Young Folks (magazine)

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Young Folks was a weekly children's literary magazine published in the United Kingdom between 1871 and 1897. It was first published in Manchester, but moved to London in 1873.[1] It is most notable for having first published a number of novels by Robert Louis Stevenson in serial form, including Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Black Arrow.

It was aimed at both boys and girls, and at a somewhat older audience than many of its contemporaries. First sold for one half-penny with eight pages, the price was increased to one penny in 1873 and the page count increased to sixteen. Its motto was To Inform, To Instruct, To Amuse.[2]

Young Folks went under a number of different names in its 26-year history:

  • Our Young Folks' Weekly Budget (1 January 1871 – 28 June 1879) (447 editions)
    • as Young Folks' Weekly Budget (1876 – 1879)[2]
    • as Young Folks' Budget (1879)[2]
  • Young Folks (5 July 1879 – 20 December 1884) (326 editions)
  • Young Folks' Paper (27 December 1884 – 28 June 1891)
  • Old and Young (4 July 1891 – 11 September 1896)
  • Folks at Home (18 September 1896 – 29 April 1897)

The proprietor and sometimes editor of the magazine was James Henderson. Young Folks serialised Treasure Island in Volumes 19 and 20 from 1 October 1881 to 28 January 1882.[3] It ran under the title Treasure Island; or, the mutiny of the Hispaniola and under the pseudonym Captain George North. It made little difference to the sales of the mazazine.[3] Robert Leighton recalled that: "The boy readers did not like the story. As a serial it was a failure. Boys like a story to plunge at once into the active excitement . . ."[4]

The Black Arrow—published under the same pseudonym—was serialised between 30 June and 30 October 1883. As a serial it was, unlike Treasure Island, a huge success.[1] Kidnapped was serialised in the magazine from May to July 1886.


Editor's name Years
Robert Leighton[5] 1884–85

Other editors were Clinton Leighton and Richard Quittenton[2] (22 November 1833 – 23 January 1914) who wrote under the pseudonym Roland Quiz and worked on the magazine for 42 years.[6]


John Proctor (AKA 'Puck') was a regular contributor in the 1870s.


  1. ^ a b Robert Louis Stevenson; John Sutherland (27 September 2007). "The Composition and Publication of the Black Arrow". The Black Arrow. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 978-0-14-190524-2.
  2. ^ a b c d Laurel Brake; Marysa Demoor (2009). Dictionary of Nineteenth-century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland. Academia Press. p. 474. ISBN 978-90-382-1340-8.
  3. ^ a b Frederick Joseph Harvey Darton (3 November 2011). Children's Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life. Cambridge University Press. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-108-03381-7.
  4. ^ Steuart, John Alexander (1928). "Unromantic Reality and Some Engaging Philosophy". Robert Louis Stevenson : a critical biography. p. 382. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  5. ^ "LEIGHTON, Robert". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 1044.
  6. ^ Tres, Mark. "Roland Quiz: Pseudonym of the author Richard Martin Howard Quittenton". Benfleet Community Archive. Retrieved 2020-04-09.

Further reading[edit]

  • Frederick Wilse Bateson, The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (Cambridge University Press, 1966).