By Margaret Beetham
Just like the corset, the women's magazines which emerged within the 19th century produced a `natural' thought of femininity: the family spouse; the modern lady; the romancing and fascinating woman. Their legacy, from discomfort aunts to style plates, are simply traced of their glossy opposite numbers. yet do those magazines and their provides 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 attention-grabbing element Margaret Beetham investigates the wishes, photos and interpretations of femininity posed by means of a medium whose readership used to be and nonetheless is sort of solely lady. of Her personal is instantly a chronological tracing of the heritage, a set of interesting case experiences and an intervention into fresh debates approximately gender and sexuality in well known analyzing. it's a publication which an individual who's drawn to the original, influential international of the woman's journal - scholars, students and common readers alike - probably want to learn
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Additional resources for A Magazine of Her Own?: The Woman's Magazine 1800-1914
The piece White quotes was a polem-ical intervention into a debate about femininity in which the dominance of the domestic ideal was still contested and incomplete. What is clear is, first, that in defining themselves the new ‘lady’s magazines’ also set out to define their readers. 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.
These different objectives did not run neatly between the magazines different genres. The fiction did not simply offer ‘amusement’ and the articles ‘instruction’. There was a more complex relationship between the ideal of instruction and the constituent genres, most of which—in any case—had their own conventions and histories which extended beyond the magazine into other modes of publication. In this mix of genres, one kind of instruction which was notably absent was regular information about current politics though these magazines did sometimes carry brief ‘Epitomes of Public Affairs’.
In this mix of genres, one kind of instruction which was notably absent was regular information about current politics though these magazines did sometimes carry brief ‘Epitomes of Public Affairs’. It was precisely the absence of ‘news’ which came to distinguish the magazine from that other mixed kind of periodical, the newspaper. The evolution of this distinction was shaped by battles over access to politics in which class rather than gender was the issue. The category ‘news’ was contested throughout the period between 1712 and the 1850s, during which successive governments imposed a stamp duty on newspapers explicitly in order to limit public debate.
A Magazine of Her Own?: The Woman's Magazine 1800-1914 by Margaret Beetham
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