A summary of the history of the New Literary Club is available on our sister website, Glasgow’s Literary Bonds (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).
The first issue of this magazine was produced in January 1893, four months after the club was founded. According to its Editor, the magazine was ‘instituted in order to allow those who are not public speakers or orators to contribute in writing original pieces of Literature’ (Andrew Ross, ‘Editorial’, New Literary Club Magazine, 18 January 1893, p. 3). At that point, the club had not yet worked out what pieces to include within it, but members generally agreed that these should be on subjects ‘which are common and instructive to all’ (Ibid).
There are 9 issues of this (mostly) monthly magazine bound into four volumes. With the exception of one poem in typescript in the December 1893 issue, all of the pieces are in manuscript.
Most of the issues run about 40 pages each with between 9 and 17 contributions (including the frontispieces). The largest issues were those produced in Summer 1894 and Spring 1895, which average about 130 pages and just over 20 contributions apiece (the largest, the Summer 1894 issue, having 27 contributions).
These issues contain mostly prose works with about ten percent of the contributions overall being poems, all of which are in the authors’ own handwriting, with most choosing to sign their own names. There are also a small number of puzzles and games throughout.
While this club was restricted to men, from the editorials, we know that women contributed a few pieces (a small percentage overall) of artwork to its magazine. The artwork is in a variety of media, but a sizeable percentage of the illustrations are in pencil, which is a bit unusual.
There is one (extant) issue of the magazine that the club produced under its new name, the Literary Twenty-One Club, which clearly carries on the format and style of the previous issues that were produced by the group as the New Literary Club, with several of its old members staying on (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).
Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine
The New Literary Club was formed in 1892. In 1896, it became the Literary Twenty-one Club. Even later, it amalgamated with the Holyrood Literary Society and took its name on 24 September 1897. On 3 October 1899, it changed its name to The Holyrood Literary Club, thento The New Holyrood Literary Club. Later it was simply known as The Holyrood Club. (Glasgow)
Date of Existence
9 September 1892 – 21 April 1896; 21 April 1896 – 24 September 1897 (as Literary Twenty-One Club); on 24 September 1897 it amalgamated with Holyrood Literary Society and took its name
Date of Magazine
January 1893; [February?] 1893; [March?] 1893; October 1893; November 1893; December 1893; January 1894; Summer 1894; Spring 1895
Number of Issues
9 issues in 3 bound volumes
Contents and Contributions
Annotations; Art/Illustrations (original); Articles (non-fiction); Circulation List; Club notices; Editorials; Epilogue; Essays; Frontispieces; Jokes; Letters to Editor; Maps; Music; Photographs; Poems (original); Poems (republished material); Poem (translation); Prize competition; Puzzles; Readers’ criticisms (unused section); Serial articles/stories; Sketches; Song (original); Table of Contents
Mitchell Library Special Collections
(Note: The records for this club are housed together with the records of The Holyrood Club (891047))