The People of Gibraltar
1833 - Gibraltar in the News - Chauvinistic Titillation

Magazines and periodicals probably started illustrating their articles with engravings and sketches during the  . . . .  well I don’t really know when. I suppose it all depends on what country we are talking about, what exactly constitutes a magazine or a periodical or even what counts as a proper illustration. 

What I do know is that in so far as European and North American publications are concerned , it was only during the earlier bits of the 19th century that articles dealing with news from Gibraltar were sometimes accompanied by some sort of illustration.

Modern tabloids and other newspapers and magazines have of course continued to do likewise right up to the present but it seems to me that Victorian and early post Victorian equivalents give the modern reader the feeling that their entire approach was fundamentally different to that of modern periodicals 

Understandably the Empire often took pride of place and there were constant reminders of just how great - in every respect - Great Britain was. An imposing photo of British held Rock of Gibraltar might count as an example of some sort of chauvinistic titillation - but it also served to remind the reader of how lucky he or she was to be a member of England’s green and pleasant land and a beneficiary of her military and naval power. 

The fact that the editor who was usually a man - as female editors were not just few but very far between - might have forgotten that at least some of his readers might not have lived anywhere that might plausibly be described as either green or pleasant or indeed that they might not have been English but Scottish, Irish or Welsh - was simply part of the myth.
But at least in one crucial way these periodicals were not so much different to those published nowadays. Then as now the overall aim was news in the form of propaganda. 

No newspaper with a wide circulation has ever been owned by a media mogul who wasn’t either extremely rich or politically powerful or both - making it hardly surprising that British newspapers - especially tabloids specifically designed for the working class reader - have always promoted the status quo and have rejected or ridiculed anything that might remotely give rise to any serious political change. The underlying intent - as far as I can make out - is to try to ensure that a majority will remain loyal to the idea of a predominantly conservative country - and vote accordingly. 

Over the years I have collected a large number of illustrations from these old and now defunct periodicals in which the subject matter was Gibraltar or something to do with the place. In many of them such as The Saturday Magazine, The Lady’s Magazine or The Tatler - or American equivalents such as the Daily Graphic or Harper’s - Gibraltar may have had the odd mention over the years - but these articles were only rarely illustrated.

Not so as regards the weekly Illustrated London News which was first published in 1844 and in which Gibraltar was sometimes offered as front page news. Another was the Sphere - also published by the same illustrated London News from 1900 to as late as 1960.  Add to these, the Graphic - a British weekly published from 1869 to 1932 and the result is a large collection of digital illustrations which reflect the way in which the editors of these mostly Victorian newspapers perceived the Rock - mostly as an imposing and very British military garrison . . . . but also on rare occasions as a curious British possession in which the “natives” were sometimes part of the scene.

The collection is too big to post in one go - so if you are so inclined, please click on the links below to view the illustrations chronologically:

1833 - Gibraltar in the News - 1833 - 1869 
1833 - Gibraltar in the News - 1870 - 1879 
1833 - Gibraltar in the News - 1880 - 1889 
1833 - Gibraltar in the News - 1890 - 1899
1833 - Gibraltar in the News - 1900 - 1904
1833 - Gibraltar in the News - 1905 - 1929
1833 - Gibraltar in the News - 1930 - 1970