The Friends of English Magic

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The Friends of English Magic was the title chosen for the periodical begun in February 1808 with the sole purpose of promoting Mr Norrell's views on magic. Its name was taken from the heading of the letter Mr Segundus wrote to The Times when he described Mr Norrell's first public act of magicianship, its first editor was Lord Portishead and its publisher John Murray. Although it only ever reflected Mr Norrell's opinions and therefore eschewed anything hinting of excitement or sensation The Friends of English Magic was a popular success, so great was public interest in the subject. It must be confessed however the earlier issues were very dull; but after 1810 Henry Lascelles adroitly had himself made co-editor with Lord Portishead and considerably lightened the tone - without, however, altering the purpose of the magazine. It had never been intended to inform the public about its subject, merely to promote Mr Norrell's views.

After Mr Strange and Mr Norrell parted ways it was the intention of the former to set up a rival publication, The Famulus. Mr Murray had by this time also fallen out with Mr Norrell because of the latter's interference in the publication of Strange's book and had sold his share in the The Friends of English Magic to another publisher, Mr Longman; and so in 1816 he came in with Strange on this new venture. Despite such a promising start, with such lively and effectual minds behind its publication, The Famulus only achieved one edition before the events which overtook Mr Strange in Venice put an end to its existence[12].