By Margaret Beetham
Just like the corset, the women's magazines which emerged within the 19th century produced a `natural' inspiration of femininity: the family spouse; the modern lady; the romancing and fascinating woman. Their legacy, from soreness aunts to type plates, are simply traced of their smooth opposite numbers. yet do those magazines and their delivers empower or disempower their readers? of Her personal? is a full of life and revealing exploration of this immensely well known shape from its beginnings. In interesting aspect Margaret Beetham investigates the wishes, pictures and interpretations of femininity posed by means of a medium whose readership used to be and nonetheless is nearly completely girl. of Her personal is immediately a chronological tracing of the historical past, a set of interesting case reports and an intervention into contemporary debates approximately gender and sexuality in renowned examining. it's a ebook which somebody who's drawn to the original, influential international of the woman's journal - scholars, students and normal readers alike - should want to learn
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Additional resources for A Magazine of Her Own?: The Woman's Magazine 1800-1914
12½p) in the 1830s. The Lady’s Museum made explicit from the start that it defined femininity in classspecific terms. ). The qualities of this lady were thus both gender-and class-specific. As distinct from men of the ‘superior class’, she was concerned only with the family’s consumption and not THE EARLY LADIES’ JOURNALS 27 at all with productive or paid work. This gendered division of labour distinguished ‘the lady’ both from the bourgeois man and from the working-class woman—specifically the female domestic.
This installed gender as crucial to the definition of the periodical and its reading public. Moreover, it opened up a specifically feminised space within the genre, even though this remained secondary to the masculinised space of the ‘publick spirited’ male. Throughout the eighteenth century, periodicals had continued to ‘fair sex it’, in Swift’s words (Shevelow 1989:1). Women were addressed specifically as readers but they were also active as writers and editors. ‘Womanliness’ or femininity was installed as a crucial topic for discussion.
By the time stamp duty was finally lifted in the 1840s, allowing a huge expansion of the newspaper press, the magazine was already firmly established as an attractive genre in its own right. The stamp duty was part of a wider government strategy of taxing print. These ‘taxes on knowledge’, as the radicals called them, which included duty on paper, rag and advertisements, continued to inflate the price of all printed media until the last tax—on paper—was lifted in 1861. Magazines for women, like improving magazines for the working class, developed in the economic and ideological nexus of the ‘taxes on knowledge’.
A Magazine of Her Own?: The Woman's Magazine 1800-1914 by Margaret Beetham