efforts of his business manager, Edwin H. Stout. This was particularly the case during the Boer War (1899-1902), when his pro-Boer stance caused sales to slump to critical levels. Stead's attempt to recoup his losses, with the launch of the ill-fated Daily Paper, was a complete failure and, almost bankrupt, he suffered a nervous breakdown. The Review somehow limped on, buoyed up by a narrow but devoted subscription base. But, just like the Northern Echo and the Pall Mall Gazette, the Review of Reviews lost much of its force with the loss of Stead (in the Titanic disaster) and, in c. 1917, it was sold for just £25000. It was eventually merged with World magazine and renamed the World Review in 1940.

© Owen Mulpetre 2012


About this website

I founded this website in 2001 to assist me in my own research on W.T. Stead, little knowing then that it would become the largest online resource on Stead's life and career. Today this site is used by students, scholars and institutions around the world and has significantly contributed to the Study of W.T. Stead and the evils which he campaigned against. I hope you find it useful.

If you have a question that explicitly concerns any of the content on this website, feel free to Contact me and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience. However, please note that I no longer work in academia. With a very "busy" business to run, the time I can spare responding to enquiries through this website is finite, to say the least. So, please do not ask me to do research for you or assist in matters of family history.

Finally, though this website includes a section on Stead's obsession with spiritualism, I myself am not remotely interested in the subject. So, if you think you have seen Stead's ghost in your kitchen or believe you are the reincarnation of the great editor himself (or anyone else who died on the Titanic), I beg you not to tell me about it..

Please support this website

As a subscription-free resource, this website depends on donations to help with the cost of development, hosting and historical research. Please consider making a contribution to help me preserve this valuable resource for future researchers. All donations are very gratefully received.

Owen Mulpetre, BA (Hons) MPhil

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