Country Life, the quintessential English magazine, marks its 120th birthday as the voice of the countryside with a special anniversary issue.
The magazine has published a bumper 264-page issue highlighting some of the most poignant, quirky and historically defining stories and photographs that have appeared in Country Life over the past 120 years. Highlights include The Prince of Wales as guest editor, a world exclusive revealing of the face of Shakespeare and Britain’s naughtiest dog. The issue pays homage to its famous ‘Girls in Pearls’ by documenting its iconic page with a look back at Frontispieces from each decade of its history, while renowned readers reveal what has kept them turning the pages of the magazine over the years.
The special issue captures the weekly magazine’s unrivalled access to royalty in times of national celebration and also to the British establishment, through two world wars, six monarchs, significant moments in history, and more than a century of social change, since its first edition was published on 9 January 1897. This year also saw Country Life deliver an annual ABC increase for the seventh time in a row.
To celebrate its milestone, the magazine is also staging an exhibition – Beautiful Rooms & Blushing Brides – in the gallery at the Linley Belgravia showroom which runs until Saturday, 17 June. It features portraits from the iconic Frontispiece page and interiors photography, chronicling the evolution of English taste, from Country Life’s extensive archive.
Mark Hedges, editor of Country Life, says: “Here we are, 120 years old and fresh as a daisy. Country Life is regarded as a national institution and a magazine of record, celebrating the British way of life. Our ever-growing number of readers proves that we are thriving, not surviving. We won’t be bossed by the modernisers who say the world we report on week by week is out-of-date.
We stand up for what we believe in: the beauty of the countryside and the riches of British cultural life. Traditional? We are proud to admit it – but bursting with fresh ideas. That’s what, at 120, keeps us young.”
Country Life revealed a new-look website last month with a modern design to exude luxury and elegance, and brings an array of visually appealing, high-quality content to the forefront with a more user-friendly navigation.