Harpers Weekly Featured Ads [Text]


Harpers Weekly Featured Ads [Text]


Presented at the end of Harpers Weekly exist a series of smaller texts and advertisements. While they range from seeds to magazine subscriptions, there are some that can influence the reading of The Moonstone. The most notable is the excerpt that spans a third of the page titles “The Trade of Trades” by Sartor Resartus. Within this small excerpt Resartus confesses his personal opinion o tailors as the most illustrious and desirable profession, even elevating the status of tailors to philanthropists with the work they produce for others. What is noteworthy of this proclamation is how it relates to the narrative function of Collins’s narrative, for part four, that is chapter eight and nine of The Moonstone, prelude to the actions Rachel takes in recreating Franklin Blake’s paint smeared clothing shortly afterwards. Resartus and the opinion enclosed within the publication call those creators and menders of clothing “moral, poetic, and noble” for Rachel’s action in recreating the garb is done to preserve Mr. Blake’s status and integrity. This small excerpt could cause readers of subsequent serialized publications of The Moonstone to reflect, either willingly or subconsciously, on the utility of clothing within the narrative.
Another interesting advertisement within Harpers Weekly that influences the readers interpretation of The Moonstone exists in the sale of Morton gold pens. While the ad emphasizes the ease of writing and reduction of labour, the way in which the weekly journal presents this to readers is by repeating each line of the seven line ad three times. This triplicate process parallels with a specific element within Collins novel in the reference to Robinson Crusoe. Gabriel Betteredge, Franklin Blake, and Erza Jennings all reveal over the course of the novel that they have read Robinson Crusoe, some character more than others. In this regard, the repeating ad for Morton pens signifies the importance in considering the three characters interpretation of Daniel Defoe’s work. Furthermore, this ad again signals the use of ink within the narrative, drawing particular attention to the passage in which part four opens with the recollection of the ink used by the Indians. Readers of All The Year Round would not have such parallels between the The Moonstone and Harpers Weekly images and advertisements, thus ultimately altering how American readers would perceive the text compared to British readers.



Archives and Special Collections


Calgary: University of Calgary



Peris, John.










Harpers Ads.jpg


Harpers Weekly, “Harpers Weekly Featured Ads [Text],” University of Calgary Class Projects, accessed January 20, 2020, https://omeka.ucalgary.ca/document/502.