Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sons of Britannia

The Sons of Britannia is incomplete in both Jay’s list in Peeps into the Past and in the Ono collection on microfilm. By comparing the two I have been able to add quite a few tales and information to Jay’s list. Included are some informative announcements and letters from authors taken from the correspondents page.

George Emmett’s Sons of Britannia was the most jingoistic boys paper to appear until Harmsworth’s imperialistic Union Jack (1894-1933.) He was an ex-cavalry officer who pulled no punches in his reviews of amateur periodicals submitted by his boy readers for comment. You almost suspect him of being paid by the government as a recruiting officer !

The Young Englishman’s Journal No. 1 April 13, 1867 to March 9, 1870 was incorporated with No. 1 of “The Sons of Britannia,” on March 14, 1870. The last few numbers were published for the proprietor, William Emmett Laurence, by his brother, under the name of “George Brent.”

Sons of Britannia Volume I , Edited By William Emmet Laurence, Office : Hogarth House, St. Bride’s Avenue, E. C. The Volume cover is an Illustration by POP (Proctor) and RAC for the serial ‘Catch Me Who Can.’ Volume II has a cover Illustration by Robert Prowse, a Scene From “Ben Braveall.”

Vol. I No. 1
“Rapier Jack; the Bull-Fighters of Madrid.” By Charles Stevens, illustrated by Harry Maguire. March 11, 1870. “The Idol’s Eye. Being the Adventures of Andrew Battel, Peter Carder, Sampson Von Burr, and “The Snake” in Search of a Big Diamond,“ by W. Stephens Hayward, author of “The Mutiny of the Thunder,” “The Golden Reef,” &c. (Maguire) pg.9. “Chronicles of the Cronies Club.” Pg. 11.

No. 9. “Union Jack, the British Boy sailor; or, Life on Board a Man o’ War,” by Captain Harry.

No. 13. “Spartacus; or, The Revolt of the Gladiators, A Tale of Ancient Rome.” “Book The First, B.C. 74 - The Slaves of the Arena.” by C. Stevens Author of “Caradoc the Briton,” and “The Master of the Lions.” June 6, 1870.

No. 18. “Death or Glory.” by George Emmett Author of “Captain Jack; or, One of the Light Brigade,” “Shaw the Lifeguardsman,” “The King’s Hussars,” “For Valour,” “Boy’s of Bircham School” &c. (Maguire) July 11, 1870.

No. 22. “Tom Wildrake.” Part 2; “King Robert, the Bruce; or, Scotland’s Fight for Freedom,” by the author of “Dick and Dick’s Brothers.”

August 8, 1870. “SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. CHANGE OF MANAGEMENT. Sons of Britannia. Henceforth your favourite journal will be conducted by GEORGE EMMETT, the well known author of the most successful military and school stories yet written ; and your companion journal, “The Young Briton,” by your old favourite CHARLES STEVENS, the renowned and popular author of “Caradoc the Briton,” “Spartacus,” &c., &c. The celebrated HARRY MAGUIRE has undertaken the management of the Illustrations, and assisted by the best engravers, the artistic department will be second to none.” GEORGE EMMETT promised Military Stories, School Stories , Historical Romances by Charles Stevens, Naval Stories, by author of “Midshipman Tom,” Stories of Travel and Adventure by author of “Willie Gray; or, the Wreck of the Polar Star,” Domestic Tales by author of “Spangles and Gold,” Romances of the Days of Chivalry, by author of “Last Lord of Lorne,” and Stories of Ireland by the Great Irish Novelist, Dennis O’Connor.

August 8, 1870. The Young Briton announces “Harry the Fifth; or, the Conquest of France,” by Charles Stevens. Serials running at the time were “Spangles and Gold,” “Midshipman Tom,” “Giant of Nottingham,” and “Pirate’s Isle.” There were also “Notes of the War.- (Vessels past and present,) Our Sphinx, Correspondence, &c., &c.

August 8, 1870. Next Week’s Sons of Britannia promises THE GRAND WAR TALE ! “Trumpeter Tom, The War Dragoon” Two Numbers in Wrapper - One Penny. Splendid War Pictures with this Dashing Story.

August 29, 1870. In a Black Border : “It is with deep and sincere regret we announce the death of Mr. W. Stephens Hayward, the author of those popular stories “The Eagle and the Vulture,” “The Mutiny of the Thunder,” “Idol’s Eye,” &c., &c., &c. Of him may truly be said, “He died in harness ;” for through a long and painful illness he laboured to amuse our young friends, bearing the pangs of suffering with unflinching fortitude, and only laid aside the pen when his hand was no longer able to grasp it. At a comparatively early age he has passed from among us, and obeying the signal of the grim destroyer Death, has wandered away into the fathomless future, leaving behind him a circle of friends who know but too well the loss they have sustained.”

August 29, 1870. “HARK-A-WAY JACK ; The King of the Foxhunters,” in the Young Briton.

No. 26, “Whip the Wind,” by Silvershot (George Emmett) author of “My Adventures Among the Prairie Indians,“ “Red Hugh, the Backwoodsman,“ &c. Sept. 5, 1870.

Sept. 5, 1870. Now Ready ! Price One Penny. The Illustrated WAR BUDGET. The Largest and Best ILLUSTRATED JOURNAL OF THE WAR Containing all the Authentic LATEST NEWS, and the Opening Chapters of a Glorious Military Story entitled TRUMPETER TOM. Order At Once THE ILLUSTRATED WAR BUDGET Full of magnificent Cuts BY OUR SPECIAL ARTIST. Price One Penny.

Sept. 19, 1870. King Robert the Bruce.- we regret to announce that up to the time of going to press we had received no copy from the Author. Announcement “Rupert the Ready’ in the Young Briton. Special Notice. ‘Since our sad announcement of the death of our reader’s favourite author, W. Stephens Hayward, thousands of letters have reached us from our subscribers full of sorrow at the mournful tidings we had to convey and expressing the wish that they might possess as a memento of their esteemed writer, a complete edition of the works. With this wish we comply. OUR READER’S OWN EDITION of Mr. Hayward’s works will be published in a separate form. The first of the series will be the popular tale THE MUTINY OF THE THUNDER . The original story with the original illustrations , in weekly numbers, One Penny. Presented gratis with this work, MR. W. STEPHENS HAYWARD’S PORTRAIT AND AUTOGRAPH Second gift, AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE LAMENTED AUTHOR.’

Vol. II No. 33 “The Fatal Cord : A Tale of Backwoods Retribution.” (Written expressly for the “Boys of England”) by Captain Mayne Reid. Chapter XVIII.

No. 35. “Brian Boru, The Hero King of Ireland” by Dennis O’Connor.

Nov. 19, 1870. In preparation. “The Days of Chivalry” by author of “Rupert the Ready.” Every Son of Bonny Scotland will read with interest this new story, “Silverdirk.”

No. 38. “All’s Well,” by author of “Sheet Anchor Jack.”

December 8, 1870. OUR LETTER-BOX. 13 Rue de Rivoli, Paris, 15 November 1870. “My dear Friend and Comrade, When, at the opening of this unhappy war, you wrote reminding me of our old friendship and the hairbreadth escapes we had together in the Crimea, asking me if I would write a military romance of the present struggle, I wrote to you, if you remember, excusing myself, for I fancied that the struggle would be a very brief one, and distinguished by little that would be worth narrating. I was wrong, however, and now, shut up in Paris with little to do except daily routine duties, and little to amuse myself with, except the mastication of donkey-steaks and the smoking of vile cigars, I fancy that it would be a real pleasure to write about the stirring scenes in which during the last five months I have taken part.
When I tell you that with the exception of Würth I have taken part in every battle of the campaign, have served in three different regiments, namely the Cent Gardes, the 26th Hussars, , and lastly and mainly, in the Cuirassiers of the Imperial Guard, with whom I charged at Weisenberg, at Gravelotte, and thrice at Sedan, in which latter battle I had the honour of saving the Emperor’s life whilst he was fighting on foot at the head of his troops, you will own that I have some real facts worth writing about. I have been shut up with Bezaine in Metz, too, and the horrors we endured in that infernal town are almost indescribable. I fear that in narrating some of them I shall scarcely be believed. When the whole army surrendered to the Germans, my regiment was, I believe, to have been marched to Frankfort, but before we had got half way through Alsace, we made a most brilliant attack on our guard, and cut our way to freedom. A fortnight later 700 of us reached Paris, wherein we are shut up….
To conclude, I have since my first skirmish had five horses shot under me, and received nine wounds mostly flesh ones.
I send you this letter by balloon post, and my first batch of MSS in the same way. Remembering how you used to compliment me on my acquaintance with English, I have endeavoured to write it in your language to save you the trouble of translating : if there are any inaccuracies of idiom pray set them right….
I am, my dear friend, still your comrade in heart. LEON LORRAIN.

No. 39. “Harlequin Hal; or, The Tricks and Traps of Theatrical Life.” By An Old Actor.

No. 43. “The Cuirassiers of the Guard,” by One of Themselves.

No. 48. Feb. 4, 1871, “Tom Wildrake,” Part 3.

53. “Longshore Luke; or, The Riverside Mystery,” by E. Harcourt Burrage.

58. “Through a Thousand Perils,” by J. J. G. Bradley, “Dick Darrington: A Tale of the Great Riots”.

63. “Red Snake, The Last of the Prairie Kings,” by the author of “For Honour,” “Lionel Westmore” &c.

67. “Tom Wildrake,” Part 4.

70. “The Factory Lad; or, Step by Step to Wealth and Fame.”

76. “The Roman Standard Bearer : A Tale of Britain‘s First Invasion” by Charles Stevens.

90. “Three Brave Boys”.

91. “An Ocean of Ice: a Story of the Polar Regions” by the author of “For Honour” “Harry Power,” &c.

97. “The Boy Gladiator,” by G. Ricken Alcot, U.S.A.

100. Feb. 5, 1872, “The Cloud King; or, Up in the Air and Down in the Sea,” by W. Stephens Hayward. (Maguire)

105. “Dashing Charlie the Texan Whirlwind,” by Ned Bunting.

114. “Hurricane Dick; or, The Child of the Storm”.

121. “Mazeppa; or, The Demon Horse of the Ukraine” Probably by Borlase (J. G. G. Bradley)

128. “Racketty Ralph the Hero of Scampdown College”

133. “Captain Tom Drake; or, England’s Hearts of Oak,” by W. L. Emmett author of “Shipwrecked Willie.”

148. “The Young Jockey ; or, A Ride For Life” by Vane St. John author of “The Haunted School,” “The Rightful Heir,” &c.

149. “Mountain Tom,” by Ned Bunting, and “Tom Wildrake” ends, Chapter 203. Jan. 8, 1873

156. “The Hundred Guardsmen: a Romance of the Second Empire,” by Captain Leon Lorraine, author of “The Cuirassiers of the Guard.”

March 19, 1873. OUR LETTER-BOX. John G. Sheen, Toronto, writes : “Having been for some years now a subscriber to all three of your valuable publications, which I think are extensively read here (in proportion to the population) as in the old country, I feel no hesitation in asking a favour of you, which is, that you oblige your Canadian readers, by giving them a genuine Canadian story. No doubt some one of your clever writers could find plenty of scope for his talents in giving us a tale of the many perilous adventures encountered and overcome by the pioneers of this land, who, loyal to their King and country, left their comfortable homes, and have by their perseverance and industry converted the unbroken forests of Canada into a smiling and fertile land, and have built up a Dominion that now extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I feel assured that your ‘British Boys’ will join their ‘Canadian Cousins,’ and as they have enjoyed your tales of life in Australia, South America, Central Africa, the South Sea Islands, and in fact every other part of the world (by the bye, your Australian stories are very great favourites here), they will enjoy, as well as we shall, a tale of Canadian life in the wild woods, in the days of the first settlers. In conclusion, I will only say how superior I consider all your publications to the trash contained in the innumerable Yankee periodicals that flood the bookseller’s stores in Toronto and other cities and towns of our Dominion. I trust you will insert this letter in the Sons of Britannia, and hope some of your Old Country boys will second it.

[We are exceedingly pleased to hear from our Canadian cousin, and at the earliest possible opportunity will comply with his request. As he speaks so highly of our stories of South America, we will call his attention to a story of Texan life, Now appearing in our companion journal, The Rover’s Log, entitled “The Goblin Scout,” by Percy B. St. John Esq., author of “The Arctic Crusoe” &c. In a letter to Mr. George Emmett he writes, “I would like to write you a story in connection with Texas as an independent republic. My naval experiences were rough and comic, with plenty of adventure. I was at the battle of Jacinto and the taking of Tobasco. I was twice a prisoner in the hands of the Mexicans. I was starved, went in rags, was obliged to do common seaman’s service on board a pilot’s boat,” &c., &c. &c. The “Goblin Scout” commenced in No. 53 of the Rover’s Log. Any of your friends in England can secure the numbers for you. Ed. S. O. B.

161. “Happy Go Lucky” by Alfred Sherrington, Esq.

165. “The King of the Iron Mace: or, The Ghost Riders of the Rhine”

170. “The Red Regiment,” by Percy B. St. John

176. “The Rascal Jack, A Tale of Thrashemwell College” by J. J. G. Bradley, illustrated by Phiz

182. “Tom, the Link Boy of Old London,” by Vane St. John author of “Jack-O’-the Mint.”

189. “The Desolate Raft,” by Percy B. St. John

194. “Giant Jack: the Hero of Red Mountain,” by E. H. Burrage.

No. 208. “Bound ‘Prentice To a Waterman. A Tale of the City and the River.” by Percy B. St. John. Illustrated by Phiz.

211. “The Cruise of the Volta; or, The Lost Heir of Altham,” by the author of “Mid of the Flora Bell,” etc.

216. “The Young Bushranger. A Story of the Australian Wilds.” By Vane St. John. Author of Claude the Outcast” “Tim Ne’er-Do Well” &c.

220. May 23, 1879, “Fatherless Bob; or, The True Story of a Poor Boy’s Life on Land and Sea,” by Bracebridge Hemyng

228. “Old Winchester; or, the Schooldays of Dashing Dick Tichborne,” by A Foundation Scholar

234. “Vagabond Dick,” by E. H. Burrage, author of “Spangles and Gold.”

241. “Alpine Jack ; or, The Mountain Guide” by the author of “William Tell,” &c.

245. “Lone Wolf, the Apache Chief,” by Lieut. E. R. Jayne, “Hal the Arab; or, the Earl and the Outlaw,” by E. H. Burrage.

Dec. 19, 1874. (No. illegible) “Hal the Arab; or, The Earl and the Outlaw.” by author of “Young Tom’s Schooldays.”

No. 256. “The Boy Mutineer. A Romance of the Whale Hunters” by Roger Starbuck, Esq.

No. 258. “Telegraph Tom ; The Mystery of a Lightning Flash” by author of “Benjamin Badluck,” “Tim Ne’er-Do Well” &c. (Vane St. John.) The illiterate boy’s dialogue in this tale is the closest I have seen to the dialogue style in the “Wild Boy’s of London.” Add Vane St. John, along with Bracebridge Hemyng to list of author suspects.

May 15, 1875. No. illegible. “Will Wilding ; or, The Hero of the School” by Bracebridge Hemyng, Esq. (Jack Harkaway.)

July 10, 1875. No. illegible. “The Wehr Wolf ; or, The Boy Avenger” by author of “Young Tom Truant,” “Joe the Call-Boy,” &c.

290. “The Land of the Crimson Snow: or, The Voyage of the Lucky Friday”

No. 296. “Harry Goldspur, The Knight of the Magic Ring.”

305 “Jolly Jack Johnson”

309. “Frost, Lightning and Frolic: or, A Newfoundland Boy’s Schooldays,” Written expressly for the Sons of Britannia.

313. “Rattling Tom of Cork,” by Vane St. John;

316. “Mischievous Mat; or, Mirth and Mystery,” by Bracebridge Hemyng

319. April 8, 1876, “Catch me who can; or, the Magic Horseshoe” by Walter Villiers, illustrated by P.O.P. (R. Proctor)

325. “Mat Mesures; or, The Terrible Will,” by Bertie Harcourt, illustrated by P. O. P.

334. July 22, 1876, “Lion Jack,” by P. T. Barnum, the great American Showman, illustrated by Bergham

345. “Ben Braveall,” by A. Sherrington

342. “Young Ironsides; or, The Pirates of the Treasure Ship”

353. “Frank’s Freaks at the Finishing School,” by the author of “Master John Bull at the French Academy”

359. “Larry O’Keefe,” by Bracebridge Hemyng

365. “Jack in the Jungle; a Tale of Land and Sea. Sequel to Lion Jack,” by P. T. Barnum

377. “Three Dashing Boys; or, The Cruise of the Island Queen”

380. June 9, 1877, “The Shadow Ship; or, The Prince of Pearl Island,” by Henry Emmett, author of “Union Jack,” “Mid of Flora Bell,” etc.

386. “A Troublesome Boy; or, His Way thro’ the World”

389. “Plucky Charlie, the Bluecoat Boy”

392. “The Haunted Island; or, The Adventures of Young Tom Trim and Uncle Sam”

The Sons of Brittania’s last number was No. 394 on September 15, 1877.

“Look out next week for No. 1 of ‘The Champion Journal.’ In addition to tales, ‘Dick Dare the Bareback Rider,’ ‘The Wondership; or, The Mysteries of the Sea,’ ‘Poor Jack, the Street Boy of London,’ ‘Happy Hal; or, True to the Core,’ ‘Marvels of Earth, Sea and Air,’ etc., etc., will be presented an illustrated supplement. All the stories now appearing in ‘The Sons of Britannia’ will be continued, so that the boys will have a splendid new journal and ‘The Sons of Britannia’ for one penny.”

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