Title: The Children’s Friend
Editor: William Carus Wilson (Rev.)
Publisher: S.W. Partridge and Co (1825, May 1865); Seeley and Co (1825, May 1865); Seeley, Jackson and Halliday
The Children’s Friend began in 1824 as a magazine to give children uplifting, moralistic stories. It contained many short episodic stories of children exhibiting both good and bad morals and their consequences. The reader could also find poems, scripture verses, and advice for appropriate good deeds. Many of the stories and poems in the magazine emphasized caring for the poor and animals. The stories have been described “as part of a wholesale attempt to christianize fairy stories.” In his article, Dennis Butts argues that during this time period children’s literature was beginning a move away from a strictly educational moral and educational purpose, and this periodical can be seen as an attempt to slow the progress of this trend. Each issue also contained a few engravings portraying the stories and poems surrounding them. These paintings were often of the consequences of a child’s actions, but occasionally represented an animal.
The publication run for this journal remains a mystery since a periodical of the same name, but with a different selection of stories, appeared in the early 1880s. This second magazine contained “pages of music and interesting stories.” Researchers are unsure if this was indeed a continuation of the same periodical or a different periodical with the same name. The second journal also published editions in both Arabic and Italian.
- Dennis Butts, "How Children's Literature Changed: What Happened in the 1840s?", The Lion and the Unicorn 21.2, 1997, 153-162, Project Muse, Web.
- The majority of this information was drawn from the Waterloo Directory (WD).
Submitted by: Jensen, Rebecca: section 1, Winter 2009
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