The Strand magazine is mainly remembered today for publishing Sherlock Holmes stories. But during its life from 1891 to 1950, it also published H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, C.B. Fry, Rudyard Kipling, Dorothy Sayers, P.G. Wodehouse and Winston Churchill. Till the 1930s, it maintained a circulation of about half a million copies a month from its offices in London.
Cover illustration of The Strand
Aside from fiction, the magazine also featured scientific articles and interviews. But it also made a name for itself with its featured puzzles. It introduced several new types of puzzles into the world including the cross number puzzle. You can try one of these here.
But it was the Sherlock Holmes stories that propelled The Strand to become one of Britain’s most prestigious magazines. The Strand gave us the image of Sherlock Holmes as the slim detective with the deerstalker and Inverness cape. Conan Doyle never mentioned either a cap or the cape ion his stories. Both were the invention of artist Sidney Paget.
Sidney Paget with deerstalker cap
Sidney Paget had not been the first choice for this magazine. In fact, he only got the job because the magazine accidentally sent him the letter of commission instead of his younger brother Walter Paget by accident.