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The St. Nicholas Magazine (1873-1941) was a successful American children's magazine, published by Scribner's beginning in November 1873, and designed for children five to eighteen.[1] The magazine was edited by Mary Mapes Dodge—remembered for Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates. Its major competitor in its field was the well-established The Youth's Companion which had been published since 1827. In Dodge's fresh approach to children's entertainment there was no heavy-handed moralizing. Her editorial policy was set out:

To give clean, genuine fun to children of all ages.
To give them examples of the finest types of boyhood and girlhood.
To inspire them with an appreciation of fine pictorial art.
To cultivate the imagination in profitable directions.
To foster a love of country, home, nature, truth, beauty, and sincerity.
To prepare boys and girls for life as it is.
To stimulate their ambitions--but along normally progressive lines.
To keep pace with a fast-moving world in all its activities.
To give reading matter which every parent may pass to his children unhesitatingly.[1]

In 1881 Charles Scribner's Sons reorganized, withdrawing its share of ownership and the Century Company, with Roswell Smith as president, took over the publication of St. Nicholas and Scribner's Monthly (renamed The Century Magazine).

From the outset St. Nicholas Magazine published work of the best contemporary illustrators: Charles Dana Gibson, Arthur Rackham and Howard Pyle, all contributed to St. Nicholas and later, Ellis Parker Butler, Norman Rockwell and Livingston Hopkins.

"The best-known children's authors and illustrators contributed to St. Nicholas,", according to a 2002 review on children's literature[2]. Many children's classics were first serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine. Its first runaway hit was with "Little Lord Fauntleroy". Louisa May Alcott's Jo's Boys was serialized in the magazine, and Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

The magazine changed decorously with the times, but ceased publication in November 1941.

Most people who know of the magazine at all, know it through Henry Steele Commager's two editions of St. Nicholas Anthology, in 1948 and 1950.


  1. ^ St Nicholas Magazine. University of Florida Digital Collections. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  2. ^ D. Darigan, M. Tunnell, and J. Jacobs, Children's Literature: Engaging Teachers and Children in Good Books. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall) 2002:60.

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