chapter  5
Inventing the Victorian boy
S.O. Beeton’s The Boy’s Own Magazine
ByJochen Petzold
Pages 14

In this chapter, examines in detail one of the "turning points" in the development of juvenile magazines, the advent of Samuel Orchart Beeton's The Boy's Own Magazine in 1855. According to Kirsten Drotner the magazine: initiated a trend that was to grow into a norm namely, the grading of potential readers by age and sex. The chapter analyses the concept of boyhood and manliness suggested by Beeton's publication. A range of factors led to a large-scale expansion of the magazine market in the second half of the nineteenth century: technological advancements meant that paper could be produced more cheaply and in better quality, which in turn meant that faster steam-powered printing presses could be used. At the same time, the growing railway network meant that printed matter could be distributed quickly and comparatively cheaply. In England, children's literature by which means a literature specifically produced for children first became an important field of cultural production during the Victorian period.