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The links below will take you to listings of the various publications in which the stories appeared. In due course you will find separate pages for the various schools, with a brief history, significant characters, etc. Where a link is not live, those pages have not yet been added to the site.

Publications index

You can download the main listings linked to above in Adobe Acrobat format by right clicking the links below and choosing "save target as" to save the Acrobat PDF file to your computer. You can also open or save previous publications of the month below in the same format. You can download the latest version of the Adobe Reader from Adobe's website.

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Listings in Acrobat format

Previous publications of the month

"John Nix Pentelow 1872-1972"  Cambridge Old Boys Book Club 1972 Publication of the month for August 2009

John Nix Pentelow was a prolific author of adventure and school stories for a wide variety of boys' papers in the early part of the 20th Century. He was also the editor of The Magnet during the difficult years of the First World War. Many of the Amalgamated Press staff had joined up or been called up to the armed forces, Frank Richards was stretched too thin (which meant that he didn't provide copy every week), and Pentelow was one of the many who provided substitute stories to bridge the gaps.

One of the most memorable series of Pentelow's editorship was the Greyfriars Gallery - a detailed pen portrait each week of one or more of the main characters, with a wealth of detail from previous stories.

One of the most notorious acts of Pentelow's editorship was Magnet issue 520 of 1918, "A Very Gallant Gentleman", in which Pentelow's substitute story killed off Arthur Courtney, a member of the Sixth. Many years later Friars could not agree on the reasons or merits of the story.

Cambridge OBBC produced this booklet to commemorate the centenary of Pentelow's birth. Read the articles within to form your own view of his legacy, and impact on the future direction of the Magnet.

"The Boy From Bermondsey" by Edwy Searles Brooks, Monster Library 4  The Amalgamated Press February 1926 Publication of the month for July 2009

The Nelson Lee Library was at its height in the mid 1920's. The weekly paper was running school, adventure and detective stories in serial format (similar to the successful format pioneered by Charles Hamilton in the Magnet and Gem).

At the end of 1925, as what was probably the most famous series of stories appeared in the Nelson Lee Library (Ezra Quirke, in NLL 1/542-549), the Monster Library was born. Published monthly, you got 128 almost A4 size pages and a full colour cover for 1 shilling (which was 3 times the cost of the Boys Friend and Schoolboys Own Libraries, and six times the cost of a weekly paper). The library reprinted some of the most interesting series from 1918 onwards. Number 11 was reprinted by the Howard Baker Press in 1972.

Here is my favourite, Monster Library 4, which tells of the arrival at St. Franks of Jack Mason and the mystery about his identity. As always, Brooks manages to introduce more twists into the plot than a Slinky! Enjoy!

Click the image to the left to open the comic in Adobe Acrobat format (NB the file is 97MB, so may take some time if you have a slow connection).

The Letters of Frank Richards Publication of the month for June 2009

Charles Hamilton was always a prolific letter writer. In the post World War 2 years, as aficionados came to appreciate and research his earlier writings, so those fans began to write to him.

"Frank Richards" invariably replied writing as "Frank", using the same typewriter and ribbon used for so many of the pre war stories - and of course for the post war Bunter Books, annuals and television plays.

The letters in this volume, alongside the musings on Floreat Greyfriars give some insight into the author's views of his characters, disputes with the Amalgamated Press and more. They cover the period from the late 1940's up to shortly before his death in 1961.

Click the image to the left to open the book in Adobe Acrobat format.

"King of the Islands" BFL 2/331 by Charles Hamilton  1932 Amalgamated Press Publication of the month for May 2009

The Boys Friend Library started in 1907 as a vehicle for Jack, Sam and Pete reprints. Over the next 33 years it reprinted a wide variety of adventure, thriller, science fiction and humour stories from the entire stable of Amalgamated Press's boys' story papers.

King of the Islands was Charles Hamilton's last great creation, and originally appeared in the Modern Boy for a period of a little over 4 years, starting with the first issue in 1928.

Ken King and his first mate Kit Hudson sailed the ketch Dawn around the South Seas in search of treasure, tackling slave traders, cannibals and other anachronistic foes. The idea seems ridiculous on the surface, but the polished ease of the writing makes it an easy dish to swallow.

BFL 2nd series 331 reprints the first 20 stories in one volume. Enjoy.

Click the image to the left to open the comic in Adobe Acrobat format.

"The Outsider" by Edwy Searles Brooks, Nugget 3d Library 51  Amalgamated Press June 1921. Click to download Publication of the month for April 2009

The Nugget Weekly was a short-lived comic that ran for 34 issues from July 1920, containing a variety of detective, cowboy and Robin Hood stories. The Nugget 3d Library reprinted a variety of stories, mainly from the Boy's Realm. Some of the stories are definitely by Edwy Searles Brooks; and some (including this, possibly by R.T. Eves) may not.

Make up your own mind by reading The Outsiders, 64 small pages condensed from a Boys Realm serial that ran from issues 54-62 of 1920.

Click the image to the left to open the comic in Adobe Acrobat format.

Publications of the Month for 2008 have been archived here.

Publications of the Month for 2007 have been archived here.

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