What Happened To Serialized Fiction?

On his blog, The Guardian's Robert McCrum remembers the golden age of serialized fiction — British magazine fiction, particularly:

As Selina Hastings writes in her excellent new biography of Somerset Maugham, another classic storyteller: "In the 1890s the literary market was rapidly expanding, focused on a large, educated middle class, with dozens of new magazines and periodicals launched every year and more than 400 publishing houses in London alone." (The parallels with the 1990s and the new media boom are striking). This was the age that threw up Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, The Wind in the Willows, The Railway Children, the Jeeves and Wooster series and finally, in the 1920s, the queen of crime herself, Agatha Christie, and her Poirot and Miss Marple series.

Never mind serialized fiction, there is, of course, a whole lot less general fiction in American magazines these days. With the exception of Harper's and The New Yorker and Esquire and The Atlantic, occasionally, venues are few and far between. Do you miss it?

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