Audience Analysis of
The New Wonderful Magazine and Marvellous Chronicle
One can tell a lot about a person from what he reads. Perhaps more so than dress or physical condition, evaluating a person’s reading material gives one a unique insight into the reader’s character, aspirations, and background. Whether it is Gardner’s History of Art, The Financial Times, or Guns & Ammo Magazine – each publication is targeted to a specific and different group of readers, and therefore the intended readership of each publication can be deduced through examination of its pages. The girl reading Gardner’s textbook is likely a college student interested in art, history, or both. The middle-aged man reading The Financial Times likely has aspirations to augment his income. The chap reading Guns & Ammo is likely up to no good.
Likewise, one can determine from the characteristics of a publication which of his acquaintances would be most likely to enjoy it. If the superstitious Partridge from Fielding’s Tom Jones were alive today, he would doubtless be a faithful subscriber to The Weekly World News. As a woman of class and leisure, Lady Bellaston would enjoy Readers’ Digest. I would expect to find Kitty and Lydia Bennett from Austen’s Pride & Prejudice pouring over the pages of Teen Vogue, while their older sisters Jane and Elizabeth would naturally peruse something more practical, like Martha Stewart Magazine, or at least something more sophisticated, like Architectural Digest. What of Mary Bennett, however? The odd-sister-out? What perceptive publisher has honed in on her unique and unusual tastes for the morose and bizarre? Though I’m not familiar enough with Goth-themed magazines to suggest a modern match, I am confident that in her own time Mary’s curiosity would have been whet and satisfied by a journal called The Wonderful Magazine and Marvellous Chronicle. In the 18th Century, London publisher Alexander Hogg and C. Johnson marketed The Wonderful towards...