The literary tale has been one of the most cultivated genres since the 19th century and the printing press was one of its principal means of circulation. However, it does not have a study of the short stories published in two of the most representative literary magazines at the time: the Semanario Pintoresco Español (1836-1857) and El Museo Universal (1857-1869). The selected period is especially relevant since it embraces the whole reign of Isabel II and considers also the years of the decade of 1930 in which the influence of the so-called "Elizabethan canon" is preponderant. Those are also the central years of the Spanish romanticism and of the incipient development of realism. Prove of this can be found in the pages of the Semanario Pintoresco Español and El Museo Universal, where the most representative Spanish romantics published their stories, and also those that announce the new literary codes of realism. The catalogue and analysis of all the tales published during this long period in both magazines will show the preferences for certain genres and will throw new light on the gradual transition from the romanticism to the esthetics of realism. The final result will be a fundamental contribution to the history of the Spanish literary tale that will reflect not only the importance of this genre in the Spanish literary outlook but also its evolution and development.