By Margaret Beetham
Just like the corset, the women's magazines which emerged within the 19th century produced a `natural' proposal of femininity: the family spouse; the modern lady; the romancing and fascinating woman. Their legacy, from ache aunts to type plates, are simply traced of their smooth opposite numbers. yet do those magazines and their can provide 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 attention-grabbing aspect Margaret Beetham investigates the wishes, photographs and interpretations of femininity posed via a medium whose readership used to be and nonetheless is sort of solely lady. of Her personal is straight away a chronological tracing of the heritage, a set of fascinating case reviews and an intervention into fresh debates approximately gender and sexuality in well known examining. it's a booklet which someone who's drawn to the original, influential global of the woman's journal - scholars, students and basic readers alike - probably want to learn
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Additional info for A Magazine of Her Own?: The Woman's Magazine 1800-1914
It marks a moment when the definition of a particular kind of reading public and a particular idea of femininity were crystallising. Le Beau Monde was not a success. Bell senior’s magazine, by contrast, went on in various forms until 1847. A. Bell, famous as the proprietor of the Magazin de Modes and inventor of the Circassion Corset, both of which she vigorously promoted (Adburgham 1972:226). La Belle Assemblée established quality engravings and detailed advice on dress as crucial elements of the lady s magazine, and those who could not match it were forced onto the defensive.
The tradition of the female confidante stretched back to 1693 when the Ladies’ Mercury had invited All questions relating to love’ to be sent to ‘the Ladies’ Society’ at the ‘Latine Coffee House in AveMary-Lanes’ (Ballaster et al. 1991:47). The Lady’s Museums immediate model, once again, was the Lady’s Magazine. Here ‘The Matron’—also called ‘Mrs Grey’—claimed to be: duly qualified to make my monthly appearance in the Lady’s Magazine while I am able to hold pen, being in my grand climacteric and having been deeply engaged in numberless scenes variegated and opposite, serious and comic, cheerful and afflicting.
Reading the magazine both produced femininity and was its signifier. Second, the magazines assumed gender as a crucial marker of the identity they defined. The new meaning of ‘the lady’ which they struggled to create constantly reduced the status and class connotations of the term to an aspect of gender. In the first section of the book I chart the establishment and development of the woman’s magazine during the first half of the nineteenth century. Though a distinct women’s press only gradually emerged, the name magazine’, its character as a mixed periodical and even the particular elements which still persist in the ‘woman’s magazine’ today were all put into place during this period.
A Magazine of Her Own?: The Woman's Magazine 1800-1914 by Margaret Beetham