First – A Story for The Boys’ Brigade, by Professor Henry Drummond and was first published in 1889, with a reprint of 30000 copies in 1897.
The Boys’ Brigade Gazette had been launched a year earlier, and following a report on the success of this venture, The Annual Report of 1889-90 recorded: Of equal interest with the Gazette may be mentioned Professor Drummond’s admirable Address to the Glasgow Battalion on the text, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you,” which was published as a Christmas Gift-Book for the Boys of the Brigade, under the attractive title “First!” As proving at once the popularity of the book and the promptitude of the Brigade Officers, it is interesting to note that nearly 12,000 copies were ordered and paid for within three weeks of its announcement. It is almost impossible to overestimate the good that must have been done by so widespread an issue of this valuable Address, and the Committee would express their grateful thanks to Professor Drummond for his kindness in permitting them to use it in this way.
Christmas books – The late Victorian period was a time of rapidly increasing literacy, with The Boys’ Brigade playing its part in this progress with the publication in 1889 of a Christmas Gift book for Boys. The primary purpose of this book was to encourage Boys to read, and the first publication featured 16 pages of text interspersed with illustrations. This set a pattern for future books which continued until 1899. These books proved very successful, and reached a good proportion of Boys in the Brigade. Few of these books now exist, and it is fortunate that enough copies remain to be reproduced and read on the BB virtual museum as a flip book below.
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