Advertisements in The English Review

I opened the link to The English Review, Vol. 1, No. 4 and looked at what appears to be the first actual page titled, "The English Review Advertiser." This page then lists 7 different book titles, some with descriptions underneath and others with nothing more than an author and title. The first thing that I thought when glancing at this page is that there is no way anyone would give this a second glance today, particularly if it was the first page in something. A page with that much text is simply not aesthetically pleasing, something that ads try very hard today to be. The text does not stand out at all, and in fact, it almost seems like it would be a chore to read the entire page. But on one hand, it does say something about the dedication and attention span of readers at that time. If these advertisements actually worked, and I'm sure that they must have in some way because they are all throughout the magazine, then the reader must have read nearly everything on every page of the review. I think it's interesting that some of them did not include any description, like the first one titled, "The Bishop and the Bogieman." Perhaps they thought that title alone would be enough to lure in readers- I for one am curious as to what the plotline could be. 

In terms of the context of these ads, I think they fit within the terms of what else appears in The English Review and they fit the tone of the rest of the publication. People who were reading The English Review at this time certainly showed a dedication to reading, so it makes sense to advertise novels to people who are interested in reading. Now that I scroll through the thumbnails, I notice that the formatting for the ads is more inviting than most of the other pages, which just have straight text in the same font and typeface, etc. The ads tend to have boxes around them using thicker lines and some capitalized heads which are bigger than the rest of the text. So in that way, I suppose the advertisements are more aesthetically pleasing than the rest of the publication, which could have grown into what we are accustomed to in ads today.


Your statement stands solid Paige. Advertisment somehow failed to produce its intented purpose as to inform and educate the reader. Today, we are distracted instead of focused on the text. Today's reader surf the adds and decide on what book to read and what movie to watch in a correlation on how much advertisment were he/she bombarded with.