** types of English children's literature -- periodicals weeklies monthlies

Types of English Children's Literature: Periodicals--Weeklies and Monthlies

Figure 1.--School games at exclusive private schools were of course a regular feature in "The Boys on Paper". This did not begin to change until after World War II. Here in 1912 public (private) school boys are playing cricket in their white flannels. I'm not sure why the illustrator was.

There were various weekly and monthly publications that became very popular with boys. Girls' magazines soon followed. Some magazines aimed a both boys and girls, appeling to families with both boys and girls. These mgazines were primarily composed of stories. Gradually more varied fare was included , combining stories, comics, games, poems, activities, and other features. Many of the weeklys eventually evolved into monthly publications. Many collections of the yearly issues were sold as annuals. Only later wa original material added to these annuals. Perhaps the most well known was the Boys' Own Paper (BOP) which at first was a weekly publication. This periodical was published for years. The Captain was monthly magazine. I'm not sure when it was founded, but believe it was about 1899. It's primary claim to fame among these magazine were regular articles by P G Wodehouse. Chums became involved with promoting Scouting.

Individual Periodicals

We have noted several individual English periodical publications for children--more than any other country. The most famous was The Boys' Own Paper. It provided the name for a whole genre of children's literature-- Boys' Own literaturer. These publications were of great importance in an era before movies, radio, and television. After The Boys' Own Paper in 1879, quit a number of different publications appeared to chose from. There were both boys' and girl's publications because boys and girls had suh different interests. There were also generic children's periodicals in case a family with boys and girls only wanted to buy one of the publications. The publications until after World War II (1939-45) had a strong imprint of private (both prep and public) schools. Only a small percentage of English children attended tgheseschools, but of course there parents would have been a substabtial part of parents purchsing subscriptions. The rthos at these schools in many ways affected methods and curiculum at state schools. mny of the teachers would have attended privte schools. Schoolwear in general were affected by the vuniforms and these schoools. After World War II the private schools become less important in these publications.


The boys' publications we see here were created in the late 19th century. The Boys' on Paper appeared in 1879. By the turn of the century there were several different publications. These and other publications, although affected by the World wars and changing tastes, remained popular through the 1950s. By the 1960s they had substatially declined in popularity. Interesting a new generation of publications had appeared for girls. They were not full of the adventure-type stories that dominated the early publications. Many of these magazines address personal issues more directly than the older publications ever did. Noting like these girl's magazines has appeared for boys. A British reader writes HBC, "Hi. I live in Jersey channel islands. I think there should be magazines for teenage boys from age 13-19. Why should girls get one and boys dont. Just because some boys read and some don't does not mean that there going to be abel to sell the magazines. In a boys magazine there should be stuff like changing into a man, fashion, whats cool and whats not cool!! And anything eles that would interest teenage boys. I'm 14 and I would love to be abel to read and write to a teen boys magazine becasue you can then share your problems. I some times have to read my friends girls' magazines to find out whats going on out there. I notice comments in these girls' magazines from other boys."


Anonymous. Children's Annuals.

Lyall, Tom. E-mail, August 8, 2003.


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Created: September 12, 2002
Last updated: 7:44 AM 6/12/2005