The next three magazines, despite the Significance
of two of them, are dealt with rather cursorily since they are only
‘special’ because of the implication of their description
above the title frame of the ordinary advertising wrapper: the
'Titanic’ Disaster- Number’; the Special
South Pole Number and the Special Russian Number.
(Appendix list nos. 63, 64, 65)
The British ocean liner ‘Titanic was intended to be the pride
of the Atlantic crossing. At 46,300 tonnes she was the largest ship
afloat and was widely regarded as unsinkable, so there was no shortage
of passengers for her prestigious maiden voyage. The Captain was eager
to reach New York in daylight, but he underestimated the danger of icebergs.
At 2.20 a.m. on April 15th 1912, the disaster struck. The ‘Titanic’
ran into an iceberg at full speed and quickly sunk. Of 2,224 passengers
there were only 711 survivors.
The ILN weekly issue of April 20th 1912 (number 3809, vol.
140, pages 569-616)
the ‘Titanic’ Disaster Number’, broke
the news to its readers with many illustrations of the liner, its external
and internal structure, the notable passengers she was carrying, the
crowds awaiting news at the White Star offices, the benefits of wireless
telegraphy and the danger of icebergs. Subsequent issues of the magazine
unfolded the enormity of the tragedy.
In 1911 two expeditions were battling through the hostile and unknown
landscape of Antarctica: that of Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian experienced
in polar exploration, and that of Robert Falcon Scott, a captain in
the Royal Navy. In December, Amundsen became the first person to reach
the South Pole. (Captain Scott’s sledge team reached the pole
in January 1912).
News of Amundsen’s success reached England in early May 1912 and
the ILN’s weekly issue of May 18th 1912, entitled ‘Special
South Pole Number’ (number 3813, vol. 140 pages 745-792),
contains a remarkable series of photographs illustrating “the
end of the last Great Quest”.
1913 saw the celebrations In Russia of the tercentenary of the Romanoff
Dynasty. In Britain, recent successes in London of the Russian Opera
and the Russian Ballet, of Chaliapine and of Pavlova had turned people’s
eye to the country of their origin. The ‘Special Russian
Number’ of July 19th, 1913 (number 3874 vol. 143 with its 36
page Russian supplement) presented is readers with a general view of
the Russian Empire with an emphasis towards the commercial enterprise
of Russia and the field it offered for British capital to find profitable
employment. In addition there are illustrations and letterpress on St.
Petersburg, Moscow, Russian Art, the Tsar’s Navy, the Russian
Army, the Duma, Tsar Nicholas II and those places sacred to the House
of Romanoff .
This issue coincidentally announced an event which was to be covered
in the next special number. This was the announcement of the engagement
of Prince Arthur of Connaught and the Duchess of Fife.