The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

IV. The Growth of Journalism

§ 26. Illustrated papers

A brief notice must be added of the illustrated press, which is one of the distinctive growths of the century. Rough woodcuts, illustrating old chapbooks and thus appealing to the masses, attracted by representations of crimes, and other incidents narrated to them in literary form, were followed by work much more artistic, but making appeal by means essentially the same. The adaptation of the art was possible, first, by improved mechanical production, and, later, by the application of photography, which, because of its ability to image an actual scene, has taken the place of the craftsman who, working from rapid notes, assisted by his power of imagination, contrived to represent not merely the facts, but, also, something of their meaning. The illustration of news pamphlets was common in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1740, The Daily Post contained a narrative of admiral Vernon’s attack on the Spaniards at Porto Bello illustrated with a view of the fleet, the fortifications, the harbour, the position of the Spanish fleet and the town; and Owen’s Weekly Chronicle, in 1758, portrayed the British attack on Rochefort. These are said to be the earliest attempts in a newspaper to illustrate a news article.