Welcome to 1843. It was a rich year, culturally and intellectually, in a time of growing prosperity and political turbulence: Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, wrote the first computer program, for the Analytical Engine that Charles Babbage invented but never completed; Joseph Krug started his champagne company to quench the thirst of the swelling ranks of prosperous industrialists and professionals; Charles Dickens, at the height of his popularity, published the rather sentimental “A Christmas Carol”, while across the Atlantic Edgar Allen Poe wrote the chillier “The Tell-Tale Heart”. And in London, James Wilson, a hatmaker with rocky finances and a burning anger at economic injustice, founded The Economist to campaign against protectionism.
The Economist was a small operation in those days. Wilson wrote most of it; his only correspondent was his wife’s brother-in-law, a Yorkshire vicar with a coal mine and an interest in chemistry. It was single-minded. All the coverage – except the padding: there was a certain amount of “the Duke and Duchess of Bedford intend to have guests at the Abbey the week after next…” – was infused with Wilson’s passionate belief in the virtues of free trade. It made few concessions to the readers: its first cover story was on “Our Expiring Commercial Treaty with The Brazils”.
Since then, The Economist has grown in size, readership and breadth of coverage. It has an editorial staff of over 160, a circulation exceeding 1.4m and sections that cover science and arts as well as global politics and economics. And now it has a sister magazine which will widen still further the range of its interests.
We’ve called our magazine 1843 to recall The Economist’s rich history and to indicate the closeness of the two publications. We’re designed for the same sort of reader – people who are curious about ideas and culture, and who want to know how others are thinking and what they are doing around the world – but we’re aiming to reach you when you’re in different modes. The Economist provides you with concise, evidence-based reporting and opinion; 1843 offers longer features that explore the world at a more leisurely pace, through profiles and narrative journalism. The Economist tells you what you need to know to navigate the modern world; 1843 will tell you what you might want to know to help you enjoy it a little more. The Economist covers the world out there; 1843 touches on things closer to home – design, style, personal tech, wellbeing, travel, food and drink. But the magazines have two crucial elements in common: an insatiable interest in how lives are changing and a superb network of correspondents around the world.
Our first issue reflects the wide range of delights we’re planning to offer you in the future. Sophie Pedder, who has covered Marine Le Pen for 13 years, looks at what drives the leader of the dangerous new politics sweeping Europe; Brook Larmer follows Chinese students through the exhausting and sometimes dodgy business of getting into America’s top universities; Dan Rosenheck falls in love with fine wine and loses a pot of money; Ryan Avent explores why he, and so many people he knows, seem to be shackled to their jobs; and Sophy Roberts has a somewhat unsatisfactory trip to Antarctica. We have shorter pieces on the tech giants’ new HQs, China’s top designers, the rise of private museums and much more. And on top of all this, we are offering you our selections of what to read, watch and listen to; places to visit, stay and eat in; and cultural events worth travelling for.
We hope you enjoy reading our magazine. We certainly enjoyed producing it.