An Editor’s Wisdom

What’s your favourite part of our magazine – or of any magazine?

Do you have a feature that you turn to every time? Do you head for the serial in the “Friend”? Or the health pages?

I’m a big fan of the Editorial. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the Editorial is the same for a magazine – whether the Editor is writing about the issue’s content or feels prompted to focus in on a subject close to their heart.

Some of my favourites are ones where the Editor has just gone off on a tangent. It’s often the most personal part of the magazine.

A Matter Of Opinion

When we were researching the 150th Anniversary Edition I loved browsing through the old ones. The Victorians, the war ones, the post-war opinion pieces – there was wisdom on those pages.

“It is only when we retire into the quiet habitation of our own thoughts that we see things as they really are. Life, with its varied interests and incidents, is seen in its true perspective.”

From our pages in the 1950s. This one below is from just after World War II:

“No country, however strong, can afford to stand alone. It needs the support and co-operation of its neighbours no less in the pursuit of peace than in the prosecution of war. Peace remains the greatest need today.”

And in response to a reader’s criticism of excessive homework for children:

“We cannot afford to miss any opportunity that will further our children’s education. They are the citizens of tomorrow. It is our duty to help them; to train and equip them for the responsibilities that will be theirs one day.”

To Beard Or Not To Beard?

On a less serious note, we discussed whether a gentleman should sport a beard or not in the early 1900s.

“According to one view, the daily mowing down of the martial growth which fringes the cheek of the genus homo is the prime penalty incurred by the eating of the forbidden fruit.”

It’s a pain, is what I’m assuming they mean. And I agree.

Feeling The Love

And here’s one from back in 1969, when we celebrated 100 years of the magazine.

“What beautifully expressed sentiments; what generous praise is still being showered on the ‘People’s Friend’ on reaching its centenary. For generations the magazine has been loved at home and revered abroad. How eloquently those sincere tributes bring further proof of it.”

Interesting stuff. Not that I’m fishing for compliments or anything, but if you have read our Anniversary Edition and feel compelled to write to us, we’d love to hear from you. But mainly we just hope you really enjoy it.

And if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, find out what you’ve been missing.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.