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Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain 1914–1950$
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Joseph McAleer

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203292

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203292.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

‘The Public Mind Might Be Diverted’: The Religious Tract Society

‘The Public Mind Might Be Diverted’: The Religious Tract Society

(p.205) 7 ‘The Public Mind Might Be Diverted’: The Religious Tract Society
Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain 1914–1950

Joseph McAleer

Oxford University Press

D. C. Thomson and the Religious Tract Society had much in common. Both firms enjoyed immediate success as publishers of popular magazines. In the field of boys' papers they were rivals to some extent; in fact, the Boy's Own Paper established the modern market for this schoolboy genre, just as the Girl's Own Paper did for the schoolgirl and, partly, for women in general. The decline of the once-mighty Religious Tract Society is the other side of the success of Mills & Boon and D. C. Thomson. An examination of its history provides an insight into the types of problems which beset all publishers of popular fiction during this period, but through the experience of one which, unlike Mills & Boon or D. C. Thomson, was not able to overcome them. It is also a witness to the ultimate failure of the lofty aims of one of the first Victorian reformers of the popular press.

Keywords:   D. C. Thomson, Religious Tract Society, Boy's Own Paper, Girl's Own Paper, Mills & Boon, popular fiction

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