The Era was a national newspaper which was first seen in 1838 and continued publishing for just over a hundred years, until 1939, when the outbreak of World War II brought it to an abrupt end. It originally published weekly, every Sunday, before switching to Saturdays in 1881.
The first few years of The Era’s life were of a liberal-leaning and the publication spent many column inches discussing politics. This can be seen from the very first page, dated 30 September 1838, which is dominated by a dense, wide write-up of domestic and foreign politics. It was when the original editor Frederick Bond moved on, to be replaced first by Daniel Gosden and then Frederick Ledger by 1849, that the paper’s political leanings shifted more towards the right. These changes in leadership, however, saw the paper grow into a far more substantial commercial success, and gradually politics became less important than sports and theatre. The latter, in particular, became the dominant focus and eventually led the publication to become known as ‘The Great Theatrical Journal’.
Though The Era has disappeared entirely from the public conscience since its retirement, during its peak years it was regarded as perhaps the most important theatrical journal in London. As a status symbol, even, for those walking down the street with a copy clutched in their hand (due in part to the lofty price, proving that one was serious about the theatre), but also because its content was generally considered to be of a higher quality than its rival papers.
For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:
- 1838–1939 The Era
This newspaper is published by an unknown publisher in London, London, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in May 9, 2013 . The latest issues were added in Mar 24, 2016.