The Girl's Own Paper

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1886 masthead illustration, based on the sculpture The Spirit of Love and Truth by Joseph Edwards (1814-1882)[1]

The Girl's Own Paper (G.O.P.) was a British story paper catering to girls and young women, published from 1880 until 1956.

Publishing history[edit]

The first weekly number of The Girl's Own Paper appeared on 3 January 1880. As with its male counterpart The Boy's Own Paper, the magazine was published by the Religious Tract Society (which subsequently became Lutterworth Press). In October 1929, the title became The Girl's Own Paper and Woman's Magazine but in 1930 the Woman's Magazine became a separate publication. In December 1947 the name was changed to The Girl's Own Paper and Heiress. By 1951 it was called Heiress incorporating the Girl's Own Paper. In 1956 Heiress closed down, and the name "Girl's Own Paper" ceased to exist. Facsimile reprints of volume 1 to 4 were published by Eureka Press, Japan, in 2006. Several editions are available online from Project Gutenberg.


The story paper provided a mix of stories and educational and improving articles, with 'Answers to Correspondents' and occasional coloured plates, poetry and music. The paper funded[2] and serialised the exploits of the explorer Kate Marsden in the 1890s when she was lauded by the Royal Geographical Society.[3]

From 1908, the weekly magazines were dropped and the paper included more information on serious careers for girls and advice on style and dress. Long serials became less common, being replaced by shorter stories. From the 1930s, a greater proportion of its material was directed at younger readers. There were school stories, stories of kidnapped princesses and articles about film stars, although the contents became more serious during World War II.

Volumes 39 and 40 of 1917–18 were entitled The Girls Own Paper and Woman's Magazine; presumably the two publications were merged for economy purposes as a result of World War I.

Famous contributors[edit]

Many contributors are unknown outside the G.O.P. pages, but they include Noel Streatfeild, Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd, Rosa Nouchette Carey, Sarah Doudney (1841–1926), Angela Brazil, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Richmal Crompton, Fanny Fern, and Baroness Orczy.

Between 1940 and 1947 Captain W. E. Johns contributed sixty stories featuring the female pilot Worrals.[4]

List of editors[edit]

  • Charles Peters 1880–1907
  • Flora Klickmann 1908–1931
  • Gladys Spratt and others 1931–1956

Role in popular culture[edit]

In her history of the G.O.P., E Honor Ward writes: "The G.O.P. was an important and positive influence on generations of girls and women, and a vital outlet for women's writing and ideas, for more than three-quarters of a century".


  1. ^ "The Spirit of Love and Truth". The Victorian Web. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  2. ^ Hill-Murphy, Jacki (2017). The extraordinary tale of Kate Marsden and my journey across Siberia in her footsteps (First paperback ed.). [United Kingdom?]. p. 69. ISBN 9780993105418. OCLC 1019470763.
  3. ^ Anderson, Monica (2006). Women and the Politics of Travel, 1870-1914. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. pp. 164–169. ISBN 0838640915.
  4. ^ "Girls Own Paper featuring the work of Captain W E Johns". Retrieved 2017-06-07.

Further reading[edit]

  • Doughty, Terri. Selections from the Girl's Own Paper, 1880-1907. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2004. ISBN 978-1-55111-528-3
  • Forrester, Wendy: Great Grandmama's Weekly: A Celebration of the "Girl's Own Paper", 1880-1901, Lutterworth Press, 1988, ISBN 978-0-7188-2717-5

External links[edit]