By Margaret Beetham
Just like the corset, the women's magazines which emerged within the 19th century produced a `natural' concept of femininity: the household spouse; the trendy lady; the romancing and fascinating lady. Their legacy, from affliction aunts to model plates, are simply traced of their sleek opposite numbers. yet do those magazines and their grants empower or disempower their readers? of Her personal? is a full of life and revealing exploration of this immensely renowned shape from its beginnings. In interesting element Margaret Beetham investigates the needs, pictures and interpretations of femininity posed by means of a medium whose readership used to be and nonetheless is sort of completely lady. of Her personal is straight away a chronological tracing of the heritage, a set of exciting case stories and an intervention into fresh debates approximately gender and sexuality in well known examining. it's a publication which someone who's attracted to the original, influential global of the woman's journal - scholars, students and normal readers alike - should want to learn
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Extra info for A Magazine of Her Own?: The Woman's Magazine 1800-1914
Even in the years immediately before her accession, when popular support for the monarchy was at its lowest, the court retained its social importance. For aristocratic young women, presentation here was the doorway to the fashionable world and to marriageable femininity. In the ladies’ magazines, court news and fashion coverage, inextricably linked, still provided crucial copy, like the printed lists of all those presented at court, together with brief descriptions of their dresses (110 on one occasion) (LM&M VI 1835: 360–5).
The new annuals were the opposite of this in every way. Designed for the drawingroom table, they were famous as ‘gorgeous inanities called Books of Beauties’ or in Wordsworth’s words ‘greedy receptacles of trash’; a judgement which did not prevent him contributing to one (Adburgham 1972:236; Cruse 1930:269). They exemplified the best in contemporary book production, printed on good quality paper and bound in hard covers with steel engravings of high quality. But critics like Thackeray complained that, once the picture had been chosen: Miss Landon, Miss Mitford or my Lady Blessington writes a song upon the opposite page about a water-lily, chilly, stilly, shivering beside a streamlet, plighted, blighted love-benighted, falsehood sharper than a gimlet…and so on.
But critics like Thackeray complained that, once the picture had been chosen: Miss Landon, Miss Mitford or my Lady Blessington writes a song upon the opposite page about a water-lily, chilly, stilly, shivering beside a streamlet, plighted, blighted love-benighted, falsehood sharper than a gimlet…and so on. The poetry is quite worthy of the picture and a little sham sentiment is employed to illustrate a little sham art. (quoted in Cruse 1930:280) These keepsakes were not addressed to an exclusively female readership nor were the engravings exclusively of female subjects.