George Cruikshank

Bentley's Miscellany

Illustration from Bentley's Miscellany

Bentley's Miscellany was an influential British magazine, named after its founder and publisher Richard Bentley. It ran from 1836 to 1868, during which time it helped shape Victorian literature and style.

Its first editor was Charles Dickens, who also published his novel Oliver Twist in serial form in the magazine. However Dickens soon had a falling out with Bentley and he was replaced by the lawyer turned novelist William Ainsworth.

Under Ainsworth, the magazine reached the top heights of popularity and was on the vanguard of publishing the best Victorian authors including Dickens, Ainsworth, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Ainsworth left the magazine three years later to focus on other literary endeavors, though he later bought it from bentley and then eventually sold it back to him. in Additon to publishing many notable works of fiction by leading British authors of the time, the magazine featured quality illustrations by artists such as George Cruikshank and John Leech. England, and The Leaguer of Lathom (1876). He died in 1882.

Although very popular in his day, Ainsworth's fiction is today largely forgotten.