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Frearson's Weekly Illustrated
Title : Frearson's Weekly Illustrated Frearson's Weekly Illustrated
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Source : Frearson's Weekly Illustrated, 23 March 1878, p. 25
Date of creation : 1878
Format : Newspaper
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Description :

Frearson's Weekly was established by the Frearson brothers in 1878 as a second illustrated newspaper following the success of their monthly Illustrated Adelaide News. Published on a Saturday, the newspaper initially took a more satirical and comic approach than the older title, filling its pages with cartoons and political comment. The first few issues included front page editorials and interesting wood-cut cartoon illustrations commenting on issues of the day.

Editorial policy The editorial policy was clearly liberal, with comments, for example, in support of Chinese immigration during the lead-up to the Chinese Immigration Bill: '[I]n this broad territory there is ample room and scope for all' (1 February 1879, p. 1). However, Matthew Burnett's fiery temperance gospel crusades in 1880 received sarcastic and dismissive treatment by the editor. The newspaper was strong in its coverage of the local theatre.

There was a clear change of editorial policy in 1882, with the newspaper becoming extremely right wing in its views. This saw the publication of editorials now condemning Chinese immigration, as well as the import of 'black races' into the Northern Territory. A clear dislike of the Irish and disapproval of the rising workers' movements also emerged, with articles, editorials and cartoons disparaging the Eight Hours movement in 1882 and 1883.

Literary contentFrearson's Weekly Illustrated published a variety of literary pieces. Ex-Police Commissioner, George Hamilton, wrote memoirs and other articles for the newspaper from the time he left the police force in 1882 up to his death the following year. Hamilton was almost certainly the author of several articles published between 1882 and 1883 which criticised the South Australian police force.

Serials by 'Atha' (Frank Westbury) appeared regularly. These were often set in New Zealand, frequently with a titled lady as the heroine. His 'Experiences of a colonist of 40 years' were published in the newspaper in 1878. George Loyau was another literary contributor with 'The true story of a remarkable life' in 1879, followed by 'Through trials and temptations : or the lost son' and 'Detected at last'. From 1882 serials were contributed by the young AG Hales, who went on to become special correspondent for the London Daily News and is best remembered now as a war correspondent and for his McGlusky detective series.

Illustrators Cartoonists and illustrators included the Frearsons' nephew, Thomas Caleb Dalwood ('Penstone'). Dalwood also contributed to their other title, the Illustrated Adelaide News. HJ Woodhouse's work also appears in both titles, as does that of 'Leonard'. (The same illustrations often occur in both titles.) Other artists included Alfred Scott Broad, EM Harral, 'Vulture' and 'Squiz'. Squiz re-named himself 'Quiz' from late 1881.

Illustrated and comic newspapers were obviously popular, and the Frearson brothers successfully published two illustrated newspapers for several years. The success is evident also in the copious advertising filling both titles. By the end of its life the Weekly Illustrated contained twelve pages of advertisements every week - and far fewer illustrations. However, in 1884 the two titles combined to become the Pictorial Australian. In the new title, the Frearson brothers experimented with new developments in newspaper illustration, and in this were far ahead of other South Australian newspaper publishers.

Related names :


Broad, Alfred Scott

Burnett, Matthew, 1839-

Dalwood, Thomas Caleb

Hales, A.G. (Alfred Greenwood), 1860-1936

Hamilton, George, 1812-1883

Harral, E.M.


Loyau, George E. (George Ettienne), 1835-1898





Woodhouse, H.J.

Daily news (London, England)

Frearson and Brother

Illustrated Adelaide news (Adelaide, S. Aust.)

Coverage year : 1878
Place : Adelaide, S. Aust.



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