A summary of the history of the Pollokshields Literary and Art Circle is available on our sister website, Glasgow’s Literary Bonds (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).
Only one issue of this society magazine, 106 pages long, has been located, though as earlier January and February issues are mentioned in members’ comments this is probably the third issue of a newly launched effort. The magazine includes a set of prescriptive rules. According to these rules, members had to contribute monthly or pay a 2d fine, and they could keep the magazine for only two days and would be fined 1d for every extra day. Members who failed to contribute for 3 months running would be assumed to have resigned from the society.
Of particular interest is the competitive nature of this magazine: each member had 5 votes and could give up to two of these to their favourite articles. A blank page was included beside each contribution where readers could register their votes, and the magazine also contained a ‘Suggestions’ page at the end, used for lively critical discussion. Vote tallies for the previous issue were announced in the issue following.
Writers could not contribute either articles or criticism anonymously but pseudonyms were permitted. Whether these rules were followed is doubtful, since the editor expresses disappointment that only 15 out of 30 contributors had submitted a piece for the first issue, and according to the dates recorded in the circulation list, almost no-one managed to pass on the magazine within their allotted two days. Thirteen out of the thirty listed members were women, so this is one of the magazines with the strongest representation from female authors.
As befits a magazine ‘of Literature and Art’, contributions included drawings, paintings and musical compositions as well as fiction, poetry and factual and descriptive articles. The criticisms under ‘Suggestions’ are the most engaging aspect of this issue. A number of these express disappointment with the quality of the work submitted and object to its language or form, as in a complaint that a sonnet by ‘Dagon’ contained twenty rather than fourteen lines. A leading contributor, ‘Hecla’, also felt that the ‘prose contributions savour too much of “Tit Bits” and “Child’s Advisor”’ – his/her own contribution consisted of a serialized historical religious novel, ‘Broken Bonds.’
This magazine contains poetry, fiction, artwork, musical compositions, informative articles on ‘Newspapers’ and ‘Balloons and Ballooning’, as well as art criticism.
Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine
Pollokshields Literary and Art Circle (Glasgow)
Date of Existence
Date of Magazine
Number of Issues
Contents and Contributions
Art/Illustrations (original); Articles (non-fiction); Circulation List; Fiction/Narratives; Magazine Rules; Music; Poems (original); Readers’ Criticisms; Readers’ votes; Serial article/story
Mitchell Library Special Collections