First of all, apologies for the use of the image of the original cover – I mean no offence to any Roma person. It is a 1935 publication – I hope I can be forgiven. I’ve chosen it because this is the time of year when interest in spells, fate and fortune-telling is higher than usual ( apart from possibly in December/January). It is, after all, the month of Halloween.
The best thing about this leaflet is its cover illustration – the content seems rather made up on the hoof – still, it’s fun. I am indebted to the Archivist at D.C. Thomson for providing most of the information (and a great image) on the back-story of the leaflet. D. C. Thomson is one of the leading media companies in the UK and they publish a wide range of titles, from The Beano to The Stylist (interestingly, a recent article is on How to Host a Virtual Murder Mystery – well, interesting to me at least 🙂 ).
The main image and all others in this post are reproduced by kind permission of DC Thomson & Co Ltd who hold the copyright.
I could not find any information on Flame magazine online, so started by finding out more about “Messrs. John Leng and Co. Ltd“. John Leng was originally from Hull, but made his success in Dundee where he became editor of the Dundee Advertiser in 1851, and established a major publishing concern. He later became a Dundee MP and was eventually knighted. The other major publisher in Dundee at the time was D.C. Thomson, and both companies merged in 1905. Up until the 1960s some titles were still published under the John Leng name.
John Leng had pioneered a type of “Women’s story” paper with The People’s Friend (first published in 1869 and still going!) and, keen to replicate the popularity of this magazine, DC Thomson emulated the formula of light fiction, problem pages, recipes and health advice. Flame was a relatively late (and short-lived) addition, starting in August 1935 and finishing in July 1940, when it was merged with another, similar title, Secrets.
The leaflet was included with the November 30 1935 issue.
Note the spelling: It still uses the apostrophised version (which has been in use since the 16th century, but began to vanish from the 18th century onwards). Not everything listed is a spell – and some do sound difficult to do!
As it is the rainy season, and you might start thinking about Christmas gifts, you may find these paragraphs useful:
Please stay light-hearted about all of this – take Stevie’s words to heart: “Superstition ain’t the way” !