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Garvin quickly turned the paper into an organ of political influence, boosting circulation from 5,000 to 40,000 within a year of his arrival as a result.
Yet the revival in the paper's fortunes masked growing political disagreements between Garvin and Northcliffe.
In 1870, wealthy businessman Julius Beer bought the paper and appointed Edward Dicey as editor, whose efforts succeeded in reviving circulation.
Though Beer's son Frederick became the owner upon Julius's death in 1880, he had little interest in the newspaper and was content to leave Dicey as editor until 1889.
Under Snowe, the paper adopted a more liberal political stance, supporting the North during the American Civil War and endorsing universal manhood suffrage in 1866.
These positions contributed to a decline in circulation during this time.
Upon Frederick's death in 1903, the paper was purchased by the newspaper magnate Lord Northcliffe.
Believing that the paper would be a means of wealth, Bourne instead soon found himself facing debts of nearly £1,600.
In addition to the weekly Observer Magazine which is still present every Sunday, for several years each issue of The Observer came with a different free monthly magazine.
These magazines had the titles Observer Sport Monthly, Observer Music Monthly, Observer Woman and Observer Food Monthly.
Henry Duff Traill took over the editorship after Dicey's departure, only to be replaced in 1891 by Frederick's wife, Rachel Beer, of the Sassoon family.
Though circulation declined during her tenure, she remained as editor for thirteen years, combining it in 1893 with the editorship of The Sunday Times, a newspaper that she had also bought.