Home Books and Story Papers Greyfriars Gallery Television and Radio Ephemera Hamilton Acknowledgements Links

The Empire Library.

The Empire Library was first published on 19th February 1910 and had a short run of only 36 issues before closing on 22nd October 1910. Series 2 launched the following week before merging with the Boys Realm of Football & Sports Library after only 28 issues. A few articles on the Empire Library were published in the Collectors Digest and can be found here. Another article on this fascinating publication can be found in the Story Paper Collector issue 1/3

The listing below has been created from information gleaned from a number of sources including articles that were published in the Collectors Digest and the Story Paper Collector. There may be errors and there are certainly omissions so if you can help in any way then please contact me.

St Kit's in the Empire Library

The Rivals of St Kit's stories first appeared as a serial in the Pluck and ran for most of 1907. It was also reprinted in the Boy's Friend Library issue 1/46 in 1908 before being published yet again in the Empire Library in 1910.

St Wode's in the Empire Library

The Rivals of St Wode's first appeared in issue 2/11. I've never read a story from this series so know nothing about this particular school. I'm fairly sure that the stories were not reprinted but happy to be corrected!

Rylcombe Grammar School in the Empire Library

Rylcombe Grammar School was created by Charles Hamilton and featured as the "rival" school to St Jim's in the Gem. Editor Percy Griffiths had the idea of building the Empire Library around Rylcombe but a dispute between Hamilton and Griffiths meant Hamilton refused to have anything more to do with the Empire Library after writing just one story. According to an article by Bill Lofts in the Collectors Digest Hinton and Down wrote most of the first series up to issue 31. Issue 32 was the last Rylcombe story in series 1 and was the original Hamilton story.

Gordon Gay & Co. did return in series 2 for a few issues but the stories were limited in size to about a page.

At Hinton's request Hamilton did write a Rylcombe serial for the Gem which appeared in issues 228 - 246 using the pen name of Prosper Howard.  The story was later reprinted in the Boys Friend Library issue 1/235 in 1923. The Gems and BFL1/235 have been scanned and are available for download.

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays in the Empire Library

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays appeared in issues 2/1-18. The story was later reprinted in the Gem issues 405-416 (1915/16) and the Boys Friend Library issue 1/367 (1917). The Gems and BFL1/367 have been scanned and are available for download.

  Issue and Date Story Notes
  Issue 1/1

19th February 1910

Gordon Gay's Company
(Rylcombe)
20 pages consisting of four cover pages and 16 numbered pages.

To help publicise the Empire Library the first few pages were printed in Magnet 106

  Issue 1/2

26th February 1910

Gordon Gay's New Part
(Rylcombe)
 
  Issue 1/3

5th March 1910

Gordon Gay's New Chums
(Rylcombe)
The Australian Wooton Brothers arrive at Rylcombe and a new Co. is formed - The Three Wallabies.
  Issue 1/4

12th March 1910

Rylcombe Story  
  Issue 1/5

19th March 1910

The Three Wallabies
(Rylcombe)
 
  Issue 1/6

26th March 1910

Rylcombe Story  
  Issue 1/7

2nd April 1910

Rylcombe Story  
Issue 1/8

9th April 1910

Gordon Gay's Play
(Rylcombe)
 
  Issue 1/9

16th April 1910

The New Master
(Rylcombe)
 
  Issue 1/10

23rd April 1910

Rylcombe Story  
  Issue 1/11

30th April 1910

Gordon Gay's Raid
(Rylcombe)
 
  Issue 1/12

7th May 1910

The Doctors Double
(Rylcombe)
Eric Fayne was of the opinion this was a genuine Hamilton story
  Issue 1/13

14th May 1910

Rylcombe Story  
  Issue 1/14

21st May 1910

The Rylcombe Cadet Corp.
(Rylcombe)
 
  Issue 1/15

28th May 1910

Empire Day at Rylcombe  
  Issue 1/16

4th June 1910

No Rylcombe Story  
  Issue 1/17

11th June 1910

Ginger
(Rylcombe)
 
  Issue 1/18

18th June 1910

No Rylcombe Story  
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 1 of ?
  Issue 1/19

25th June 1910

  Rylcombe School stories alternated with Jack Rhodes stories by Alfred Barnard until issue 1/32 before giving way to Panther Grayle stories by Jack Lancaster
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 2 of ?
  Issue 1/20

2nd July 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 3 of ?
Issue 1/21

9th July 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 5 of ?
  Issue 1/22

16th July 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 5 of ?
  Issue 1/23

23rd July 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 6 of ?
  Issue 1/24

30th July 1910

Gordon Gay's Camp.
(Rylcombe)
 
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 7 of ?
  Issue 1/25

6th August 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 8 of ?
  Issue 1/26

13th August 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 9 of ?
  Issue 1/27

20th August 1910

  Page count increased to 24
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 10 of ?
  Issue 1/28

27th August 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 11 of ?
  Issue 1/29

3rd September 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 12 of ?
  Issue 1/30

10th September 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 13 of ?
  Issue 1/31

17th September 1910

   
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 14 of ?
  Issue 1/32

24th September 1910

The Grammar Schools Great Jape (Rylcombe) According to Bill Lofts this was the only Genuine Rylcombe/Hamilton story to appear in the Empire Library. Rylcombe vanished for a while before resuming in Series 2 Issue 9
The Rivals of St Kit's Part 15 of ?
  Issue 1/33

1st October 1910

The Rivals of St Kit's Part 16 of ?  
Issue 1/34

8th October 1910

The Rivals of St Kit's Part 17 of ?  
Issue 1/35

15th October 1910

The Rivals of St Kit's Part 18 of ?  
  Issue 1/36

22nd October 1910

The Rivals of St Kit's Part 19 of ?  
Second Series
Issue 2/1

29th October 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 1 of 18
Launch of the "Empire Enlarged Library".

The new series was the same price but the page size doubled to the size of the Realm and Boys friend. Page count was reduced from 20 to eight so the enlarged library actually had less space. All the pages were black ink printed on white paper.

The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 20 of ?
  Issue 2/2

5th November 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 2 of 18
 
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part21 of ?
  Issue 2/3

12th November 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 3 of 18
 
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 22 of ?
Issue 2/4

19th November 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 4 of 18
 
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 23 of ?
  Issue 2/5

26th November 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 5 of 18
Grand Christmas Double (1d) Number with 16 pages.
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 24 of ?
  Issue 2/6

3rd December 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 6 of 18
 
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 25 of ?
  Issue 2/7

10th December 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 7 of 18
 
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 26 of ?
  Issue 2/8

17th December 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 8 of 18
 
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 27 of ?
  Issue 2/9

24th December 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 9 of 18
Gordon Gay & Co. return and feature in a short complete one page story. This format continued until his final appearance in issue 26
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 28 of ?
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/10

31st December 1910

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 10 of 18
 
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 29 of ?
Frank Monk and Co.'s Score.
(Rylcombe)
  Issue 2/11

7th January 1911

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 11 of 18
A new Hamilton serial featuring St Wode's makes an appearance. Incredibly FOUR Hamilton schools appear in this one Story Paper.

I'm unsure just how long the St Kit's serial ran for so I won't include it beyond this issue until more definite information becomes available.

The Rival of St Wode's
Part 1 of ?
The Rivals of St Kit's
Part 30 of ?
Major Gordon Gay.
(Rylcombe)
  Issue 2/12

14th January 1911

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 12 of 18
 
The Rival of St Wode's
Part 2 of ?
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/13

21st January 1911

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 13 of 18
 
The Rival of St Wode's
Part 3 of ?
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/14

28th January 1911

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 14 of 18
 
The Rival of St Wode's
Part 4 of ?
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/15

4th February 1911

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 15 of 18
 
The Rival of St Wode's
Part 5 of ?
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/16

11th February 1911

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 16 of 18
 
The Rival of St Wode's
Part 6 of ?
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/17

18th February 1911

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 17 of 18
 
The Rival of St Wode's
Part 7 of ?
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/18

25th February 1911

Cousin Ethel's Schooldays
Part 18 of 18
 
The Rival of St Wode's
Part 8 of ?
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/19

4th March 1911

The Rival of St Wode's
Part 9 of ?
 
The Grammar School Dreamer.
(Rylcombe)
  Issue 2/20

11th March 1911

The Rival of St Wode's
Part 10 of ?
 
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/21

18th March 1911

The Rival of St Wode's
Part 11 of ?
 
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/22

25th March 1911

The Rival of St Wode's
Part 12 of ?
 
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/23

1st April 1911

The Rival of St Wode's
Part 13 of ?
Editorial announces a new Tom Merry Story "Tom Merry's Island" would appear shortly. It never did and the stories were later adapted for a 1911 treasure island series in the Gem (Issues 173 of 175)
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/24

8th April 1911

My Aunt!
(Rylcombe)
 
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/25

15th April 1911

The Rival of St Wode's
Part 14 of ?
 
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/26

22nd April 1911

The Rival of St Wode's
Part 14 of ?
I'm unsure just how long the St Wode's serial ran for so I won't include it in the last couple of issues until more definite information becomes available.
Rylcombe Story
  Issue 2/27

29th April 1911

   
  Issue 2/ 28

6th May 1911

  Merged with Boy's Realm Football and Sports Library