Category:Children's Treasury: an Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls
From Victorian Literature
Title: Children's Treasury: an Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls
Editor: Thomas John Barnardo
Publisher: Haughton & Co.
Dr. Thomas John Barnardo, a medical doctor whose mission was to help those in poverty, began the children’s periodical The Children’s Treasury in 1866. The periodical featured illustrations, short stories, and religious allegories written for children. The texts are of course simplified for the periodical's young audience, but each has some sort of allegory. Many of the short stories are written specifically for poor children, letting them know that they will someday be saved.
The issues of The Children’s Treasury were very short, only about 10-15 pages. Each story or poem contained very religious aspects, such as some sort of lesson about Christ, salvation, or honesty and charity. Early in his life, Barnardo converted to Evangelicalism and became very aware of the need for everyone to have religion and spirituality. Every page of his magazine has a scripture from the Bible written on the bottom, and it usually relates to the story on the page. Many of the short stories Barnardo wrote himself, each containing a very Christian lesson. Some of the other writers had pseudonyms such as “Uncle Tom” or “Mrs. Sewell.”
The advertisements featured in the periodical were directed toward families, mainly selling Bibles or other religious books. Many of the ads offered these books at a discounted price to appeal to Barnardo’s impoverished readership. He also kept the price for the periodical relatively low. Each issue cost a half penny, unless a child wanted a “drawing room” issue, which was printed on nicer paper. These issues instead cost a whole penny. The Children’s Treasury began to receive a high circulation rate once it caught on amongst children in Victorian England.
Despite a life of ill health and financial difficulties, Thomas Barnardo spent much of his life devoted to destitute children. When he first arrived in London from his home in Dublin, Barnardo began to train as a doctor with plans to eventually leave and serve a mission in China. He was a strong, devoted protestant, but soon discovered that many of the inhabitants needed more than just spiritual welfare; they needed physical, educational, and financial help. After encountering the rife poverty, disease, and overcrowding endemic to London, Barnardo abandoned any dreams to finish training as a doctor, or to serve a mission in China, and committed his life to improving the lives of the many insolvent and impoverished children of Victorian London. In 1867, Barnardo founded one of the first ragged schools for children to receive free education. Because of financial difficulties, Barnardo eventually had to shut down the school and worked to open a new school with easier living accommodations for so many children. In due course he and his wife, Syrie, started a 60-acre village in Essex for poor girls called "The Girls Village Home." Ultimately, it grew to house 1,300 young girls at a time. Over the next thirty-one years, the school would educate tens of thousands of children. Barnardo’s self-induced responsibility of campaigning heavily for more children’s shelters throughout England, long before the government had organized any kind of intervention, will evermore be remembered.
Because Dr. Thomas Barnardo’s goal was to help destitute children, especially those in the east end of London, he gave the periodical the full title, The Children’s Treasury, Advocate for the Homeless and Destitute. The illustrations of the magazine were mostly black and white sketches of different scenes featuring the high rate of poverty for children. The sketches drew attention to the distressed, miserable, and uncared-for life of the working children. They especially appealed to the pathos of an individual, evoking a feeling of guilt and desire to help the children in such destitute circumstances. The periodical therefore featured good stories, fun activities and games, and wonderful pictures to offer entertainment and joy for the struggling impoverished children..
Submitted by: Justesen, Alexa: section 1, Winter 2010
Submitted by: Forsey, Rachel: section 1, Winter 2011
Articles in category "Children's Treasury: an Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls"There are 8 articles in this category.