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BoysOwnPaperIssue1Jan1879.jpg

The Boy's Own Paper was a story paper aimed at young and teenage boys, published from 1879 to 1967. It published adventure stories, notes on how to practice nature study, sports and games, puzzles and essay competitions.

The idea for the publication was first raised in 1878 by the Religious Tract Society as a means to encourage younger children to read and also instil Christian morals during their formative years. The first issue went on sale on 19 January 1879. In 1939 it was taken over by Lutterworth Press, and in 1963 by Purnell and Sons Ltd. It was published at the end of its life in 1967 by BPC Publishing Ltd, who are believed to have started publishing the paper in 1965.

The paper was published weekly following the school year (Autumn through to Summer) until November 1913, when it became a monthly. In total, 2511 issues of the paper were published. From 1879 onwards each year's issues were bound together and sold as the Boy's Own Annual. In the initial few years, one could purchase the covers at the end of the publishing year and have the weekly issues bound. This produced some interesting minor variations in order and contents. The Annuals ceased publication after the 1940-41 edition due to wartime paper rationing. The Annuals included all of the text of the weekly (and later monthly) issues, with additional illustrations. There was an extra Christmas Number magazine from 1884-85 until 1912-13 and an extra Summer Number from 1884-85 until 1900-01. Later attempts at a smaller format annual, under Jack Cox's editorship, were the Boy's Own Companion from 1959 through 1963, and the Boy's Own Annual II from 1964-65 through 1975-76.

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