Boys' Own Papers / Boys' Own Annual

1879, Vol 2, Boys' Own Annual

The Boys' Own Papers, was a weekly magazine for boys, founded in 1879 and published by the Religious Tract Society. It ran until 1967, reached a circulation around 250,000 and published adventure stories, often with imperialist themes, as well as essays, letters, puzzles, and competitions.

Numerous stories by Jules Verne were published in serial form in this paper, and many times, these serial forms of a Jules Verne book pre-date the First English Edition of the book.
 After a years worth of the serial was published, it was bound into an "Annual". All parts for a serial (at least those by Verne, were complete in that 1 volume)

Note: There was also an American Publication names Boys' Own, published by Charles F. Richards, Boston Mass. This weekly started on Oct 11, 1873 and ran until about December, 1876. Jules Verne's Mysterious Island was serialized in this publication from December 5, 1974 through March 20, 1875. 
(this information on Boys' Own, was researched by Brian Kutzera, North American Jules Verne Society Inc., and was presented at the annual meeting in Hillsborough, North Carolina, May 19, 2001)

Brian also noted that Boys' Own Paper was also printed in Toronto by the publisher W. Warwick and Sons.
The Papers are actually identical to the British Editions, except they have a 4 page "cover", which is dated 1 month later than the contents, and which contains ads for Toronto businesses. Examples of these "reprints" have been noted for Aug 1884 and Aug 1885. It might therefore be possible to find examples of these with Verne stories! (Once again, Thank you to Brian Kutzera for this research)
Boys Own Paper: Jules Verne Story Listing
Date Story Title 
in Boys Own Paper
Common Verne
Book Title
1879-1880 Boy Captain
or Adventures on Land and Sea
A Captain at Fifteen
1880-1881 The Giant Raft
or Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon 
The Giant Raft

Godfrey Morgan: A Californian Mystery
(starts on the last page of October 7, 1882 issue)
"An island to sell, for cash, to the highest bidder!"

(Information provided by Greg Kinney)

Godfrey Morgan: A California Mystery
Star of the Settlement
or A Tale of the Diamond Fields
Star of the South 26
1886-1887 Clipper of the Clouds Robur the Conqueror
1888-1889 Adrift in the Pacific Two Years' Vacation 36
1889-1890 Barbicane and Co. Upside Down 19
1892-1893 Rodolphe de Gortz
or The Castle of the Carpathians
The Castle in the Carpathians 18
1893-1894 Claudius Bombarnac
A Story of Adventure and Mystery
Claudius Bombarnac ?
1894-1895 Captain Antifer
or His Excellency's Millions
Captain Antifer 32
1897-1898 Simon Hart
A Strange Story of Science and the Sea
Facing the Flag 18
1898-1899 Captain Len Guy
or An Antarctic Mystery
The Sphinx of the Icefields 30
1899-1900 William J Hypperbone
or The Will of An Eccentric
The Eccentric's Last Will 30
1913-1914 The Master of the World Master of the World
1914-1915 Kongre the Wrecker
or Lighthouse at the End of the World
The Lighthouse at the End of the World 6

The following article was copied from the Collector C@fe website (

The Boys' Own Paper
By John Crawford
Article address:

Sold for just a penny a week, the Boys’ Own Paper was packed with tales of derring-do, as well as advice that ranged from hobbies to cultivating a moustache. Founded in 1879 and edited by the imaginative G.A. Hutchinson, it was published by the Religious Tract Society. Hutchinson edited the paper through its formative years and died at work in 1913. His years were characterised by an underlying Christian morality and a need to encompass boys of all backgrounds in the readership. Sport was always high on the agenda, with articles written by such names as W.G. Grace and Jack Hobbs. The care of pets, school stories and adventure, both fact and fiction, filled the columns. The colour plates were astonishingly well printed for such a cheap paper, with artists of the calibre of Stanley Wood and Frank Brangwyn providing some of the artwork. The plates showed scenes of big game hunting, railway engines or even flags of the world and were often removed to decorate walls or scrapbooks, a collector’s loss but another indication of the popularity of the paper, which was even read in the trenches in the First World War.

Though not first in the field of boys’ publications, the B.O.P. had a more lasting influence on people of all classes and in middle age, many began collecting from nostalgia for the days when manly virtues were a guiding force in boyhood. Writers such as R.M. Ballantyne, Jules Verne and Talbot Reed Baines, of “The Fifth Form at St. Dominic’s” fame, supplied exciting reading, where virtue always triumphed, no matter how daunting the odds but there was also an element of good clean fun to keep the readers, some as old as eighteen, happy. By the 1890s, poorer boys were gradually sidelined, with more concentration on public and grammar school interests. Photographs of Rugby teams, heroes of the University Boat Race and headmasters of the great schools were supplanting the useful advice to factory boys.

In 1914, the paper became a monthly and by 1918 the price had risen to 1/6d, where it remained until the Second World War. The paper kept up with the times, with advice on how to make wireless sets, mine laying and gun making. The new monthly necessitated a change of form, with two columns instead of three to each page. The mixture of articles on winter sports, flying, motorcycling and adventure continued to attract readers in the 1920s and 30s. In 1939 it was taken over by Lutterworth Press. A depressing decade of decline followed, as the paper became smaller. An attempt to revive its fortunes was made when it was taken over by Purnell’s in 1963 and doubled in size: this failed to halt the decline and the final edition was published in 1967 with volume 89. 

The impressive bound annuals are the simplest way for collectors to assemble chronological sets.

Article address:


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