Preface to the Magazinctum: a Journal of the Stead Family (1867)
Webmaster's note...This is the preface to the first number of The Magazinctum, Stead's earliest attempt at being an editor (under the pseudonym, W.T. Silcoates). The Magazinctum was a journal of the Stead family, and was devoted, according to Stead's daughter Estelle, "to the various interests and adventures of the different members of the Stead family." Written entirely by hand and running for some ten issues over a five year period, The Magazinctum, with its featured illustrations, pen portraits and character sketches, was probably an ancestor of Stead's later Review of Reviews
This magazine is the result of much talking and scheming. After dangling before the eyes of the family for nearly twelve months it has at last taken the tangible form in which it now presents itself.
Magazinctum will, we trust, always be found of interest to its readers, both of this and of following generations. To show on what firm ground this trust is founded, we need only mention of what it will consist.
First there will be a continued story running through the whole year, contributed by that celebrated authoress Vida Amica. Her name will be well known to our readers as the composer of several brilliant poems, and that fascinating novel "The Covenanters." This alone is sufficient to insure its popularity, but when we proceed to enumerate the various other attractions it will present, all our readers will be satisfied that never before in the annals of the Steadian gens was such a varied and delightful amount of literature made public. There will be mechanical devices, instrumental plans, and many other outpourings of perfect genius from him who bids fair to be the Sir Isaac of the race.
It is certain that a tale, weirdly romantic, from the pen of a well-known student of sensation will appear every month. The patient and industrious writer known by the name of Hitchiedobler will detail the internal organism and domestic government of a well-known house. Stories illustrative of ancient times are expected from the philological member of the race. But we are exceeding the bounds of a preface. Time would fail us were we to enumerate our poets, our historians, and our divines, so after mentioning that our only principle is "Utter disregard of everything unconnected with the Race," we finish.
W. T. SILCOATES.