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Back in 1869, when the recently widowed Victoria was on the throne and Gladstone was Prime Minister, when Alexander Graham Bell was yet to make the first telephone call and Darwin's "Origin Of Species" had been published just ten years earlier, a brand-new magazine - "The People's Friend" - hit the shelves for the very first time.
Right from the start, the "Friend's" mission statement was clear: "We intend that fully one half of the 'Friend' shall be devoted to fiction... the 'Friend' being intended for fireside reading, nothing will be admitted into its columns having the slightest tendency to corrupt the morals either of old or young."
As the years passed, the "Friend" grew and thrived. Through massive social upheaval, wars, strikes, financial crashes and natural disasters, the magazine continued, dispensing entertainment, instruction, comfort and good cheer to its readers. It became a constant in readers' lives; a true friend to turn to in times of trouble.