Edited by Dickens, it was the direct successor to his previous publication Household Words, abandoned due to differences with his former publisher, Bradbury and Evans.
One month after the launch, Dickens won a lawsuit in the Court of Chancery against his former publisher Bradbury and Evans, giving him back the trade name of his previous journal. On Saturday 28 May 1859, five weeks after the launch of All the Year Round, Dickens terminated Household Words, publishing its last issue with a prospectus for his new journal and the announcement that, “After the appearance of the present concluding Number of Household Words, this publication will merge into the new weekly publication, All the Year Round, and the title, Household Words, will form a part of the title-page of All the Year Round.” All the Year Round‘s full title then became: ‘All the Year Round. A Weekly Journal. Conducted by Charles Dickens. With Which Is Incorporated Household Words. ‘
All the Year Round contained the same mixture of fiction and non-fiction as Household Words but with a greater emphasis on literary matters and less on journalism. This included articles on international affairs or cultures, old tales of crime (especially with a French or Italian setting), new developments in science (including the theories of Charles Darwin), lives and struggles of inventors, tales of exploration and adventure in distant parts, and examples of self-help among humble folk, are among the topics which found a ready welcome from Dickens.
After 1863, although Charles Dickens continued to micromanage the editorial department, scrupulously revising copy, his own contributions fell off considerably, largely because he spent more and more time on the road with his public readings.
A number of prominent authors and novels were serialised in All the Year Round, including Charles Dickens‘s A Tale of Two Cities (June 1859 to December 1859), Great Expectations (1 December 1860 to August 1861), The Uncommercial Traveller (28 January 1860 to 13 October 1860, plus 1863–65 and 1868–69); Wilkie Collins‘s The Woman in White (29 November 1859 to 1860), No Name (15 March 1862 to 17 January 1863) and The Moonstone (1868); Anthony Trollope’s The Duke’s Children and Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s A Strange Story.
Charles Dickens would also collabourate with other staff writers on a number of Christmas stories and plays for seasonal issues of the magazine. These included The Haunted House in the 1859 extra Christmas number (13 December) with Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, Adelaide Anne Procter, George Augustus Henry Sala, and Hesba Stretton; Mugby Junction in the 1866 extra Christmas number (12 December) which includes The Signal-Man (aka No. 1 Branch Line: The Signalman) and No Thoroughfare in the 1867 extra Christmas number (12 December) with Wilkie Collins.
Charles Dickens Jr.
In 1868, after the failure of his printing business, and bankruptcy, Charles Dickens Jr. (Charles Culliford Boz Dickens) was hired by his father to work at All the Year Round. He was appointed sub-editor the following year.
In 1870, after his father’s death, Dickens, Jr. inherited the magazine and became its editor.
All the Year Round closed in 1895 and had its last issue on 30 March of that year.