The Ripon Gazette | British Newspaper Archive


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive our presses having been working non-stop to bring you 201,657 brand new pages, as well as one brand new title, the Ripon Gazette. Meanwhile, from Ballymena to Blackpool, from Morpeth to Motherwell, from Shetland to Suffolk, we’ve updated 25 of our existing titles from across the United Kingdom.

So read on to discover more about our new addition of the week, the Ripon Gazette, and also to learn which of our existing titles we have updated over the last seven days. Meanwhile, we delve into some literary history as we learn about the publication in 1898, in full, of H.G. Wells’ seminal science fiction work The War of the Worlds, and how it was reprinted in the United States with a slightly different twist.

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First we repair to Ripon, England’s third smallest city, and its local weekly newspaper, the Ripon Gazette. The Ripon Gazette was first published in the North Yorkshire cathedral city of Ripon in 1866, and in the newspaper’s early years it appeared twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays. It was part of the Harrogate Herald series of newspapers.

During the 1880s, the newspaper claimed to be:

…the only Ripon newspaper, and its circulation is four-fold that of any other newspaper, both in the city of Ripon and its wealthy environs, and also in the populous and commercial district of which Ripon is the recognized centre. It is the recognized organ of the Liberal party in this important district; whilst the fullness and accuracy of its reports of all local meetings of whatever party and creed, has made it a household necessity, as well as a medium of reliable communication between all parties.

Filling eight pages, the Ripon Gazette was priced at 1p and reported on local news from the likes of Bedale, Harrogate and Northallerton, as well as on both national and international news. A lively read, it contained columns devoted to ‘Personal Gossip,’ ‘Wit and Humour,’ and ‘Amusing Stories.’ The Ripon Gazette also had a literary bent, featuring multiple items of serialised fiction per edition, as well as ‘Clippings from Books.’

By the 1930s the Ripon Gazette was being published once a week, and the newspaper now identified itself as politically independent. It is still published to this day, and ‘keeps an eye on current affairs in Ripon, Boroughbridge and Masham.’

That may be it from our new title of the week, but we still have updates to 25 of our existing titles for you to explore. The Sunday Post, known as ‘Scotland’s favourite newspaper,’ leads the way with 58,674 brand new pages, with the Melton Mowbray Times and Vale of Belvoir Gazette following in behind with over 40,000 brand new pages. Two of our other Scottish titles this week also see large updates, with over 20,000 brand new pages joining both the Buchan Observer and the East Aberdeenshire Advertiser and the Shetland Times.

Meanwhile, we’ve also added new pages to seven of our other Scottish titles, with updates to the likes of the Broughty Ferry Guide and Advertiser, the Southern Reporter and the Brechin Advertiser. Northern Ireland isn’t neglected this week either, with new pages joining the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph.

1898 – The War of the Worlds Is Published In Full

Having been serialised in Pearson’s Magazine in the United Kingdom, and Cosmopolitan magazine in the United States, between 1895 and 1897 H.G. Wells’ seminal science fiction novel The War of the Worlds was published in full in 1898. One of the first novels to depict a conflict between the human race and an extra-terrestrial race, The War of the Worlds is set in southern England, and describes an invasion by Martians.

On 13 January 1898 our new title the Ripon Gazette, in its ‘Literary Notes’ column, describes how H.G. Wells’ work was being prepared to be published in full:

Mr. H.G. Wells has…re-written considerable portions of ‘The War of the Worlds,’ and added a new chapter preparatory to its appearance in volume form. Mr. Heinemann is printing a first edition of ten thousand copies.

This article also shone a light on H.G. Wells’ unusual preferred writing practice, which was to ‘spend a year on a book, burn it at the end, and devote another twelve months to re-writing it.’

A few months later, in April 1898, the Ripon Gazette was once more reporting on The War of The Worlds in its ‘Literary Notes’ section. This time, the newspaper addressed the story’s publication in the United States, where the English setting of the novel had been switched to an American background.

The Ripon Gazette details how:

Mr. H.G. Wells’s story, ‘The War of the Worlds,’ has been transplanted to Boston, to the great astonishment, not to say mortification, of its creator. London and Surrey being, doubtless, unimaginable places to Boston readers, the Post of that city made the story apply to New England, in order to shew ‘how the strange voyagers from Mars visited Boston and vicinity.’

This alteration caused Wells to remark:

‘What has been done to it? I fail to see how a rag of conviction can remain in it after this outrage.’

Just how did this change come about? The Ripon Gazette explains how:

It appears that when Mr. Wells arranged that the story should run in the ‘New York Journal’ he stipulated that no alterations in the text should be made without his consent. A month later he received a cablegram from the Boston ‘Post’ making an offer for the serial reproduction of it, ‘as New York Journal.’ To this he cabled ‘Agreed.’

It seems miscommunication was the route cause of this change of setting, causing the author to state:

‘I find too late that my story has been flaunted before the cultivated public of Boston, disguised and disarranged beyond my imagining.’

Despite this mix-up, The War of the Worlds has never been out of print, having inspired many films and television series over the years, and even providing inspiration to engineer Robert H. Goddard, whose inventions based on the novel would enable the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969.

Find out more about H.G. Wells, literary history, and much more besides, in the pages of our newspaper Archive today.

New Titles
TitleYears Added
Ripon Gazette1897-1900, 1910, 1950, 1986
Updated Titles

This week we have updated 25 of our existing titles.

You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.

TitleYears Added
Ballymena Weekly Telegraph1994, 1996
Banbury Guardian1930, 1938, 1964
Biggleswade Chronicle1969
Blackpool Gazette & Herald1950
Bo’ness Journal and Linlithgow Advertiser1884, 1888
Brechin Advertiser1973-1981
Broughty Ferry Guide and Advertiser1963-1973, 1982
Buchan Observer and East Aberdeenshire Advertiser1930-1960, 1975-1984
Dalkeith Advertiser1969-1975, 1977-1978
Leicester Chronicle1864
Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser1908
Maidstone Telegraph1970, 1985
Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail1869-1891, 1893-1897, 1899, 1953
Mearns Leader1976-1980
Melton Mowbray Times and Vale of Belvoir Gazette1894-1896, 1898-1905, 1932-1942, 1974-1981, 1985-1989, 1991
Morpeth Herald1993
Motherwell Times1977, 1979-1982
Northampton Chronicle and Echo1989, 1991
Northampton Mercury1986
Pateley Bridge & Nidderdale Herald1991-1992
Retford, Worksop, Isle of Axholme and Gainsborough News1954, 1974-1975, 1982
Shetland Times1987-1999
Southern Reporter1986
Suffolk and Essex Free Press1981
Sunday Post1951-1964

You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.


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