Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Vulpes Random: Glorious Pulp Magazines

I ConfessI love the covers of magazines. One of the perils of my job is getting sidetracked into looking at gorgeous magazine covers of the periodicals of the 1920s and 1930s when I’m supposed to be reading the contents, and drawing profoundly useful book-historical conclusions from them.

Patrick Belk’s Pulp Magazines Project site is one of my favourite magazine cover sites, because its got the covers and all the insides of a dazzling range of American and British magazines from the 1890s to the 1950s.

All StoryHere, you can read the first American publication of The Thirty-Nine Steps in the All-Story Weekly magazine as a screen flipbook, but just look first at the misty-eyed dewiness of the front cover.

Here, you can be astounded at the heat-retaining qualities of the cover star’s inadequate clothing in the snowy North, in North-West Romances, and also read what appears to be her adventures in ‘The Wolf-Woman of Chandindu’.

NW RomancesAnd, here, you can get all sociological about the significance of the terrific art deco cover of Saucy Stories (1922), the inside cover ad for two colossal diamond rings, and the first story entitled ‘No Place for Husbands’.

It’s a great place to waste half hours at a time, because who can resist reading a story in a magazine with really good pictures? But use a reader with a big screen if you can: my tiny netbook can’t quite crank up the pixels to read the text without being plugged into an extra screen.

About Kate

Blogger, lecturer, podcaster, writer, critic, reviewer, researcher, and publisher (, in and on British literary history. Preferred occupation while listening to podcasts: cooking or knitting. Preferred soundtrack while reading: the sound of silence.

4 comments on “Vulpes Random: Glorious Pulp Magazines

  1. Mary Smith
    May 13, 2013

    Pulp Magazines Project site is wonderful – thanks for sharing this. I fear I won’t get any work done today. I love the adverts.

  2. Jackie
    May 14, 2013

    Oh my goodness, what a site! I’d never heard of it before, but what a great piece of ‘literary’ history. I just know I’m going to be looking through some of those covers. That North West Romances is hilarious! Those blood thirsty huskies just add to the whole bizarre atmosphere.
    Thanks for introducing us to this website, I can see it’s going to provide some entertainment.

  3. Shay
    May 20, 2013

    Another site — rather an odd one and it can be tricky to navigate — is Click on “Periodicals” for a slew of older pubs, with copies of everything from Collier’s to Wild West Magazine.

  4. Kate
    May 20, 2013

    Yup, I know that one! Also good is:

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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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