Conrad First The Joseph Conrad Periodical Archive

The Evening News (London, UK)

15 May 1923
Launched as a halfpenny in 1881 by Coleridge Kennard and Harry Marks, The Evening News became an organ of the Conservative Party, using telegraphed sporting news and sensational headlines to raise its circulation, which reached 219,000 during the Jack the Ripper mania in late 1888. Absorbing its local London rival The Evening Post the following year to become The Evening News and Post, it claimed to have the largest sale of any evening paper in the capital.

In 1894, however, The Evening News was on the verge of bankruptcy. Encouraged by Kennedy Jones, an ambitious Glaswegian editor who had acquired an option to purchase the paper, Alfred and Harold Harmsworth bought it for the modest sum of 25,000 pounds. Their first foray into daily journalism, it became a cornerstone -- 'our gold brick', as Alfred called it -- of the Amalgamated Press media empire that included The Daily Mail, The Times, Hutchinson's Magazine, The London Magazine, Countries of the World, and The Argosy.

Under the dynamic Kennedy, who joined jingoistic politics to sporting news, prize competitions, serial fiction, and lively articles taken from the popular Harmsworth miscellany Answers to Correspondents, The Evening News set a new world record for daily circulation with 394,000 copies sold on 15 November 1894. Following the absorption of The Evening Mail in 1901, it appeared as The Evening News and Mail until 1905, when its name reverted to The Evening News. Pioneering innovations included 'Woman's World' and 'Gossip of the Day' columns, and the use of a fleet of yellow motor vans for distribution. From its inception, the paper published short fiction and serials, until 1907 anonymously and on the front page, and, beginning in the 1930s, with black and white illustrations. By 1920, The Evening News had an average net daily sale of 825,000 copies. Editors included Martin Fradd (1881-8812), Charles Williams (1881-1883), Frank Harris (1883-1887), I. Rubie (1887-1889), W.R. Lawson (1889), J.H. Copleston (1889-1894), Kennedy Jones (1894-(1896), Walter J. Evans (1894-1922), Charles Beattie (1924-1926), and Frank L. Fitzhugh (1926-1944).

Curtis, L. Perry, Jr. Jack the Ripper and the London Press. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2001.
Griffith, Dennis, ed. The Encyclopedia of the British Press, 1422-1992. London: St. Martin's Press, 1992.
Pound, Reginald, and Geoffrey Harmsworth. Northcliffe. New York: Praeger, 1959.
Simms, Richard. The History of The Evening News. The Evening News Short Story Index.
Taylor, S.J. The Great Outsiders: Northcliffe, Rothermere and the Daily Mail. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1996.

Pound, Harmsworth