GENII, A Monthly Circulating Magazine

GENII, A Monthly Circulating Magazine, edited by F. J. Osborn, [title page], No. 1, March 1904 (Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, DE/FJO/A11/1). Permission for the use of this image has kindly been granted by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS).


This literary group was a bit unusual in that the members formed solely for the purpose of producing a magazine of original works. While they referred to their group as an ‘Association’ and collected subscriptions, it appears that they did not hold any formal meetings. It started as a group of 10 young men (women were allowed later) that were initially asked to join by F. J. Osborn, who would act as the magazine’s Editor.

Osborn, in his ‘Editorial’ in the first number, explains his methods of persuasion to elicit contributions: after convincing one young man to contribute an article, he would then approach another acquaintance and tell him that ‘Fizgog’ has sent in his contribution. He would then go on to say it was such a poor production that surely he (the acquaintance) could produce something better. This ‘harmless subterfuge’ appears not to have been necessary after the launch of the first issue as contributors were more forthcoming thereafter.

According to the magazine’s rules in the first number, each member of the group was to aim for contributing an article every month, but was certainly to do so at least every three months. The magazine was to be kept for four days only (this would later change to 48 hours) and then passed on to the next member on the list or he would have to pay a fine of 1d per day. Friends were allowed to read the magazine, but the listed member was responsible for its condition. Later on, contributions were accepted from non-members. In the first issues, the Editor re-wrote each of the pieces submitted, and the authors’ artwork was cut and pasted in.

Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine

(Currently unknown) (Hertford)

Date of Existence


Date of Magazine

March 1904 – May 1911

Number of Issues


Manuscript/Published Magazine

Manuscript and Typescript

Contents and Contributions

Advertisements (humorous); Art/Illustrations (original); Articles (non-fiction); Circulation Lists; Editorials; Essays; Fiction/Narratives; Jokes; Letters to Editor; Magazine Rules; Notices; Prefaces; Puzzles; Readers’ Criticisms; Sketches; Tables of Contents; Title pages


Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) (Hertford)