Market Lavington Museum

The Boys Journal

In our previous blog post, we looked at a Victorian magazine style book, aimed at working class adults. In our collection at Market Lavington Museum, we also have a copy of The Boys Journal, dating from May 1863.

Threepence was quite a lot of money in those days, so we guess it was read mostly by boys from more well to do families. It included articles on a range of topics as well as stories, some of them in serial form, to encourage the purchase of subsequent issues.

We will look at some of its content over the next few blog posts and gain some insight into was was deemed of interest and suitable for youngsters nearly 170 years ago.

The magazine measured about 21cm x 14cm. Some of the pages had illustrations and others were just text, which might have been quite small to read by the lamplight of a mid Victorian home.

Aside from the fiction, there were several articles giving instructions on how to do various hobbies and activities. This is part of an item about how to swim.

We imagine the illustrations in a modern boys’ magazine might include swimming trunks and maybe some supervision at a swimming pool.