“Read all about it!” those young paper hawkers used to cry, trotting up and down the Strand in double-breasted blazers, flat caps, shorts and bold-type sandwich boards. Newsboys then were among the worldliest young things in town — plucky upstarts who had first bite at the scoops, knew all the cigar-fisted tycoons by name (and depth of pocket), and possessed the uncanny confidence that allowed them to be heard over the thunder of the omnibus.
Gentleman’s Journal can probably no longer be described as a plucky young upstart — we are now well into our seventh year as a print publication, and most of the editorial team gave up jaunty hats and short shorts some time ago (holidays to certain corners of France notwithstanding). But we hope to pinch some of the precocious spirit of the young London newsboy as we very proudly launch our first ever newspaper edition.
You can certainly ‘read all about it’ in these pages, depending on what your definition of ‘it’ is. In this particular case, it’s a smart curation of clothes to wear now, whiskies to invest in tomorrow, columnists to quote at dinner parties, entrepreneurs to listen to, names to drop, parties to crash and houses you can’t afford yet — all in the ‘you heard it here first’ tenor of the mid-afternoon scoop. In other words, it has the same peculiar DNA of the established Gentleman’s Journal, only with a slightly different appearance: think of it as the uppish younger sibling to the seasoned older brother that is the magazine.
It’s probably no coincidence that the stories inside document audaciousness wherever it appears. Our cover shoot is a fortune teller’s cheatsheet of future stars — six British actors on the cusp of great things who couldn’t be more different if they tried, save for their shared short odds of success and their collective charm. Star photographer Greg Funnell, meanwhile, files a beautiful photo story about the cavalier young bucks who decided to play a polo tournament on a frozen lake in St Moritz. There’s even a fun romp through the punchiest nightclubs of the past century, and the cultural mark they left on the capital. (Did you know, for example, that a young Richard Branson bought Kensington Roof Gardens after he was denied entry for being too scruffy? Or that Princess Margaret used to flee Clarence House in a bubble car to dance at the 400 Club every night? Or that the Cafe de Paris down in the West End didn’t shut its doors once in the worst days of the Blitz?)
You’ll also notice that this new venture has all the properties you’ve come to know and love in a newspaper: you can pinch it from the snoozing old boy by the fire, roll it up for a barroom game of French cricket, or use it to shelter a companion from the onrushing April showers. (I believe there’s also an old saying about fish and chip paper, though I expect this could handle lobster and polenta fries just as well).
Whatever you do with it (and I’m assured some people may even read it), I hope you enjoy it.
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