From Victorian Literature
Title: A.1 Annual
Editor: Mrs. Stephen Menzies (Jane)
Publisher: S.W. Partridge and Co.
A.1 Annual was a weekly publication that ran from November 1888 to the end of 1890. Each issue was only a penny, making it available to a wide public. The original editor was Mrs. Stephen Menzies, who always referred to herself as such, but signed her actual name (Jane Menzies) at the end of her “letters from the editor” within the periodical. She was also the editor of Our Own Gazette, the newsletter of the Young Women’s Christian Association, which was actually started before A.1 and didn’t end until 1928. A.1 was started as her own personal publication, and it seems from her letter to the reader that she anticipated it to be a great success due to the success of Our Own Gazette. The fact that A.1 was discontinued long before the gazette was finished, however, implies that the journal’s run was not what she expected.
Later on, Menzies added Reverend Thain Davidson as an editor to help her with the journal. Having a long line of religious leadership experience in his lifetime, Davidson started out as a contributor writing religious segments, and added a great deal more religious flare to the journal.
The A.1 audience was quite eclectic, and ranged from younger adults to religious leaders and housewives with an even larger range of subject matter. In her first letter to the reader, Menzies listed as the content the journal would contain “serial stories, travel, adventures, biography, science, art, athletics,” and specifically in the first issues, “British industries, photography, marine zoology, laws of health, teaching in technical schools, household management, artistic needlework, social subjects, art of cookery, etc.” Even though the publication was meant for all, A.1 focused on young men and women and was aimed “specially,” according to Menzies, “at providing forcible Articles that will interest our Young Men” especially by means of spiritual help. In fact, one specific section of the journal, called “Crisp Correspondence,” was meant for communicating with those in spiritual difficulty by addressing readers’ inquiries. However, contrary to Mrs. Menzies' own specific goal for the magazine, it showed up in E.J. Salmon’s What Girls Read as “one of the only suitable titles for girls” over boys.
- ↑ Mrs. Stephen Menzies, A.1 Annual 1.1 (1888): 3, Print.
- ↑ Note: all quotes from Mrs. Menzies have been taken from her letter from the editor in the first issue.
- ↑ DNB.
- ↑ WD.
Submitted by: Isom, Krista: section 1, Winter 2010