Literature, 1897-1902, preserves and makes available an important strand of social and literary history. This microfilm edition of the nine-volume facsimile reprint contains all issues of Literature, a weekly publication that was to become the illustrious precursor to the Times Literary Supplement.
Literature is a turn-of-the-century literary legacy, presenting the most expressive voices of the fin de siècle. Moberly Bell, journalist and eventual manager of The Times (London) conceived the publication and its purpose was to provide book reviews to the reading public and publishing information to the book trade.
In considering books from the perspectives of publishers and booksellers, as well as authors and readers, Literature was unique, combining the commercial with the intellectual. While the weekly publication existed, it offered a notable array of contributors and features. Among others, Max Beerbohm, Joseph Conrad, H.G. Wells, Hilaire Belloc, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy. Henry James and W.D. Howells were both American correspondents who reported on the trans-Atlantic literary scene.
In addition to reviewing over 200 books a month, a quarter of which were fiction, Literature included specialized biographies on subjects ranging from Trafalgar to biographies of national heroes, new poetry, reviews of foreign translations, and chatty social reportage on literary celebrities of the moment.
Given the continued academic interest in fin-de-siècle literary and social culture as important intellectual origins of 20th-century thought, the passing of a century has not eroded but enhanced the value of the contributions in Literature.