As part of our 150th celebrations, our contributors have been sharing their thoughts on what the “Friend” means to them.
Here, novelist Hilary Spiers talks about the positive impact the “Friend” can have in our day-to-day lives . . .
In an age of Kindles, the internet and shrinking attention spans, it is a cause for huge celebration that ‘The People’s Friend’ has not only reached its 150th anniversary — an astonishing feat in itself — but continues to flourish.
Its very popularity and longevity in a harsh commercial world proves that it knows what its readers want, and will happily provide it.
As a writer I rejoice that, alongside its practical advice and features, it is one of the few remaining publishers of the short story. There will always be room in this world for tiny jewels of stories that, however fleetingly, allow you to step into another world.
Escapism? Yes, sometimes. And what’s wrong with that? But sometimes also a glimpse into some else’s life. A glimpse that suddenly illuminates a universal truth or prompts a personal memory long buried.
We are daily, hourly, confronted with the worst of humanity: greed, cruelty, hatred. ‘The People’s Friend’ offers a temporary haven from the worst aspects of life. It restores one’s faith in love and redemption.
A ray of sunshine in an often gloomy and frightening world. A friend indeed. Long may it continue to bring us cheer.
Here’s to the next 150 years!
Read more about Hilary’s work on her website, here.