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The Late-Victorian Little Magazine$
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Koenraad Claes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474426213

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474426213.001.0001

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Mounting the (Century Guild) Hobby Horse

Mounting the (Century Guild) Hobby Horse

(p.36) Chapter 2 Mounting the (Century Guild) Hobby Horse
The Late-Victorian Little Magazine

Koenraad Claes

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter is entirely dedicated to a pioneering little magazine that elaborated on the example of The Germ and the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine (see Chapter 1), the Century GuildHobby Horse (1884/86–92), which started as the periodical organ of the early Arts & Crafts organisation the Century Guild. To this magazine, the production and design of the material text was as much an opportunity for experiments as its actual contents, a notable aesthetic innovation that was motivated by a notion of artistic artisanship, and that made it a milestone in Victorian print culture. Each issue of the magazine—in which Victorian sages such as Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin made guest appearances— commands for the applied art workers producing it the respect usually reserved for authors and artists working within the category of ‘Fine Art’. So doing, the magazine helped to create a wider appreciation for Fine Printing. After the discontinuation of the Century Guild in 1893, this periodical was temporarily revived by the enterprising publishers at the Bodley Head to boost that firm’s Print-Revivalist credentials. The Hobby Horse is thereby also an early example of how supposedly avant-garde principles are sometimes difficult to distinguish from commercial strategies.

Keywords:   Century Guild Hobby Horse, Arts & Crafts Movement, Century Guild, Matthew Arnold, John Ruskin, Revival of Fine Printing, Bodley Head, commercialism

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