La Belle Assemblée, or Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine
La Belle Assemblée was first published in 1806, and continued until May 1832 (it became The Court Magazine and Belle Assemblée from 18321837, and continued as the Court Magazine and Monthly Critic). The editor during the period 18061832 is unidentified, although John O. Hayden suggests that during the 1820s the editor was Laman Blanchard [1]. From 18061821, it was published by John Bell; from 18211823, the information was simply given as ‘Published for the proprietors’; from 18231829 by G. & W. Whittaker & Co (for some of this period, jointly with Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh). Of the magazine’s politics, Hayden notes that ‘the political position of La Belle Assemblée is hard to describe inasmuch as it is rarely, if ever, noticeable’ [2].

Unlike the Monthly and the Critical, only a portion of the magazine was devoted to reviewing. La Belle Assemblée published original poetry and fiction, articles on science, politics, fine arts, music, and fashion. It solicited contributions from its readers, and was also notable for publishing serialized novels, such as Oakwood Hall, by Catherine Hutton (EN2 1819: 43).

Reviews of novels from La Belle Assemblée are drawn from the monthly issues and the ‘Supplements’ that appeared at the end of each year. Material from the numerous articles on ‘Contemporary Poets and Writers of Fiction’ are not included here, as by their very nature they deal with an author’s life and career, rather than any one individual work.

[1] See entry for ‘La Belle Assemblée by John O. Hayden in Alvin Sullivan (ed.), British Literary Magazines: The Romantic Age, 17891836, pp. 4045.
[2] Ibid., p. 43.

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