The Era (newspaper)

Last updated
Banner of the first issue, 1838 The-era.jpg
Banner of the first issue, 1838
A Reader of The Era by Joseph Clayton Clark, c. 1900 Joseph Clayton Clark AReader of The Era.jpg
A Reader of The Era by Joseph Clayton Clark, c. 1900

The Era was a British weekly paper, published from 1838 to 1939. Originally a general newspaper, it became noted for its sports coverage, and later for its theatrical content.


The Era was established in 1838 by a body of shareholders consisting of licensed victuallers and other people connected with their trade. The journal was intended to be a weekly organ of the public-house interest, just as the Morning Advertiser was then its daily organ. In the first two or three years of its existence, its political stance was broadly Liberal. Its first editor, Leitch Ritchie, proved too liberal for his board of directors, and in addition to editorial clashes, the paper was a commercial failure. Ritchie was succeeded by Frederick Ledger, who became sole proprietor as well as editor. He edited the paper for more than thirty years, gradually changing its politics from Liberalism to moderate Conservatism. Politics, however, ceased to be a major concern of The Era. Its great features after it came into the hands of Ledger were sport, freemasonry and the theatre. A contemporary observer remarked, "To the latter subject it has always devoted a very large part of its space. In relation indeed to the amount and accuracy of its theatrical intelligence, it far surpasses every other weekly journal." [1]

In an 1856 advertisement, The Era claimed to be the "largest Newspaper in the World, containing Sixty-four Columns of closely-printed matter in small type. It is the only Weekly Newspaper combining all the advantages of a first-rate Sporting Journal, with those of a Family Newspaper. Literature and the Metropolitan and Provincial Drama has more space allotted to them in the Era than in any other Journal. The Operatic and Musical Intelligence, Home and Continental, is always most copious and interesting." The Era became regarded as "Invaluable for reviews, news, and general theatrical information and gossip. Also of value are the assorted advertisements by and for actors and companies" [1]

The theatrical historian W. J. MacQueen-Pope described The Era as "The Actor's Bible", with the theatrical coverage gradually assuming prominence over all else:

By degrees and largely because of increasing advertisements, The Era began to take more and more interest in theatrical affairs and gave weekly reports of theatrical happenings in London and the great provincial cities.... [A]s Music Hall grew so the space devoted to it grew; The Era became the great theatrical journal and every member of the profession, stage or hall, just had to buy it although the price was steep, it remained at 6d. for many years. However, to be seen walking along the street with The Era under the arm, its title displayed for the passer-by to read, proved to all that the person carrying it was a "Pro". [2]

The Era was the longest running theatrical trade paper [3] and continued to publish until the beginning of World War II, although its popularity and importance had long since declined. [2]

Related Research Articles

History of British newspapers

The history of British newspapers dates to the 17th century with the emergence of regular publications covering news and gossip. The relaxation of government censorship in the late 17th century led to a rise in publications, which in turn led to an increase in regulation throughout the 18th century. The Times began publication in 1785 and became the leading newspaper of the early 19th century, before the lifting of taxes on newspapers and technological innovations led to a boom in newspaper publishing in the late 19th century. Mass education and increasing affluence led to new papers such as the Daily Mail emerging at the end of the 19th century, aimed at lower middle-class readers.

<i>The Globe and Mail</i> Canadian newspaper

The Globe and Mail is a Canadian newspaper printed in five cities in western and central Canada. With a weekly readership of 2,018,923 in 2015, it is Canada's most widely read newspaper on weekdays and Saturdays, although it falls slightly behind the Toronto Star in overall weekly circulation because the Star publishes a Sunday edition while the Globe does not. The Globe and Mail is regarded by some as Canada's "newspaper of record".

<i>New York Herald Tribune</i> Defunct American newspaper published in New York City

The New York Herald Tribune was a newspaper published between 1924 and 1966. It was created in 1924 when Ogden Mills Reid of the New-York Tribune acquired the New York Herald. It was widely regarded as a "writer's newspaper" and competed with The New York Times in the daily morning market. The paper won twelve Pulitzer Prizes during its lifetime.

The Daily Sport was a tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom by Daily Sport Ltd., which specialised in celebrity news and softcore pornographic stories and images. The daily paper was launched in 1991 by David Sullivan, following its former Sunday sister title, Sunday Sport. It ceased publication and entered administration on 1 April 2011.

<i>Daily Chronicle</i>

The Daily Chronicle was a British newspaper that was published from 1872 to 1930 when it merged with the Daily News to become the News Chronicle.

<i>National Guardian</i>

The National Guardian, later known as The Guardian, was a left-wing independent weekly newspaper established in 1948 in New York City. The paper was founded by James Aronson, Cedric Belfrage and John T. McManus in connection with the 1948 Presidential campaign of Henry A. Wallace under the Progressive Party banner. Although independent and often critical of all political parties, the National Guardian is thought to have been initially close to the ideological orbit of the pro-Moscow Communist Party USA, but this suspected association quickly broke down in the course of several years.

The Badger Herald is a newspaper serving the University of Wisconsin–Madison community, founded in 1969. The paper is published Monday through Friday during the academic year and once during the summer. Available at newsstands across campus and downtown Madison, Wisconsin and published on the web, it has a print circulation of 6,000.

The Sun News-Pictorial was a morning daily tabloid newspaper published in Melbourne, Victoria, from 1922 until its merger in 1990 with The Herald to form the Herald-Sun.

History of American newspapers

The history of American newspapers begins in the early 18th century with the publication of the first colonial newspapers. American newspapers began as modest affairs—a sideline for printers. They became a political force in the campaign for American independence. Following independence the first amendment to U.S. Constitution guaranteed freedom of the press. The U.S. Postal Service Act of 1792 provided substantial subsidies: Newspapers were delivered up to 100 miles for a penny and beyond for 1.5 cents, when first class postage ranged from six cents to a quarter.

Japanese newspapers, similar to their worldwide counterparts, run the gamut from general news-oriented papers to special interest newspapers devoted to economics, sports, literature, industry, and trade. Newspapers are circulated either nationally, by region, by each prefecture, or by each city. Some newspapers publish as often as two times a day while others publish weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. The five leading national daily newspapers in Japan are the Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, the Yomiuri Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun and the Nikkei Shimbun. The first two are generally considered liberal/left leaning while the latter three are considered conservative/right leaning. The most popular national daily English-language newspaper in Japan is The Japan Times.

Southern Weekly, is a Chinese weekly newspaper based in Guangzhou, and is a sister publication of the newspaper Nanfang Daily.

<i>The Leaf-Chronicle</i> Daily newspaper in Clarksville, Tennessee

The Leaf-Chronicle is a newspaper in the state of Tennessee, founded, officially, in 1808.

The Patriot Ledger is a daily newspaper in Quincy, Massachusetts, that serves the South Shore. It publishes Monday through Saturday.

<i>Intelligencer Journal</i>

The Intelligencer Journal, known locally as the Intell, was the daily, morning newspaper published by Lancaster Newspapers, Inc in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It is the 7th oldest newspaper in the United States and was one of the oldest newspapers to be continually published under the same name. The Intelligencer Journal's editorial page generally leaned to the Democratic/liberal perspective. The Intelligencer merged with its sister newspaper, the Lancaster New Era, in 2009.

The 19th-century Catholic periodical literature is unique in many respects. Most of the periodical publications in mainly Catholic countries can be regarded as "Catholic" literature up to a few decades before 1800: the editorial line is implicitly Catholic in most instances.

The Legal Intelligencer is the oldest daily law journal published in the United States, and serves the legal community of Philadelphia and surrounding areas. The paper was founded in 1843 by Philadelphia attorney Henry E. Wallace.

The Sunday Mercury (1839–1896) was a weekly Sunday newspaper published in New York City that grew to become the highest-circulation weekly newspaper in the United States at its peak. It was known for publishing and popularizing the work of many notable 19th-century writers, including Charles Farrar Browne and Robert Henry Newell, and was the first Eastern paper to publish Mark Twain. It was also the first newspaper to provide regular coverage of baseball, and was popular for the extensive war correspondence from soldiers it published during the Civil War.

History of Canadian newspapers Aspect of history

There were five important periods in the history of Canadian newspapers' responsible for the eventual development of the modern newspaper. These are the "Transplant Period" from 1750 to 1800, when printing and newspapers initially came to Canada as publications of government news and proclamations; followed by the "Partisan Period from 1800–1850," when individual printers and editors played a growing role in politics. The "Nation Building Period from 1850–1900," when Canadian editors began the work of establishing a common nationalistic view of Canadian society. The "Modern period" from 1900 to 1980s saw the professionalization of the industry and the growth of chains. "Current history" since the 1990s saw outside interests take over the chains, as they faced new competition from the Internet.

The Farmer's Sun was a progressive weekly periodical published in Ontario from 1892 until 1934. It was, at various times, the official organ of several successive political movements: the Patrons of Industry, the Farmers Association of Ontario, and the United Farmers of Ontario, and supporting the idea of a progressive farmers' political party.

The history of journalism in the United Kingdom includes the gathering and transmitting of news, spans the growth of technology and trade, marked by the advent of specialised techniques for gathering and disseminating information on a regular basis. In the analysis of historians, it involves the steady increase of the scope of news available to us and the speed with which it is transmitted.


  1. 1 2 The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals: 1800-1900 at 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Gale Group (requires subscription)
  2. 1 2 MacQueen-Pope, W. J. The Melodies Linger On, W. H. Allen, 1951, pp. 274–275, quoted at
  3. "Announcement Sent Out for Change in "Clipper"". Variety . July 12, 1923. p. 11. Retrieved April 30, 2018.