Some collections are just too big and important to condense into one weekly email alert. We've represented the prestigious archive of the Illustrated London News for a decade now and continue to select, edit and scan from this vast magazine collection comprising, the ILN itself, The Sphere, The Graphic, The Bystander, The Sketch, The Tatler, The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News and Britannia & Eve. The Tatler is the only title still in publication and we're kicking off our occasional series looking at the individual magazines within the archive with this well-loved bible of all things posh and perky!
The Tatler magazine launched in 1901, aiming to provide a lively mix of society gossip, theatre news, sport, travel and fashion to a well-heeled readership. Its founder Clement Shorter believed in the power of the printed image, engaging some of the leading artists and photographers of the day to contribute to the magazine.
Describing itself as 'A Journal of Society and the Stage', The Tatler allied itself with the British upper class from the very first issue by featuring the popular society hostess the Duchess of Sutherland on its front cover. But despite its reliance on photography to deliver society news, illustration was to prove a prominent element in each weekly issue. Consequently, The Tatler boasted a roster of talented contributors including Mabel Lucie Attwell, cartoonist H. M. Bateman, George Belcher, fashion artist Gordon Conway, Annie Fish and Lewis Baumer, who designed many of the title's charming special number front covers in the 1920s and 30s. Our complete run extends from 1901 to 1965 - roughly 3,300 separate issues.
Naturally, The Tatler is a superb source for celebrities, the demi-monde, Bright Young Things and aristocrats of yesteryear; it featured everyone from Oswald Mosley to Julie Christie, Suzanne Lenglen to the Queen on its front cover. But it's also a rich source of art and advertisements (Asprey cocktail cabinet anyone?) and overall a compelling, Downtonesque snapshot of how the other half once lived. Remember too that, since The Tatler was digitised by Proquest, we are able to digitally search for names, places and events among all the ILN magazines.