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Boys and girls annual with stories, puzzles and things to do.

I am not sure when it started,but I know it is long-running as I was doing research and heard Chatterbox annuals early as 1878! - Billy Hicks

I think this started in 1866 priced at a halfpenny (and then later a penny). Some issues also had an optional colour plate which could be bought with it for a slightly larger price. From the 1870's Chatterbox Annuals where published which came out in early december and contained the preceding 12 month's worth of issues (and some, but not all, of the colour plates). The issues in the annuals didn't have details such as the title or price on thier "covers", just the illustration. The weekly issues may have had a seperate cover containing adverts, but i'm not sure about that. The annuals generally had adverts on the inside covers. Interestingly many US publishers produced 'pirate' copies of the annuals with different covers, or else picked and chose certain bits of the annuals to reprint in other books. Each issue generally contained an instalment of a serial story (these would run for a year or 6 months, so that each annual had 1-2 complete novel-length stories in it), a short complete story, articles of historical/scientific/engineering interest, poems and the occasional puzzle. Oddly "messages from the editor" where very rare, maybe only once per volume, if that. From 1936 the annuals became far shorter, containing only stories, generally a serial which ran through the book, broken up by complete short stories. Perhaps the weekly paper had ceased publication at that time? The annuals continued through the war and finally finished in the late 1950's, just beyond the 90th anniversary. - Michael Martin

I saw that you wanted some more information on Chatterbox Annuals. I have one which dates back to 1874. I have collected over 50 of them running from 1874 to 1926. There are different publishers (US and UK). I think they were shipped to NZ too and I have a plaque in my latest book which I have acquired saying that it was given as a prize in a school in Christ Church - Hope that helps - Catherine Millington

To see how it should be done take a look at Franks' Chatterbox Annual pages here.

If you have any other information on Chatterbox we would be very happy to hear it.
Drop us a line.

   
 

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