Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s: The Victorian Period 9781474433921

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Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s: The Victorian Period
 9781474433921

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Women, Periodicals, and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s–1900s

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The Edinburgh History of Women’s Periodical Culture in Britain Series Editor: Jackie Jones Published Titles Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690–1820s: The Long Eighteenth Century Edited by Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918–1939: The Interwar Period Edited by Catherine Clay, Maria DiCenzo, Barbara Green, and Fiona Hackney Women, Periodicals, and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s–1900s: The Victorian Period Edited by Alexis Easley, Clare Gill, and Beth Rogers Women, Periodicals, and Print Culture in Britain, 1890s–1920s: The Modernist Period Edited by Faith Binckes and Carey Snyder Forthcoming Titles Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1940s–2000s: The Contemporary Period Visit The Edinburgh History of Women’s Periodical Culture in Britain web page at www.edinburghuniversitypress.com/series/EHWPCB

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The Edinburgh History of Women’s Periodical Culture in Britain

Women, Periodicals, and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s–1900s The Victorian Period

Edited by Alexis Easley, Clare Gill, and Beth Rodgers

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Edinburgh University Press is one of the leading university presses in the UK. We publish academic books and journals in our selected subject areas across the humanities and social sciences, combining cutting-edge scholarship with high editorial and production values to produce academic works of lasting importance. For more information visit our website: edinburghuniversitypress.com © editorial matter and organisation Alexis Easley, Clare Gill, and Beth Rodgers, 2019 © the chapters their several authors, 2019 Edinburgh University Press Ltd The Tun – Holyrood Road, 12(2f) Jackson’s Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ Typeset in 10 / 12 Adobe Sabon by IDSUK (DataConnection) Ltd, and printed and bound in Great Britain. A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978 1 4744 3390 7 (hardback) ISBN 978 1 4744 3392 1 (webready PDF) ISBN 978 1 4744 3393 8 (epub) The right of the contributors to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (SI No. 2498).

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Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction: Women, Periodicals, and Print Culture in the Victorian Period Alexis Easley, Clare Gill, and Beth Rodgers

ix xii 1

Part I: (Re)Imagining Domestic Life Introduction 1. The Rise and Rise of the Domestic Magazine: Femininity at Home in Popular Periodicals Margaret Beetham 2. Regulating Servants in Victorian Women’s Print Media Kathryn Ledbetter 3. Women Editors’ Transnational Networks in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and Myra’s Journal Marianne Van Remoortel

15 18 32

46

4. Women and Family Health in the Mid-Victorian Family Magazine Claire Furlong

57

5. Negotiating Female Identity in Nineteenth-Century Ireland Elizabeth Tilley

69

6. Women and the Welsh Newspaper Press: The Cambrian News and the Western Mail, 1870–1895 Tom O’Malley

84

Part II: Constructing Modern Girls and Young Women Introduction 7. Promoting a Do-It-Yourself Spirit: Samuel Beeton’s Young Englishwoman Jennifer Phegley

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99 103

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8. Claiming Medicine as a Profession for Women: The English Woman’s Journal’s Campaign for Female Doctors Teja Varma Pusapati

120

9. Encouraging Charitable Work and Membership in the Girls’ Friendly Society through British Girls’ Periodicals Kristine Moruzi

140

10. ‘Welcome and Appeal for the “Maid of Dundee”’: Constructing the Female Working-Class Bard in Ellen Johnston’s Correspondence Poetry, 1862–1867 Suz Garrard

153

11. The Editor of the Period: Alice Corkran, the Girl’s Realm, and the Woman Editor Beth Rodgers

164

12. The ‘Most-Talked-Of Creature in the World’: The ‘American Girl’ in Victorian Print Culture Bob Nicholson

178

Part III: Women and Visual Culture Introduction 13. Vicarious Pleasures: Photography, Modernity, and Mid-Victorian Domestic Journalism Charlotte Boman

199 202

14. Beauty Advertising and Advice in the Queen and Woman Michelle J. Smith

218

15. Women of the World: The Lady’s Pictorial and Its Sister Papers Gerry Beegan

232

16. Rewriting Fairyland: Isabella Bird and the Spectacle of Nineteenth-Century Japan Andrea Kaston Tange 17. Victorian Women Wood Engravers: The Case of Clemence Housman Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

256 277

Part IV: Making Space for Women Introduction 18. Women Journalists and Periodical Spaces Joanne Shattock 19. Making Space for Women’s Work in the Leisure Hour: From Variety to ‘Verity’ Katherine Malone

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303 306

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contents 20. Avatars, Pseudonyms, and the Regulation of Affect: Performing and Occluding Gender in the Pall Mall Gazette Fionnuala Dillane 21. Gender, Anonymity, and Humour in Women’s Writing for Punch Katy Birch 22. Making Space for Women: The Labour Leader, the Clarion, and the Women’s Column Deborah Mutch 23. By the Fireside: Margaret Oliphant’s Armchair Commentaries Valerie Sanders

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365 379

Part V: Constructing Women Readers and Writers Introduction

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24. ‘Afford[ing] me a Place’: Recovering Women Poets in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, 1827–1835 Lindsy Lawrence

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25. Constructing the Mass-Market Woman Reader and Writer: Eliza Cook and the Weekly Dispatch, 1836–1850 Alexis Easley

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26. Elizabeth Gaskell and the Habit of Serialisation Catherine Delafield

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27. Gender and Genre in Reviews of the Theological Novel Anne DeWitt

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28. Reading Poet Amy Levy through Victorian Newspapers Linda K. Hughes

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29. ‘I simply write it to order’: L. T. Meade, Sisters of Sherlock, and the Strand Magazine Clare Clarke

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Part VI: Intervening in Political Debates Introduction 30. Brewing Storms of War, Slavery, and Imperialism: Harriet Martineau’s Engagement with the Periodical Press Lesa Scholl 31. Mary Smith (1822–1889): A Radical Journalist under Many Guises Florence S. Boos 32. In Time of Disturbance: Political Dissonance and Subversion in Violet Fane’s Contributions to the Lady’s Realm Ceylan Kosker

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33. ‘Our Women in Journalism’: African-American Women Journalists and the Circulation of News Caroline Bressey

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34. The Response of the Late Victorian Feminist Press to Same-Sex Desire Controversies Molly Youngkin

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35. Wings and the Woman’s Signal: Reputation and Respectability in Women’s Temperance Periodicals, 1892–1899 Gemma Outen

555

Notes on Contributors Index

568 575

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Figures 2.1 5.1 5.2 5.3 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 8.1 12.1 12.2 12.3 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5

Cover of the British Workwoman, no. 18 (Apr 1865). Cover of Ireland’s Mirror, or A Chronicle of the Times (Vol. 1, 1804). Cover of the Rainbow, or Western Monthly Magazine (May 1840). Cover of the Emerald (10 June 1871). ‘Puffed Crape Bonnet’ and ‘Satin Bonnet,’ Young Englishwoman (28 Jan 1865). ‘Scarf in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet,’ Young Englishwoman (28 Jan 1865). ‘Crape Butterfly for Lamp Shade’ and ‘Foot-Stool in the Shape of a Shawl,’ Young Englishwoman (1 Apr 1865). ‘Tea-Cosy,’ Young Englishwoman (14 Jan 1865). Illustration from T. W. Williams, ‘An Incident in the Student Life of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell,’ Our Famous Women (1888). Occurrences of the term ‘American girl’ in the British Newspaper Archive, 1800–96. ‘The American Girl Abroad,’ Sketch (22 Jan 1896). ‘The American Girl Exports a Lord,’ Sketch (11 Sep 1895). ‘London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company, Ltd’ (c. 1867). ‘Our Friend Mr. Blobbins’s Stereoscopic Studies,’ Punch 65 (16 Apr 1859). Valentine Blanchard, ‘Temple Bar, Fleet Street’ (c. 1862). Alfred Silvester, Full Stop (c. 1850–60). Alfred Silvester, ‘National Sports. The Rail! The Road!! The Turf!!! The Settling Day!!!!’ (c. 1865). Edward Anthony, ‘Broadway, New York, in the Rain’ (c. 1860). Advertisement, Diaphane, Queen (4 June 1892). Advertisement, Beetham’s Glycerine and Cucumber, Queen (14 May 1892). Advertisment for Anna Ruppert, Queen (3 Dec 1892). Advertisement, Koko for the Hair, Queen (27 June 1891). Cover of the Illustrated London News (18 July 1896). ‘The Ladies’ Page,’ Illustrated London News (1 Aug 1896). ‘Miss Mabel Love,’ Sketch (11 Nov 1896). ‘Our Ladies’ Pages,’ Sketch (21 July 1899). ‘Sportswoman’s Page,’ Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (17 June 1899).

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41 79 80 82 106 107 116 117 125 185 191 192 205 207 210 213 214 215 224 226 228 230 235 236 239 240 243

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x 15.6 15.7 15.8 15.9 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4

17.5

17.6 17.7 17.8 17.9 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 32.1 32.2 32.3

list of illustrations ‘Hats for the Holidays and Early Autumn Wear,’ Lady’s Pictorial (1 Aug 1896). ‘Weddings,’ Lady’s Pictorial (1 Aug 1896). ‘Portraits of Brides and Bridegrooms,’ Lady’s Pictorial (1 Aug 1896). ‘Miss Dorothea Baird’s Wedding and Travelling Dresses,’ Lady’s Pictorial (1 Aug 1896). ‘The International Exhibition,’ Illustrated London News (20 Sep 1862). Isabella Bird, ‘Straw Rain-Cloak,’ Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (1880). Advertisement from the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society 50 (1880). Isabella Bird, ‘Fujisan,’ Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (1880). Leonard Baskin, ‘Portrait of Clemence Housman,’ colour etching. Icones librorum artifices (1988). Mary Byfield, wood engraving, after John Ruskin, Elements of Drawing, 2nd edn (1877). W. J. Linton, wood engraving, after Dante Gabriel Rossetti for Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862). Lucy Faulkner, corrected wood engraving, after Dante Gabriel Rossetti for Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market and Other Poems (1865). Clemence Housman, ‘The Luck of the Roses’ re-touched line block, after Laurence Housman for Laurence Housman. The House of Joy (1895). Clemence Housman, ‘The Race’ wood engraving, after Laurence Housman for Clemence Housman, The Were-Wolf (1896). Clemence Housman, after Laurence Housman, The Field of Clover (1898). Clemence Housman, after Laurence Housman, The Blue Moon (1904). Clemence Housman, after James Guthrie, ‘The Evening Star,’ The Elf: A Magazine of Drawings and Writings (1905). Masthead for the Leisure Hour 6 (July 1867). ‘How Macaulay’s History Was Bound,’ Leisure Hour 31 (Jan 1856). Decorative heading for first appearance of ‘Wives, Mothers, and Maids,’ Leisure Hour 49 (Nov 1899). Advertisement for the Leisure Hour, Academy 57 (28 Oct 1899). The number of Eliza Cook’s poems published in the Weekly Dispatch, 1835–50. Portrait of Eliza Cook by Henry Adlard, after Wilhelm Trautschold, 1847. Advertisement for the Weekly Dispatch, Musical World 22 (29 May 1847). Page from the scrapbook of Arabella Odgers, c. 1849. Violet Fane, ‘On the Marmora,’ Lady’s Realm 1 (Nov 1896). Violet Fane, ‘A Deserted Village,’ Lady’s Realm 2 (Oct 1897). ‘Portrait of Violet Fane,’ Lady’s Realm 2 (Oct 1897).

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246 249 251 252 261 263 266 268 278 282 284

285

290 292 293 295 296 320 323 330 331 420 422 423 425 520 523 524

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list of illustrations Table 33.1 Examples of African-American newspapers by state, adapted from Penn, The Afro-American Press and Its Editors (1891). Table 33.2 Nineteenth-century African-American women journalists and their associated publications, adapted from Penn, The Afro-American Press and Its Editors (1891).

xi

531

535

Plates The plate section can be found between pages 404 and 405. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Poems vs Prose Items in Blackwood’s, 1827–8. Poems vs Prose Items in Blackwood’s, 1829–30. Poems vs Prose Items in Blackwood’s, 1831–2. Poems vs Prose Items in Blackwood’s, 1833–4. Percentage of Contributions from Women, Men, and Unattributed in Blackwood’s, 1827–35. Women Contributors to Blackwood’s, 1827–35. Poems vs Prose Items in Blackwood’s, 1835.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The fun for me in collaboration is, one, working with other people just makes you smarter, that’s proven. And this is not a singular art form – it’s 12 art forms smashed together. We elevate each other. And two, it’s enormously gratifying because you can build things so much bigger than yourself. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Smithsonian Magazine (12 Nov 2015)

H

ere Lin-Manuel Miranda is discussing the collaborative process behind creating the hit musical Hamilton (2015–), but he might well have been discussing the process of creating a scholarly essay collection, which relies not only on a mash-up of art forms – editing, writing, and book design – but also on a rich process of collaboration that opens up unexpected possibilities and lines of inquiry beyond what any individual could hope to imagine. Throughout the process of editing this book, we were continually grateful for the brilliance of our contributors, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude, not only for elevating the field through their scholarly work but also for making all of us collectively smarter and wiser in our approaches to Victorian women and periodical print culture. This book would have been impossible without the foundational scholarly work of Margaret Beetham, who guided and inspired us throughout the editorial process. We are also grateful for the guidance of Jackie Jones, Adela Rauchova, and Ersev Ersoy at Edinburgh University Press, and for the brilliant editorial assistance of Andrea Stewart and Amy Valine. Our partners Brett Fried, Ruairi McGreevy, and Graeme Neill provided us with continual encouragement and support throughout the editorial process. We were also inspired by the arrival of little Éadaoin (born 12 September 2017) and Eleanor (born 28 May 2018), who came into the world just as the book was opening up into pages and chapters. It is to them that we dedicate this volume.

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Introduction: Women, Periodicals, and Print Culture in the Victorian Period Alexis Easley, Clare Gill, and Beth Rodgers

‘Politics are our habitual study, Joe. Do you know I see a newspaper every day, and two of a Sunday?’ ‘I should think you’ll read the marriages, probably, miss, and the murders, and the accidents, and sich like?’ ‘I read the leading articles, Joe, and the foreign intelligence, and I look over the market prices. In short, I read just what gentlemen read.’ (Charlotte Brontë, Shirley, 1849: 245)

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he eponymous heroine of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Shirley (1849) was not untypical in her appetite for newspapers. The Victorian press, in all its myriad mutations, formed the bedrock of the cultural diet of many, if not most, women readers, including Brontë herself. Like her fictional creation, Brontë was a serious reader of newspapers, as well as of selected magazines and journals, reading the same paid-for and borrowed periodicals as her father, brother, and sisters. As the thirteen-year-old Brontë noted in her diary in 1829, ‘We take two and see three newspapers a week. We take the “Leeds Intelligencer,” Tory, and the “Leeds Mercury,” Whig, edited by Mr Baines, and his brother, son-in-law, and his two sons, Edward and Talbot. We see the “John Bull;” it is a high Tory, very violent. Mr Driver lends us it, as likewise “Blackwood’s Magazine,” the most able periodical there is’ (Gaskell 1985: 116–17). Her detailed knowledge of the editors of and contributors to the newspapers and magazines that she and her family read regularly is evidence of the extent to which Brontë consciously immersed herself in the periodical culture of the day. The shaping effect of this dedicated programme of serial reading can be detected clearly in her novels, as the epigraph from Shirley indicates. In The Common Reader, Virginia Woolf also notes the palimpsestic trace of Victorian journalism in Brontë’s prose, but locates her ability to transcend its stylistic limitations in order to create pure poetry in her novels as constituting part of her greatness as a writer (1948: 199–200). Woolf’s rejection of the cultural value of Victorian journalistic style would have been anathema to the young Charlotte Brontë, whose reverence for certain periodicals, and for Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (1817–1980) in particular, led her to privately produce a magazine of her own. Initiated by her brother Branwell in 1829, Branwell’s Blackwood’s Magazine became Blackwood’s Young Men’s Magazine (and later, the Young Men’s Magazine) when Charlotte took over as editor. The miniature magazine she produced mimicked the form and style of her beloved Blackwood’s: from the tiny, handwritten script, which was designed to resemble newsprint, to the

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title page, list of contents, intricate colophons, advertisements, and even its frequency of issue (monthly), the form of the self-produced magazine was intended to ‘look as like print as possible’ (Gaskell: 130). As an entirely domestic enterprise, the magazine constituted an elaborate form of journalistic play, but one that calls attention to the many public roles that were cultivated and sustained by the nineteenth-century press. The positions of editor, publisher, printer, journalist, reviewer, and literary contributor, all of which were filled by Brontë in her fantasy incursion on the homosocial space of Blackwood’s, became increasingly accessible to women in the professional sphere as the century progressed. Charlotte Brontë was certainly not representative in her labyrinthine knowledge of periodical cultures and journalistic convention, yet her example is indicative of the pervasiveness of print media in the lives of Victorian women. In this period, the press was opened up to women, both as readers and as active participants, on an entirely unprecedented scale. Women could choose, like Brontë’s Shirley, to ‘read just what gentlemen read,’ but at the same time, the interests of women readers were also catered for in the dedicated women’s press that mushroomed throughout the Victorian period. From domestic magazines to religious magazines, and from feminist journals to papers aimed at girls and young women, the landscape for women’s periodicals diversified rapidly in tandem with the general expansion of the press, as well as from the concomitant recognition by publishers of women readers as a significant market in terms of periodical reading materials. This volume aims to both broaden and deepen understanding of women’s active engagement with this expanded periodical print culture, be that as consumers or contributors, in the context of the ‘general’ press and the dedicated women’s press, in both its commercial and specialised forms. Moving beyond expected periodical titles, geographical locations, and scholarly assumptions, the thirty-five essays collected in this volume reveal the complexity of women’s participation with print media and the diversity of their contributions as authors, readers, editors, journalists, correspondents, engravers, and illustrators. Essays here demonstrate the variety of trajectories forged by women as they entered into print, cultivated a public voice, and shaped public discourses about women’s lives, issues, and interests. Yet, while the growth of the press undoubtedly empowered women to develop public identities and pursue professional careers, the conventions of journalistic publication problematised the notion of individual agency in significant ways. The editorial policies of periodicals influenced how femininity was represented and determined to what extent women could participate in the construction of these identities. Likewise, these editorial policies determined how women could express themselves – what they could say, what house style they must follow, what genres and formats they could assume, and when (or whether) their work might be published. Thus, while women were able to use the press in self-empowering ways, this agency was inseparable from the editorial conventions associated with powerful new media that emerged over the course of the century. The level of creative freedom and editorial omnipotence enjoyed by Charlotte Brontë in the private sphere remained far out of reach for most women operating at one level or another in the public world of the press, who often struggled to secure regular work, earn money, or to be publicly recognised for their labour. So while this volume showcases the diversity of opportunities created for women by the expansion of Victorian print media, both as producers and as consumers, it also explores the limits of that freedom.

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‘A Magazine of her Own?’: The Expansion of Women’s Print Media Periodicals marketed toward women readers came to cultural prominence in the Victorian period; however, the women’s magazine as a cultural form has earlier antecedents. In Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690–1820s: The Long Eighteenth Century, the volume that precedes the current one in this series, Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell remind us that ‘The periodical form – or rather, forms – is one of the textual phenomena that make the long eighteenth century continuingly important: the vast potential and flexibility of its modern shape was born in [this] period’ (2018: 2). As their volume adroitly illustrates, magazines such as the Lady’s Magazine; or Polite Companion for the Fair Sex (1759–63) and the Lady’s Monthly Museum (1798–1832) were specifically marketed at women readers and formed a significant share of the market for eighteenth-century periodicals. The miscellaneous content of those early women’s magazines, including fashion plates, advice, and literature, provided the framework for the women’s magazines of the Victorian period, although the later incarnation of the form far eclipsed its eighteenth-century predecessors in terms of sales, readership, and generic diversity. A constellation of social, cultural, and economic factors – including reductions in production costs, the repeal of the so-called ‘taxes on knowledge,’ a series of educational reforms from 1870 onward, and soaring literary rates – created the perfect environment for a truly diversified press to emerge in this period. While the proliferation of women’s periodicals was undergirded by the broader shifts in print and reading cultures that these systemic changes augured, the enlargement of the dedicated women’s press was also facilitated by a growing recognition of women’s eclectic needs as readers and consumers. Commercial publishers’ classification of women into distinctive categories resulted in a highly stratified periodicals marketplace in which all kinds of women readers were imagined and catered for. As Kathryn Ledbetter notes, diverse readerships including ‘middle-class housewives, social activists, celebrity hunters, religious reformers, sophisticated intellectuals, working-class women, and hobbyists’ were targeted by specific titles that claimed to reflect their interests and lives (2016: 267). This included the domestic magazine, a form that came to prominence in the 1850s and 1860s and which targeted the middle-class woman who was, in Margaret Beetham’s words, ‘not only at home but who made “home”’ (p. 20). The survival of the domestic magazine was assured by its transformations over the century, with its material form and focus continually evolving in order to remain relevant to readers. As Beetham’s essay in this volume elucidates, the cheaper variations of the domestic magazine in the 1880s and 90s strategically harnessed the style and techniques of the New Journalism to cater to the tastes of fin-de-siècle readers, thus ensuring that the form remained a commercial force in the competitive late Victorian periodicals marketplace. Other enduring and popular forms in this period included the family magazine – publications with a focus on fiction, as well as social, domestic, and moral issues, which attracted large female readerships – and the girls’ magazine, of which the most popular example was the Girl’s Own Paper (1880–1956), a penny paper aimed at a cross-class audience of working- and middle-class girls and young women that ran for over three decades and commanded sales in the region of 250,000 in the 1890s

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(Doughty 2009: 249). Periodicals that serviced the ideological agendas of particular movements or causes were also a mainstay of women’s periodical culture throughout this period, including religious magazines, temperance magazines, and the array of periodicals associated with the various permutations of the organised women’s movement. Some titles were short-lived. Others, such as Charlotte Yonge’s the Monthly Packet (1851–99), a Church of England monthly aimed at middle-class girls and young women, enjoyed both enviable sales and longevity. Periodicals that functioned as official organs for particular associations and societies, or ‘mouthpiece’ periodicals, as Gemma Outen designates them in her essay in this volume, were more concerned with promoting a particular cause, such as temperance or suffrage, than with commanding high sales, although the lines between niche and commercial publishing ventures often proved to be porous in reality (p. 565). While this volume does not claim to provide a comprehensive account of the wealth of periodicals directed at women in this period, the essays collected here certainly point to the considerable heterogeneity of that market. Our interest here is Victorian women’s print media, which we define expansively to include newspapers and periodicals directed at female readerships, as well as those aspects of the ‘general’ press that were produced by and/or for women. By extending our remit to include print media that was not marketed at women exclusively, a more complex picture of women’s diverse forms of engagement with the larger structures of the press begins to emerge. Contributors focus on a variety of contexts outside the purview of the dedicated women’s press, from women’s contributions to the letters pages of the Pall Mall Gazette (1865–1923) to female-authored serial fiction published in Charles Dickens’s Household Words (1850–9), and from women’s columns in socialist periodicals to women writing anonymously in the satirical magazine Punch (1841–2002). Collectively, the thirty-five essays collected here illuminate the rich diversity of Victorian women’s print media as a complex site within which women’s bodies, women’s interests, and discourses of femininity were imagined, constructed, and debated. While this collection breaks new ground in terms of subject matter, theoretical approach, and methodology, our contributors also continually attest to the instrumentality of the expansive body of existing scholarship in periodical studies for the research presented in the pages that follow. The field of Victorian periodical studies unites an eclectic and growing community of scholars from a range of disciplines including English studies, media studies, cultural history, the digital humanities, art history, book history, and other fields of inquiry. Since the 1970s, attentiveness to women’s print media has been a significant dimension to the scholarly endeavours of Victorian periodical studies. Cynthia White’s Women’s Magazines (1970) and Eugenia Palmegiano’s Women and British Periodicals (1976) broke new ground, demonstrating the centrality of women’s print media in the Victorian publishing landscape, and in doing so, importantly encouraged new research into forgotten forms of cultural production. This recovery work paved the way for a host of studies that have positioned women and issues of gender as central to discussions of Victorian print media (Fraser et al. 2003). Scholars have focused attention on specific periodical genres that were popular with female readerships in the Victorian period, including the domestic magazine (Beetham 1996), the family magazine (Phegley 2004; Wynne 2001), and the girls’ magazine (Mitchell 1995; Moruzi 2012; Rodgers 2016; Smith 2011), as well as non-commercial periodicals that were

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affiliated with particular causes or political movements, such as suffrage (Tusan 2005; Dicenzo et al. 2011). The imbrication of women’s literary and media culture has been explored in relation to poetry (Ledbetter 2009), fiction (Delafield 2015; Palmer 2011), and a diversity of issues pertaining to the ‘business’ of literature as it relates to the press, including the convention of anonymity (Easley 2004; Peterson 2009), reviewing and criticism (Demoor 2000; Thompson 1996), and the formation of literary celebrity (Easley 2011). Scholars have also investigated women’s active public roles as journalists, editors, and interviewers (Gray 2012; Onslow 2000), while others have focused on the ‘back room’ labour of the female compositors, engravers, illustrators, and proofreaders who formed the unacknowledged backbone of the Victorian press (Onslow 2000; Van Remoortel 2015). This partial scan of a capacious and growing field demonstrates the wealth of scholarship on Victorian women and print media that already exists, to which this volume seeks to both contribute new forms of knowledge and prompt future avenues of research. Some essays in this volume build on the existing body of empirical research on women and the Victorian press, through their focus on the historical ‘woman journalist,’ the ‘woman writer,’ or the ‘woman editor,’ illuminating the many forms that women’s practical and professional contributions to the press assumed. The rise of the woman journalist during the Victorian period was, after all, one of the most striking cultural developments in modern history. The rapid expansion of the press provided women with unprecedented opportunities to work in the field of periodical journalism, with the endeavours of most remaining uncharted today. ‘If editors were ever known to disclose the dread secrets of their dens,’ remarked Bessie Rayner Parkes in 1865, ‘they only could give the public an idea of the authoresses whose unsigned names are Legion; of their rolls of manuscripts, which are as the sands of the sea’ (Hadjiafxendi and Zakreski 2011: 224). The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, which provides author attributions for forty-five Victorian titles, lists a total of 1,426 women contributors. But this is only a fraction of the large number of women who contributed to the estimated 50,000 periodicals and newspapers published during the Victorian era. Over the past five decades, scholars have worked to uncover the identities of these women journalists and to illuminate their important contributions to Victorian print culture. While showcasing the many and at times surprising ways that Victorian women contributed to the press, essays in this volume are also careful to stress the often exceptional status of the women who succeeded in spite of the many systemic barriers that militated against their entry to that sphere. Even an established media figure such as Margaret Oliphant (1828–97), a stalwart at Blackwood’s for nearly fifty years, did not manage to secure a contracted staff job at that periodical in her lifetime. In spite of her enormous output as a reviewer, essayist, and literary contributor for Blackwood’s, Oliphant was commissioned on a job-to-job basis, meaning that she was denied the professional and financial security enjoyed by her male counterparts. Victorian women may have been faced with more opportunities to enter the press in various capacities than ever before, but as the example of Oliphant suggests, it is important not to overstate women’s professional prospects or to downplay the struggles they faced as agents of the press. Essays in this volume therefore highlight the practical and ideological complexities of women’s engagement with the press, including their strategic manipulation of gender ideology as they strove to make inroads in that marketplace. Such an

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approach complicates notions of the ‘woman journalist’ and the ‘woman’s periodical,’ showing how these taxonomies were used to both enable and constrain women’s social roles and careers in the press. Rather than naïvely imagining the ‘woman journalist’ as an essential category or as a site of heroic agency, journalistic identity is here interpreted as a construct mediated by press networks that professional women journalists such as Harriet Martineau (1802–76), Eliza Cook (1818–89), and Alice Corkran (c.1847–1916) could only partly control. A key factor in the rise of the professional woman writer during the Victorian era was the convention of anonymous publication. Until the 1860s, most periodicals and newspapers published contributions without authorial signature, which in practical terms meant that women did not have to present themselves as female when writing for the popular press. For this reason, the identities of most women writers who contributed copy to the Victorian press most likely will never be known. In instances where the names of female authors have been identified, it is often the case that the convention of anonymity had an enabling influence on their careers. Hidden behind the ‘editorial we,’ they wrote on a diverse array of topics not specifically coded as ‘feminine’ – politics, economics, business, and current affairs – without fear of compromising their middle-class respectability. Likewise, by engaging in the anonymous labour of compositing and engraving, women such as the wood engraver Clemence Housman (1861–1955), discussed here in an essay by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, could work alongside men without losing social status. Yet, as many of our contributors demonstrate, assuming a celebrity identity could lead to a more profitable career in journalism and other forms of print publication. As the century progressed, the figure of the woman journalist became even more visible. After 1860, many popular magazines began publishing the names of their contributors. Christina Rossetti and George Eliot, for example, published poetry in Macmillan’s Magazine (1859–1907), one of the first periodicals to encourage signature – a move that reinforced their status as celebrity authors. However, as contributions to this volume illustrate, even celebrity women writers sometimes published anonymously so as to extend the range of subject matter they might address. In this way, they could choose to capitalise on or obscure their gender, as Katy Birch demonstrates in her study of women contributors to Punch (pp. 351–64).

Constructing Women and Gender in the Periodical Press While some essays in this volume focus on female practitioners, others explore representations of women and constructions of gender identities in the material spaces of the press. This was, after all, a period of great significance and rapid development in terms of women’s history, ranging from educational reform to the mobilisation of the women’s suffrage movement. Scholars of the Victorian period have established the dominance of the so-called ‘Woman Question’ in the Victorian imagination and its centrality to a wide range of debates of the day. Since the 1990s, studies have demonstrated the importance of the press in helping to shape these debates, with Victorian women’s print media in particular forming an important point of focus in feminist approaches to media history (Dicenzo et al. 2011: 58–63). While contributors to this volume are careful to recognise that women’s domestic magazines such as the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine (1852–79) and the Young Englishwoman (1864–77)

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sometimes portrayed women in conventional, limiting ways, they nevertheless demonstrate that such texts could also function as politically and ideologically progressive spaces within which women could imagine new subjectivities and where women’s social roles could be challenged and redefined. According to Kathryn Ledbetter, ‘While many titles confirm stereotypical domestic roles by featuring fashion plates, recipes, moral instruction, advice columns, sentimental literature, and needlework patterns, they also aggressively examined topics such as women’s work, philanthropy, education, equality, and social issues’ (2016: 260). Contributors to this volume highlight the various forms of investment that commercial women’s magazines had in these issues, and in so doing, demonstrate the powerful role that these publications played in disseminating knowledge and forming social attitudes. Feminist periodicals of the mid- and late Victorian era are perhaps a more obvious locus of debate where the status of women in society is concerned. The English Woman’s Journal (1858–64) and Victoria Magazine (1863–80), for example, focused on promoting women’s employment and educational opportunity. Essays in this collection deepen our understanding of the ‘Woman Question’ as it was treated within these periodicals and later suffrage journals by examining their complex treatment of issues such as scientific discovery and same-sex desire. Far from expressing a unified ‘progressive’ stance, feminist periodicals sometimes expressed surprisingly conservative viewpoints on issues of gender and sexuality, prompting lively debate and dissent, both within and beyond the pages of women’s periodicals. Moreover, essays here point to the cultural currency of women’s issues within general-audience newspapers and periodicals, as well as calling attention to the intersection of the ‘Woman Question’ with a diversity of other political and social issues, ranging from socialism to the politics of empire. At the same time as showcasing the ubiquity of feminist discourse in general-audience as well as both specialised and commercial forms of women’s print media, our contributors also stress the impact of intersectional issues such as race, class, and sexuality in terms of the suppression of certain voices in public debates about women’s issues. If this volume stresses the importance of Victorian print media in providing a platform for feminist debate, then it also seeks to highlight the forms of exclusion that resulted in the privileging of the perspectives of white, middle-class women. Scholars of Victorian print media have long since been attentive to the intrinsic textuality of newspapers and periodicals, as well as to the significant role that these texts played in the definition and promotion of gender ideals. As Mark Turner has observed, ‘The ways we work with the archive no longer necessarily mean that we regard periodical literature as merely reflecting society’ (2000: 227). Thus, rather than viewing individual newspapers and periodicals as simplistic repositories of stable and accurate truisms about Victorian women and gender roles, our contributors repeatedly characterise such texts as ideologically contradictory spaces, within which competing forms of femininity were forged and queried. Of particular significance in this volume are those spaces often considered ephemeral or as having secondary interest to the main body of the content of newspapers and periodicals, such as letters pages, illustrations, and advertisements. In these contexts, with their potential for subversion, the female body was an important site for constructing gender and sexuality. As Margaret Beetham notes in her pioneering study of women’s domestic magazines, A Magazine of Her Own?, ‘The meaning of femininity [in the press] was and is radically unstable,’

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so ‘its relationship to sexuality and the female body [has] to be constantly reworked’ (1996: 4). Indeed, contributions here demonstrate how periodicals and newspapers reinforced and sometimes challenged Victorian conceptions of gender and sexuality, with the female body functioning as a crucial site of contest for the articulation and rejection of gendered norms. The visual content of Victorian print media was particularly significant for the public representation of women’s bodies as well as the gendered values they encoded. From illustrations in early Victorian annuals and ladies’ magazines to photographs of women reproduced in newspapers and periodicals as the century progressed, visual culture played an enduring and vital role in the presentation of differing versions of Victorian femininity. Images of women in the press frequently served an aspirational function, particularly in the context of press advertising where a sense of the female body as an important locus of adoration and emulation is especially visible. As Michelle J. Smith notes in her essay on beauty advertising in the fashion magazines the Queen (1861–1970) and Woman (1890–1912), pictorial advertisements for beauty products operated as ‘sites of fantasy’ for female consumers, in which idealised images of women were deployed to sell products as well as a particular model of feminine lifestyle, one that privileged natural beauty over cosmetic artifice (p. 229). Where Smith detects a tension between the innovative practices of image reproduction used to create such content and the conventional depictions of female beauty and feminine propriety being showcased therein, other essays in the collection point to the subversive potential of visual material where the staging of femininity was concerned. Indeed, as Gerry Beegan demonstrates in his essay on late Victorian illustrated magazines produced by the Ingram Brothers, the visual representations of women in illustrations in the Lady’s Pictorial (1880–1921) held radical potential in terms of advocating for the expansion of social roles for women. Where the verbal content of the magazine stressed domesticity, illustrations alternatively depicted women occupying the public sphere – ‘enjoying the London social season, attending charitable events, participating in sports, and engaging in amateur drama’ (p. 248). For Beegan, such images ‘offered radical models of female independence alongside images of marriage and social advancement, calls to political action alongside images of pleasure-seeking’ (p. 248). While the formal qualities of such illustrations foreground their constructedness, the photograph more often laid claim to realism in terms of the authentic depiction of its subject. Yet, contributors to this volume demonstrate that the forms of gendered knowledge produced by photographs in Victorian periodicals and newspapers were just as contested as other forms of visual culture. Photographs of actresses reproduced in late Victorian illustrated magazines fetishised the female body for the pleasure of the male viewer, while photographs of women in fashion and society magazines reproduced hegemonic forms of femininity and ideals of female beauty. But the medium could also be employed to unsettle or question prevailing gendered norms, as Charlotte Boman shows in her essay on photography and mid-Victorian family magazines such as the Leisure Hour (1852–1905) and All the Year Round (1859–95). In this context, photography is shown to have decoupled middle-class femininity from its associations with the domestic, and in doing so, helped to reconstruct women as ‘modern subjects’ (p. 202). The varied forms of embodied femininity on display in images reproduced in Victorian newspapers and periodicals call attention to the significance of the press in

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articulating and mediating gender ideologies in this period. In both its visual and verbal components, the press was a key site within which competing gender ideologies were enacted. The periodical text, by virtue of its multivocal and miscellaneous nature, was an apposite form for the expression of diverse models of femininity (Beetham 1996: 1–2). Dissenting gender ideologies could be seen to tussle for primacy within the scope of a single issue of a periodical or newspaper. This issue is explored in Katherine Malone’s essay on the treatment of women’s issues in the Christian family magazine the Leisure Hour, in which it is revealed that ‘a surprising number of articles advocating for women’s education, employment, and property rights’ was interspersed with the regular content of the magazine, including ‘fiction, essays, and poems in praise of woman’s private, domestic roles’ (pp. 319–20). The spatial positioning of potentially inflammatory content was key in terms of balancing the variegated demands of the magazine’s diverse audience. The secular content that evinced progressive ideals of modern womanhood was not deemed especially controversial when hidden in plain view in the main body of the magazine, yet the subsequent demarcation of ‘women’s issues’ within a dedicated women’s column seemingly illuminated the contentious implications of such content, resulting in an ironic decline in the magazine’s representation of non-hegemonic gender ideals. Where the women’s column in this context functioned negatively in terms of promoting women’s issues, other essays in this collection call attention to the subversive possibilities of delineated spaces for women’s voices within general-audience newspapers and periodicals, including their potential for reaching both male and female readers in a way that magazines targeted exclusively at women were unlikely to manage. In addition to highlighting some of the multitudinous ways in which representations of women and ideals of femininity took shape in the pages of Victorian newspapers and periodicals, essays collected here also point to the performative qualities of gender as it was constructed in the press. As the example of the convention of anonymity indicates, gendered identity in newspapers and periodicals was not always aligned with the sexed body of the author. Thus, where visual culture placed heightened emphasis on embodied forms of femininity, anonymous and pseudonymous publication facilitated a kind of identity cross-dressing, or what Hilary Fraser, Stephanie Green, and Judith Johnston describe, recalling Judith Butler, as ‘authorial gender trouble’ (2003: 10). Playing with personae and with gendered identity in print could perform a radical function in terms of gender politics. According to Fionnuala Dillane in her discussion of gender performativity in the letters pages of the Pall Mall Gazette, ‘the scrambling of our coordinates by removing the body from the picture, as opaque pseudonyms do, as so many scholars of pseudonymous writing have shown, can be a pathway to expansive enlargement and inclusivity’ (p. 348). Alternatively, the effacement of the authorial self in public forms of writing, particularly when practised egregiously by men to militate against women, could produce the opposite effect: ‘a panicked raising of defences and an aggressive reinforcing of separate spheres’ (p. 348). The obfuscation of gender in Victorian periodicals and newspapers was therefore a double-edged sword for women, enabling an expansion of the limits of identity in certain contexts, while functioning to accentuate culturally ascribed roles in others. Essays in this collection explore both sides of this coin. Taken together, the thirty-five essays collected in this volume demonstrate the expansive landscape of Victorian print media produced by and for women, which

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gave public shape to women’s interests, issues, and identities in this period. A crucial and distinguishing consequence of the flexible definition of women’s print media employed in the volume as a whole is that the presence of women – whether as verbal or visual subjects, as producers, or as readers – is located both within and beyond the context of the commercial and specialised women’s press, including those forms of print media usually gendered as male, such as daily evening newspapers and highbrow monthlies. By situating women and issues of gender within the broader network of the British press, this volume exposes the varieties and complexities of women’s forms of participation, be that as contributors or as consumers, with all forms of print media and not solely those titles that were marketed specifically at female readerships. This capacious remit facilitates the crossing of other boundaries, too. Our contributors situate women’s print media within transnational networks of exchange that disrupt notions of a unitary ‘British periodical press,’ demonstrating the porosity of boundaries between British, American, and Continental periodicals and newspapers. Essays collected here also draw attention to unexpected convergences between periodical genres and fields of inquiry – for example, the incorporation of scientific discourse in the feminist English Woman’s Journal or the publication of anti-imperialist poetry in the politically conservative magazine the Lady’s Realm, as well as women’s participation with journalistic genres more readily associated with men, including the long-form political essay and news reportage. They likewise highlight the interrelationship between periodicals and other popular genres, such as travel narratives and scrapbooks. Only by testing the boundaries of what we think we know about Victorian print media will we begin to understand the complexities of women’s diverse forms of engagement with the press.

Works Cited Batchelor, Jennie and Manushag N. Powell. 2018. Introduction. Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690–1820s: The Long Eighteenth Century. Ed. Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 1–19. Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London: Routledge. Brontë, Charlotte. 2009. Shirley. Ed. Sally Minogue. Ware: Wordsworth Editions. Delafield, Catherine. 2015. Serialization and the Novel in Mid-Victorian Magazines. Aldershot: Ashgate. Demoor, Marysa. 2000. Their Fair Share: Women, Power and Criticism in the Athenaeum, from Millicent Garrett Fawcett to Katherine Mansfield, 1870–1920. Aldershot: Ashgate. Dicenzo, Maria, with Lucy Delap and Leila Ryan. 2011. Feminist Media History: Suffrage, Periodicals and the Public Sphere. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Doughty, Terri. 2009. ‘Girl’s Own Paper.’ Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism. Ed. Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor. 248. Easley, Alexis. 2004. First-Person Anonymous: Women Writers and Victorian Print Media, 1830–1870. Aldershot: Ashgate. —. 2011. Literary Celebrity, Gender, and Victorian Authorship, 1850–1914. Newark: University of Delaware Press. Fraser, Hilary, Stephanie Green, and Judith Johnston. 2003. Gender and the Victorian Periodical. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gaskell, Elizabeth. 1985. The Life of Charlotte Brontë. Ed. Alan Shelston. London: Penguin Books.

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Gray, Elizabeth F., ed. 2012. Women in Journalism at the Fin de Siecle: Making a Name for Herself. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Hadjiafxendi, Kyriaki and Patricia Zakreski, eds. 2011. What is a Woman to Do? A Reader on Women, Work and Art, c. 1830–1890. Oxford: Peter Lang. Ledbetter, Kathryn. 2009. British Victorian Women’s Periodicals: Beauty, Civilization, and Poetry. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. —. 2016. ‘Periodicals for Women.’ Ed. Andrew King, Alexis Easley, and John Morton. London: Routledge. 260–75. Mitchell, Sally. 1995. The New Girl: Girls’ Culture in England, 1880–1915. New York: Columbia University Press. Moruzi, Kristine. 2012. Constructing Girlhood through the Periodical Press, 1850–1915. Aldershot: Ashgate. Onslow, Barbara. 2000. Women of the Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Palmegiano, Eugenia. 1976. Women and British Periodicals, 1832–1867. London: Garland. Palmer, Beth. 2011. Women’s Authorship and Editorship in Victorian Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Peterson, Linda. 2009. Becoming a Woman of Letters: Myths of Authorship and Facts of the Victorian Market. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Phegley, Jennifer. 2004. Educating the Proper Woman Reader: Victorian Family Literary Magazines and the Cultural Health of the Nation. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. Rodgers, Beth. 2016. Adolescent Girlhood and Literary Culture at the Fin de Siècle: Daughters of Today. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Smith, Michelle. 2011. Empire in British Girls’ Literature and Culture: Imperial Girls, 1880–1915. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Thompson, Nicola Diane. 1996. Reviewing Sex: Gender and the Reception of Victorian Novels. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Turner, Mark. 2000. Trollope and the Magazines: Gendered Issues in Mid-Victorian Britain. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Tusan, Michelle. 2005. Women Making News: Gender and Journalism in Modern Britain. Champaign: University of Illinois Press. Van Remoortel, Marianne. 2015. Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. White, Cynthia. 1970. Women’s Magazines, 1693–1968. London: Joseph. Woolf, Virgina. 1948. The Common Reader. London: The Hogarth Press. Wynne, Deborah. 2001. The Sensation Novel and the Victorian Family Magazine. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

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Part I (Re)imagining Domestic Life

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(Re)imagining Domestic Life: Introduction

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e begin the volume with a group of essays that considers a topic fundamental to our understanding of Victorian lives and print culture: domestic life and the domestic ideal. In recent decades, a range of scholarly works has expanded our understanding of the complex and often contradictory nature of Victorian domesticity, together with the particular ideals of femininity and the middle-class family so often associated with it. Influential work in the 1980s and 1990s by literary scholars such as Mary Poovey (1988) and Elizabeth Langland (1995) addressed how fictional depictions of the domestic world engaged with, resisted, and reinforced debates about class, gender, and various forms of cultural authority. More recently, studies of domesticity have considered the ways in which the physical spaces of the middle-class home, alongside representations of those spaces, worked to inscribe, and to some degree undermine, the ideology of separate spheres for men and women. Print media, including conduct books, advice literature, and, importantly for our purposes, newspapers and magazines, played a key role in the construction and popularisation of these ideas, which produced, among other tropes, the image of the angelic, domestic Victorian woman so ubiquitous in Victorian print culture. Margaret Beetham’s pioneering work has played an important role in bringing to light the interconnectedness of domestic ideology and periodical culture. As she notes in A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914 (1996), ‘Like the nineteenth-century middle-class home, the woman’s magazine evolved during the [nineteenth] century as a “feminised space.” It was defined by the woman who was at its centre and by its difference from the masculine world of politics and economics’ (3). Yet the various slippages and sleights of hand – ‘the potential mismatch between “femininity” and historical women’ – used to define the ideal reader of such magazines meant that these ‘feminised spaces’ had a ‘radical potential’ to ‘challenge oppressive and repressive models of the feminine’ (3). In her contribution to this volume, ‘The Rise and Rise of the Domestic Magazine: Femininity at Home in Popular Periodicals,’ Beetham offers a valuable overview of the emergence of the domestic magazine across the second half of the nineteenth century. Though acknowledging the ‘complex meanings of “home” and the “domestic” and how they relate to femininity,’ Beetham argues that ‘it is in the pages of the magazines read by the “ordinary” woman at home where those debates were and are worked through in that complex interweaving of materiality, emotion, and ideology in which we all struggle to give meaning to our lives’ (p. 18). Beetham’s historical sweep of the domestic magazine as a publishing genre includes Samuel Beeton’s trailblazing Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine (1852–90), evangelical mothers’ magazines, and the cheap penny weeklies of the 1890s. She considers the ways in which we define such publications, account for their contradictions, and understand their relationship to earlier ladies’ magazines, together with new elements of their own invention and later of the New Journalism. In this way, she provides an important foundation for the essays in this section and the volume as a whole.

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In their essays, Kathryn Ledbetter and Marianne Van Remoortel consider some of the ‘invisible’ figures that were at the heart of these domestic magazines (although, as we will see, their subjects were invisible in very different ways). If, as Beetham notes, domestic magazines often elided the presence of the servant in the middle-class home, Ledbetter’s essay, ‘Regulating Servants in Victorian Women’s Print Media,’ addresses this lacuna head on. Although a topic ripe for satire by the likes of Punch, ‘women’s periodicals and household manuals rarely made light of the responsibilities involved in proper service’ (p. 33). Part of being a successful middle-class woman, these publications maintained, was the effective regulation of servants, who without such monitoring might succumb to immorality and poor working habits. Indeed, Ledbetter notes that a ‘common response in women’s periodicals was that bad mistresses made bad servants’ (p. 34). Yet what did servants make of such discussions of their lives in these periodicals or in the servants’ magazines that more directly targeted them? Van Remoortel’s essay, ‘Women Editors’ Transnational Networks in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and Myra’s Journal,’ returns us to the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and considers in depth the transnational collaboration between Samuel Beeton and the French magazine Le Moniteur de la mode, run by Beeton’s French counterpart Adolphe Goubaud, which she calls a ‘pivotal moment in the history of the British fashion press’ (p. 46). Using a range of historical source material, Van Remoortel explores the behind-the-scenes contributions made by women to the success of this venture and to each magazine. In particular, she argues that Louise Goubaud’s contribution to the emergence of the cheap fashion press ‘has been largely over looked’ and that Beeton’s trailblazing status was in fact indebted to her work in a range of ways (p. 47). In democratising women’s access to fashion and design, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine ‘promoted a new kind of femininity’ (p. 46). Indeed, the pattern postal service made fashion more accessible in literal terms as well, bringing international style into the lives of women who were unlikely to find themselves in the boutiques of Paris. Van Remoortel’s essay brings to the fore the significance of transnational exchange, a topic highlighted in a number of other essays in this volume. Claire Furlong’s essay ‘Women and Family Health in the Mid-Victorian Family Magazine,’ considers domestic management in the family magazine, particularly representations of women’s roles in the treatment of health. Echoing the class-based tensions present in the rest of the essays in this section, Furlong demonstrates how working- and lower-middle-class readers were still encouraged to buy into middleclass ideals of womanhood. She also considers how these magazines worked to accommodate both the ideal and the reality of looking after the mental and physical health of the family. In functioning as dispensaries of health advice, correspondence columns emphasised the importance of practical nursing skills as part of women’s lives, which was not necessarily the case in all depictions of the feminine domestic ideal. Indeed, these magazines also contained more conventional representations of sickroom scenes and female caregivers, for example in the form of sentimentalised depictions in escapist romantic fiction. Yet, as Furlong notes, these two models were not necessarily mutually exclusive. Of course, periodicals such as the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine were created in England but were often read in diverse locations within the British Empire and beyond. Indeed, as Elizabeth Tilley notes in ‘Negotiating Female Identity in

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Nineteenth-Century Ireland,’ women in Ireland often had no choice but to read magazines and newspapers produced in the metropole. Consequently, she notes, it is ‘difficult to establish the cultural influence of Irish-produced periodicals, including those aimed at women, before the 1870s’ (p. 69). The emergence of periodicals such as the Emerald; The Irish Ladies’ Journal (1870–1) demonstrated that there was a sufficient local market to support Irish periodicals for women. The journal not only incorporated fashion, recipes, and domestic advice but also information about women’s educational and employment opportunities. Still, it was ‘not until well into the twentieth century that women claimed a larger share of the public sphere and its cultural products’ (p. 83). Newspapers were of course an important space for imagining women’s domestic lives. Women’s pages, columns, and advertisements were designed to reach a growing female readership. As Tom O’Malley notes in his contribution to this volume, ‘Women and the Welsh Newspaper Press: The Cambrian News and the Western Mail, 1870–1895,’ newspapers contributed to separate spheres ideology by depicting women as subordinate to men and highlighting their roles as wives, daughters, mothers, and consumers in the home. Yet, O’Malley notes, such ‘ideological convention was always under pressure from the heterogeneous content papers were obliged to contain if they were to appeal to the men and women in the locality that supplied purchasers, readers, and advertisers’ (p. 95). Consequently, at the same time that newspapers constructed the angel in the house they also imagined women as litigants, entertainers, labourers, and charity workers – identities that defined women as participants in a world outside the home. Newspapers, then, by virtue of their differentiated readerships, dismantled separate spheres ideology at the same time they seemed to confirm it. Taken together, the essays in this section highlight the often vexed relationship between class, gender, and work in what are often referred to as ‘domestic magazines,’ as well as in periodicals and newspapers that exhibited a keen interest in domesticity. They demonstrate how periodicals addressed and helped to shape the aspirations and realities of readers’ domestic lives, while at the same time hinting at the instability of these imagined spaces and identities.

Works Cited Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London: Routledge. Langland, Elizabeth. 1995. Nobody’s Angels: Middle-Class Women and Domestic Ideology in Victorian Culture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Poovey, Mary. 1988. Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England. Chicago: University of Chicago.

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1 The Rise and Rise of the Domestic Magazine: Femininity at Home in Popular Periodicals Margaret Beetham

Whatever differences of opinion may exist upon a thousand and one different subjects of modern discussion; there can be little doubt that this is an age of much writing, printing and publishing. (Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine 1 Apr 1861: iii)

S

o wrote Samuel Beeton as he launched the new series of his Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine in 1861. As publisher, editor, and writer for the periodical press, Beeton was a major contributor to the flood of print he described. The new series he was introducing with these words was a larger, more expensive, and more fashion-oriented version of the magazine he had founded nine years earlier and which may be taken as marking the confident arrival of the domestic magazine as a publishing genre. Such a statement begs many questions. Recent scholarship across a range of disciplines has struggled with the complex meanings of ‘home’ and the ‘domestic’ and how they relate to femininity (Flanders 2015; Mallett 2004). These debates inform my chapter but are not the object of my study, which is focused on the emergence of the particular genre within British periodical publishing which simultaneously addressed the ‘domestic woman’ and sought to bring her into being. Though the meaning of the domestic has become the subject of academic journals, it is in the pages of the magazines read by the ‘ordinary’ woman at home where those debates were and are worked through in that complex interweaving of materiality, emotion, and ideology in which we all struggle to give meaning to our lives. Both the meaning of home/the domestic and the form of the magazine shift through time. Still, the link between ‘femininity’ and ‘home’ has remained surprisingly resilient, and ever since its emergence in the midnineteenth century, the ‘domestic magazine’ has also persisted as the site of negotiations around that relationship. What then constituted a ‘domestic magazine’ in the 1850s and 1860s? What distinguished it from other sorts of periodicals and was it a new publishing genre? In his pioneering essay on the need to produce a directory of Victorian periodicals, Michael Wolff described that press as a ‘golden stream’ (1971: 23). The watery metaphor is apt, not least because taxonomies of periodical types are slippery and hard to pin down. However, they are useful, perhaps necessary, to the historian of the press, as

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they are to other researchers who try to make sense of the lived messiness of the past by discerning categories, movements, or periods.1 This is evident from such debates as the discussion about whether ‘Victorian’ is a useful periodisation which rumbles on among historians, including those engaged, as we are, in researching the history of the press. In what follows, I attempt to describe the broad characteristics and historical development of a category which we may designate the ‘Victorian domestic magazine.’ This chapter therefore differs from most others in this volume in that it does not focus on one publication but rather attempts a more general historical sweep. Inevitably, this means I will oversimplify and make generalisations which other researchers will, I hope, correct and refine. However, I believe there is a place for this kind of broad historical enquiry alongside the detailed analysis of particulars; indeed, they feed into each other.

The Emergence of the ‘Domestic Magazine’? The difficulty of deciding when, or even if, a particular kind of magazine which we may label ‘domestic’ first arises lies in part in the general character of periodicals. Not only do they contain a mixture of different genres and a variety of voices but also, coming out over time as they do, periodicals may change their character over the length of their publication. This is very evident when a new series is launched, as Beeton was doing in 1861, but it can also happen more subtly with changes of editor, the introduction of new features, or the adoption of new technologies of picture reproduction. Of course, a particular magazine has to remain sufficiently the same that it keeps its readership. The new series Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine retained important elements of its previous series: its domestic advice, its needlework and dress patterns, its correspondence column, its competitions, and its romantic serials. Are these elements then what make it a ‘domestic magazine’? The huge expansion of the periodical press in Britain from the 1840s onward which Beeton contributed to and which Wolff argued scholars must ‘chart’ was fuelled by the increasing prosperity of a middle class that could afford the time and money as well as assume the privacy, space, and light in their homes for reading. Unlike a newspaper, which might be read by men in clubs or public spaces, the new periodicals were aimed at families, including women, and claimed to be domestic or home reading. The two-penny Family Friend envisaged idealised scenes of the father reading to the assembled family and a woman reading with her child (1849–50: frontispiece). When in 1850 Dickens called his new magazine Household Words, he too invoked this domestic scene. However, we would not now describe the magazine Dickens edited and in which he published his own fiction and that of other leading novelists as a ‘domestic magazine’ in the sense that I am using it here. The reasons for this are complicated, but, I suggest, they hinge on the way Dickens addressed a readership undifferentiated by gender. In this, his magazine can be distinguished from the contemporary mid-century publishing development in which, as Fraser, Green, and Johnston point out, various titles were beginning to cater not just for a readership at home but specifically for the woman at home whose skills and character were being redefined in relation to

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her domestic role (2003: 102–4). It was this middle-class woman, she who was not only at home but who made ‘home,’ who became the target reader for the ‘domestic magazine.’2 Beeton, who was adept at exploiting and creating new markets, would have been aware of titles such as the Magazine of Domestic Economy (1836–41), the Family Economist (1848–60), and Home Circle (1849–53) when he launched his two-penny monthly English Woman’s Domestic Magazine in 1852. The title made clear his intended reader. The ‘domestic woman’ not only wanted the fiction and general articles common to other monthly magazines but also sought advice on being a ‘domestic woman’ and reading matter suitable for that role. This woman, therefore, wanted – or at least Beeton assumed she wanted – patterns for ‘Work’; that is, for the fancy needlework or ‘Berlin wool work’ which were the only kind of work that the middle-class woman could publicly acknowledge she did (see Ledbetter 2012). The crucial point here was that, unlike the army of working-class women whose sewing kept them alive (sometimes barely), these women did not need to sew for payment. Indeed, as Maria Damkjaer has argued, the centrality of ‘work’ in this sense to mid-Victorian middle-class femininity meant both that it was nonessential and that, therefore, it was always interruptible, to be taken up and put down at the convenience of others in the household (2016: 56–84). This idea of what ‘work’ represented was perfectly matched by the periodical form with its interruptible character, consisting as it did of short pieces or parts of stories. The magazine, therefore, not only provided a pattern for the work deemed suitable for a domestic woman; it gave her a pattern for being that woman. It embodied, as it were, the woman she was to be. And being that woman was not easy because, like the magazine, this woman had to hold together very different kinds of femininity. For a start, the idea of ‘work’ as solely consisting of fancy needlework was contradicted by the stress elsewhere in the magazine on the importance of the middle-class woman’s attention to the running of her household and to the provision of food and clothing. This aspect of the domestic magazine was evident in its recipe columns and articles on household management. It is not surprising that the book which was to become the Bible of middle-class domesticity, Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, was produced by Isabella Beeton after she had married and assumed a role in the Beeton business, including editorial work on the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. In the preface to her book, she paid tribute to the contribution made by the magazine’s readers to the column from which she drew some of her recipes (1861: iii). There was an ambiguity which haunted this aspect of the domestic magazine all the way from Beeton through to the cheap penny weeklies of the 1890s which I discuss below. That ambiguity centres on the role of the servant and the question of what the middle-class woman actually did in the household. Having a servant was the marker of being middle-class, so she must be assumed to be there in all the domestic advice columns. However, she is almost always invisible. This was not surprising since the material, embodied servant was also in theory invisible, doing her work before the family got up in the morning or in the depths of the basement kitchen. How much of the actual work of cooking and keeping the house the reader of the magazine did is, therefore, always uncertain and must have varied from house to house and from time to time. We do not know, any more than we know for sure whether it was the mistress or the servant who read the recipes (or any other section of the magazine). Even with these provisos, advice on ensuring that good, well-cooked, and economical meals were

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served up regularly for the household suggested a very different kind of femininity from that evoked by the ‘work’ of the embroidery patterns. A related but different set of contradictions is shown by another contemporary relaunch. In January 1860, the British Mother’s Journal announced that it was to revert to its original title of British Mother’s Magazine but with a new look centred on two new series: the ‘Chemistry of Cooking’ by Dr Bakewell (probably the husband of the editor, Mrs Bakewell) and ‘Hints’ for the ‘Practical Mistress of the Household’ (notice in Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine 1 Jan 1860: 1). The British Mother’s Magazine had been one of a group of older publications addressed to women not as domestic managers but as Christian mothers. Though less single-minded in its evangelicalism than some other similar titles, the shift in the British Mother’s Magazine away from the identification of women’s role in the home as essentially spiritual toward a secular and practical domesticity was, therefore, a significant change. This shift points to another characteristic of the emerging genre I seek to define, namely that it was essentially secular. It is significant that the group of evangelical magazines addressed specifically to middle-class Christian mothers that had emerged in the 1830s and 1840s had more or less disappeared by the mid-1860s. Despite its 1860 relaunch, the British Mother’s Magazine did not survive beyond 1864. Later domestic magazines paid lip service to Christianity; for example, Home Notes (1894– 1957), one of the end-of-the-century cheap magazines I discuss below, ran a regular column called ‘In the Shadow of the Cross’ (see, for example, 22 Dec 1900: 92). However, as Loeb argues in her study of late Victorian advertising, evangelicalism had permeated British culture and shaped patterns of style and thinking, and these patterns persisted and were used whether the writer shared the original religious belief or not. Indeed, Loeb goes further, arguing that advertisers used familiar evangelical language and imagery to encourage forms of self-indulgence and display which were the opposite of the evangelical commitment to self-denial (1994: 103). I will return to the question of advertising. The point I want to make here is that domestic magazines took ideas of duty and responsibility from evangelicalism but attached them to a particular model of femininity and class position rather than to a spiritual or religious faith. It was to attain this secular model of responsibility and moral management that the magazine offered to help its readers. Tensions between these various models of domestic femininity were further complicated by those other elements of the magazine which Beeton ensured were retained from the first into the second series of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. These included the serial fiction, the fashion advice and fashion plates, and the correspondence column. To understand the importance of these we need to turn to a different strand of periodical publishing for women which also fed into the emerging genre, namely the tradition of expensive monthlies addressed to ‘ladies.’ These had assumed an aristocratic and leisured readership (Beetham 1996: 17–58). The evangelical mothers’ magazines had routinely denounced these women, their concern with appearance, and their giving up their children to be cared for by others. While the new domestic magazines retained aspects of this critique, they incorporated crucial elements of these ‘ladies’ magazines,’ including the provision of suitable serial fiction and poetry and above all their stress on the importance of dress and appearance. Both these features were taken up into the new models of femininity and became an essential element of the domestic magazine.

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The importance of the literary element in these magazines can best be seen in the long-running Ladies’ Treasury (1858–95). This illustrated monthly was perhaps the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine’s greatest rival, though from 1866 when bankruptcy forced Beeton to sell his name and titles, both these apparent rivals were published by the same company, Ward and Lock. The Ladies’ Treasury included needlework patterns and household advice given by its editor, Mrs Warren, who became well known also for her books on domestic management, which she claimed were based on her own experience, a claim involving silences and elisions only now being uncovered (de Ridder and Van Remoortel 2011). However, the bulk of its pages were taken up with serialised novels and poetry, and this aspect of the magazine was further emphasised when the magazine began publishing a ‘Literary Supplement’ in 1868. Though a particularly notable feature of this title, literary content, especially serialised novels and poetry, remained an important element of all domestic magazines, as it did of most mid-Victorian periodicals aimed at home reading. Evangelical denunciations of any kind of fiction, which had featured strongly in the mothers’ magazines of the 1840s, were no longer taken seriously, though anxiety about novel reading by women, particularly young women, persisted in various forms. Magazines, therefore, had to ensure that their fiction and poetry were ‘healthy,’ but they relied on these genres for much of their material and presumably for their appeal to readers. Here again the ideal of the leisured lady with plenty of time for literary pursuits seems to sit oddly with the other models of femininity in the magazines, such as the infinitely interruptible needlewoman or the busy domestic manager. However, there was another element inherited from the ladies’ monthlies which was even more disruptive, namely the space given to discussion of dress and what were described as the ‘modes,’ an indication of the importance of Paris as the centre of the early fashion industry. That fashion was becoming an industry was due in large part to the growth of a press which carried news of the latest styles to places as far from Paris as Manchester or even Calcutta. As I have already indicated, when Beeton relaunched his Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, it was not only larger and more expensive at six pence but also had more of an emphasis on dress. Isabella, who went regularly to Paris, wrote the monthly column advising readers on the shape of this year’s sleeves or what colours were in vogue. She also negotiated two related elements of the new magazine which were to become crucial to the development of the whole genre: the fashion plate and the commercial tie-in, in this case with the Paris firm of Goubaud. The full-page illustration or ‘plate,’ so called from the engraving plate from which the picture was printed, had been an important part of earlier upmarket women’s journals like La Belle Assemblée (1806–47). The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine had always had a plate showing the latest dresses, expensively hand-coloured in these days before colour printing. Each month, the new series included a steel engraving by the French engraver Jules David, whose work illustrated the high-end Paris fashion paper Le Moniteur de la mode, with which the Beetons established a connection.3 The Ladies’ Treasury had more extensive illustration, but Beeton’s fashion plates were clearly a selling point. We know this partly because, to the despair of later researchers, in some copies the plates have been cut out, perhaps by their original owners, to show to their dressmaker or to paste into a scrapbook. It is significant that almost at the same time as this new Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine appeared, the House of Beeton launched

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an even more ambitious periodical for women, the weekly Queen newspaper, which pioneered the women’s fashion magazine whose contemporary manifestations, Elle and Vogue, still appear on newsagents’ shelves. This genre was very different from the domestic magazine but shared certain characteristics, just as women were simultaneously understood as having a common femininity but one fractured by differences, crucially those of class. This fracturing was evident within as well as between magazine genres. However, Beeton devised a simple but brilliantly effective way of reconciling the contradiction between the domestic manager, the needlewoman, and the fashionably dressed lady. In a radical departure from the way fashion had been presented in the English ladies’ magazines, he included the paper patterns of the dresses featured in the letter press and plates. As I have argued elsewhere, he thus literally papered over the cracks in the conflicting models of woman (Beetham 1996: 76–8). This tactic also involved a successful cover-up of the contradiction at the heart of the new fashion journalism, which was to make the exclusive aristocratic ‘modes’ available down the social scale, a move which continued incrementally as domestic magazines became more downmarket through the rest of the century. It was no wonder that the paper pattern became a feature of these later magazines nor that one of Beeton’s associates, Charles Weldon, went on to develop his own range of fashion magazines and, above all, paper patterns. These became ever more important as domestic sewing machines became more affordable in the latter part of the century. Both the plate and the paper pattern in the new Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine owed much to the Beetons’ French connection, and this was cemented by the way the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine regularly recommended the French house of Goubaud to its readers. The Paris firm had an English branch by the 1870s and readers were reminded to go to Madame Goubaud’s establishment in Covent Garden for their Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine designs and patterns (see, for example, 1 Feb 1875: 11). In his different periodicals, Beeton was already expert at such existing practices as cross-advertising or making free offers of needle-cases or pictures of Prince Albert to entice potential purchasers. However, the commercial tie-in with Goubaud was a harbinger of what was to become a major aspect of the later domestic magazines, namely the direct recommendation of named products in the advice columns, often tied in with the purchase of advertising space. This aspect of the editorial and financial working of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine grew in importance after the early death of Isabella Beeton in 1865. Her place on the magazine was taken by her friend Matilda Browne, who adopted various pen names, including ‘Myra’ and ‘The Silkworm,’ the name she used for her regular column ‘Spinnings About Town.’ Here she developed a chatty persona as the confidante of readers, advising them on the latest styles and fashions, often tying her advice in with specific recommendations to named providers. She developed this further in her own magazine, Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion (1875–1912). Though Myra’s was more a fashion than a domestic magazine, its greater reliance on advertising for revenue, together with the editorial recommendation of advertised goods shaped the next generation of domestic magazines, just as it did the fashion papers (Breward 1994). The informal tone in which ‘Myra’ discussed with readers whether to wear your hair in a chignon this month or where to buy a nice fan was also taken up by the next generation of domestic magazines.

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As well as the paper patterns, Beeton developed another periodical genre as a way of suturing the potential splits in the domestic woman’s identity. This was the correspondence column. At first the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine had two such columns: ‘Cupid’s Letter Bag,’ which made obvious the topics invited, and ‘The Englishwoman’s Conversazione,’ which suggested more general and miscellaneous topics. Beeton rapidly dropped the first of these and developed the ‘Conversazione’ as a space where he, in his persona as editor, dealt with a range of readers’ enquiries, from questions about love and marriage to queries about bottling gooseberries and complaints about the magazine’s paper patterns. As was common practice, Beeton did not print readers’ letters though he sometimes included extracts. He answered them, sometimes teasing the young women his readers seemed to be. He developed a persona as an older, sometimes avuncular, always authoritative masculine figure in contrast to his sometimes silly, always less confident, enquirers. There are no surviving records which might tell us whether these were genuine letters or whether Beeton made them up as he was sometimes accused of doing, particularly during what came to be called ‘the corset correspondence.’ This was when the ‘Conversazione’ broke out into a rash of somewhat salacious discussions about the wearing of corsets and the extent to which beating young women, whether daughters or servants, was a useful disciplinary measure (Beetham 1991; Steele 1985: 177–82, 250–1). This eruption of a scandalous sexuality into the magazine revealed the profound problem with the gender politics that structured the ‘domestic woman’ and her magazine. Love and marriage were the themes of most of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine’s fiction, and the domestic advice was increasingly predicated on a household consisting of a biological family. However, sexuality was never spoken of directly. The letters in which the unspeakable was spoken caused a sensation which eventually, after initially seeking to cash in on the scandal, Beeton had to close down (Hughes 2005: 348–52). It was significant that it was in the space where readers’ voices were heard that this disruption took place. Any invitation to women to enter print was by its nature a challenge to the belief that they must be confined to the private sphere of home. Like the silence about sex, this led to concealments and dishonesty, not least in relation to women’s involvement in journalism and publishing. Isabella’s roles as editor and journalist were almost invisible in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, and Mrs Warren of the Ladies’ Treasury had to conceal her history, representing herself in the magazine as the ideal domestic manager and housewife. Not surprisingly, the other place in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine where Beeton allowed – even encouraged – written contributions from readers likewise posed a potential, though less dramatic, threat to the domestic model. This was in the essay competitions where the prize was publication in the magazine. Beeton openly supported demands for women’s political rights and occasionally set contentious essay topics such as ‘Women’s Rights’ alongside more conventional domestic themes (Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine 1852: 74). Here, however, the potential for disruption was easier to contain, since there were certain readings of the public and national realm where women were believed to have an important symbolic role. Indeed, the title of the magazine, with its invocation of the Englishwoman as the ideal reader, implies that other political meaning of ‘domestic’ as the antithesis of foreign. The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine assumed that the English woman in

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particular was the best exemplar of the domestic femininity it propagated. Its fashions might come from France, but French women were not the good housekeepers English women were (Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine 1874: 16). As for the colonial peoples, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine advertised itself in the Friend of India, published in Calcutta, and Madame Goubaud offered special ‘Tweeds, Tartans, Cloths and Linsey-Woolseys suitable for wearing in tropical climates’ (1 Mar 1868: 167). English women overseas could therefore ensure that they sustained their high domestic standards in countries where it was routinely assumed that native women were as incapable of domesticity as were the British working class (see Beetham 2017). In the next section, I turn to the question of what happened to the domestic magazine when the format developed by Beeton was taken into mass publishing aimed at the market for penny papers and consider whether this meant domesticity was extended beyond the middle class.

Late Nineteenth-Century Developments If Beeton thought the 1860s were a period of much writing and publishing, the 1880s and 1890s saw a veritable deluge. The journalist Hulda Friederichs, looking back on the 1890s from 1911, wrote that the ‘demand for cheap, light literature was at that time steadily and rapidly increasing’ (53). She knew what she was talking about, having worked for years with George Newnes, one of the major entrepreneurs of the ‘New’ Journalism. ‘Cheap, light’ papers were as central to Newnes’s publishing empire as they were to those of his major rivals, Harmsworth and Pearson, who between them carried publishing into the twentieth century and beyond, building print empires in which magazines for the domestic woman were crucially important. Believing that the system of universal schooling set up by the 1870 Education Act was producing a new generation of readers, periodical publishers took advantage of new technologies in paper-making, printing, and illustration to remake women’s magazines, as they did other periodical genres. Many of these publications adopted the practices associated with the New Journalism, such as the use of very short pieces or ‘titbits,’ an informal conversational tone, and the new genre of the interview. This journalism may have been ‘new,’ but it grew out of established practices. The formula for the domestic magazine typified by Beeton’s Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine was taken up and developed in dialogue with a range of other new journals, including ladies’ papers; periodicals campaigning for women’s political rights or for social interventions, such as women’s temperance campaigns; publications for the newly emerging women’s professions like nursing; and religious and missionary magazines. In all this publishing activity, I distinguish different strands in the domestic magazines of the 1880s and 1890s. First is the sixpenny monthly typified by the Woman at Home. Printed on glossy paper with illustrations on almost every page, this magazine deployed the new printing and picture-reproducing technologies that were transforming the press.4 However, it also looked back to the Ladies’ Treasury, in that it emphasised its literary qualities and made its fiction a selling point, alongside its domestic advice and fashion. Subtitled ‘Annie S. Swan’s Magazine,’ Woman at Home was associated with the Scottish novelist ‘Annie S. Swan,’ though she was not, in fact, the editor.5 Her fiction was nonetheless a staple of the magazine, both in serialised romantic novels and in two series of short stories linked by the same protagonist and observer/narrator, a format made

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popular by the Strand Magazine’s Sherlock Holmes stories. One of these series featured a woman doctor, thus suggesting a radically new element in the definitions of appropriate femininity created through the magazine. The New Woman’s demands for access to higher education and middle-class employment surfaced here in the fiction. When Swan’s doctor heroine marries a handsome member of parliament, however, she gives up her medical practice and becomes a ‘woman at home,’ thus reasserting the domestic as woman’s proper sphere (see, for example, 1896: 349–58). This ambiguity about the so-called New Woman and her demands for access to middle-class employment also characterised Swan’s most important contribution to the developing genre of the domestic magazine. This was her role in the magazine’s two correspondence columns, one on ‘Love, Courtship and Marriage’ and, even more importantly, one entitled ‘Over the Teacups.’ Here she departed from earlier journalistic practice by publishing lengthy extracts from readers’ letters and abandoning the authoritative tone adopted by Beeton, among others. Her persona was sympathetic, open, and feminine. She was the first ‘agony aunt,’ a major development in the genre. As ‘Annie S. Swan,’ she represented herself to readers as a working journalist and writer who was also a wife and mother. This was a radical departure from the earlier women journalists’ conventions of silence and disguise. Rejecting the claims of the New Woman with her demands for higher education and access to paid work, ‘Annie S. Swan’ was nevertheless herself an embodiment of the professional new journalist who was also a domestic woman. She made no secret of the fact that she was a married woman and a mother as well as a professional writer.6 It is not surprising, therefore, that many of her correspondents wrote about their difficulties as domestic women and specifically asked for advice on how to gain access to paid employment, especially writing. Since the magazine was explicitly addressed to middle-class women, this was a challenge to the domestic ideology still carried in other elements of the magazine, such as needlework patterns and domestic advice (1893: 62). Though Swan argued that the 1890s middle-class woman needed to have more robust role models than had her mother, she still struggled with the problems of offering advice to correspondents who were trapped in unhappy or abusive marriages, had never married, or had become breadwinners because their husbands had died or were incapable. Contrary to her own example, she discouraged women who wanted to become journalists. ‘What can I say but send her my sympathy?’ was her typical response to a heartbreaking account of a ‘middle-aged woman for whom there appears neither calling nor room in this great world’ (1896–7: 949). Swan’s inability to use her own experience to break open the constraints of domestic ideology indicates its continuing power. She did, however, encourage women to write in with their experiences and send follow-up letters. The sympathetic persona created in ‘Over the Teacups’ became the basis for the journalistic evocation of an ideal female community gathered together at the tea table, that most female of domestic spaces. As well as sympathy, therefore, Swan offered readers a public space in which to display the most private aspects of familial and domestic life, though sexuality remained unspoken. Her column promised a sisterly community in which ‘Women at Home’ could share their problems, but it set a potentially dangerous precedent. In providing this alternative space, the column eroded the ideal of home as a private and safe space, exposing gaping contradictions in the structure of the domestic ideology inherited from the 1860s.

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These debates were taken up in other publications for women which deployed the periodical genres of the domestic magazine. Among them were some that defined themselves not as magazines but as ‘newspapers,’ even though the news they carried was ‘women’s news,’ which meant fashion, stories about royal or famous women, and gossip. One of these was the three-penny weekly Hearth and Home (1891–1914), which adopted the large-page, three-column newspaper format and aligned itself with the upmarket ladies’ papers. Despite claims that it was read by the queen, it owed more to the tradition of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine than to the Queen newspaper (Mitchell’s 1895: 249). Its first number, subtitled ‘Myra’s Weekly Messenger,’ included articles on ‘Gardening,’ on ‘Home Advice’ by the editor Mrs Talbot Coke, and on ‘The Management of the Household’ by Mrs Beeton, along with the start of a serial novel, a general piece on ‘The World of Women,’ and ‘The Glass of Fashion,’ supplemented that week by ‘Pictures from Paris’ (May 1891: 21). This mix of genres clearly looks back to the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and not only because of the names ‘Myra’ and ‘Beeton’ (obviously not the woman who had co-edited the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine). However, this new publication also shared elements with the cheap magazines of the New Journalism, such as the extensive advertisements and the use of the interview format in its ‘Chats with Celebrities.’ Very much of the moment, too, were the articles on ‘Women’s Journalism’ and a series called ‘What shall we do with our daughters?’ This question, phrased in the same words, was a recurring theme across women’s journals during the early 1890s. It posited the question of middle-class women’s access to paid work as a difference between generations rather than as the radical problem which Annie Swan’s column revealed. However, Hearth and Home had no correspondence column. Though it professed to offer its readers ‘chat,’ this was not an invitation to dialogue. Rather it was a rhetorical device deployed by the journalists whose names were clearly a selling point. The periodical was therefore a kind of hybrid, a ‘news’ paper with many of the characteristics of the domestic magazine genre as it was being remade in the 1890s. That remaking was most obvious in the cheap penny papers for women, whether they were monthlies, like Home Notes (1894–1957), or weeklies, like Home Chat (1895–1958), Home Sweet Home (1893–1901), Woman (1890–1912), and Woman’s Life (1895–1934). With some of these titles lasting into the 1950s, the decade of the 1890s defined the domestic magazine for a new century and even beyond. Like Beeton forty years earlier, Newnes, Harmsworth, and Pearson, as well as other end-of-the-century publishers, identified the ‘woman at home’ as central to the new reading publics. But this was a different publishing world. Beeton’s claim to have sold 50,000 copies of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine five years into its run was impressive (and possibly exaggerated) (1857: preface). But Home Chat, a penny weekly published by Harmsworth, claimed to have sold 200,000 copies of its first number, with 35,000 more ordered and thousands of regular subscribers signed up. These were figures for purchasers, not readers, who almost certainly were more numerous (26 Mar 1898: 95).7 The key here, as Hulda Friederichs knew, was price. It was now possible to produce a 32-page magazine for a penny, a price made possible in part by new print and paper-making technologies. Though printed on cheap paper (unlike Woman at Home’s glossy pages) these magazines were visually exciting, with extensive illustrations and display advertisements that appeared on almost every page rather than on special

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end-pages, where they could be ignored by the reader and stripped out when the volumes were bound. Advertisements had a huge impact on the visual appeal of the magazine, but their true significance lay in the invisible business and finance methods which underpinned the magazine’s cheapness. These publishers organised their businesses to woo commercial advertisers with promises of strategically placed advertisements, promises made through press directories like Mitchell’s (1895: 265). It was advertising that enabled Harmsworth, Newnes, and Pearson, the new-style publishers, to open up the women’s magazine market to those who could only afford a penny on a regular basis but yearned for the pictures, fashion tips, and gossip that the more expensive journals offered. Harmsworth’s Home Chat exemplified many of the elements of this new form. Alfred Harmsworth, whose company still advertises itself as ‘a modern dynamic company,’8 put women at the heart of the new publishing industry. This was evident both in his newspaper, the Daily Mail (1896–), the first half-penny national daily, and above all in his magazines targeted specifically at women (Beetham 1996: 119–125, 130). Home Chat, with its subtitle ‘East, West, Home is Best,’ included the key elements of the now well-established format: advice on recipes and housework; fashion news and paper patterns; ‘Fancy Work,’ that is, embroidery patterns; and fiction, in both serialised and in short story form. However, this was a very different kind of magazine from the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine of the 1860s. First of all, there was a radical ambiguity about the class status of the implied reader. She was, of course, expected to have a domestic servant, and this was sometimes even addressed directly (12 Oct 1895: 167). But features like ‘Recipes for Tired Housewives’ and the articles encouraging the reader to make ‘Something out of Nothing,’ as well as the pervasive stress both in the needlework and cookery sections on careful use of materials, suggested that the economic and class position of the reader was not very secure.9 Target readership and historical readership may not overlap exactly. Just as upmarket magazines clearly had (and have) ‘aspirational’ readers who could never afford the dresses featured, this was also true of these penny papers. There is in Home Chat, I suggest, an element of fantasy that masqueraded as ‘advice,’ and this was especially true of the regular fashion column by ‘Lady Betty and Camilla’ and Lady Constance Howard’s advice on ‘Etiquette.’ The magazine, therefore, offered various pleasures to women in the expanding middle class, but crucially it addressed those who aspired to be middle class or at least to be ‘respectable’ and who turned to the magazine for advice on how to dress and what to buy to fulfil that aspiration. Knowing what to buy and being a good consumer became increasingly important to the new definitions of femininity. The visual integration of advertising into copy and the blurring of the line between advertising and advice offered a model of the self in which ‘shopping’ became a key aspect of the domestic woman. The shopping advice in these new magazines looked back to Myra’s columns in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, but here such ‘chat’ proliferated across the magazine, offering, as did another penny paper, Woman’s Life, advice on all aspects of ‘that most fascinating of subjects for women, shopping’ (14 Dec 1895: 1). Home Chat, therefore, not only offered chatty advice on what to buy by way of dress but also how to decorate your home. The pleasures of shopping offered by such columns were uncertain, however. The visual pleasure offered by extensive illustration (like the pleasures of looking through the windows of the new-style department stores in big cities), the pleasure

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of a chatty article about clothes you could only fantasise about buying, or the simple pleasure of taking a break from domestic tasks to read the magazine were mixed with the imperatives attached to shopping. Of these the most insistent was the duty of the domestic woman to make and remake herself and her home, and this was increasingly linked to buying the right things. Fashion in women’s magazines had always been about self-fashioning. This strand of advice now linked up with an older tradition of advertising which had addressed not the body beautiful but the unsatisfactory female body, the body subject to illness and defects. Cures for stoutness, thinness, restless children, and women’s problems were not new. Here they took on a new urgency but also respectability through their visibility in the body of the magazine text. In Home Chat, a full-column advertisement for ‘Dr William’s Pink Pills for Pale People,’ which offered to cure not only pallor but ‘all the troubles of the female,’ was given equal space and position with editorial matter in the other column on the same page (28 Mar 1896: 97). Female ills abounded in the advertisements. In one half-page column, readers were offered remedies for blushing, stoutness, a thin bust, and grey hair (14 Sep 1895: 653). The juxtaposition of cures for stoutness and a thin bust points to the impossibility of ever attaining the perfect female body. Earlier magazines had focused on dress as the crucial marker of a classed femininity, but the unspeakable body and its sexuality under the dress, as it were, had always been there, breaking into visibility at such moments as the corset correspondence in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. Now the importance of these advertisements, together with the proliferation of advice columns, threatened to trap the reader into an endless cycle of dissatisfaction with herself that could only be cured by the purchase of equally unsatisfactory remedies – the advertiser’s dream cycle. The emergence of the domestic magazine reader as the ideal target for the advertiser is not surprising given the history I have outlined. This was not the only kind of advertisement featured in Home Chat, however. As always in this genre, the tension between the models of fashionable woman and domestic manager haunted its femininity. Alongside the advertisements for corsets and remedies for women’s endemic ills were those for the new commercial food products coming onto the market. Some of the new manufacturers believed that artwork advertisements would catch the eye of the reader in the jostle of competing claims. Pears, the soap manufacturer, famously bought John Millais’s painting ‘Bubbles’ and consistently offered high-quality, often full-page advertisements, as did Fry’s Chocolate. There were also other less showy advertisements for food stuffs, furniture, and domestic paraphernalia. However, here too the advertisements offered solutions to the problems of domestic femininity which they had perpetuated. This was true above all of that commodity central to the enterprise, the magazine itself. Each week it offered its readers pleasure and addressed their anxieties. However, each week’s solution, like each week’s number, was incomplete. The reader must look to the next issue for that, and then the next, and so on. This was bound up in part with the magazine’s periodical form, recurring regularly week by week, but it was also central to the business strategy behind the new cheap weeklies, which were sold as desirable commodities to advertisers through the press directories, a process invisible to readers but crucial to the new forms of women’s publishing. The pleasure offered to those readers and the device which held together the disparate elements of this and other penny magazines was the prevalence of a certain

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tone, encapsulated in the title Home Chat. ‘Chat,’ what the editor of a slightly later magazine called ‘the personal note in journalism,’ was key to the new cheap domestic papers (My Weekly 9 Apr 1901: 24). Evoking informal and intimate conversation, these penny magazines offered a print space analogous to the idealised space of home, a place of safety and close relationships. ‘Chat’ defined an atmosphere as well as a space. This was an atmosphere created by rhetorical strategies rather than by inviting readers to write for the journal or engaging in dialogue, as Annie Swan had done. Use of the first- and second-person singular forms rather than the more formal third person and the development of personae attached to regular writers were key strategies in suggesting a personal relationship between writer and reader. Ironically, the fact that so many articles were assigned to named writers was a function of the growing professionalisation of journalism and the emergence of the woman journalist as a personality in her own right (or write). In other words, it was about the separation of writers from the ordinary reader rather than their intimacy. The short articles and informal style went along with the reiterated use of words like ‘chat.’ The gossip column, by Lady Greville, was a ‘Chit-Chat’ and interviews became ‘Home Chats with Celebrities.’ The children’s column was ‘A Cheery Corner for the Chicks.’ These titles created an atmosphere of intimacy which belied the material realities of an increasingly professionalised work force and the relentless drive to sell products, above all to sell the magazine itself. In doing so, Home Chat both spoke to and helped to re-create a domestic femininity for the new century.

Notes 1. For a wonderfully lucid discussion of these issues see Fionnuala Dillane (2018). 2. Target readership and historical readership may not match precisely. Some men may have read domestic magazines. Annie Swan apparently received and sometimes published letters from men in her correspondence column in Woman at Home. For example, see 1895: 154–5. 3. Print and picture technology is outside the scope of this paper; however, as with all media, they were hugely important. The point here is that most illustration was produced from woodcuts. 4. I have never been able to find a copy of this magazine that retained its advertisements, which must have been printed on endpapers. I cannot, therefore, comment on this aspect of its ‘New Journalism.’ 5. This was the ubiquitous nonconformist W. Robertson Nicoll who founded the magazine. However, much of the editorial work was probably done by his assistant, Jane Stoddart. 6. Her married name, which she also used, was Mrs Burnett Smith. 7. Reliable sales figures are not available until the Audit Bureau of Circulations was established in 1931. 8. See the Harmsworth House website. Available at (last accessed 1 Sep 2017). 9. See, for example: 21 Sep 1895: 31; 28 Sep 1895: 77; 3 Mar 1896: 591, 598, 629.

Works Cited Beetham, Margaret. 1991. ‘“Natural but Firm”: The Corset Correspondence in The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine.’ Women: A Cultural Review 2.2: 163–7. —. 1996. A Magazine of her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London: Routledge.

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—. 2017. ‘Meeting Mrs Beeton: The Personal is Political in the Recipe Book.’ Food, Drink and the Written Word in Britain, 1820–1945. Ed. Mary Addyman, Laura Woods, and Chris Yanitsaris. London: Routldge. 187–206. [Beeton, Isabella]. 1861. The Book of Household Management. London: Beeton. Breward, Chris. 1994. ‘Femininity and Consumption: The Problem of the Late Nineteenth-Century Fashion Magazine.’ Journal of Design History 7: 71–89. Damkjaer, Maria. 2016. Time, Domesticity and Print Culture in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Dillane, Fionnuala. 2018. ‘Researching a Periodical Genre: Classifications, Codes, and Relational Terms.’ Researching the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: Case Studies. Ed. Alexis Easley, Andrew King, and John Morton. Oxford: Routledge. 74–90. Flanders, Judith. 2015. The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes. New York: Thomas Dunne Books. Fraser, Hilary, Stephanie Green, and Judith Johnston. 2003. Gender and the Victorian Periodical. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Friederichs, Hulda. 1911. The Life of Sir George Newnes. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Harmsworth House website (last accessed 1 Sep 2017). Hughes, Kathryn. 2005. The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton. London: Fourth Estate. Ledbetter, Kathryn. 2012. Victorian Needlework. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. Loeb, Lori Anne. 1994. Consuming Angels: Advertising and Victorian Women. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mallett, Shelley. 2004. ‘Understanding Home: A Critical Review of the Literature.’ Sociology 52.1, (last accessed 22 Aug 2016). Mitchell’s Newspaper Press Directory for 1895. London: C. Mitchell. Ridder, Jolein de and Marianne Van Remoortel. 2011. ‘Not “Simply Mrs. Warren”: Eliza Warren Francis (1810–1900) and the Ladies’ Treasury.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 44.4: 307–26. Steele, Valerie. 1985. Fashion and Eroticism: Ideals of Feminine Beauty from the Victorian Era to the Jazz Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wolff, Michael. 1971. ‘Charting the Golden Stream: Thoughts on a Directory of Victorian Periodicals.’ Victorian Periodicals Newsletter 13: 23–8.

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2 Regulating Servants in Victorian Women’s Print Media Kathryn Ledbetter

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he acquisition, management, and control of servants was a significant domestic task and expectation for women of secure financial status or aspiring social rank during the Victorian period. As Eric Hobsbawm notes, ‘The widest definition of the middle classes or those who aspired to imitate them was that of keeping domestic servants’ (1999: 134–5). Sally Mitchell adds that ‘domestic service was the largest single category of work for women and girls’; in 1851, ‘13.3 percent of the employed population were in domestic service; in 1881, 15.9 percent’ (1996: 50). Most middle- to upper-class women’s periodicals of the mid-Victorian era featured articles about using proper etiquette with servants, demonstrating adequate degrees of personal interest, and monitoring dishonesty or carelessness among all levels of domestics. A burgeoning genre of household manuals assisted the effort from downstairs, instructing servants on everything from scouring floors to washing lace. Margaret Beetham comments on the challenge faced by middle-class women: ‘Underpinning the home beautiful was the work of the domestic servant and a woman’s regulation of her home was nowhere more evident than in the success with which she managed this other woman. The servant “problem,” as defined in these papers, was multiple; finding, training, keeping and controlling’ (1996: 106). Obedient, respectful domestics signified class and gentility in the family, and middle-class women’s print media supported the status quo with sympathy, advice, and instruction on how to manage unpredictable or bewildering elements of a servant class they viewed as potentially oversexed, radical, or otherwise immoral. However, until the last quarter of the century, servants had no voice in women’s print media other than the narrative authority of addressing subordinates. The 100-page guide titled Common Sense for Housemaids (1853) demonstrates the extreme but probably typical demands placed on servants during the 1840s and 1850s. The first task for any housemaid, according to the author (‘A Lady’), is to clean every room in the house from top to bottom according to minute specifications. The natural reward for the housemaid is that she can then ‘look round with modest triumph, and exclaim, Sublime. A drawing-room in perfect order, how lovely is it!’ (1853: 27). The mistress may have felt a thrill of sublime accomplishment; the servant was undoubtedly too exhausted to feel triumphant after such a day. According to the author, clever and talented housemaids are able to do many things, such as light fires economically and efficiently, ‘even the drawing-room fire (which requires more wood than the bed-rooms), with seven pieces of wood’ (38). She can also light four other fires with only one bundle of wood (38). No other household servant is implied in Common Sense for Housemaids,

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making the maid’s workload impossibly severe; she will be responsible for every job in the house, including serving at table. The maid must be honest, modest, clean, faithfully Christian, and virtuous. She must avoid dressing beyond her station, for ‘how differently does one feel towards a girl flaunting about in vulgar finery, with bright ribbons, and coarse artificial flowers, mimicking her mistress in manners, and attempting to outshine her in dress! It is impossible not to conceive a bad opinion of that servant, both as to her judgment and heart’ (92). Mitchell writes that the maid-of-all-work was the lowest of domestic employment (1996: 51). She was often required to work seventeen-hour days and sometimes slept on a floor pallet in a basement kitchen. Maids often wore second-hand clothing, yet they were expected to look clean and neat; uniforms were not used until after mid-century. Nevertheless, the ‘Lady’ of Common Sense for Housemaids tolerates no servant who challenges social status or takes attention away from her mistress by wearing sharp clothing. In a weekly series published in the summer of 1845 called ‘Punch’s Guide to Servants,’ Punch comically satirises the unreasonable time constraints imposed on servants by their mistresses, as well as the lack of education in the servant class. In ‘The Maid-of-all-Work,’ Mr Punch advises a maid to ‘indulge in the pleasures of philosophy’ in her spare time: ‘You can light the fires, and think of Hobbes. Fasten the hall-door, and recollect some passage in Locke. Or broil the ham for breakfast while wrapped up in Bacon’ (5 July 1845: 10). Punch also pokes fun at prodigious weekly and monthly miscellanies by advising the maid to further cultivate her mind by reading the Penny Magazine: ‘If you read it through every week, your head at the end of the year will be full of volcanic rocks, the solar system, primary strata, electric eels, organic remains, and hints for preserving gooseberries’ (10). The satire may be appropriate for Punch, but women’s periodicals and household manuals rarely made light of the responsibilities involved in proper service. According to Kathryn Gleadle: The spate of household manuals produced during this period suggest high expectations of domestic performance. Growing consumerism meant extra ornaments to dust, carpets to beat, furnishings to wash and cutlery to polish. Additionally, new fashions in household management required more minute attention to detail, with the increasing use of timekeepers, weights and measures betraying a new concern with precise measurement and accuracy. (2001: 52) Considering the household workload, the high turnover of servants during Victorian era is not surprising. Fear of theft reflects a common fear about domestics living in the house, as indicated in an article reprinted in the Leisure Hour in 1856. The author warns readers that female servants may become unconscious instruments in the hands of thieves (21 Aug 1856: 542). In one example, a vain servant girl tells her beau about everything valuable in the house, and the fellow robs the house while everyone is away. In another, beggars come to the back door faking hunger and wearing ragged clothes to ask for money while putting on good clothing at home (543). Complaints about rudeness and slovenly habits in servants frequently appear in women’s print media. In a later issue of the Leisure Hour, Dr James Hamilton urges servants to practise patience and meekness, as well as respect for the employer’s property, for ‘whether they be good and gentle, or peevish and froward, there is no quality more prized by

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superiors than swift obedience and a serene and deferential bearing. Even though no sharp answer is given, nobody likes to hear the slamming doors and shivered porcelain, and clashing fire-irons and other safety-valves of domestic passion’ (23 July 1857: 480). The servant should also be careful with furniture and avoid wasteful habits that ‘destroy the food or fuel which might have warmed and fed a destitute neighbour’ (480). Hamilton’s warnings reflect a common belief that domestics didn’t care about decorative, ornamental things so important to social status, nor did they think of Christian charity; the lower classes were outside the middle-class value system, and their detachment posed an anarchical threat to the family’s security. Such fears resulted in legal restrictions to secure the family’s dominant power over domestics, as indicated in the 1845 case of Turner v. Mason cited by Pamela Horn: ‘In this, it was established as “a master’s province to regulate the conduct of his domestic servant,” and so powerful was that right held to be that not even a moral duty could justify a servant’s disobedience’ (1975: 113). Certainly, some fears about the servant class were justified, but a common response in women’s periodicals was that bad mistresses made bad servants. One writer in the Magazine of Domestic Economy blames the mistress upon hearing ‘frequent complaints of the worthlessness of servants’ (May 1842: 321). Yet when a good household servant of long standing is discussed, ‘we may safely conclude that the mistress is a rational and good-dispositioned woman’ (321). The servant is not credited for being loyal, steadfast, and hard-working, while the mistress is praised for demonstrating maturity and common sense. Another article pleads with ‘lordly owners’ to be mindful of their responsibility as caretakers of the lower classes and to consider their own role in the degraded condition of servant-hood: If they could, incognito, look into the riotous scenes of their servants’ hall; could trace the chain, link by link, from the scullery-maid in her drudgery, toil, dirt, slavery, and misery . . . up to the insolent lady’s-maid and specious housekeeper, he would, if he possessed a spark of man’s nobility in his heart, deplore the demoralisation of which he had thoughtlessly – and only therefore innocently – been the cause. No one breathing should be subjected to the hardships that attend the life of a scullery-maid. (Magazine of Domestic Economy Jan 1836: 211) The author is careful to imply that thoughtlessness from the lordly owners is forgivable but adds that the virtues of the olden days are gone. Younger generations are rapidly evolving into a ‘new race, in both classes of society’ (211). Servants now desire education and independence, just at the moment when the lordly owners are trying to tighten controls. Instead, the lady of the house should be setting a moral example by governing her temper and treating her servants with fairness and Christian compassion. Yet the servant should expect no special monetary reward for good behaviour, according to the author of a later article, who complains that the practice of giving gratuities to servants is a ‘pernicious practice’ which creates purchased civility (Magazine of Domestic Economy Jan 1837: 196). The tone of most articles and household guides is paternal and didactic. Writing for the British Mothers’ Journal, ‘M. A. B.’ notes, ‘Servants, like children, require to be treated with firmness and kindness’ (1 Feb 1858: 41). Mrs Beeton, in her Book of Household Management, advises consideration:

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The sensible master and the kind mistress know, that if servants depend on them for their means of living, in their turn they are dependent on their servants for very many of the comforts of life, and that, with a proper amount of care in choosing servants, and treating them like reasonable beings and making slight excuses for the shortcomings of human nature, they will, save in some exceptional case, be tolerably well served, and, in most instances, surround themselves with attached domestics. (1861: 393) Household manuals such as the Practical Housewife served a growing market of young housewives seeking instruction on regulating servants. Issued by the publishers of the Family Friend, the Practical Housewife features a fourteen-page index, indicating an extensive variety of topics. Chapters on servant management emphasise that sound policies must be established to control a potentially dangerous household necessity: Money can enable a man to hire more domestics, but it cannot secure that these persons shall be cleanly, diligent, trustworthy, and painstaking; it cannot secure him from the consequences of their ignorance, their carelessness, their extravagance. Nothing but the supervision of the mistress or a good housekeeper, can do this. (1855: 11) Servants are likely to be ‘young, thoughtless, inexperienced girls’ who will easily sacrifice everything and be tempted by the ‘go-a-head spirit’ to leave for better wages or a better life in America (11). The Practical Housewife instructs the new wife about monitoring unruly servants and emphasises her heavy responsibility for keeping order in the home. She must ‘teach her servants when they are ignorant, put method into their proceedings when they are careless, and quietly but attentively look on and superintend when they are tolerably efficient’ (15). To be a truly successful household manager, the young mistress must know everything the guidebooks recommend for cultivating good servants. Christian women’s periodicals promote a mixture of practical instruction and religious dogma for both servant and mistress. Although cheap in format and price, Christian women’s periodicals replicate middle-class discourse. As Margaret Beetham notes, ‘most [women’s] magazines targeted the middle class and offered explicitly bourgeois models of feminine behaviour’ (1996: 7). The British Mothers’ Magazine (1845–64), a penny monthly published by the London Central Maternal Association and anchored by a middle-class missionary spirit, featured articles that charge wives to practice tolerance, understanding, and responsibility with domestics. One article, titled ‘Our Servants,’ asserts that the woman of the house should demonstrate the same good behaviour and Christian values that she expects from her servant. She should give the employee free time to see or write to her family members, study the Bible, and attend Sabbath services. The mistress will also do well to ask the female domestic to read the Bible to her, ‘especially in the New Testament,’ because the ‘history of our Saviour possesses great interest to the young, and His miracles and parables cannot fail to be read with profit, especially if they be judiciously explained’ (British Mothers’ Magazine 1 Sep 1848: 207). The mistress is called by God to a parental role in her relationship with a servant, regardless of her age, for the servant needs guidance to stay within moral bounds. Writing in 1851, an ‘Obscure Mother’ stresses that readers must ‘be

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more deeply impressed with the truth that whenever these young persons come under our roof, we ought to be to them instead of their parents, and so responsible for their religious, moral, and even mental improvement in some degree; and that our obligations to them are by no means limited to the food which perisheth, and the wages stipulated for’ (British Mothers’ Magazine 1 Jan 1851: 18). To better regulate servant-children, a reviewer for the British Mothers’ Journal recommends a pamphlet titled ‘Domestic-Servantism: or, Suggestions for the Better Regulation of Laws between Master and Servants.’ The pamphlet proposes setting standard rules for salaries and general hiring practices and a registration system that will issue certificates for all servants, listing all employers, dates of employment, and reasons for leaving. The anonymous reviewer claims that a few bad servants will contaminate the rest, causing ‘discontent and disaffection,’ especially in larger households where luxurious living is an ‘inducement to extravagance and waste . . . with demoralising effect of such luxurious living upon the servants, who generally have their share of it, and more’ (British Mothers’ Journal 1 Dec 1856: 265). The comment is both a moral warning about extravagant (thus immoral) lifestyles and an expression of middle-class fears that what they have worked hard to establish will be invaded and infected by greedy servants addicted to luxury. Clearly, bad servants are contagious and threaten the health of domestic society, but a good dose of religion may heal social disease in the home. Christianity was a powerful tool for controlling unpredictable, ostensibly immoral social groups during the 1840s and 1850s, as well as supplying a motivating force for social reform through philanthropy. Articles in women’s print media of this period urged their women readers to model religious values, provide religious education, and assist in philanthropic aid societies for servants in trouble. Christian philanthropists organised a seemingly endless number of charities in London and the provinces. Parliament passed the Apprentices and Servants Act in 1851 requiring masters of servants or apprentices under the age of eighteen to provide ‘necessary Food, Clothing, or Lodging,’ and legal restrictions offered some protection for the mass servant population (qtd in Horn 1975: 120). The stated mission of organisations such as the Domestic Servants’ Benevolent Institution was ostensibly to help the servant population with old-age assistance and other social aids, but preventing or modifying immoral servant behaviour was at the core of philanthropic concerns. The editor of the British Mothers’ Magazine calls attention to institutions recently formed specifically for the purpose of helping ‘not less than one hundred thousand [sic] female servants’ in London (1 June 1848: 144). First in the list of recommended institutions is the Female Aid Society, established in 1836 as the London Female Mission, with its main object the ‘reclamation and restoration of the fallen; and, subsidiary to that, the protection of the friendless but virtuous’ (Low 1850: 103). Under the umbrella of the Female Aid Society was the Home and Registry for Female Servants on Bedford Row in London. The institution charged a weekly admission fee for lodging and employment assistance. Sampson Low Jr reported that the home admitted 180 female servants per year and supplied situations for a total of 297 (104). In ‘Our Servants No. 1,’ Low reports that the institutions are designed to benefit women in various degrees of need: ‘Young females who have come from the country in search of situations and friends’ but are now without support; ‘young girls who, by the removal or death of friends, or from the profligate conduct of their relations, are peculiarly exposed to temptation’;

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destitute females formerly engaged in needlework or manufacturing concerns that have failed because of financial depression; and female servants ‘who, from illness or other unavoidable causes, are deprived of the means of support, and are unable to pay even the small sum for board and lodging required at a Servants’ Home’ (British Mothers’ Magazine 1 June 1848: 144). The philanthropic mission to save fallen women, aid and educate the poor, monitor the moral substance of servants and workers, and carry the Christian message to foreign lands was guided by a belief that all progress begins in the privatised domestic space. The missionary spirit encouraged interest in fallen women because they endangered what women believed to be their rightful preserve. Socially conscious Victorians considered immoral female servants in the home as a direct attack on femininity and chivalric ideals. Magazines such as the Servants’ Magazine, or, Female Domestics’ Instructor, superficially marketed toward the interests of servants, extended these efforts through a philanthropic approach aimed at teaching servants Christian obedience, thrift, loyalty, and gratitude for employment. Its editors claimed to be on the same level with its ‘fellow-servants,’ but the magazine’s mixture of quotidian household information with heavy didacticism clearly favoured employers, as is indicated in a later review published in the British Mothers’ Magazine: [The Servants’ Magazine is] intended especially for our domestics; but it is one from which an inexperienced housekeeper may derive much valuable information. It is sometimes more agreeable to a servant to be taught from a book than to be directed by her mistress; at least it strengthens the advice or reproof given when she can refer to a ‘printed book’ for confirmation of what has been said. (1 June 1848: 144) The penny monthly Servants’ Magazine (1838–69) began publication as one of the many institutions supported by the Female Aid Society. David Nasmith established the organisation in 1836 as part of his ‘Philanthropic Institution House’ to offer protection and shelter to vulnerable and fallen penitent women. In a preface to the 1843 volume, the editor pronounces the periodical a success by claiming ‘nearly Six Thousand Friends who give it a kindly welcome monthly’ (iii). The ‘friends’ are subscribers who purchase the magazine for their servants, who will supposedly read it for their own self-improvement. The tone of advice in the Servants’ Magazine is consistently authoritative and parental, as is demonstrated in editorial comments in the 1842 volume’s preface: The Editors cannot refrain from saying, that if in any of their pages their rebukes have appeared severe, they hope their censures will be received as the admonitions of faithful friends, who would rather hold up a glass to a fellow-servant, that she may see if there is any thing about her person or conduct which renders her displeasing, than suffer her to remain in ignorance of that which should be corrected. (iii–iv) Warnings about the consequences of theft, dishonesty, sexual indiscretion, and character defects blend with Christian poetry, didactic short fiction, articles about animals, and newsy stories with lessons to be learned from examples of bad servants. For example, a

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newspaper article reprinted in the Servants’ Magazine of 1842, titled ‘Child Killed from Godfrey’s Cordial,’ relates a frightful warning tale of an eight-month-old baby’s death caused by a nurse who administered an overdose of Godfrey’s Cordial to treat the baby’s pain from cutting teeth. Other articles feature instructional topics such as cooking, preventing damp beds, drying linen, extinguishing chimney fires, making French polish, removing ink blots, writing letters, destroying moths, following post office regulations, and cleaning windows. Religious articles and poems focus on cultivating the proper attitude for service in middle-class households. A monthly column titled ‘My Mother’s Notebook’ shares cooking recipes and household tips, such as making oyster catsup, brewing male beer, making paint with potatoes, cleaning silk woollens, and killing slugs (the remedy entails attracting slugs to cooked cabbage leaves mixed with butter). A regular feature titled ‘Friendly Hints’ cautions servants about a variety of moral issues. For instance, an 1842 article warns readers that indolence causes disease which can be prevented by rising early and using free time to attend to needlework. An 1843 instalment of the article by ‘R’ urges servants to be loyal employees and to keep a good position of lower pay rather than being tempted to go to another of higher pay, because unknown factors may be troublesome and discount the acquisition of better wages. A servant who desires a position of better pay ‘solely to gratify a love of dress [will find that] the love of change becomes both an error and a sin’ (Servants’ Magazine 1843: 32). She may also endanger her soul by living with ‘irreligious families’ (32). The editor’s introduction to the 1844 volume of the Servants’ Magazine states that the magazine’s object ‘is not only to inform the mind, but to correct the mistakes, reform the habits, and promote the piety of its readers’ (iv). The editor writes that her ‘heart’s desire and earnest prayer . . . is that the female servants of England may be wise and useful assistants to their several households, and humble and happy servants of the Lord Jesus Christ’ (iv). A correspondence column features letters from mistresses who relate stories of improved behaviour from servants after reading the magazine. One letter titled ‘Servants Benefited’ tells of a particularly prideful, selfwilled domestic who was so changed by reading the Servants’ Magazine that she ‘put by from thirty to forty shillings per annum in the Savings’ Bank . . . [and] has taken in the Pilgrim’s Progress in sixpenny numbers and had it well bound’ (1844: 1–2). She has purchased a Bible, read ‘Fletcher’s Scripture History in numbers,’ kept herself neatly dressed, learned to control her temper, and stayed with her employer for three years (1–2). In contrast, the same household had a servant who dressed extravagantly, left for higher wages, became very ill and couldn’t pay her medical bill, and now changes her situation every two or three months. She, ‘with her pride and extravagance, will, if not mercifully checked, soon be brought down to the state that one shudders to think of’ (2). The letters serve to affirm the mistress’s solidarity with other women of her class, thereby promoting the Servants’ Magazine while also supporting fund-raising efforts for the London Female Mission. One spirited letter writer, ‘Wish-Well,’ addresses her comments to ‘Christian Ladies’ and praises the magazine’s purpose, proclaiming that the ‘profits derived from the sale of this work are applied to an object, which ought to recommend itself to every female heart, the recovery to society and God of the most depraved and wretched of the female sex, the rescuing from destruction those girls

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who have been abandoned to a life of public shame’ (1845: 1–2). The editor quickly distances the magazine from implications of impropriety related to fallen women by correcting the letter writer in a note stating that the profits of the Servants’ Magazine ‘will be devoted to the benefit of Female Servants exclusively, that is, to the Servants’ Home and Indigent Refuge, and not to the Penitentiary department of the London Female Mission, which however, needs additional support’ (2). The note suggests discretionary caution against moral prejudices that may limit magazine and subscription income. The ‘Letter-Box’ writer affirms the magazine’s aims, to ‘inculcate the principles of piety, and to instruct its readers in the art of raising themselves in the esteem of their employers. It wishes to make good servants’ (1). She continues, enthusiastically asking, ‘And why should not servants have a Magazine, one which shall be devoted to their interests, which shall point out their duties, their privileges, and their destinies? Is there any danger that they will become too wise and virtuous?’ (1). Perhaps not, since servants likely had little time, or desire, to ponder the issues raised in the Servants’ Magazine. In the preface to the 1845 volume, the editor of the Servants’ Magazine poses as a servant to her employer (the reader) ‘with all the humility which becomes the servants of servants’ and models the attitude of servitude in gratitude for the reader’s patronage (iii). The preface reads as a servant manifesto that would be appealing to mistresses who might be thinking of contributing to the philanthropic cause of the parent institution: Should we be petted in the parlour, we will try not to forget our station; and should we be ill-used in the kitchen, we hope not to neglect our work. If praised by our mistresses, we will not be vain; and if scolded, we will not be pert. If entrusted with the messages of others, we will endeavour to deliver them promptly and accurately, and, if obliged to speak our own mind, we will try to speak it kindly and meekly. In short, we will endeavour to do and be all that a good servant ought to be and do. (1845: iii–iv) The time was yet to come when publishers saw a profit in marketing to a largely illiterate class of workers who were supposed to be busy doing other things besides reading. An article in an 1840 issue of Servants’ Magazine dictates that servants are ultimately to be ‘Servants of Christ’: His servants you are, and in obeying your earthly employer, you are to look above him, to Christ, your heavenly Master, whose eye of approbation is upon your obedient submission to your mistress in all things lawful. . . . The insubordination so fearfully prevalent in the present day, is no doubt greatly displeasing to the Lord. (1840: 79–80) In spite of the heavy concentration on faith, the message of the periodical’s proprietors and the Committee of the London Female Mission, as well as socially conscious women employers who read most women’s periodicals, is clear: servants are potentially disruptive elements and must be constantly monitored for moral indecencies that threaten the social order. Religion was a heavy weapon in the war against servants during the 1840s and 1850s.

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The British Workwoman, an illustrated penny monthly founded in 1863, promised greater social awareness of working-class women’s lives. In an opening ‘Address,’ the editor sets out the paper’s purpose in its first volume: While it is true that we have a large number of well-conducted and instructive journals, calculated to promote the social and moral elevation of the industrial classes, it is equally true, we have no organ exclusively devoted to the interests of the British Workwoman, and it will be our earnest effort to supply this want. In entering on our labours, we tread untrodden ground. (1 Dec 1863: 2) The periodical ennobles women’s work and womanhood, as defined by her domestic roles as wife, daughter, and mother. Although addressed to working women through poetry and short didactic fiction, the periodical displays ideology similar to other Victorian women’s periodicals. Regular features include a column about women’s employment titled ‘Friendly Counsel.’ The January 1864 column is ‘addressed to Female Domestic Servants’ and concerns ‘The Maid of All Work’: ‘They are compelled to lead a very secluded life; as their work is multifarious and laborious, there is not always that consideration on the part of the employer which there should be, and the best are often disheartened, and the worst confirmed in bad habits’ (Jan 1864: 23). The author advises that anyone considering a position as maid-of-all-work should practice obedience as a duty to God rather than to her employer. The emphasis on Christian behaviour is indicated in the frontispiece of the British Workwoman from April 1865 (Figure 2.1). Directly under the periodical’s header is a Bible verse from Proverbs 31 that establishes a model for hard work, humility, and faithful dedication to God and womanly duty: ‘A Woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. – Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her.’ The ultimate symbol of Christianity, the cross, is doubled in the image. The first appears at the top of the frame where a cameo encloses another Bible verse to inspire the dutiful servant: ‘Faith is the Substance of Things Hoped For.’ The second cross dominates the centre of the frontispiece at the woman’s right hand. Like the good servant, the woman points to God in heaven while keeping her foot firmly planted on top of the serpent who threatens from the ground. She clings to the rough-hewn cross wrapped in garlands of thorns signifying Jesus on the cross, and a gigantic Bible lies opened to the gospel of Matthew at her right hand. The workwoman in this image models the armour of God against the temptations of evil, thus prompting servants to follow the Bible’s doctrine of Christian values and proper servitude. In spite of the editor’s claim that the British Workwoman is treading on ‘untrodden ground,’ the paper appears to be treading the well-worn path of servant advice featured in other women’s print media. Concerns about women’s employment became central to an emerging feminist agenda, as is evident in some women’s periodicals from the 1860s to the end of the century. Although the dominant discourse continued to focus on modifying bad servant (and mistress) behaviour, education increasingly became important as political reform efforts inched toward the Education Act of 1870 and compulsory education movements at the end of the century. The monthly women’s periodical titled the Englishwoman’s Review of Social and Industrial Questions (1866–1910), founded and edited by Langham Place feminist Jessie Boucherett, was an early promoter of

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Figure 2.1 Cover of the British Workwoman, no. 18 (Apr 1865).

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the need for basic legal rights and proper education for women domestics. ‘On the Proper Training of Servants’ (20 Feb 1858) acknowledges that household work is beginning to be taught in the national schools, but the author says there should be standards and requirements to help teachers provide better training for girls planning to enter domestic service, and potential mistresses should visit the schools with rewards for students as incentives for good behaviour.1 A later article titled ‘Domestic Servants’ complains, As a rule, domestic servants are lamentably uneducated; they can scarcely read or write intelligibly; and in our experience we have not met with any who have excelled in the accomplishments which are said to unfit them for their occupations. The very worst servants are the most ignorant; and whenever we see one of them devoting all her thoughts and money to dress and gaiety, we may safely conclude that she is more than usually ignorant. (Englishwoman’s Review of Literature 3 Dec 1859: 259) It further claims that insufficient wages and the acquisition of too many servants in one middle-class household are to blame for much of this trend. Good servants can still be acquired with good pay, and wages should be calculated more carefully to consider basic needs for human happiness: We presume that no one will deny that the domestic servant ought to have decent clothing, ought to see a little pleasure, and not to starve or go to the workhouse when the body is enfeebled by old age. No matter what the amount may be, it is undoubtedly right that these things should be covered by it. (259) The author figures that all servants over the age of twenty should earn at least £15 a year for basic comforts. It matters not whether the servant spends it in the way the mistress thinks she should: ‘Shall we do wrong because our domestic servants fail to do right? Shall we render it impossible to provide for old age? May not the consciousness of their utter inability to avoid the workhouse render them reckless?’ (259). Such rational appeals argue against religious proselytising and for individual self-monitoring of moral values. The more advanced approach for middle-class women is once again to model what they seek and to take responsibility for bringing lower-class women up through education and example: ‘We are the keepers of our toiling sisters’ (259). The repeated motif of the mistress as a parent – or, in this case, an older sister – calls for readers to extend more sympathy, spiritual guidance, and personal freedom to their domestics, for ‘we do not forget they are of the same blood, and heirs, it may be, of the same eternal glory’ (259). Servants should be allowed to see their sweethearts just like the young ladies in the drawing room, or they should have a day off once a month and perhaps Sunday afternoons. In an 1868 issue of the Englishwoman’s Review, Julia Luard complains that educational committees and the system of national schools have failed ‘to prepare the lower classes for the confidential and responsible position of domestic servants’ (1 Apr 1868: 407). Yet no institution can take the place of a middleclass woman’s personal attention to a domestic girl’s growth in the home. Luard traces the life of a typical young servant girl from school to her ultimate end ‘inside the parish union walls into a ward of women and girls who equally with themselves have made

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shipwreck of their character and respectability’ (412). The reason for her downfall is that she is not given time at her domestic position to study her Bible and improve her mind and that the mistress did not provide proper training in the home: However well managed such institutions may be, they are far inferior to a good first place. When a mistress is herself capable and active, she leads her servant girl through a course of training both more complete and more instructive than can elsewhere be pursued. Such a course, followed under the mistress’s eye, will turn an attentive good girl into a courageous, upright, industrious, and hard-working servant. (410) Yet Luard recommends that the girl stay in school longer before going out to make her living as a domestic. She proposes the radical idea of requiring exit examinations in reading, writing, and arithmetic before servants may enter her work life. Until the government creates legislation that will enforce compulsory education, a ‘wise, charitable mistress’ may teach servant girls that the entire household must serve God (410). Beyond the necessity of extending basic rights and common courtesies to domestics, many Victorian women simply did not agree on how to manage the more distasteful aspects of sharing their home with a class that ostensibly did not share their moral values. The monthly Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine (1852–79) established its early reputation by providing practical domestic advice for the middle-class woman reader amidst poetry, serial fiction, elegantly hand-coloured fashion plates, elaborately illustrated pull-out needlework patterns, and helpful information about items for the boudoir, drawing room, and kitchen. The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine offered information, advice, and tips for dealing with wayward, undependable, uneducated, dishonest, or otherwise improper female servants. Readers requested guidance about servant management in the parallel ‘Englishwoman’s Conversazione’ and ‘Housekeeper’s Conversazione’ correspondence columns. Reader perspectives in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine columns echo those from other mid-nineteenth-century women’s periodicals and guidebooks. However, a letter written by a servant who signs her name as ‘Scrub’ suggests that things have changed: As far as my experience goes, servants are quite a different class from what they used to be; not the daughters of respectable mechanics (except some old ones, like myself), but from a lower grade. The great rise in workmen’s wages the last few years partly accounts for this; they are not now obliged to send their children out as servants early in life, so that they . . . can afford to keep them longer at school. . . . Formerly, if a mother wanted her girl something better than servant, she could only make her a dressmaker or bonnet-maker, and the market was overstocked. Now she can make her a post-office clerk, telegraph clerk, elementary teacher, machinist, &c. (Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine 1 Apr 1876: 211) If ‘Scrub’ was indeed a servant, her letter indicates that the time has finally arrived when a servant has a voice, however small, in a middle-class woman’s periodical. Her story is enabled by progress, reform, opportunity, and financial growth. She argues that servants are not like they used to be because they have employment opportunities besides entering into service. ‘Some ladies blame education for

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making servants uppish and above their work,’ she claims, ‘but that’s all nonsense, you know, for a servant with intelligence will do her work better than an ignorant, stupid one’ (211). In the Illustrated Household Journal, Helen Blackburn agrees with ‘Scrub,’ arguing that the scarcity of good servants can be attributed to the ‘greater freedom of action of the present day, with its increased facilities for locomotion and intercommunication, the greater amount of education and the greater variety of occupation, as circumstances all tending to make the routine of domestic service irksome and distasteful’ (1 Sep 1880: 150). Blackburn acknowledges that the ‘servants participate in the effects of these changes as much as their mistresses’ (150). However, she argues that improved circumstances of domestic service also contribute to the problem because modern opportunities are producing a new kind of girl in the 1880s. Servants have contact with family and friends outside the servants’ hall that can quickly draw them away from their jobs; they also have increased literacy and knowledge acquired through education and new opportunities for other kinds of work. The growing opportunities promised by technical schools allow girls to get training in other professions at night while working in service. According to Blackburn, these changes are good, from the servant’s perspective. By the 1880s readers of women’s periodicals might agree that ‘servants are not what they used to be,’ but the author of ‘Servants,’ published in Hearth and Home, goes further to say that ‘servants are not what they were, but neither are mistresses’ (16 July 1891: 275). She looks nostalgically back at former days when women had time to spend with their servants, took an active part in household management, shared experiences in life and death, and came together with them ‘by a hundred ties that do not now exist’ (275). Yet the author thinks that women complain about their servants as much as they have ever done and that faithful servants can still be found, although diminished in numbers because the rapidly expanding high demand for servants in recent decades has resulted in a new servant population with ‘no traditions of servitude, no kindly association with those it serves, and which, as a whole, is largely responsible for our present difficulties’ (275). The author admits that equality doesn’t work, but neither does arrogant detachment. She predicts a ‘happier state of things’ to come: ‘Public opinion no longer countenances arrogance toward dependants as one of the prerogatives of wealth, and employers of every class are beginning to see that the reform must come, in the first place, from themselves, and are eager to find out their own duties to those whom they employ’ (275). Middle-class women readers would probably not view this as a revolutionary idea; from the early years, periodicals and household management guidebooks had discussed the need for responsibility and compassion in relationships with servants in the home. Thus, the conclusion in Hearth and Home is familiar: ‘So long as Englishwomen keep their own lives pure and true, so long as they try honestly, in spite of discouragement, to act rightly towards those brought under their care, so long will there be found “faithful servants” to do them loving and devoted service’ (275). Lip service to Christian values in servant management did not produce revolutionary change; however, news of new political organisation and the hope of legal reform in the servants’ own periodical, the Female Servants Union News (1892), provided evidence of a start in the right direction.

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Notes 1. The national schools were founded by the National Society for Promoting Religious Education to provide elementary education to poor children under the guidance of the Church of England. The Education Act of 1870 supplemented society schools by establishing board schools inspected by the state and offering schooling for all children aged five to thirteen in England and Wales.

Works Cited Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London: Routledge. Beeton, Isabella. 1861. Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Ed. Nicola Humble. 2000. Repr., Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gleadle, Kathryn. 2001. British Women in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Palgrave. Hobsbawm, Eric. 1999. Industry and Empire: The Birth of the Industrial Revolution. Rev. edn. New York: New Press. Horn, Pamela. 1975. The Rise and Fall of the Victorian Servant. New York: St. Martin’s Press. ‘A Lady.’ 1853. Common Sense for Housemaids. 2nd edn. London: Thomas Hatchard. Low, Sampson, Jr. 1850. The Charities of London. London: Sampson Low. Mitchell, Sally. 1996. Daily Life in Victorian England. Westport, CT: Greenwood. Practical Housewife. 1855. Ward & Lock.

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3 Women Editors’ Transnational Networks in the ENGLISHWOMAN’S DOMESTIC MAGAZINE and MYRA’S JOURNAL Marianne Van Remoortel

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n March 1860, London publisher Samuel Beeton contracted with his French colleague Adolphe Goubaud to import monthly fashion plates and dress patterns from Goubaud’s Le Moniteur de la mode to the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, the periodical for women that he had established in 1852. The deal marks a pivotal moment in the history of the British fashion press. On 1 May, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine appeared in a slightly larger format and on better quality paper, with attractive full-page, hand-coloured plates by leading French fashion illustrator Jules David captioned, ‘The Fashions. Expressly designed and prepared for the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine.’ Pieces on domestic matters gave way to descriptions of the latest dresses and dressmaking instructions accompanied by fold-out patterns. According to Margaret Beetham, this ‘shift away from [the] practical domesticity’ of everyday cooking and household management was ‘crucial’ (1996: 71). The revamped Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine promoted a new kind of femininity predicated on the pleasures of consumption. At sixpence (or a shilling with the supplement), it was the first cheap magazine for British middle-class women to turn fashion into a major selling point. The new Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine secured Samuel Beeton’s lasting reputation as a trailblazer in the fashion magazine industry. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography describes him as ‘one of the pioneers of popular print’; for Beetham, he embodies the ‘class archetype’ of the ‘mid-Victorian entrepreneur’ (1996: 58), and Cynthia L. White similarly writes that he was among the ‘first to recognise the untapped potential of the middle-class market’ (1970: 44). In her 2006 biography of Isabella Beeton, Kathryn Hughes challenged this image of the solitary business genius, demonstrating that Beeton’s wife played a crucial role in his publishing firm, not only as author of the successful Book of Household Management (1859–61) but also as editor of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. In this chapter, I build on this earlier work by arguing, in turn, that the Beetons’ feats as a publishing power couple need to be seen in the larger context of the transnational professional network in which they participated. More particularly, I want to make a distinction between the legal aspects of the collaborative arrangement with Le Moniteur de la mode, on the one hand, and the intellectual and creative efforts that went into the restyling and day-to-day running of the Englishwoman’s

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Domestic Magazine (1852–79) and its offshoot Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion (1875–1912), on the other. While Samuel Beeton and Adolphe Goubaud were responsible for the former, credit for the latter should primarily go to three women working at editorial level. In addition to shedding further light on the contributions of Isabella Beeton (1836–65) and her successor Matilda Browne (1836–1936), I will draw attention to a woman whose role has been largely overlooked: Goubaud’s wife, Louise Goubaud (1820–81).

Revamping the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine Fashion had been a staple ingredient of upmarket British women’s periodicals since the late eighteenth century. Addressing an upper-class readership, expensive monthlies such as the Lady’s Magazine (1770–1847), Lady’s Monthly Museum (1798–1832), and La Belle Assemblée (1806–47) featured high-quality engravings and descriptions devoted to the latest London and Paris fashions. By the mid-nineteenth century, further technological advances and faster transportation networks made it possible to include increasingly sophisticated visual material and to reach more readers, particularly in the middle classes, at a lower cost. Most of the taxes on knowledge were lifted, and in January 1860, Britain and France signed a trade agreement to lower duties on goods traded between the two countries. Just six weeks later, Samuel and Isabella Beeton were on their way to Paris. The young couple, who had been married for four years and were parents to a baby son, had been collaborating on the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine since 1857, Samuel as editor-publisher, Isabella as hidden co-editor and author of the popular cookery column that became the basis of her Book of Household Management. It was not until after the Paris visit that she became visible (albeit still anonymously) as ‘Editress,’ a position that she held until her early death in 1865. While in hindsight the revamping of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine could not have been more cleverly timed, it was a bold financial move for the Beetons to have boxes of fashion plates, patterns, and patron paper, the tissue-thin paper from which the patterns were made, sent over from Paris every month, not knowing if the new series would attract as large a readership as the old one. As the little diary she kept during the trip reveals, it was Isabella who decided that this was a risk worth taking. While Samuel was off talking to booksellers and paper makers, she visited Goubaud several times to discuss the patterns and inspect his coloured Berlin wool work designs. ‘Did not like them much,’ she reported, ‘but as there is so little time, must content ourselves with them for the first month’ (qtd in Spain 1948: 135). She was also given a tour of the workrooms in the rue St Anne, where she ‘saw the girls colouring the various fashion plates’ (qtd in Spain 1948: 136). Calculations scribbled at the back of the diary show her adding up the costs for paper, gum, composition, editing, and engravings, and concluding that selling ‘12,000 [copies] just pays’ (qtd in Spain 1948: 127). Beeton was evidently in charge of the aesthetic as well as the practical and financial sides of the negotiations, leading the transformation of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine right up to the point where the actual contracts had to be signed. As a married woman, she was not legally able to do this, nor was she allowed to control the financial transactions they entailed.

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The new series was launched just in time for the spring season and heavily promoted in the press. Extra advertising space in the London newspapers offered the full table of contents, touting a steel fashion plate ‘printed and painted by hand in Paris,’ a large separate embroidery pattern sheet ‘equal to 32 pages,’ and a ‘Full-size Pattern of the Fashionable Zouave Jacket, showing most accurately and intelligibly, the precise size and shape of the front, back, side-pieces, and sleeves’ (Morning Post 30 Apr 1860: 1). Any anxiety the Beetons may have felt about the future of the magazine was cleverly glossed over in the advice section of the first issue. There a female correspondent writing under the name of ‘J. Purr’ was reminded that while a British attack on France might seem a good strategy to keep France from attacking Britain, she should also consider the ‘terrible question’ of how British women would be kept informed of the latest Paris fashions, ‘especially now they have once seen them engraved, printed, and painted so beautifully in this magazine.’ The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine was confident it would never get this far: ‘No, Miss J. Purr (does she mean j’ai peur?), the force of fashion alone, we believe, and the immense interests connected with the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, would keep this nation from a war with France’ (May 1860: 48). The gamble paid off. By October, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine boasted a circulation five times the number of copies needed to break even. With a military triumphalism echoing the reply to Miss Purr six months earlier, the preface to the first semi-annual volume hailed the ‘Sixty Thousand Englishwomen-volunteers’ who made up its ‘corps of trusty partisans’ and promised them it would continue to pursue its ambition to ‘retain and increase their good opinions’ (May–Oct 1860: iii). The deal with Le Moniteur de la mode included not only visual material but also fashion copy. For this aspect of the arrangement, the Beetons were able to capitalise on Isabella’s language skills, as they had no doubt done before while negotiating with Goubaud. Beeton was well educated, having learnt French (and German, for that matter) at boarding school in Heidelberg, and she had plenty of experience translating French fiction for the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. Such cross-cultural affinity was essential, for transforming the fashion section into a primary selling feature required more than simply straightforward translation of the copy. Beeton kept the two-part structure of Le Moniteur’s fashion department, which comprised a column on the latest dresses, trimmings, and bonnets followed by a description of the fashion plate, but she allowed herself considerable freedom in how to fill up that structure. Part of that apparent freedom was in fact driven by the material constraints of periodical publication and the need to be selective. Le Moniteur appeared three times a month and devoted up to five pages to fashion; the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine was a monthly with just three pages reserved for fashion commentary. Moreover, the fashion advice in Le Moniteur heavily relied on readers’ proximity to Paris, interlacing descriptions of new designs with specific addresses where the designs could be bought. The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, by contrast, was hoping to bank on British women’s lack of direct access to these shops. At the time of the Beeton-Goubaud deal, the fashion column in Le Moniteur was supplied by Zélie de Banville, sister of the French poet Théodore de Banville, who wrote under her married name ‘Madame Marie de Friberg.’ A common narrative strategy for Friberg was to assume the role of observer, attending high-society gatherings, strolling the streets, and visiting the shops. In the first issue of April 1860, for example,

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she takes readers on a shopping expedition through Paris, moving from paragraph to paragraph as she walks from shop to shop to inspect the latest styles. The directions are so precise that Parisian women could easily go out and follow the exact same route: ‘Leaving the rue Vivienne, we headed via the boulevards, where, at every step, light fabrics and fresh straw hats were laid out on display, to 39 rue Louis-le-Grand, where the commission house of Lassalle et Cie [. . .] is always the centre of immense activity’ (10 Apr 1860: 1).1 When later that month Isabella Beeton drew on Friberg’s column for her first fashion contribution to the revamped Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, she followed the geographical structuring of the narrative and translated some of the descriptive passages but left out all names and addresses so that readers could at least cherish the illusion of closeness to Paris. Thus, Friberg’s opening statement ‘Nous voici de retour d’une expedition dans Paris’ [We are back from an expedition in Paris] (10 Apr 1860: 1) became ‘We have just been inspecting the show-rooms of our first houses’ (May 1860: 47; my emphasis). Although the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine was copying material from Le Moniteur with a one-month time lag, readers needed to believe that they were offered hot-off-the-press, first-hand information. By the same token, Beeton interspersed her translations with the occasional French word – clothing terms such as ‘passementerie’ and ‘chemisette,’ for which no direct English equivalent was at hand, but also words chosen for their chic sound only. ‘Black Cashmere shawls,’ for instance, were ‘among the most recherché of the season’ (Aug 1860: 189). Occasionally, she even claimed to be better informed than the Paris press. In September 1860, she openly disagreed with them on the much-anticipated decline of the crinoline: The iron reign of the crinoline, as some of our gentleman wags have called it, is undoubtedly, but gradually, coming to an end. Still, it is reported in the most fashionable Paris journals, that ‘les jupes se font, toujours aussi amples que par le passé;’ but at the Sydenham Crystal Palace – where, perhaps, as much of dress in its most fashionable mode can be seen as anywhere in these islands – we noticed some leaders of ton entirely destitute of crinoline. (Sep 1860: 238)2

Louise Goubaud and Patrons modèles parisiens The fashion column in Le Moniteur de la mode was usually signed and changed authors several times in the 1850s–60s, from Louise Beauregard (1853), former Journal des femmes editor Juliette Lormeau (1857), and Marie de Friberg (1858) to Marguerite de Jussey (1865) and Louise de Taillac (1869). Along with the anonymous descriptions accompanying the fashion plates, this quick succession of collaborators suggests what Sharon M. Harris and Ellen Gruber Garvey (2004) call a ‘hidden hand,’ someone directing the fashion department as a whole, coordinating the different sections while also providing some of the content. As Beeton’s biographers have repeatedly pointed out, that someone must have been Adolphe Goubaud’s wife. Sarah Freeman notes that ‘like her English counterpart, [Goubaud’s wife] played a major part in her husband’s business; almost certainly, it was she who supplied the text for Le Moniteur de la Mode and probably the translations as well’ (Freeman 1978: 167). Kathryn Hughes similarly argues that the ‘cultural fit between the two magazines was high, for Le

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Moniteur, like the EDM, was a family affair’ (2006: 255). About the division of labour she writes: ‘The owner was Adolphe Goubaud, who oversaw the artwork, the fashion copy was written by his wife, and in time the magazine would be taken over by their son Abel’ (2006: 255). Despite this central role in the production of the magazine, little is known about Mme Goubaud. There is no small leather diary documenting her side of the deal with the Beetons, let alone a full biography detailing her personal and professional life. This lack of detail in the historical record makes her little more than a cipher in the history of the fashion press, a foil to the publisher whose name she took in marriage. And yet bringing together the few available historical sources reveals that she too must have been instrumental to the transformation of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and, with it, the emergence of the cheap fashion press in Britain. Mme Goubaud was born Louise Augustine Ampenot in Besançon on 27 October 1820.3 Her engagement with the fashion press began in 1847, when she founded Patrons modèles parisiens, a monthly periodical for home dressmakers. It was, by any standard, an unusual publication. Ampenot was a young single mother at the time, no doubt trying to make a respectable living for herself and her child. Hiding behind the curt, masculine moniker ‘L’Ampenot’ or ‘Lampenot’ in contemporary press directories such as Liste alphabétique des ouvrages périodiques (1853) and Catalogue annuel de la librairie française (1865), she created a periodical that was unlike any other in this segment of the French magazine market. Patrons modèles parisiens was intended for immediate practical use only, which is no doubt why not a single copy appears to have survived. Older French women’s periodicals such as the Journal des dames et des modes (1797–1839), Petit courrier des dames (1822–69), and Journal des demoiselles (1833–1922) had published dress patterns in addition to a wide range of other textual and visual material, either in small format on the verso side of fashion plates or as foldouts on thin yellow paper (Kleinert 2001: 269). Patrons modèles parisiens, by contrast, consisted of a single large sheet filled with full-scale patterns of dresses, mantles, sleeves, and other fashion items depicted in Le Moniteur de la mode. It contained no text besides the explanatory notes printed alongside the patterns.4 Other women’s magazines immediately recognised its potential in combination with other innovations in home dressmaking. As the Journal des jeunes personnes pointed out, with the newly patented patronomètre women could easily adapt the patterns to fit their size: ‘The worst provincial dressmaker will become an ace thanks to patrons modèles parisiens, and, thanks to the patronomètre, we can adjust these excellent models to our use’ (Jan 1847: 28–9).5 The message was clear: if a worthless professional couturière could do it, then so could any woman who knew how to hold a pair of scissors, and at a much lower cost. While Patrons modèles parisiens seems to have ridden on the success of Le Moniteur initially, the two soon joined forces. By 1854 Goubaud was advertising the publication in his journal, and in December 1862 Ampenot became his second wife.6 He adopted her son Abel shortly afterwards and restyled his firm ‘Goubaud et fils’; thus, the succession took an unusual detour through the maternal line, providing yet another example of how Louise Goubaud’s role has been consistently underestimated.7 At six francs per year, Patrons modèles parisiens was priced considerably lower than the twenty-five francs readers paid for an annual subscription to Le Moniteur, to which it effectively served as a supplement in all but name. As founder, Louise Ampenot had recognised and responded to the growing demand among middle-class women

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for affordable access to the fashions depicted in their favourite magazines. This was a crucial step in what Margaret Walsh has called the ‘democratization of fashion’ – the ‘new social experience of making stylish clothes at will’ (1979: 299). While it is difficult to determine the exact beginnings and nature of Ampenot’s editorial involvement with Le Moniteur, the influence of Patrons is obvious. In its early days in the 1840s, Le Moniteur had been marketed as a continuation of the monthly advertising brochure issued by the luxury fashion house of Popelin-Ducarre. Emphasis was on the fineries for sale there; full-size patterns were included in the 10 April and 10 November issues only. By 1854, the frequency had doubled, and in 1861 Le Moniteur launched a monthly series of pre-cut patterns. The formal arrangement was with Henri Picart, Adolphe Goubaud’s ‘ancien associé et . . . confrère’ [former associate and colleague] (30 Jan 1861: 420) and publisher of Patrons modèles parisiens, but the creative input must have come from Louise Ampenot. Interestingly, while Ampenot remained anonymous as editor of Le Moniteur de la mode, she did come to the surface as Madame Goubaud through her foreign collaboration with the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. In Britain, the first full-size patterns started to appear in women’s magazines in 1850, when the World of Fashion (1827–91) announced that it would issue them on a monthly basis ‘in order that Ladies of Distinction and their Milliners and Dressmakers may possess the utmost facilities for constructing their costumes with the most approved Taste in the Highest and most perfect Style of Fashion’ (qtd in Burman 1999: 237). The ‘Practical Dress Instructor’ that the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine introduced two years later was a ‘major departure’ (Beetham 1996: 64) from this earlier model in that it no longer assumed paid help, but explicitly aimed at instructing women on how to make their own paper patterns from the diagrams provided. The section merged into the ‘Fashions and Practical Dress Instructor’ in January 1858, bringing together the practical skills of home dressmaking with the aspirational allure of the fashion column. Following the arrangement with Le Moniteur, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine also started publishing pull-out pattern sheets which readers could collect in a separate envelope. Soon monthly supplements to the shilling edition were offering more patterns, extra-size fashion plates, and, occasionally, a piece of muslin or cambric ‘ready for working’ (Standard 3 Dec 1862: 1). Finally, in January 1862, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine announced that a full-scale paper pattern for the body of the ball dress depicted in the fashion plate could be had ‘by inclosing twenty-four stamps to Madame Adolphe Goubaud, 248, Strand, London, W.C.; and with skirt complete, 5s. 6d.’ (Jan 1862: 143). Louise Goubaud’s original concept of Patrons modèles parisiens had upgraded into a mail-order business operating from the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine offices, catering even more efficiently to the needs of the magazine’s readership. Patterns were sent ‘tacked together and trimmed, showing the exact arrangement’ of the garment to save women the trouble of working their way through a tangle of superimposed pattern lines, transferring the patterns onto plain paper, and figuring out the position of each piece (Jan 1862: 143). According to Nancy Spain, the postal service was a ‘triumph,’ with inquiries flooding in and the ‘staff at 248 Strand [having] to be enlarged to deal with the demand’ (1948: 138). In an advertisement that was reprinted regularly throughout the following decade, Goubaud also reached out to women in India and other parts of the British Empire, who could do little with the patterns without

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access to the right fabrics and trimmings. Recognising their ‘difficulties in the way of obtaining the more important articles of dress in good style,’ she offered to take care of their orders and, as long as they gave her ‘carte blanche to exercise her own taste and judgement,’ even to go the extra mile for them if desired. She mentioned ‘one interesting case of a wedding, and several of balls and parties,’ in which she made sure orders were promptly executed by setting less urgent ones aside (1 July 1865: 223). At the heart of it all was the same sense of female community and solidarity that Isabella Beeton had brought to the new Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine’s fashion section as a whole, grounded in a shared understanding among readers that few emergencies caused women more stress than having ‘nothing to wear.’

Consolidating the Network After Isabella Beeton’s death at age twenty-eight on 6 February 1865, the editorship of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine passed quietly to Matilda Browne, who shepherded the magazine through Samuel Beeton’s 1866 bankruptcy proceedings and subsequent sale of the Beeton name and titles to Ward and Lock. In her dealings with Goubaud, Le Moniteur, and Continental fashion in general, Browne proved herself even more commercially astute than Isabella Beeton, and, as ‘The Silkworm,’ she developed a textual persona much more present than Beeton’s ‘Editress.’ While Beeton’s translations had stripped the French fashion advice of its geographical markers to bring British readers into virtual proximity with Paris, Browne started her own, explicitly London-based column, ‘Spinnings in Town.’ Borrowing her pseudonym from the Spectator, which defined silkworms as ‘women who ramble twice or thrice a week from shop to shop to turn over all the goods in town without buying anything’ (qtd in May 1867: 270), she developed a lively alter ego who took fashion reporting in Britain beyond passive observation. ‘As a modern and official Silkworm,’ she explained in her first column, ‘I am privileged to view all that is newest, choicest, and best; to gaze at gossamer, touch tulle, creep among crape’ (May 1867: 270). If the high-quality plates imported from France were aimed primarily at providing visual pleasure, ‘Spinnings in Town’ evoked the all-encompassing sensory experience of inspecting, manipulating, and even hearing and smelling the latest novelties in fashion – not in far-away Paris or some abstract textual space but on the very streets and in the shops of London. Silk dresses ‘pleasantly rustled’ at Peter Robinson’s in Oxford Street, ‘sweet odour’ oozing from Eugene Rimmel’s perfumery brought ‘flowers, balmy breezes, gales of Araby,’ and the sealskin jackets at Mr Lillicrap of 27 Davies Street, Berkeley Square, were found to be ‘so warm that no under-wrap [. . .] is required’ and ‘so light that they do not fatigue one’ (May 1867: 271; June 1867: 326; Dec 1867: 654). As Browne took charge of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, ‘Madame Adolphe Goubaud’ became editor of her own one-shilling ‘Patterns, Fashions & Needlework’ supplement. Even more than the magazine itself, the supplement explicitly targeted women as consumers, featuring advertisements for silks, white muslins, and several different home sewing machine brands alongside illustrations of the latest breakfast dress or opera cloak. In a characteristic promotional move, a small inscription was added to the fashion plates indicating that the skirts had been ‘arranged upon Thomson’s Crinolines.’ In theory, Jules David’s models could have been wearing this

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particular American brand, which was available in France at the time, yet Thomson is conspicuously absent among the suppliers mentioned in the original French plates. While Le Moniteur de la mode merely listed names and addresses, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine chose the power of suggestion over correctness of information, encouraging readers to imagine the flat figures in the illustrations as three-dimensional bodies with crinolines under their elegantly draped dresses. Those inspired by the designs only needed to turn to the detailed price lists for paper models available via Madame Goubaud’s postal service, ranging from one shilling for a fichu MarieAntoinette to six shillings for a complete ball dress. As she pointed out repeatedly, patterns for any specific article depicted in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine or the supplement could be had from her free of postage and custom-made, if readers forwarded their measurements. It is doubtful that Goubaud was as closely involved with the supplement as the masthead identifying her as editor suggests. Besides fiction and poetry by and reviews of British authors, it contained a significant amount of visual material harvested not from Le Moniteur de la mode but from Der Bazar (1855–1937), a German fashion magazine most famous in the anglophone world as the model for the American Harper’s Bazar (1867–). Although fashion and needlework illustrations from Der Bazar also featured in Le Moniteur’s main rival La Mode illustrée, it is unlikely that they reached Britain via a French detour. The accompanying descriptions in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine were clearly translated directly from the German, either by Matilda Browne herself or a member of the editorial staff.8 Browne must have been well aware of the added value of combining Goubaud’s name and fame with Der Bazar’s novel approach to fashion publishing. Under the influence of its German counterpart, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine became much more profusely illustrated, with text and image intertwining on almost every page of the supplement. The page layout became livelier and more varied as the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine imported, along with the illustrations, Der Bazar’s characteristic way of showcasing outfits from different angles, including side and back views, and in different poses, from full-body to three-quarter and close-up. Louise Goubaud’s professional responsibilities in Paris no doubt also prevented her from personally overseeing the London-based postal service catering to readers of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and later also Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion. That does not mean, however, that her role was limited to that of a mere figurehead. Advertisements for the service in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine provide evidence of her involvement in two ways. Firstly, they reveal that there was another Madame Goubaud in addition to the one mentioned by Isabella Beeton’s biographers: Louise Goubaud’s daughter-in-law Marie, who contributed a monthly fashion column to Myra’s Journal and appeared by her side in the advertisements from the mid-1870s onward.9 The addition of her name almost certainly reflected an actual change in the management of the business. Secondly, the advertisements reveal a close geographical link between the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine’s and Myra’s Journal’s postal service and the Goubaud publishing firm. The addresses given, 30 Henrietta Street and 39–40 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, are those of Goubaud’s London office in 1869–75 and 1876–84, respectively. Even after it was restyled ‘Myra’s Dress & Pattern Depot’ in 1876, the pattern business was still located on Goubaud premises. If Louise and Marie Goubaud were not running it on a daily basis, they were directing

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it by delegating the work to London staff. Browne herself suggests as much when she mentions a visit in Myra’s Journal to the ‘metropolis of fashion to make arrangements with Madame Goubaud for the exclusive supply of Paper Models’ (July 1876: 2). Historical records shed some light on how the deal worked. According to the Westminster Rate Books for the period 1876–84, the tax levied on the properties in 39–40 Bedford Street were payable by Adolphe Goubaud and Son. The census of 1881, however, lists no Goubauds among the occupiers. Instead, another familiar name pops up at number 40: that of Mary Ann Beeton, Samuel Beeton’s half-sister from his father’s second marriage. She is registered as head of household, unmarried, aged thirty-nine, and her occupation is given as ‘Directress Paper Pattern Office.’ In terms of linguistic proficiency, at least, Beeton would have been well equipped to manage the contacts with Paris and even translate material from Der Bazar, since she was a former pupil of the same boarding school in Heidelberg where Isabella had studied French and German. Matilda Browne and Louise Goubaud may have enlisted her help at some point after Isabella’s death as the postal service was becoming increasingly successful, or she may have reached out to them. In any case, by 1881 she had taken up a pivotal role in the Beeton-Goubaud network as director of the pattern business, apparently without ever being credited for it in print at the time.

Whose Legacy? Kathryn Hughes has described the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine’s pattern postal service as ‘one of the more lasting legacies of the Beeton enterprise’ (2006: 264). Nancy Spain also attributes the ‘certain money making scheme’ to Samuel Beeton, quoting Isabella’s half-sister Lucy Smiles: ‘He was a pioneer, in all sorts of ways and he had the fate of all pioneers – he sowed and others reaped’ (1948: 138). In the words of Cynthia L. White, ‘his experiment opened the eyes of other publishers to the rich profits to be reaped by catering to women of all classes, paving the way for the vast expansion in publishing for women which took place at the end of the century’ (1970: 44). Spain and White are referring primarily to Beeton’s former associate Christopher Weldon, who became publisher of Myra’s Journal when Browne left the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine in 1875.10 When he launched his own Weldon’s Ladies’ Journal (1879–1954) a few years later, he planted the first seed of the vast Weldon fashion-publishing empire. Much like Beeton’s publications, it had a postal service at its offices in Southampton Street operated by the magazine’s editor, a paper modeller working under the name of ‘Madame Bayard.’ Weldon’s Ladies’ Journal was the first of an astonishing chain of successful Weldon & Co. periodicals, including Weldon’s Home Dressmaker and Weldon’s Bazaar of Children’s Fashions, many of which continued to appear until deep into the twentieth century. ‘[U]nder the banner of “Weldon,”’ Spain wrote in 1948, ‘Sam’s original postal service still goes on’ (138). From a global perspective, Beeton was certainly not the first to democratise fashion by commercialising paper dress patterns as a service to readers of fashion and women’s magazines. As Kevin L. Seligman has pointed out, in the United States Godey’s Lady’s Book and Frank Leslie’s Ladies Gazette had been offering paper patterns designed by Mme Demorest since 1854 (1996: 27). But that is not the main reason Beeton’s status as a trailblazer in his section of the periodical market needs qualification. What is

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more important and also less understood is his indebtedness to an even older and arguably more groundbreaking French publication, Patrons modèles parisiens, founded by Louise Ampenot in 1847. Indeed, so groundbreaking was Ampenot’s publication that it set off a lengthy court case in France precisely because of its pioneering nature. In 1852, publisher Henri Picart was fined for trying to evade the stamp duty levied on periodicals. After a failed civil lawsuit, he successfully took the case to the Court of Cassation, which ruled two years later that Patrons modèles parisiens was not a periodical, even though it styled itself as one. As the Bulletin des arrêts de la Court de Cassation reported, it was a recueil, a collection of (non-political) visual material, with explanatory notes as its only text and was therefore exempt from the stamp duty (1854: 190–3). The legal controversy goes to show just how radically new Ampenot’s idea was: issuing cheap dress patterns as a supplementary but separate service to the periodical press, thereby enabling women to recreate at home the stunning dresses depicted in the fashion plates of their favourite magazines. This was the real innovation on which Beeton was building when he formed a commercial union with the Goubauds in 1860. Yet this innovation would have been impossible without crucial input from his wife and the sustained effort of several other women participating in the Anglo-French partnership that revolutionised the British fashion press.

Notes This work was supported by the European Research Council under the ERC Starting Grant agreement no. 639668. 1. ‘En quittant la rue Vivienne, nous nous sommes dirigée par les boulevards où s’étalent, à chaque pas, les étoffes légères et les frais chapeaux de paille, vers la rue Louis-le-Grand, 39, où la maison de commission Lassalle et Cie [. . .] est toujours le centre d’une activité énorme.’ Unless indicated otherwise, all translations from Le moniteur de la mode are mine. 2. ‘The skirts are still as full as in the past.’ Beeton was quoting directly from Le Moniteur de la mode, 10 Aug 1860: 155. 3. Ampenot, Louise Augustine. Archives municipales de Besançon. Registre des naissances. 1820, 1 E 626, p. 322. Available at (last accessed 15 July 2016). 4. A description of Patrons modèles parisiens can be found in the Bulletin des arrêts de la Court de Cassation (1854: 190–3). 5. ‘La plus mauvaise couturière de province va devenir un aigle, grâce aux patrons modèles parisiens, et, grâce au patronomètre, nous pourrons ajuster à notre usage ces excellents modèles.’ 6. Goubaud, Adolphe Camille, and Louise Augustine Ampenot. Archives de Paris. Mariages. 10e arr., 18/12/1862, V4E 1120. Available at (last accessed 21 August 2015). The Beetons’ visit to the Goubauds predates the marriage. Although I have not been able to locate the death record of Goubaud’s first wife, all evidence suggests that Louise Ampenot was already presenting herself as ‘Madame Goubaud’ at that time. 7. According to his Légion d’Honneur file, Francis Abel Ampenot-Goubaud, son of an ‘unnamed father,’ was adopted by Camille Adolphe Goubaud on 21 March 1863 (Goubaud). 8. In January 1866, for instance, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine published an image of a ‘Frederick the Great jacket.’ This jacket appeared as ‘Jacke Frédéric le Grand’ in Der

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Bazar on 15 December and as ‘Paletot garde française’ in La Mode illustrée on 24 December of the previous year. Similarly, the ‘Rosée berthe’ (Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, Mar 1866) is described a ‘Berthe “Rosée”’ in Der Bazar (15 Jan 1866) and a ‘Berthe dentelée’ in La Mode illustrée (14 Jan 1866). 9. Her full name was Alphonsine Geneviève Marie, née Neboux. See Archives de Paris, mariages, 8e arr., 23/03/1868, V4E 933. In her biography of Isabella Beeton, Kathryn Hughes identifies Adolphe Goubaud’s wife as Marie Goubaud. In reality, these were two different persons. 10. Browne gave up her post as editor following a legal dispute between Samuel Beeton and the publishers Ward and Lock, who accused him of using the Beeton name without their consent.

Works Cited Ampenot, Louise Augustine. 1820. Archives municipales de Besançon. Registre des naissances. 1 E 626, p. 322. (last accessed 15 July 2016). Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London: Routledge. Beeton, Mary A. 1881 Census. Census Returns of England and Wales. Kew: National Archives of the UK, Public Record Office. RG11/333 f. 9 p. 12. (last accessed 15 July 2016). Burman, Barbara. 1999. The Culture of Sewing: Gender, Consumption and Home Dressmaking. Oxford: Berg. Freeman, Sarah. 1978. Isabella and Sam: The Story of Mrs. Beeton. New York: Coward. Goubaud, Abel Francis. Base de données Léonore. Archives nationales de France. LH/1172/44. (last accessed 15 July 2016). Goubaud, Adolphe Camille, and Louise Augustine Ampenot. Archives de Paris. Mariages. 10e arr., 18/12/1862, V4E 1120. (last accessed 21 Aug 2015). Harris, Sharon M., and Ellen Gruber Garvey, eds. 2004. Blue Pencils and Hidden Hands: Women Editing Periodicals, 1830–1910. Boston: Northeastern University Press. Hughes, Kathryn. 2006. The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton. Knopf: New York. Kleinert, Annemarie. 2001. Le Journal des dames et des modes ou la conquête de l’Europe féminine (1797–1839). Stuttgart: Thorbecke. Seligman, Kevin L. 1996. Cutting for All!: The Sartorial Arts, Related Crafts, and the Commercial Paper Pattern. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Spain, Nancy. 1948. Mrs Beeton and Her Husband. London: Collins. Walsh, Margaret. 1979. ‘The Democratization of Fashion: The Emergence of the Women’s Dress Pattern Industry.’ Journal of American History 66.2: 299–313. Westminster Rate Books, 1634–1900, 1876–84. (last accessed 24 August 2015). White, Cynthia L. 1970. Women’s Magazines, 1693–1968. London: Joseph.

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4 Women and Family Health in the Mid-Victorian Family Magazine Claire Furlong

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his chapter explores the role of women in the treatment of health, as represented in the Family Herald and Cassell’s Illustrated Family Paper (later Cassell’s Magazine) from the mid-1850s to the 1870s. These magazines were by their nature miscellaneous, serving both as a vehicle for fiction and as a source of advice on a range of domestic matters, including personal and family health. As such, they played multiple roles in their readers’ lives, offering working-class and lower-middle-class women assistance with the practical challenges of domestic management, as well as an imaginative escape from its prosaic realities. In fiction, advice features, and correspondence columns, treating illness and maintaining the family’s health are defined as important facets of women’s domestic responsibilities. In 1857, Cassell’s Illustrated Family Paper introduced a new column by a nononsense contributor called ‘The Matron.’ Writing to respectable working- and lower-middle-class women readers, she pours cold water on the flowery descriptions of domestic womanhood so popular at the time. She dismisses the typical paean to women’s selflessness, moral courage, tenderness, and religiosity with the frank remark, ‘I can’t say that I think it worth much’ (5 Dec 1857: 7). She warns against supposing that ‘the ability to “fetter males,” to “bind brows,” to “soothe dying moments,” and to “water turfs” with “choicest tears”’ will be of any help to wives and mothers who must take on the endless practical work of maintaining a household (7). Rather, she insists, women must practise the ‘prudence in marketing, skill in training children, and dexterity in domestic duties’ that make a good wife ‘for humble tradesmen, [and] for the large class of artizans and mechanics, who, above all others, require wives that shall be, indeed, help meets’ (7). The Matron identifies a contrast shown elsewhere in Cassell’s and other family magazines between the idealised Victorian woman, who holds the family together through her moral and spiritual power, and the unromantic domestic manager, who enacts the labour necessary for the home to function. According to both stereotypes, women are defined as working in the domestic sphere on behalf of their husbands and children, but they otherwise encode starkly different characteristics and capabilities. This contrast is strikingly apparent in the family magazine’s treatment of women’s responsibility for family health. Medical care is on one hand depicted as a practical function of domestic work involving diagnosis through observation, the purchase or mixing of remedies, and close contact with the patient’s body – all duties which fell to wives and mothers, many of whom lacked the means to pay for professional help. On

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the other hand, elsewhere in the same publications the sickroom was associated with idealised images of women’s moral power as spiritual guides within the home. The family magazine incorporates these dual models of care in three types of content: advice columns, fiction serials, and editorials. Advice columns address readers as practical wives and mothers who are responsible for the direct treatment of unromantic ailments and hands-on domestic work. Fiction and editorials in family magazines are more likely to define mothers in sentimental terms. These images were important for defining the family magazine as a key source of health advice for lower-income women and a vehicle for negotiating concepts of domestic womanhood.

The Family Magazine: Class, Gender, and Domesticity The groundbreaking ‘useful knowledge’ periodicals of the early 1830s, the Penny Magazine and Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal, helped to turn an increasingly literate and news-hungry public into a market for cheap periodicals (Klancher 1987: 77; Bennett 1982: 237, 227). In the wake of their success, cheap popular magazines of the 1840s such as the London Journal and Reynolds’s Miscellany supplied this growing audience with entertaining content that was less moralistic. Family magazines such as Household Words and Once A Week gained momentum from mid-century onward, corresponding with the development of a cult of domesticity that put renewed emphasis on the family unit. These periodicals claimed to offer material suitable for all family members and included a mixture of poetry, advice, illustrations, serial fiction, short stories, informative articles, and opinion columns on moral or philosophical questions. The Family Herald (established 1843) and Cassell’s Illustrated Family Paper (established 1853, later renamed Cassell’s Magazine) were early entrants into the field and were aimed at the cheaper end of the market. Both were initially priced at a penny in order to attract a growing reading public of lower-middle-class and working-class men and women. Determining the readership of Victorian periodicals is notoriously difficult: we must negotiate the potentially unreliable claims of contemporary publishers and commentators, evidence contained in the correspondence pages and the periodicals’ address to the imagined reader.1 Nevertheless, many scholars argue that that the audience of the Family Herald and Cassell’s Magazine was drawn largely from the upper working classes and lower-middle classes, including skilled manual workers, shopkeepers, tradesmen, dressmakers, artisans, and domestic servants, a high proportion of which were women (Delafield 2015: 88; Ellegård 1957: 36; Law 2009: 214). As Margaret Beetham argues, such publications ‘catered for women as distinct from ladies’ (1996: 46), although Sally Mitchell describes their readers as being united in their aspiration for respectability (1980: 30). They are addressed as hands-on workers who do not have the luxury of handing over laborious household tasks to paid help; the topic of how to manage servants is not featured in cheap family periodicals. Among such women, family magazines were immensely popular and thus are a valuable scholarly source for understanding their reading interests. In an 1859 article titled ‘Cheap Literature,’ the British Quarterly Review declared the Family Herald to be the ‘pater familias of the whole stock’ of periodicals ‘which [profess] to mingle recreation and instruction’ (Apr 1859: 329). It was the first cheap

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family magazine; thus, its instant success set an example for those that followed. It adopted a sixteen-page, two-column format without illustrations and was the first journal to be typeset, printed, and bound entirely by machine. Notably, it was also the first publication to be produced, at least initially, by female workers (Law 2009: 214). Despite the deaths of founding editor James Elishama Smith and publisher George Biggs in 1857 and 1859, respectively, the magazine’s format, general appearance, and arrangement of regular items remained essentially unchanged during the 1850s, 1860s, and 1870s. It always began with an instalment of serial fiction, followed by correspondence and advertisements in the middle pages, and then games, advice, and snippets in its back pages. This content clearly appealed to readers who were in the market for cheap, entertaining, respectable reading material; by 1849 it was selling 125,000 copies per week. In 1855, its circulation reached 300,000, falling to a still-substantial 200,000 in 1860 and 1870 (Law 2009: 214; King 2010: 153). Cassell’s Illustrated Family Paper entered the market a decade later and went through several incarnations during the second half of the nineteenth century. It was founded and initially edited by temperance campaigner John Cassell and in its early years served as a vehicle for his educational and social aims, while still providing entertaining reading material and attractive illustrations (Delafield 2015: 86). By 1855, it achieved a circulation of 200,000 (Anderson 1991: 14). For the first fifteen years of publication, its format resembled that of the Herald, with each sixteen-page edition containing three closely spaced columns, although unlike the Herald it typically included four or five half-page illustrations. In these early years, it published a mix of fiction, poetry, reader correspondence, a ‘scientific, useful and statistical’ column, and other miscellaneous content. In 1867, it was relaunched with a stronger emphasis on fiction and was retitled Cassell’s Magazine. Each edition was now made up of sixteen two-column pages and incorporated more white space than the earlier format, with two half-page illustrations per issue. The expanded space given to fiction in the new version of the magazine was at the expense of advice features; the correspondence column disappeared, as did the miscellaneous tips and hints. Occasional full-length columns containing advice and guidance continued, however. In 1874, the magazine once again changed its name, this time to Cassell’s Family Magazine, and reintroduced some of its earlier miscellaneous content, including advice columns.2 The content and arrangement of family periodicals like the Family Herald and Cassell’s Magazine implies a readership ‘presumed to be united in its tastes, if differentiated by gender and generation’ (Beetham 1996: 48). Family magazines were promoted as acceptable reading, not only for individual men, women, and children but also for the family unit as a whole. Cassell’s began its first issue with an address ‘To the Reader,’ setting out its intention: ‘THE ILLUSTRATED FAMILY PAPER will be what its name implies – pen and pencil pictures for the family circle, every way adapted for the old and young. . . . Neither will the ladies be forgotten – Needlework and the newest fashions will come in for a share of attention’ (31 Dec 1853: 1). It also hoped that ‘to thousands of families it may be a Weekly Visitor, and prove a Welcome Guest’ (1). Women were central to the idea of domestic consumption. As Beetham observes, family magazines ‘not only included “woman” in their readership, they assumed that her domestic management provided the scene of reading’ (1996: 46). Further, the family magazine not only addressed the needs of ‘women, children and the workingman, but also [implied] a particular ideological orientation with the promotion of Christian

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virtue, domestic economy and the avoidance of social impropriety and political controversy’ (Law 2009: 214–15). In promoting women’s primary role as respectable wives and mothers, family magazines offered practical guidance on how to fulfil their domestic duties and promote moral virtue. The notion of a domestic, civilising feminine ideal was of course ubiquitous in Victorian culture, but one more usually associated with bourgeois wives and mothers. As Davidoff and Hall have argued, ‘The equation of women with domesticity came to be one of the fixed points of middle-class status’ (1987: 275).3 However, family periodicals actively promoted this ideal, not only for middle-class women but for working-class women as well. At the same time, they offered practical advice that spoke more directly to the realities of working-class women’s domestic lives.4

Family Health Advice for Women Readers Professional medical care was expensive throughout the nineteenth century. F. B. Smith has shown that artisans, small farmers, and other families with similar incomes could not expect medical attention based on an ‘idealised private professional-client relationship’ (1990: 28). Although public infirmaries, charity hospitals, dispensaries, and sixpenny doctors all provided accessible health care at varying levels of quality and professionalism, most medical care was carried out at home through self-diagnosis. Patent medicines were widely available, including, at the cheapest and least respectable end of the market, the potions offered by quack doctors who were denounced by Thomas Wakley (Haley 1978: 13–15; Porter 2001: 193–200). Traditional remedies and home-made prescriptions remained cheap, easy, and popular, leaving treatment in the hands of wives, mothers, and daughters. Since women increasingly worked outside the home, it was assumed that they needed additional training in the household arts (Kraft 2016: 71). Domestic books and magazines, including the periodicals I explore here, took up this role. As Mitchell notes, ‘Almanacs, household guides, home medical books, and magazine advice columns all provided receipts for mixtures that could be used for a variety of symptoms and ailments’ (2009: 208). Indeed, advice columns in family magazines set out to educate working- and lower-middle-class women in household skills, including family medical care. The advice and correspondence sections of family periodicals addressed all manner of domestic and social questions, from stain removal and the maintenance of cisterns to the correct pronunciation of particular words or the most polite way to use cutlery. The Family Herald, which maintained its initial format and focus throughout the 1850s, 1860s, and 1870s, consistently included domestic tips and advice with homemade remedies in each issue. Cassell’s was more varied in its provision of advice over time, depending on whether it was marketing itself as a general family periodical or as a fiction publication. The health advice incorporated into both periodicals was nonetheless similar in scope and in its style of address. Correspondence columns in both magazines proved themselves to be responsive sources for health advice. Readers regularly sought help with a variety of conditions and received personal advice from the editor. In both magazines, the correspondence columns offered a cheap, anonymous source of advice in response to enquiries about minor but intimate and possibly embarrassing complaints: warts, bad breath, skin

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complaints, and so on. Responses are tailored to each correspondent, as is shown in the following examples from an 1858 issue of the Family Herald: CLARA W. – It may be caused by bile or indigestion; avoid malt liquor and coffee for a time, and take more exercise. ALICE. – Try glycerine jelly. MARIANNE G. – Take exercise; and if necessary, use stimulants in moderation. (17 July 1858: 219) Each week, the editors offered several responses of this sort to requests for help. Their answers focus on affordable, practical self-treatment tailored to the needs of workingclass and lower-middle-class readers. Before the mid-1850s, the Family Herald also published reader-generated suggestions adjacent to the correspondence column, but this feature disappeared after J. E. Smith’s death in 1857 (Furlong 2016). In addition to attending to specific reader complaints, family magazines dealt broadly with general and family health, thereby functioning as a helpful resource for use in the home. The Family Herald included a ‘Family Matters’ section, which featured homely maxims along with useful domestic information, and a ‘Receipts’ column, which gave instructions for mixing cleansing, health, and beauty products at home. The ‘Family Matters’ section appears to have been directed primarily at female readers: it contains information about childcare, cookery, household cleaning, and occasionally women’s fashion, as well as home remedies. Cassell’s advice on family health care is often presented at greater length in the Matron’s weekly childcare columns or the ‘Domestic Economy; or, a Working Woman’s Thoughts about Home Matters’ series, which is presented in the form of correspondence from ‘Penelope Jot.’ This series is clearly addressed to women: Penelope Jot introduces herself as the wife of a ‘clever mechanic’ and speaks in a confidential and friendly manner to her readers (25 Jan 1865: 12). The Matron likewise expresses her intention ‘to do a little good to some of the young women into whose hands the ILLUSTRATED FAMILY PAPER will be sure to fall’ (5 Dec 1857: 7). The practical medical advice given in both periodicals addresses minor and serious ailments in a detailed way. In most cases, it consists of a prescription to mix at home made of ingredients that could be bought relatively easily and cheaply, along with directions for application. The ‘Family Matters’ column in the Family Herald, for example, recommends that to cure carbuncles (boils), ‘half a drachm of opium [should be] mixed up with two ounces of white ointment, spread as thick as the back of a knife on linen rag, and applied to the tumour and its circumference three or four times daily’ (30 Oct 1858: 430). Cassell’s ‘Something for Everybody’ column offers a treatment for rheumatism which combines a number of household ingredients – egg, vinegar, turpentine, spirits of wine, and camphor – in a bottle ‘[which is] well shaken for ten minutes, after which to be corked down tightly to exclude the air. In half an hour it is fit for use’ (4 Mar 1865: 96). ‘Something for Everybody’ also includes detailed instructions on where, how, and when to apply the mixture. Other guidance includes advice on diet, hygiene, exercise, and the best temperature for household rooms. When readers asked for advice on the most dangerous illnesses, family periodicals continued to provide guidance but only within the limits of what care could reasonably be provided at home, on the understanding that medical help would be sought in

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serious cases. For example, the Matron explains how to identify a croup cough from a ‘shrillness and a ringing sound’ but assumes that all good mothers will send for a doctor if croup is suspected (3 Apr 1858: 287). For diphtheria, the Family Herald’s ‘Family Matters’ gives detailed instructions for a purgative, a gargle, and a nourishing diet but emphasises that these are to help manage the condition ‘while the doctor is being sent for’ (27 Nov 1858: 494). However, given the range of conditions they addressed and the level of detail and practicality of the treatments they recommended, family periodicals clearly assumed that most health matters would be dealt with in the home. Across the weeks and months, medical advice and tips provided by family periodicals became a practical, usable collection of remedies. Editors assumed that readers would treat back issues as a household resource: those who wrote in asking for information on particular conditions were sometimes told to consult previous issues of the magazine.5 Family magazines were not as comprehensive or focused as the household medical books that were becoming more prevalent as the century progressed; however, they had an important role to play as regular companions in readers’ lives, offering useful medical knowledge as part of leisure reading. The health advice dispensed in family periodicals does not shy away from the tangible facts of dealing with other people’s bodies, especially children’s bodies. The Matron gives advice on treating, among other ailments, colic, diarrhoea, scrofula, worms, thrush, ‘yellow gum,’ and ‘disfiguring eruptions on the head.’6 One tip in the Herald’s ‘Family Matters’ column suggests that children who have swallowed dangerous objects should be made to eat only bread and butter until the unwanted object becomes ‘imbedded in the substance so produced’ and emerges in the expected way (18 Dec 1858: 543). Home nursing – tending to unpleasant complaints, applying creams to infected skin, monitoring children’s intestinal processes – means coming into close contact with the human body at its least attractive moments, and the advice provided reflects the unromantic reality of being a primary caregiver. In addition to equipping women with practical advice, family magazines endorsed and authorised non-specialist approaches to medical care. Although the superior skill and knowledge of doctors is clearly acknowledged in cases of severe illness, more often the periodical itself is presented as the medical expert. The medical advice in the Family Herald is usually offered without any attribution and is thus attached to the corporate identity of the periodical rather than to any external source. Its legitimacy is derived from its established relationship with readers as a family friend. Sometimes, this editorial identity is personified as a female advisor. Penelope Jot and the Matron, for example, are presented as working-class women with life experiences similar to those of the readers of Cassell’s. In her first column, Penelope Jot introduces herself as a reader of the magazine who has written to the editor to share ‘words of truth and wisdom’ (25 Jan 1865: 12). ‘It’s about the struggles and mistakes, the joys and sorrows of myself and such poor folk as live about me, that I want to write to your FAMILY PAPER,’ she explains (12). Mrs Jot claims to be a respectable working-class woman who was employed outside the home but is now fully occupied with domestic labour; in advising readers she relies on a lifetime of trial and error, the wisdom gained through first-hand experience. Similarly, the Matron recalls ‘the profit I had derived, a few years ago, from reading the pages of John Cassell’s celebrated work, “The Working Man’s Friend,”’ and expresses her belief that ‘having reared a large family . . . and having made pretty good use of my

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eyes for many years, I do fancy it possible for me to tender a few useful hints to some that are younger and less experienced than myself’ (5 Dec 1857: 7). As Mrs Jot’s unsubtle reference to an earlier Cassell publication may suggest, female advice columnists were most likely fictional creations whose purpose was to convey useful information in an accessible way. Nevertheless, these personae performed the function of validating women’s practical wisdom in the domestic sphere. These women, rather than educated, qualified men, are offered as the trusted advisers who are best equipped to offer health advice to wives and mothers. Indeed, their authority comes from being like their readers, just further along the road of domestic competence. The advice in these columns is thus offered as part of the store of domestic knowledge passed between women. The dispensation of medical advice and care is defined as important and valuable, and performing these tasks well is something to be proud of. ‘I’m sure the family matters of the working classes are not to be sneered at by any one,’ Mrs Jot asserts (25 Jan 1865: 12). ‘I take leave to think that it depends on the homes and the women whether there shall be really strong, and good, and happy working men’ (12).

The Angel in the Sickroom In addition to being defined as a practical nurse, the woman reader of family periodicals is also depicted as a ministering angel whose feminine care and tenderness falls clearly within mainstream concepts of middle-class Victorian womanhood.7 Articulations of this ideal frequently appear in sickbed scenes where illness becomes ‘one of the principal objects of sentimental pieties about family life and female nurturance’ (Bailin 2007: 11). By using such scenes to exemplify women’s best qualities, family magazines present the health-giving role as being spiritual and emotional as well as practical and realistic. A series by William Landels entitled ‘Woman: Her Position and Power,’ published in Cassell’s in 1869, highlights the key features of the domestic ideal, presenting women’s duties as a performance of angelic wifehood and motherhood. One instalment in the series, which addresses the nursing role specifically, refers to women’s ‘quicker conscience and . . . more generous affection,’ adding that the ‘softer touch is required for handling [the patient’s] fragile frame, and the gentler tread for moving about their sick chamber’ (2 Oct 1869: 526).8 The qualities of a good home nurse arise from a woman’s nature and her physical make-up, and she requires little by way of actual training or practical experience: ‘Her very presence [is] an alabaster box of ointment exceeding precious, filling the house with the balm of its thousand flowers’ (2 Oct 1869: 523). Most important is her performance of selflessness and sacrifice as she cares for others. Because of her capacity for love, she is able to nurse the patient ‘with such assiduity and tenderness, forgetting all about self in her anxiety for him, foregoing sleep and rest, and apparently suffering little inconvenience from the deprivation . . . because her strong love sustains her’ (2 Oct 1869: 525). Through such iterations of the domestic ideal, women are imagined as ministering angels who enact a uniquely and innately feminine form of care and tenderness rather than applying their knowledge of turpentine, bandages, or chalk to an ailing body. These qualities feature prominently in family periodicals’ fictional depictions of the sickroom.

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Fiction made up the major part of Cassell’s Magazine and the Family Herald. Both specialised in romantic serials of the more respectable variety (King 2010: 6; Law 2009: 100), which were extremely popular. Cassell’s adopted a successful fictionled format from 1867 to 1874, while the Herald ran profitable supplements which published novelettes alongside advertisements (King 2010: 161). The Herald’s fiction offerings included a mixture of historical romances with upper-class characters and family-centred stories focused on the middle-class home (Mitchell 1981: 7). Cassell’s published a significant amount of sensation fiction, which included a cast of characters from the upper classes, alongside its family stories. As Mitchell observes, ‘Penny magazine fiction was escape literature, presenting life not as it was but as readers wanted it to be’ (1981: 16). The sickroom scene was a staple of the romantic fiction published in family periodicals, and the female caregiver was a familiar figure in these narratives.9 As Mitchell notes, stories that reflected readers’ lives too closely were unrewarding (1980: 40). There was nothing escapist about sitting down to read about the realities of the sickroom after a day spent wiping noses and administering home-made medicines. Therefore, it should not be surprising to find sickroom scenes interpreted through the lens of romantic fiction. Miriam Bailin describes the Victorian fictional sickroom as a ‘haven of comfort, order, and natural affection . . . [where] the conditions of illness remain reassuringly vague, merely the occasion for the benefits they elicit and the desires they legitimate’ (2007: 6–7). When illness functions as a vehicle for narrative progress or character development, the role of the medical attendant changes. The fiction in family periodicals more or less absents the unhealthy body from the sickroom and shows healing taking place at a spiritual level without physical contact between patient and nurse. In the romantic narratives published in family magazines, the sickroom serves as a place where obstacles to marriage can be overcome, characters transformed, and women’s best qualities exhibited. It thus provides a ‘conventional rite of passage issuing in personal, moral, or social recuperation’ (Bailin 2007: 5). Frequently the sickroom is presided over not by a medical man but by a mother or female sweetheart, whose loving presence is a catalyst for change. For example, the 1869 Cassell’s story ‘The Message from the Dead’ tells the tale of a young medical student who is hostile to religion. His fiancée, Kathinka, cannot marry him if he will not change his ways and accept God. He becomes gravely ill with typhus fever and lies semi-conscious in hospital for weeks, with Kathinka at his side. As his illness reaches crisis point, he has a vision of death: But a white angel ever at his side held him back, and the angel’s face was like to Kathinka’s . . . [and] when he next opened his eyes consciousness had returned. The first person he saw was Kathinka, who, pale and worn, sat watching beside him. (3 Apr 1869: 76) This passage implies that it is her presence and spiritual influence that save his life when conventional medical care has failed. As a result, the student discovers religious faith, which enables the two to marry. The sickroom thus exhibits the healing power of women’s love, brings about a moral transformation, and establishes the primacy of Kathinka’s faith and moral instinct in their future marital dynamic.

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The serial novel Anne Judge, Spinster, written by Frederick William Robertson and published in Cassell’s Magazine in 1867, offers detailed insight into the fictionalised female caregiver. Anne is the lovely and selfless daughter of a gentleman whose fortune was ruined by an evil speculator. She promises her father at the outset that she will remain unmarried; a long, eventful, and typically convoluted narrative follows, which unsurprisingly is resolved by the restoration of the family’s fortune, the convenient death of Anne’s father, and her happy marriage to Ned Delancy. For the purposes of this analysis, the key moment is an extended episode that takes place about half way through the serial wherein Ned, while investigating certain mysterious circumstances, is struck on the head and spends the next seven chapters at the brink of death under the tender care of his mother and Anne. Unlike the bodily ailments addressed in the magazine’s health advice columns, Ned’s illness appears dissociated from his body and its functions. His condition is described in the vaguest of terms, manifesting only in a generalised weakness and movement in and out of consciousness. Just as this life-threatening illness does not have physical symptoms, its cure takes place at a non-corporeal level. Anne and Mrs Delancy are repeatedly praised as excellent nurses, but no practical care on their part is narrated. Their actions consist of being present, willing him to live, and, above all, watching him. Mrs Delancy is described as a ‘silent watchful figure . . . [who] could but raise her head and look at him again’ (1 June 1867: 229). Later we find her ‘still gazing at her son, with her hands clasped together in her lap, and the mother’s soul on her face’ (1 June 1867: 229). Anne, too, is favourably depicted ‘watch[ing] the sufferer’ (8 June 1867: 244). Silent, non-corporeal attention to the patient is shown to impart a powerful healing action of its own. Such spiritual care cannot be learned from written instructions or practical training. In the model shown in fictional sickroom scenes, a woman’s ability to nurse arises from her gender and her love for the patient rather than from acquired skills. Mrs Delancy’s capacity to nurse her son goes unquestioned and is based solely on her relationship to him: ‘The son may be trusted with his mother,’ she says, and the doctor agrees, saying, ‘He needs a calm and skilful nurse . . . but I think that he is safe in your hands’ (1 June 1867: 228). Even the belligerent and unsympathetic housekeeper, who later is revealed to be Anne’s estranged mother, has an innate understanding of Ned’s needs. Asked whether she has any experience in caring for the sick, she replies, ‘Not any,’ but soon she is shown advising Mrs Delancy, ‘do not lose him by neglect, I beg of you, for there may still be a chance to save him. . . . Pray remember that to leave him for an instant – for an instant – is to neglect him’ (1 June 1867: 229). Despite her own defects as a mother, the housekeeper articulates the successful model of care practised by the other women – to be a constant ministering presence. Anne, meanwhile, who is secretly in love with Ned, establishes her own capabilities: ‘I am a good nurse,’ she asserts. ‘When my father was ill, he would take nothing save from my hands, Mrs Delancy’ (1 June 1867: 228). This innate female understanding of care even exceeds the knowledge of doctors: while three eminent physicians insist that Ned is unconscious, it is only the women who are able to trace the signs of recognition and improved condition on his face. While both the health advice columns and the serial fiction in family magazines promote the value of women’s care, they offer starkly different models for what this caregiving should entail. On the one hand, the advice columns emphasise hands-on

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skills and shared knowledge, while on the other hand the fiction serials depict women’s innate abilities as healing presences. In keeping with the romantic fantasy of popular periodical fiction, sickbed scenes in serial novels speak more to the domestic ideal than to the realities of family health practice. The romanticised scenes of nursing in serial novels are consciously, enjoyably distant from everyday life. As an acknowledgment of readers’ familiarity with the genre, the sickbed scene concludes following Anne and Ned’s mutual confession of love: ‘Yes, Edmund Delancy, to the astonishment of all his physicians, nurses, and friends, but not in any degree, we opine, to the amazement of our readers, began to show signs of amendment’ (15 June 1867: 257). The reader is expected to appreciate that narratives of grave illness follow a pattern, and that one regular element is the power of romantic love to save the day. However, the practical and sentimental models of women’s caregiving are not necessarily oppositional. In presenting domestic health care as an important female activity, they both operate within a framework that inscribes women at the centre of the family and as its main health-care provider. The family magazine’s primary ideological allegiance is to the domestic, whether expressed through the treatment of children’s colic or the imaginative performance of feminine salvation. Its commercial success is contingent on it becoming a regular visitor to the family home, and it promotes itself as part of the structure of domestic life and an assistant in the performance of these duties. As simultaneously a helpful, practical companion and a source of entertainment, it allows readers to vicariously enjoy a romanticised experience of domestic fulfilment through loving service, while also equipping them for the practical demands of life within their own homes.

Notes 1. Margaret Beetham describes how magazines address an ‘invoked reader’ who is imagined as an individual but also as a member of overlapping social groups. In doing so, magazines may invite the reader to read from a predetermined perspective (Beetham 1990: 28–9). Stephen Colclough’s entry on ‘Readers and Readership’ in the Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism (2009) offers a useful discussion of the broader issues involved in determining readership. 2. Due to space restrictions, this chapter considers just Cassell’s Illustrated Paper and Cassell’s Magazine. 3. See also Mary Poovey (1988: 10). 4. My essay builds upon important work on family periodicals, including Sally Mitchell’s The Fallen Angel: Chastity, Class, and Women’s Reading (1981), which provides a model for reading content on marriage and chastity through a focus on the Herald’s readers’ class position. Others include Catherine Delafield’s recent book Serialization and the Novel in Mid-Victorian Magazines (2015), which reads Cassell’s serial fiction in its published context; Patricia J. Anderson’s The Printed Image and the Transformation of Popular Culture 1790–1860 (1991), which situates Cassell’s within the illustrated popular/family periodical market; and Andrew King’s ‘“Killing Time,” or Mrs. Braby’s Peppermints: The Double Economy of the Family Herald and the Family Herald supplements’ (2010), which examines the Family Herald in relation to its spin-off supplements. 5. See, for example, Cassell’s ‘Our Editorial Table’ for 14 Jan 1860: 112 and 18 Feb 1860: 192; or its ‘Editor’s Gossip’ column of 11 Mar 1865: 96. 6. See Cassell’s Magazine 3 Apr 1858: 286–7; 10 Apr 1858: 302; and 1 May 1858: 348.

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7. Key studies on the links between domesticity, morality, and class include Poovey’s Uneven Developments (1988), Langland’s Nobody’s Angels (1995), and Davidoff and Hall’s Family Fortunes (1987). 8. When Cassell’s Magazine was relaunched in 1867, the bound collections began again at volume 1 (Mar–Aug 1867) and ran to volume 4 (Mar–Oct 1869). There was a further relaunch (although no name change) in 1869, with a new series starting once again at volume 1. The short run between 1867 and 1869 was bound in a six-monthly format, removing the demarcation between, and dates of, each issue. The material used here from the 1867–9 run can be found in volumes 1 (‘Anne Judge, Spinster’) and 4 (‘The Message from the Dead’ and ‘Woman: Her Position and Power’). 9. See, for example, the Family Herald’s ‘Ada’s Punishment’ (1864) and ‘Barbara Graham’ (1866).

Works Cited Anderson, Patricia J. 1991. The Printed Image and the Transformation of Popular Culture, 1790–1860. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Bailin, Miriam. 2007. The Sickroom in Victorian Fiction: The Art of Being Ill. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Beetham, Margaret. 1990. ‘Towards a Theory of the Periodical as a Publishing Genre.’ Investigating Victorian Journalism. Ed. Laurel Brake, Aled Jones, and Lionel Madden. Basingstoke: Macmillan. 19–32. —. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London: Routledge. Bennett, Scott. 1982. ‘Revolutions in Thought: Serial Publication and the Mass Market for Reading.’ The Victorian Periodical Press: Samplings and Soundings. Ed. Joanne Shattock and Michael Wolff. Leicester: Leicester University Press. 225–57. Colclough, Stephen. 2009. ‘Readers and Readership; Real or Historical Readers.’ Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism. Ed. Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor. Gent and London: Academia Press and the British Library. 530. Davidoff, Leonore and Catherine Hall. 1987. Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780–1850. London: Hutchinson. Delafield, Catherine. 2015. Serialization and the Novel in Mid-Victorian Magazines. London: Routledge. Ellegård, Alvar. 1957. The Readership of the Periodical Press in Mid-Victorian Britain. Göteborg: Göteborg Universitets Årsskrift. Furlong, Claire. 2016. ‘Health Advice in Popular Periodicals: Reynolds’s Miscellany, the Family Herald, and Their Correspondents.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 49.1: 28–48. Haley, Bruce. 1978. The Healthy Body and Victorian Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. King, Andrew. 2010. ‘“Killing Time,” or Mrs. Braby’s Peppermints: The Double Economy of the Family Herald and the Family Herald Supplements.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 43.2: 149–73. Klancher, Jon P. 1987. The Making of English Reading Audiences, 1790–1832. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Kraft, Julie. 2016. ‘“The Chemistry and Botany of the Kitchen”: Scientific and Domestic Attempts to Prevent Food Adulteration.’ Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture. Ed. Louise Penner and Tabitha Sparks. Abingdon: Routledge. 67–80. Langland, Elizabeth. 1995. Nobody’s Angels: Middle-Class Women and Domestic Ideology in Victorian Culture. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

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Law, Graham. 2009. ‘Family Paper.’ Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism. Ed. Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor. Gent and London: Academia Press and the British Library. 214–15. Mitchell, Sally. 1980. ‘The Forgotten Woman of the Period: Penny Weekly Magazines of the 1840s and 1850s.’ A Widening Sphere: Changing Roles of Victorian Women. Ed. Martha Vicinus. London: Methuen. 29–51. —. 1981. The Fallen Angel: Chastity, Class, and Women’s Reading, 1835–1880. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green University Popular Press. —. 2009. Daily Life in Victorian England. 2nd edn. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Poovey, Mary. 1988. Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Porter, Roy. 2001. Quacks: Fakers and Charlatans in English Medicine. Stroud: Tempus. Smith, F. B. 1990. The People’s Health, 1830–1910. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

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5 Negotiating Female Identity in Nineteenth-Century Ireland Elizabeth Tilley

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ny discussion of the periodical press in Ireland, especially before the 1850s, must take into account the prevalence of Irish speakers over those whose mother tongue was English, the low literacy rates of native Irish speakers, and the relative paucity of books and periodicals in any language printed in Ireland. The famine of 1845–9 and the mass emigration that followed add a socio-economic layer to the problem of determining readers and reading material in the middle years of the nineteenth century. If there was little in the way of periodical literature available for readers, per se, there was even less available for Irish women. And, as a small market, Ireland was always going to be inundated with books and periodicals from England; it is therefore difficult to establish the cultural influence of Irish-produced periodicals, including those aimed at women, before the 1870s. Capitalising on a new conception of ‘Irishness,’ periodicals of the latter half of the century were often characterised either by political urgency or by a backward-looking, romantic domesticity. Even urban papers tended to valorise the rural – or rather a particular conception of the rural. This essay examines a selection of Irish titles from the 1790s to the 1870s, with a view to understanding the ways in which periodicals reflected and contributed to the development of Irish women as readers and consumers of culture.

Early Titles To identify the first Irish periodical aimed specifically at women (if not written by them) it is necessary to delve into titles produced toward the end of the eighteenth century. Before this time, early experiments in the periodical form included the Dublin-printed Ladies Journal, which ran for twenty-two weeks in 1727. The Ladies Journal offered stories and poetry, much of it contributed by subscribers. Like many other titles published around the same time, the Journal assumed that the education of women was as important as that of ‘gentlemen,’ and it also championed copy from women. The last issue, for example, contained poetry sent in by a ‘young lady’ who, it was announced, ‘is resolv’d to stand up for the honor of her Sex, and give the Town an Idea of what might be expected from them if their Education was agreeable to their Capacity and Merit’ (29 June 1727: 171). However, the Ladies Journal was not intended to last longer than it took to fill up a book-length space, so it stands somewhere between the

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book and the periodical in the spectrum created by attention to material form. The editor noted that This paper will be continued weekly, till a sufficient number be publish’d, in order to make a neat Pocket Volume, and those Gentlemen and Ladies who are pleas’d to oblige the AUTHOR with Letters on any agreeable subjects for the Entertainment of the Town, shall have them carefully inserted in the ensuing Paper, sending them to the Printer herof, Postage being paid. (24 Jan 1727) By the final issue in June 1727, the amount of copy sufficient to make up such a book appeared to have been submitted, and subscribers were again solicited for a reprinted copy of the original; as such, the Ladies Journal in its final form resembled a commonplace book rather than a periodical. Still, the title is indicative of the early presence of an audience for such material, though it would be another eighty years or so before a critical mass of readers could support anything other than an aristocratic plaything. In 1795, the Parlour Window seemed to offer an entirely new reading experience for women.1 The title was published in Dublin ‘for the editors,’ by J. Whitworth; eight monthly issues were printed before the magazine folded. Again, the Parlour Window was not really envisioned as a periodical at all. The idea of the editors (two ladies – apparently a Mrs Eustace and her sister, according to a handwritten note on the title page of the copy held in the Bodleian)2 was to publish at weekly intervals and by subscription in order to spread the cost of printing a collection of ‘essays, poems, allegories, dialogues of the dead, etc., being on a variety of interesting subjects [to] form a Book, for a Parlour Window’ (Parlour Window 1795). That is, the finished product would become part of a decorative display suitable for a drawing room and therefore a testament to female ingenuity. Nevertheless, the ‘Apology’ issued before the first article in the opening issue noted the frequency with which women disguised their gender when writing for publication, fearing as they did the censure of those who would ‘consider every drop of Ink that flows from the Pen of Woman, as so many blots on her Character’ (1795: 2). The editors called for tolerance on the part of gentlemen and patronage on the part of gentlewomen. Each issue of the Parlour Window ran to about forty pages; as an added inducement to those thinking of buying, a list of subscribers was published in alphabetical order, spread over a number of issues (including a Mrs Clever, who cleverly bought ten sets of the magazine). If a subscriber’s name began with a ‘T,’ for example, she might need to buy at least three issues before having the satisfaction of seeing her name in print on the list. Of the 245 subscribers listed, 60 per cent were women, and of those women, thirty-five were listed as ‘Miss’ (Meaney et al. 2013: 48). In the fourth number, an article entitled ‘A Secure Admirer’ attacked French fashion and therefore its imitators in Ireland, noting that the newest gown must be ‘worn by all shapes and sizes’ and ‘this indeed is in some measure remedied, by adapting the shape to the fashion, no matter how repugnant to nature’ (Parlour Window 1795: 114). Riddles and a charade followed this polemic, with solutions being offered in a future number. Retrospective attributions continued the design of deferred gratification; the revelation in the fourth number that a poem that appeared in the first number was in fact written by Lady Blake of Menlough, Galway, was no doubt satisfying to both author and readers. This sort of deferral was used extensively and for all types of contributions, as in the constant delay in

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completing the novel, Caroline of Abbyville, begun in the first number. In the fourth instalment, the rather overdetermined nature of the plot came to a head, as one of the younger characters was discovered reading Rousseau’s Eloisa in secret, drawing on her the condemnation of an older woman: Charming and delightful, I confess, I answered, rather too much so; but I ever thought, (in this novel,) it was the intention at least, of Rousseau, to point out to young people, particularly young women, how improper, how dangerous it is, to abandon the heart to too tender impressions; inflammatory novels, (and we have too many of them,) and some kind of poetry, actually affect the mind, as strong liquors do the head and the blood, both create a sort of feverish feel, that a modest well regulated mind, should blush to FEEL. (Parlour Window 1795: 135) In the fifth number, a ‘letter to the Printer’ lamented the lack of suitable reading material available for the discerning reader: I have often thought that a Periodical publication, written with judgment, and coming in a form more engaging, and in a size less terrifying than a book, might perhaps effect some change in manners; open too, to subjects not merely Religious, it might find its way into the circles of the great, and perhaps in some unguarded moment, insinuate a Religious sentiment, or, by some touching application, enforce successfully a moral duty. (Parlour Window 1795: 144–5)3 The sentiments expressed here have a bearing on the development of the material shape of the periodical. The Parlour Window deliberately set itself to provide manageable amounts of information, presented in a form that was easily portable and pleasant to handle. Religion (and, presumably, other ‘serious’ fare) would be available through literary example and illustration rather than in didactic essays. The assumption was that entertainment could still be instructive, but the wider implication was that such subterfuge was the best way of instructing women and that moral instruction and education for women were one and the same. It was inevitable that ‘education lite’ would soon be seen not just as a preference exhibited by editors in literature aimed at women but also as a perceived necessity arising out of the inferior power of comprehension revealed by such readers. The Parlour Window ended abruptly in early 1796 after eight numbers, but its freshness marked it as the first in a series of fairly successful attempts to provide matter exclusively for the use of Irish women. Much more common than the form offered by the Parlour Window were early nineteenth-century versions of the miscellany not intended for an exclusively female audience but projecting the presence of female readers as part of a class-based cohort. The New Magazine, Ireland’s Mirror; or, a Chronicle of the Times (1804–6) was one of these. The production values of the New Magazine were very high: engravings were included in each fifty-page monthly issue, and articles covered a wide range of subjects, both domestic and foreign. ‘The human mind is a miscellany,’ noted the preface to the 1805 volume. It was assumed that diversity and variety strengthened the powers of reason and improved society by default; as such, periodicals like the New Magazine were clearly involved in the ‘national labor, and [were] consequently entitled to national patronage.’ The editors meant that regular subscribers to the New Magazine acquired knowledge by instalments and ought to be glad of the privilege: ‘Arts, science, morals, and theology’ were all on offer to

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those wise enough to buy. In contrast to many later periodicals of the same type, the New Magazine felt no hesitation in supporting the ‘pillars of government . . . [and] . . . the adamantine foundations of religion itself’ (1805: iii). Clearly, the threat to both religion and law, as evidenced in the French Revolution and the war that followed, justified the boost given to both in the New Magazine. The preface also solicited the literary efforts of volunteer correspondents, whose future fame lay in their freely offering support to such a worthwhile enterprise. There was a nationalist air to this solicitation that set the magazine apart from earlier attempts like that of the Parlour Window, where the thrill of seeing one’s name in print was offered as sufficient inducement to contributors to offer material for publication. The distinctively Irish nature of the New Magazine meant that during its short life its pages were filled with letters to the editor, reflections on topics and controversies of the day, Irish theatre reviews, and notices of books published in Ireland. Women were represented by a few well-known names in the table of contents; for instance, Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) contributed three poems to the magazine during 1804 and 1805, along with a piece on Irish theatre, though it appears that Owenson was not particularly interested in spending too much time on such things, as her biographers noted her later refusal to offer articles to exclusively ‘ladies’ journals’ (Donovan 2009: 70; Belanger 2007: 67). A more frequent contributor was Henrietta Battier, a poet, satirist, and, like Owenson, an actress, as well as a fierce defender of the United Irishmen and an opponent of the recently proclaimed Act of Union.4 Battier’s name appears on a wide variety of material in the New Magazine and her presence in its pages was undoubtedly a selling point. Both writers focused on politics and the arts in general; neither addressed exclusively female readers. Like other miscellanies, the New Magazine had no organising principle beyond the desire to fill pages with articles and news representative of Irish interests. The codex, rather than the periodical, was its model, and essays, notices, and lists of births and deaths were all presented in no particular order, though engravings most often accompanied the first article in each issue. Images of illustrious politicians, poets, and actors were commented on in (frequently) lengthy biographical studies. The inclusivity of the magazine meant that its coherence lay in solid pages of text rather than in a logical, repeated arrangement of subject matter. Long before women began to be ‘categorised’ as either ladies or women and before magazines aimed specifically at them became common, their concerns were seen as legitimately represented on the page beside the latest political or literary news.5 But that representation seems to have been primarily visual and as early as 1804 was captured almost exclusively in dress. Full-page, coloured engravings of women’s fashions from Paris and London were part of most monthly issues, but the relative paucity of textual material to accompany these very elaborate visual representations of women’s dress – and therefore of women themselves – was in sharp contrast to the pages of text devoted to other areas of interest in the miscellany. The visual component in the juxtaposition of these sections was paramount; where women were concerned, the page was a visual rather than a textual unit; its impact consisted of line and colour rather than intellectual content. However, the frequency and prominence of these coloured engravings meant that the sections of the magazine ‘kept’ for women acquired an added significance. The small amounts of text that accompanied the engravings addressed women directly, in effect apologising for making them wait

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while the relatively unimportant portions of the magazine aimed (presumably) at men were being read: The ladies complain. – Science, genius, poetry, philosophy, discovery, excuse us for a few pages – we must attend to them – We shall have the Mirror indited [sic] at the tea-table, and condemned at the toilette. We deprecate so formidable an evil. We plead guilty to the accusation of MIRA. Too long have we neglected our fair readers. This month – and we hope the atonement will be accepted – we offer at the shrine of beauty an estimate of fashionable adornment. (New Magazine Sep 1804: 256) By the end of the decade, even periodicals that were not at all concerned with addressing women would use such language as a playful, sometimes satirically vicious, reference point. Watty Cox’s scurrilous the Irish Magazine and Monthly Asylum for Neglected Biography6 included a fairly lengthy parodic description of ‘Irish Fashions for May,’ the point of the article being to highlight the destitution of Irishmen and women after the 1798 Rebellion: The feet have also been released from their cumbersome winter covering of hay bandages and old hats, and the costume nud now every where is visible. The Irish fair exhibit their fine-turned limbs in all the naked artless gaiety of nature, ‘with steps as light as air,’ and ‘on the light fantastic toe’ they trip it over the hovel-fringed road. (May 1808: 264) The period of activity for the New Magazine was of course the Napoleonic Wars, and the material shortages and economic uncertainty that accompanied that war affected Ireland as well as England. The situation was complicated, however, as a result of the dissolution of Ireland’s parliament in 1800 and the Act of Union that followed. The demotion of Dublin, from capital city to provincial outpost, was felt in the removal of Irish MPs to London and the resulting economic hardship endured by printers and publishers who depended on government contracts to shore up precarious businesses. Irish readers abroad became an important market after 1800, at the same time as the Irish publishing industry collapsed and the Irish market was flooded with an everincreasing number of English periodicals of all types, including those aimed at women. By 1830, a partial recovery could be felt and ‘fully-fledged’ literary reviews were being published in Dublin, for example, the Dublin Literary Gazette, or Weekly Chronicle of Criticism, Belles Lettres, and Fine Arts. Again, the Gazette was not aimed exclusively at women readers, but during its short life (1830–1) it managed to harness the talents of a number of high-profile female contributors, including Mrs Anna Maria Hall, whose signed story opened the first issue (2 Jan 1830). Immediately after the general address to the reader, the editors included a letter of endorsement by Hall, and used it as a preface to her contribution. In the letter, Hall exhorted her fellow countrymen and women to support a national periodical: ‘If Scotland can and does support two weekly Literary Journals, it would be melancholy indeed, if in Ireland one such publication, and that so spirited an one as is now about to issue from the press of Dublin, did not prosper’ (2 Jan 1830: 2). Hall’s contribution was both a vote of confidence for the new title and an indication of the ways in which gender was increasingly

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harnessed to the service of nationalism, though Hall’s own political credentials would later be seen as somewhat suspect. She was the author of hundreds of short sketches on Irish character (collected as early as 1829) and was regarded in England as a ‘safe’ Irish author whose refusal to declare a political allegiance set her apart from the growing Repeal movement of the 1830s and the Young Ireland movement of the 1840s. Despite all of this, the Dublin Literary Gazette’s appeal to women lay precisely in the features provided by Hall and others. The issue for 5 June 1830 included long reviews of Mary Shelley’s Perkin Warbeck, Scott’s Waverly novels, short notices of both English and Irish fiction, and an overview of the month’s periodical offerings. The Gazette regularly scanned both Irish and English periodicals, including those aimed primarily at women: Fraser’s, Blackwood’s, the Ladies’ Magazine, the New Monthly Magazine, and the United Service Journal (all English), as well as the Christian Examiner and Church of Ireland Magazine, the Dublin Monthly Magazine, and the Limerick Monthly Magazine (all Irish), were all mentioned in this issue. The short life of the average periodical was poignantly represented here; both the Dublin Monthly Magazine and the Limerick Monthly Magazine were announced by the editor as ‘perished’ (in the case of the latter, after the first issue). However, not all periodical ventures were destined to fail: the Ladies’ Magazine by 1830 could boast a run of sixty years (it was first published in 1770) and its format and concerns were accepted as the model by which other periodicals aimed at women were judged during most of the nineteenth century. Its prominence was sufficient to justify a fairly lengthy discussion of its contents for the Gazette’s Irish readers: The Ladies’ Magazine, with which we shall conclude our London list for the present, is embellished with a very beautiful print of Miss Fanny Woodham, from a painting by Mrs. Turnbull, in addition to the usual highly finished plate of female costume. It also contains a tolerably good ghost story, told with some humour: some pretty verses, an unpublished tale from that hitherto scarce half-explored mine of amusement, the Arabian Nights, and it is altogether a pleasing and elegant companion for the Boudoir. Periodical Literature is generally said to be on the decline, but we confess we see little reason to think so, from our hasty glance at the British periodicals for the month, which we have only received when going to press, though before they had reached any one else in Ireland. (5 June 1830: 360) What this review exposed was a gap in the Irish market for the same sort of material aimed specifically at Irish readers. However, between the New Magazine and the cheaper weeklies of the 1870s no periodical in Ireland challenged the dominance of the Ladies’ Magazine; the reasons for this may include Ireland’s relatively small female market and even smaller wealthy female market. The Dublin Literary Gazette published other stories and poems by women such as Mary De Vere, Barbara Hofland, and Maria Jane Jewsbury, but, other than Hall, none saw Ireland as a main concern. The 1830s and early 1840s were dominated by the Dublin University Magazine, Ireland’s answer to Blackwood’s, and the Young Ireland paper Nation, which reflected the radical politics of the post-O’Connell generation.7 The famine of 1845–9 marked the lowest point of Ireland’s fortunes, in all senses of the word. But before that catastrophe there had been experiments in provincial publishing, including the appearance of monthlies like the Rainbow, or Western Monthly Magazine, which made a

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virtue of catering to female readers. The Rainbow first appeared in May of 1840; it was attached to the Mayo Mercury, a local newspaper published in Castlebar. The Rainbow had a very short run, lasting only five months, and at 6d. per issue was relatively expensive. Strangely, the reverse of the cover of the first number announced a circulation of 1,200 copies; whether the figure was aspirational or actual is not known. The Mayo Mercury itself was rather more successful as it was published from January of 1840 to March of 1841, with 10,500 stamps for the period January–December 1840, in a constituency that boasted at least two other county papers.8 The Mayo Mercury was a Repeal paper, fiercely local and unafraid of offending local gentry. The Rainbow was meant as a softer alternative to the hard-hitting Mercury. Its preface announced its aims: While in the field of Political Journalism MAYO boasts of able and efficient representatives, it may not, perhaps, be deemed either presumptuous or unreasonable, that an effort should be made to give the Province of Connaught and this distinguished county a place in the ranks of Periodical literature – to work the rich mine of legendary lore with which it abounds – to bring to light and preserve the many wild, yet pleasing Traditions, which prevail among its noble and interesting Peasantry. When ignorance and barbarism covered most parts of Great Britain, Connaught held a pre-eminent, and exalted position in the World of Literature. The RAINBOW is intended in some measure to revive ‘the light of other days,’ to concentrate the scattered rays of genius that at present are lost in the dreary waste, which political prejudice and literary indolence have spread over our provincial horizon. THE RAINBOW, recognising neither party nor politics, will ever afford a channel for the development of native genius, and will court as the proudest reward for toil, the favouring smile of those who reign supreme in Irish hearts – THE WOMEN OF OUR NATIVE LAND. (May 1840: 3) That is, women were to be the final arbiters of taste and suitability for a periodical aimed at a general audience, including themselves. Articles focused specifically on the West of Ireland were written in a style familiar to readers of topographically specific papers like the Dublin Penny Journal. A fictitious Thaddeus O’Brady (announced as a member of the Royal Irish Academy) recounted his experiences in the West to his nephew Terence O’Toole, whose name was borrowed from the pseudonym of the Dublin Penny Journal’s co-editor Caesar Otway. Otway’s series of articles for that paper, entitled ‘A Tour to Connaught,’ were published in the early 1830s; they regarded the area west of the Shannon River as already passing into obscurity, and Otway’s antiquarian eye reinforced the ‘otherness’ of the region. The Rainbow altered the focus of such information, concentrating on the blundering ignorance of visitors to Connaught; the result was an interesting domestic intimacy conveyed through print. Like other periodicals of the time, the Rainbow saw part of its mission as educational; accordingly, a series entitled ‘Science Made Popular’ began with an explanation (complete with diagrams) of the phenomenon of the rainbow, followed by one on the properties of the sun. Each article was announced as having been anonymously written by a native of county Mayo, and the tone of each, despite the rather difficult science

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delineated, remained light and airy, presumably in deference to female and/or relatively uneducated readers. As opposed to the examples from periodicals noted above, it is hard to see the presence of women here, despite their prominence in the Rainbow’s opening address. It may be that the key to the recovery of women’s voices and influence lay in recognising the predominance of poetry (comprising about half of the first issue) and light fiction in the magazine’s pages, though as the century progressed, the importance of a combined nationalist voice – or, as in the Rainbow, a regional voice – seemed to take the place of gender as a marker in such periodicals. In the main, though, the Rainbow was still ‘categorising’ women as general readers, as just one constituency to be addressed using what was still the material form of the miscellany. In any case, the production values of the Rainbow set it apart from the weekly penny papers (both Irish and English) that entered the market in the 1830s.

Irish Periodicals Post-1850 The second half of the century saw much more activity in terms of periodical production in Ireland; political events including the 1848 rebellion, the rise of Fenianism, the Home Rule movement, the Land War, and most importantly the struggle for women’s rights provided the impetus for a resurgence in titles aimed at all segments of Irish society, though the rate of failure was still high. By the 1870s, Ireland’s urban middle-class audience was strong enough to support weeklies. One such periodical was the Emerald; The Irish Ladies’ Journal (1870–1). Like its English competitors, it included serial fiction, poetry, and articles on fashion, food, homemaking, and so on, but its focus was on Irish women and their concerns, on proper remuneration for working women (comprising at least half the female population in Ireland), and access to higher education. For instance, the 10 June 1871 issue reported on the progress of the Queen’s Institute in Dublin in ‘engaging public attention and overcoming general prejudice’ regarding the attempts by Irish women to enter the workforce (8). The institute was a partly funded government initiative, and classes were held there on telegraphy, wood engraving, porcelain decoration and painting, translation studies, bookkeeping, and teaching. Statistics for the period 1862–70 showed 1,768 pupils enrolled in the institute, of which 862 were employed as of 1871, with another 344 receiving certificates of competency in various subjects. The general debate about higher education for women was continued from issue to issue, along with the persistent call for women’s suffrage: We are constantly hearing ‘that women have no business with politics.’ This we deny. If politics be, as a great woman has justly defined them, ‘morals, i.e., of equal concern to all,’ it is not only the business but the duty of every woman to be cognizant of what implicates and determines her own happiness, and that of all dear to her. ‘Let us not be told that the subject is too grave for her. There are deeper and graver ones which (amidst all the heresies put forth against the mission of women) we have never heard her right to impart denied her. This is but one of the many false theories by which the sphere of women’s usefulness has been limited and narrowed; which have been received without inquiry or examination as established facts, and which need but a little investigation to fall to pieces. We maintain that a woman’s sphere and duty are to teach all things good and ennobling. To do this

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well, a woman must do more than feel. There must be head as well as heart in the work, and for this purpose Irishwomen must read. We want knowledge, instead of the grossest ignorance amongst Irishwomen, about what concerns them most.’ That Irishwomen will study in the spirit of these lofty words, is the hope of yours faithfully, Ierne. (12 Aug 1871: 118) The Emerald attempted to be all things to all women, offering recipes and fashion plates in addition to reportage on more serious subjects; at 2d. per weekly issue, the paper was good value, especially as it often printed patterns for both fancy work and ordinary clothing for the whole family. The larger process of negotiating or creating identity within the Irish context meant trying to understand how women might figure in a rapidly changing social order and in an increasingly volatile political climate. Though overt discussion of pressing political questions was relatively rare in the Emerald, the magazine did maintain a recognisable form and structure over its lifetime, one part of which was a section on ‘Current Events,’ as opposed to news. Such political reporting as did occur was focused on the human cost of political decisions. The Emerald was published during the Franco-Prussian War, and paragraphs in the current events section detailed outrages perpetrated on French citizens by German soldiers, with particular emphasis on assaults on Frenchwomen. Other items concerned the insurrection in Algeria and French attempts to control it; the impact of the strike by masons in Germany on their families; the conflict in the Punjab between Muslims and Hindus (reported as a slightly ridiculous ‘fuss’ over cows); and the rapid spread of a cholera epidemic and the number of children dead of the disease. Reporting on America highlighted the dangerous natural state of the country: ‘frost-bite, sun-stroke, yellow fever, mosquitoes, panthers, bears, snakes, Indians, revolvers, bowie-knives,’ and so on (2 Sep 1871: 153). All of this was made worse by the ‘reckless disregard for human life shown by the speculators and companies, in their eager desire to acquire’ (153). The current events section often ended with small notices about celebrities: Mr St Albyn was ‘in the last stage of consumption at Charing Cross Hospital’ and Frantz Listz was reported as being on his way to Rome (153). What was frequently missing from the news section of the Emerald was domestic, political news about Ireland, though the 5 August issue spent a number of columns describing the summer festivities in Dublin and around the country, including the latest meeting of the Irish Society for Women’s Suffrage. Similarly, a complaint about the importation of English decorations to be used for an impending royal visit was couched in socio-economic terms: ‘Even if it were true that they can get some goods abroad at a little less cost, their economy seems doubtful if the increased taxation consequent on poverty at home be taken into account’ (5 Aug 1871: 105). In the ‘Notes and Queries’ section of the same issue, a ‘Subscriber’ wrote to ask if the Emerald or its readers might offer a history of the women’s movement. Two letters were printed in answer to the query, one praising Irish women for their constant attendance at such institutes of further education as were open to them, and the other arguing that while education and the rights of women must not be neglected, the cultivation of ‘goodness and purity’ must always be the paramount ambition of women’s lives. The two letters so neatly encapsulate the prevailing views on the matter that it is difficult to believe that they originated from ‘actual’ readers. Nevertheless, their presence signalled the willingness of the magazine to engage with topics of the day, as

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well as its acceptance of the urgency embodied in the coding of such queries. Understanding the increasing centrality of the question of the position of women in Irish society was clearly of great importance to readers. Occasionally, though, the rather comfortable repetition of social codes was interrupted, usually by content that spoke of issues clearly beyond the sphere of the periodical, such as accounts of the sexual harassment of female students in Edinburgh or the rash of suicides amongst men in Dublin, both items related in highly coloured detail. The result was a disconnect, a clashing of symbolic systems played out almost invisibly but in ways that reflected the profound and turbulent alterations in Irish society in the last thirty years of the century.

Figuring Women Most of the visual symbols that appeared at regular intervals on the covers of Irish periodicals were formulated around a series of national movements. The 1798 Rebellion brought forth a number of idealisations of Ireland’s past, including the prominent figure of the Irish bard, the harp, wolfhound, round tower, shamrock, and high cross. The Young Irelanders revived these symbols in the 1840s, and by the time of the Celtic Revival at the end of the nineteenth century they were indissolubly associated with the idea of Ireland as an independent nation with its own culture, literary tradition, and visual heritage. Annexing such symbols to an idealised femininity was a logical method of establishing the distinctiveness of the Irish product while catering to a home audience willing to see itself as part of a historical matrix heavily dependent on a romantic idea of Ireland’s past. In 1804, the readers of Ireland’s Mirror were assured that its text came directly from Pallas Athene, shown smilingly presenting Erin with a copy of the magazine (or perhaps it is the other way round) (Figure 5.1). Information about the wider world beyond Ireland was also represented here: geography and travel figured in the globe and ship in full sail, and knowledge in general was waiting to be discovered in the unidentified books piled on the ground around the two figures. Ireland’s cultural heritage was prominently displayed in the harp upon which Erin was pictured leaning. However, the strongest indication of nationalist identification lay in the extremely elaborate engraved title of the magazine, along with its place of publication. ‘Ireland’s Mirror’ and ‘Dublin’ were clearly the most important parts of the page and together took up as much space as the central tableau. Whatever the virtues espoused by the figures, it was text that carried the most weight. The indeterminate gender focus of Ireland’s Mirror can also be seen here: the mythological figures chosen to symbolise the magazine were women, but their pursuits (as exhibited in the objects around them) took them far from the home and into the masculine realm. By 1840, virtually all of the symbols of Ireland so often employed as part of the nationalist enterprise were in place, and the paper cover of the Rainbow offered them all: the bard with his harp, Irish wolfhound, high cross, and shamrocks all joined a fiddle player urging on figures dancing in the space under the title in the centre of the page (Figure 5.2). One side of the engraving featured farm implements; the other side showed weapons of war. A winged fiend held the lantern responsible for shedding light on the scene below. The result was a confusion of movement and interpretation that swung between valorisation of Irish pursuits and denigration of the same;

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Figure 5.1 Cover of Ireland’s Mirror, or A Chronicle of the Times (vol. 1, 1804). This image is reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland (call no. J05).

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Figure 5.2 Cover of the Rainbow, or Western Monthly Magazine (May 1840). This image is reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland (call no. Dix Castlebar 1840).

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the procession of bottles occupying the bottom of the engraving nodded toward the necessity for liberal quantities of drink as part of any festivity. The resemblance of the page to the sort of illustration that H. K. Browne (‘Phiz’) produced for both Dickens and for Irish novelist Charles Lever is quite striking; the figure of the stage Irishman was frequently seen by the 1840s, and Browne used it for the title page of Lever’s 1841 serial novel Charles O’Malley (Tilley 2016: 216). The ribald nature of the cover of the Rainbow belied its female-oriented contents and suggested a fluidity of interpretation possible through a visual perusal of the magazine. In the Mayo of 1840, it might have seemed necessary to attract as wide an audience as possible in order to increase circulation figures. For the readers of the Emerald, Ireland was imaged as simultaneously rural and urban, picturesque and industrial, redolent of the past and at the same time looking toward the future (Figure 5.3). At the apex of this confusion of symbols was the figure – three times repeated (as in the three Graces) – of a young woman. The feminine options offered to the viewer were rather limited: all of the women pictured were comely and young. Further, all were inextricably part of the dramas enacted below them and for them, and their positioning identified them as overlooking or directing these activities. There were no stone crosses exhibited as part of the female landscape on the page, no harps, no wolfhounds. The round tower and Norman ruins were presented as part of a scenic backdrop, emblems more evocative of a romantic past than of a political present. Only the shamrock was left as a national symbol uniting the women and the fantasies of rural peace enacted on the page. The most striking thing about this depiction of Irish womanhood is the presence of advertising text running around all sides of the title page, competing for attention with it and demanding an alteration in the act of reading through which text becomes meaning. The advertisements were very specific; the notice of female consumers was focussed on the advantages of owning (or renting) ‘domestic machinery’ of all types, including sewing machines, knife cleaners, washing machines, churns, mangles, and sausage makers. Hygienic and scientific cooking essentials were also offered; advertisements for Warren’s ‘sweet’ essence of rennet were accompanied by testimonials from the Medical Times and Gazette, the Lancet, and the British Medical Journal, all extolling the virtues of the ingredient in making cheese or junket. The information about Warren’s was placed at the top of the page, crowning the images of Irish femininity and vying for attention with the title of the magazine. All of the goods advertised reminded female readers of their domestic duties. Labour-saving devices would ease the burden of these duties, but the necessity of engaging with household work was never in doubt. In fact, the effect of such intrusive text was to draw readers’ attention back to the work that lay in wait for them and that competed for space with the display of apparently time-wasting stories and romance, depicted both in the rural scenes illustrated and in the new novels announced beyond the frame of the magazine title. The result was a disconcerting jumble of opposing messages. Magazines as we understand them sell things; that is their ultimate function. It was not until the 1870s, however, that the blatantly commercial impetus behind the visual appeal of the Irish women’s magazine became clear. That appeal was conflated with an ideal of Ireland and of women that was increasingly out of touch with the urban experience of the women such magazines hoped to interest. Or, perhaps that appeal lay in an increasingly attractive division between fantasy and reality.

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Figure 5.3 Cover of the Emerald (10 June 1871). Examination of the small sample of titles offered here makes it clear that the creation of a female subject in Ireland was part of an agenda that had at its heart the creation of an imaginary Irish state, with all of the visual and symbolic paraphernalia that went along with that process. By the 1870s, femininity was firmly allied with the private sphere, which included both domestic work and the frivolous, despite the

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earnest articles printed in the Emerald; in this regard, Ireland copied other parts of the empire. It was not until well into the twentieth century that women claimed a larger share of the public sphere and its cultural products.

Notes 1. The title page reads: ‘The First Number, of the Parlour Window, Containing Original Essays, Poetry, and part of an Instructive Tale.’ For bibliographical information on all of the nineteenth-century titles discussed in this essay, see The Waterloo Directory of Irish Newspapers and Periodicals: 1800–1900. Available at . 2. The note appears on the copy digitised by Gale Cengage as part of their Eighteenth-Century Collections Online database. 3. The letter is signed ‘Constant Reader, R. T., Richmond, May, 1795.’ 4. ‘Although modest in her estimate of her own work – she pronounced herself “a better housewife than poet” – Battier defended her status as a professional author: “I wrote for profit, and Fate added fame”’ (Sage 1999: 43). 5. The literature on the formation of women as producers and consumers of periodicals is extensive, but Margaret Beetham’s pioneering work is still indispensible. See Beetham 1996. 6. Walter Cox, ed., The Irish Magazine, and Monthly Asylum for Neglected Biography, monthly from November 1807 to December 1815. 7. Daniel O’Connell’s 1830s movement to repeal the Act of Union of 1800 was carried on (with significant modifications) by the Young Ireland Movement in the 1840s. 8. See the Connaught Telegraph (3 Mar 1841: 3), where stamps issued for the major papers in the west of Ireland were recorded. Stamps for the Mayo Mercury were listed as 3,000 for the period 1 July to 31 December 1840 and 10,500 for the period 1 January to 31 December 1840. The failure of the paper was reported by the Kerry Evening Post: ‘The Mayo Mercury, a liberal paper, established at Castlebar, by Captain Gleeson, now Barrack Master at the Bahamas, died of decline last week’ (20 Mar 1841).

Works Cited Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London and New York: Routledge. Belanger, Jacqueline E. 2007. Critical Receptions: Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan. Bethesda, MD: Academica Press. Donovan, Julie. 2009. Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan and the Politics of Style. Bethesda, MD: Maunsell and Co. Meaney, Gerardine, Mary O’Dowd, and Bernadette Whelan. 2013. Reading the Irish Woman: Studies in Cultural Encounters and Exchange, 1714–1960. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Sage, Lorna, Germaine Greer, and Elaine Showalter, eds. 1999. Cambridge Guide to Women’s Writing in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tilley, Elizabeth. 2016. ‘Periodicals in Ireland.’ The Routledge Handbook to NineteenthCentury British Periodicals and Newspapers. Ed. Andrew King, Alexis Easley, and John Morton. Oxford: Routledge.

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6 Women and the Welsh Newspaper Press: The CAMBRIAN NEWS and the WESTERN MAIL, 1870–1895 Tom O’Malley

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his chapter discusses the ways in which women were represented in two important Welsh newspapers, the Cambrian News1 and the Western Mail, from 1870 to 1895.2 Both were predominately English-language papers, the former circulating in the rural west and north and the latter in the industrial and commercial south of the country at a time of rapid economic, social, and political change. They depicted a largely male-dominated world in which men played key roles in political, ecclesiastical, and civic life. At the same time, they also reported on the activities of women and, moreover, they did so in ways that indicated the complexity of women’s roles in society at this time. Scholars such as Margaret Beetham (1996) and Sian Williams (2011) have noted the influence of separate spheres ideology on both English- and Welsh-language periodicals in the nineteenth century. This chapter, however, considers how Welsh newspapers, which served socially differentiated communities, represented women in ways that did not conform to this dominant ideology. For instance, under John Gibson, who edited the Cambrian News from 1873 until 1915, the paper was more radical in politics than the Conservative-supporting Western Mail. Gibson promoted the legal and social rights of women in the pages of the Cambrian News and in his book The Emancipation of Women, published in 1891 (A. Jones 1994; W. G. Evans 1992; Cayford 1992). The chapter falls into two parts. Part one contextualises the discussion by examining pertinent issues about the representation of women in periodicals, the role of women readers, and the development of Wales and the Welsh press. Part two takes a detailed look at the various representations of women’s lives embedded in the Cambrian News and the Western Mail.

Part One: Contexts Women’s magazines were produced within a society in which, by the mid-nineteenth century, separate spheres ideology had attained widespread influence. This ideology upheld the notion that the place of women was in the home, dealing with family and private matters, while the place of men was in the world of work and civic and political action. It was an ideology informed by the ‘underlying precept that each sphere of activity and responsibility within society should be endowed with distinct gender connotations and obligations’ (R. Jones 2000: 179). In the world of

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Welsh-language publishing, this view was ‘disseminated with particular vigour and conviction in journals such as Y Gymraes and Y Fythones, which were aimed at a specifically female audience and whose stated purpose was therefore to elevate the character of Welsh womanhood by ensuring their usefulness within the domestic sphere as dutiful wives, mothers, and domestic servants.’ Although associated with the middle classes, the ideology of separate spheres ‘appears to have been embraced and supported by a wide cross section of Welsh society’ (180). Margaret Beetham has pointed to the effort expended by nineteenth-century women’s periodicals in reproducing this ideology while at the same time continually reworking what it was to be a woman; they were publications in which gender was represented as ‘fractured, not least because it is simultaneously assumed as given and as still to be achieved’ (1996: 1). As I will demonstrate in my discussion of these two papers, the Welsh newspaper press was also concerned with the question of womanhood and in promulgating conventional ideas about how women occupied their time.3 This preoccupation can be seen in articles and advertisements related to women’s involvement in domestic duties, socialising, and charity work, as well as in the images of consumption that were offered to female readers. Yet Beetham stresses that ‘the periodical is also marked by radical heterogeneity,’ which refuses ‘a single authorial voice’ (12). This concept of heterogeneity is particularly pronounced when considering the form and content of newspapers, which used as their sources a combination of local writers, the editorial pen readers, advertisers, and syndicates, which supplied news across the United Kingdom and which faced the weekly or daily pressure to fill columns with content (Hobbs 2009). Consequently, newspapers contained an even less focused and structured miscellany of items and representations than would appear in more carefully constructed publications aimed at female readers. Even though ideas about conventional femininity and separate spheres ideology were assiduously cultivated in publications aimed at women, it is clear that women from all classes challenged or often ignored them (R. Jones 2000: 202, 208–11). It is not surprising, then, that it was in newspapers, where the aim was to cultivate a wide readership and include a variety of content, that the depictions of women’s lives represented more closely what was happening in society rather than what it was believed should happen. This was in spite of, or perhaps partly because of, the fact that ‘the “absence” of news from women’s magazines became institutional, along with definitions of femininity as incompatible with engagement in public affairs’ (Beetham 1996: 226). Kate Flint has also pointed out that nineteenth-century ideas about what was suitable for women to read frequently questioned the suitability of newspapers (1993: 121, 129), but this ‘did not mean that newspapers explicitly defined their readership as male, nor that women never read newspapers’ (Beetham 1996: 26). In fact, the growing volume of advertising directed at women is an obvious example of how it was assumed that women would indeed be reading newspapers (122). The form and content of newspapers were therefore functions of the complex relationship newspapers had with their readers and advertisers, as well as with the more obvious ways in which they articulated commonplace assumptions about social roles. Welsh newspapers were embedded in a society that changed rapidly from 1800 onwards and which framed the kinds of news and advertisements they contained and the relationship they had with women readers in particular ways. The population of Wales grew from 601,767 in 1801 to 2,015,012 in 1901. In 1871, it stood at

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1,421,670, consisting of 710,601 men and 711,069 women. By 1891, it had grown to 1,776,405, of which 894,509 were men and 881,896 were women. The proportion of men to women remained roughly equal throughout the period (D. Jones 1998: 17). The population of Cardiff, where the Western Mail was based, grew from 76,701 in 1871 to 173,796 in 1891, with men slightly outnumbering women in both years (23). In contrast, the population of the county of Cardigan, which was at the heart of the Cambrian News’ territory, was 97,869 in 1871 and 86,383 in 1891. Women outnumbered men in the county. In 1871 there were 44,247 men and 53,622 women, and in 1891 the figures were 37,992 and 48,391, respectively (18). Similarly, Aberystwyth, where the editing of the Cambrian News was done for most of the period covered in this chapter, witnessed a decline in population from 27,439 in 1871 to 21,102 in 1891. In 1871 there were 12,840 men and 14,599 women and in 1891, 9,293 men and 11,809 women (28). In these years, the main industries around Glamorgan (the county in which Cardiff was situated), coal mining and metal working, grew and those on which Cardigan depended, notably farming, declined in relative terms (D. Jones 1998: 165). The Western Mail therefore served an expanding commercial and industrial area, whereas the Cambrian News served an area that was changing as a result of the pull of industrialisation in the south (Lewis 1979: 347). In both areas, women formed an important market for newspapers, but in Cardigan and Aberystwyth, they clearly formed the majority of potential readers. The relative poverty of West Wales might also have had an impact on rates of marriage. Measuring marriageable age as between fifteen and forty-five, 53.2 per cent of Glamorgan men and 55.1 per cent of women were married in 1881, whereas in Cardigan it was 49.9 per cent of men and 35.7 per cent of women (D. Jones 1998: 129). The relative wealth of the two areas and the relative size of the population influenced the number and range of advertisements carried by the papers. The Western Mail carried far more advertisements than the Cambrian News throughout the period for consumer goods and particularly for situations vacant, and many of these were targeted at the large female population. Although many women remained home based, large numbers worked in trade, service, or industry. In 1881, official returns listed 489,639 employed men in the Welsh workforce and 154,757 women. Unoccupied men totalled 299,435 and women in that category 633,702 (D. Jones 1998: 165). Because of the ways the categories were constructed, the figures did not capture significant areas of women’s employment: seasonal, part-time, or unpaid work, for example, not to mention their roles as the wives of innkeepers, shoemakers, shopkeepers, farmers, graziers, butchers, and lodginghouse keepers who directly assisted their husbands (Williams and Jones 1982: 21). Over 90 per cent of women’s work was concentrated in seven areas: domestic offices or services; dress; agriculture; food, drink, and lodging; professional fields; metals and machines; and mines and quarries (23, 28). Newspapers, which needed income from advertising, could not ignore the fact that women were economically active members of their potential readership as consumers, employers, and employees. There were three other dimensions of the experience of women in Wales which, as was the case with men, impinged on the way the press operated. The first was Nonconformity. Nonconformists were Protestant Christians who refused to accept the doctrines and authority of the Church of England, which at the time was the official, state-established church in England and Wales. The main Nonconformist

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denominations in these years were the Calvinist Methodists, the Independents, the Baptists, the Wesleyan Methodists, and the Unitarians. By the 1850s, these groups dominated Welsh religious and, to a significant extent, social and cultural life. Religion was therefore a vital part of the lived experience of the bulk of the population and as such could not be ignored by the papers (D. Jones 1998: 425–6). The second was the existence of the Welsh language, which radically differentiated Wales and Welsh culture from England. Across Wales, in 1871, 71.2 per cent of the population lived in Welsh-speaking and bi-lingual areas; in Glamorgan the figure was 68.2 per cent and in Cardigan, 95.5 per cent (221). During these years this Welsh-language community was served by a vigorous newspaper and periodical press, much of it denominationally based.4 Thus, the readers addressed by the Cambrian News and the Western Mail were those people in their circulation areas who were bilingual or monoglot English. Finally, access to newspapers was determined by literacy. Rates of literacy, as measured by the percentage of marriage registers signed with a mark rather than a signature, varied between women and men and between Glamorgan and Cardigan. In 1880, across Wales 22.2 per cent of men and 30.3 per cent of women signed with a mark. In Glamorgan the figures were 22.9 per cent and 32.8 per cent, respectively, whereas in Cardigan it was 13.6 per cent of men and 27.1 per cent of women. Taking this measure, Cardigan was, on balance, a more literate area than Glamorgan. Although these figures do not tell us anything about the level of literacy achieved by individuals or the uses to which it was put, they do suggest that both papers were in areas where considerable numbers of women across all classes were potential readers (Vincent 1989: 270–1). Although the tone and address of both papers suggests they were aimed at the more educated and prosperous sections of their communities, levels of literacy suggest they were also potentially accessible to other social groups. The Cambrian News and the Western Mail were examples of newspapers which were started in the second half of the century. The Welsh newspaper press expanded rapidly after the repeal of stamp duties in 1855, when the number of new titles in Wales rose from twenty-six to sixty-nine. Numbers increased decade by decade until the 1880s, when 100 new titles were launched, mainly English-language newspapers. About 25 per cent of titles failed each decade, but this did not prevent new attempts at publication (Barlow et al. 2005: 37). Welsh-language titles, as a percentage of the total number of newspapers established, declined gradually from the 1850s, reflecting the expansion of English-language journalism and the extent to which established Welsh-language papers had saturated the market. Many of the newspapers were indistinguishable from their English-language counterparts in format, sources, and advertising, but they performed the important function of sustaining and developing a Welsh-language-based culture of engagement with public life (A. Jones 2000: 381, 383). Politics, religion, and local news were important staples of papers in both languages (Barlow et al. 2005: 55–6). The Welsh press was highly localised in circulation if not in content. The Cambrian News was established in Bala in 1860 as the Merioneth Herald, becoming the Merionethshire Standard in 1864 and the Cambrian News in 1869. It depended heavily on news from its parent paper, the Oswestry Advertiser. In 1873 John Gibson was sent from Oswestry to edit the paper. He bought it in 1880 and ran it until his death in 1915. The spread of railways across West and North Wales aided circulation growth, where it established itself across Cardiganshire and further north

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up the coastline to Bangor, Caernarfon, and Criccieth. The railways took it east to Newtown and Oswestry, and it was sold to the Welsh diaspora in London (A. Jones 1994: 62–3). As Kenneth Morgan has pointed out, Gibson, though famously ignorant of the Welsh language, was an outspoken and committed radical, and ‘along Cardigan Bay and in mid-Wales no voice was more influential.’ By early 1904, its circulation had risen to over 7,000 (Morgan 1967: 321). A mark of his radicalism was his approach to the question of women’s social and political rights. According to W. Gareth Evans, for two decades before the publication of his book The Emancipation of Women in 1891 ‘and for another two decades afterwards, John Gibson voiced deeply held views in the editorial columns of the Cambrian News concerning the position of women in society. The symptoms and causes of their inferior position and subjugation were highlighted and their emancipation advocated’ (1992: 18–19). Gibson supported female suffrage; reform of marriage, divorce, and child custody laws; female education; employment opportunities; and full legal equality (19, 21–3, 30). Nonetheless, much of the paper’s content reflected the everyday ways women interacted with the world they inhabited. It was, like the Western Mail, a miscellany of classified advertisements, as well as news from England, London, Wales, and the local community. By the 1890s, it contained increasing numbers of display advertisements with graphics, as well as the occasional illustration, as did the Western Mail. The Western Mail served a different, mainly South Wales readership. It was launched in 1869 with the backing of the third Marquis of Bute, thus bolstering Conservative interests in an area increasingly dominated by Liberal politics. It was edited by Henry Lascelles Carr until 1901. In 1869, it sold 6,000 copies and by 1871 was selling about 11,667 issues per day. It was not a supporter of radical politics, associated as they were with the Liberal interest, although it did recognise a distinctive Welsh cultural tradition, which it placed firmly within the context of the British Empire. From 1893, it started a ‘Ladies Supplement.’ Carr was interested in targeting female consumers in what was an expanding market for domestic goods.5 The Western Mail served a more populated, industrialised area, carried more advertisements, and was decidedly less radical in outlook than the Cambrian News under Gibson’s editorship.

Part Two: Representing Women Newspapers were therefore different from women’s magazines in that they were engaged in collecting and disseminating news and information for their immediate catchment areas. They had to address a wide range of activities and events in order to make up the topical miscellany which was the bedrock of their appeal. They also needed advertisements to survive, advertisements which by their very nature represented women and their needs in different ways. Finally, these papers were, in broad ideological terms, very conventional. They did not advocate a radical overhaul of social relations; rather, they operated within a range of assumptions about the nature of the world common to late Victorian society. Even though they might advocate a particular Liberal or Conservative interest, or set of policies, they still had to appeal to readers who bought the papers for a variety of reasons, not least for the local and commercial news and information they carried. This necessity led to the papers’ inclusion of a wide

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range of representations of women. The rest of this chapter examines some of these, starting with the framing of women within a context that assumed male dominance, or what might best be described as ‘banal patriarchy.’ This is followed by discussions of women as represented in advertisements; as victims, criminals, or litigants; in domestic service or as self-employed; and in more public roles, such as entertainers, artists, sportswomen, promoters of charities, and political activists.

‘Banal patriarchy’ Following Billig’s concept of ‘banal nationalism’ (1995), it is illuminating to characterise representations of women in these papers as exemplifying ‘banal patriarchy’ – that is, the ways in which the papers assumed, without reflection or comment, that women were subordinate to men. Patriarchy was embedded in the papers as an everyday, ‘normal’ way of representing and describing the world. The papers asserted this ‘banal patriarchy’ through the ways in which women were habitually defined in relation to men. Both papers carried notices of births, marriages, and deaths. In the Cambrian News on 9 April 1870, this list reported the deaths of John Davies, schoolmaster, Mr William Lloyd, wool stapler, and Mr Henry Parry, farmer. It listed the occupations of two women as milliner and servant, respectively, but the rest were defined primarily as relations or not at all. Catherine Jenkins, Maria Evans, and Charlotte Barlow, for example, were listed as wives, and for Catherine Jones and Grace Edwards, who died in their nineties, no indication of their previous occupations or marital status was given (4). On 10 September 1880, the paper reported an inquest into the drowning, by accident, of Emma Bolton, who was simply classified as a ‘single woman,’ with no reference at all to her occupation, if any (8). Women were frequently represented in other stories in their roles as wives or widows. The Cambrian News recorded the death of the Reverend O. Wynne, an ‘eminent Welsh scholar and bard,’ noting that ‘he leaves a widow with three little children to lament the loss of a tender husband and a kind stepfather’ (9 Apr 1870: 1). The papers often noted the presence of women as brides, as when the Supplement to the Cambrian News reported ‘the marriage of Mr Lewis Rees, engine driver, Aberystwyth, to Miss Annie Jones, only daughter of Mr Lewis Jones’ (18 Jan 1895: 6). Another conventional set of representations in the papers were the references to wealthy or aristocratic women. For example, the Cambrian News carried a report about a special railway carriage constructed for Earl Vane, chairman of the Cambrian Railways Company, which was divided into three compartments, including ‘a ladies saloon’ (‘the breadth of her ladyship’s saloon,’ the paper reports, was ‘7ft. 3in. by 5ft. 4in. in length’) (9 Apr 1870: 2). An advertisement in the same title for the Welsh clothing firm of John Meyrick Jones boasted that his firm was ‘patronized by Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales’ (10 Sep 1880: 4). A report of the Carmarthenshire Rifle Association’s meeting noted that a Mrs Saunders donated a ‘silver pencil case’ as a second prize (Western Mail 10 Sep 1880: 3). Other stories about wealthy or aristocratic women centred on their charitable contributions to the poor (Supplement to the Cambrian News 18 Jan 1895: 6). Like wives and mothers of a more lowly social class, these women were represented in roles that were conventional in both gender and social terms. They lived respectably in the shadow of men.

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Women and Advertisements Classified advertising had always played an important part in ensuring the economic viability of Victorian newspapers, and this was supplemented in the last quarter of the nineteenth century by display advertising of local and, increasingly, national brands (Beetham 1996: 145–7). In 1870 both papers carried classified advertisements, often with a local or regional origin. By 1895 they carried more display advertisements as well as classified. Throughout, the Cambrian News carried less advertising than the Western Mail, largely because the former served a dispersed rural catchment and the latter a heavily urbanised and industrialised one. Each paper carried advertisements that directly or indirectly addressed women. In so doing, they stressed aspects of femininity that invoked a range of conventional representations of what women were, or should have been, concerned with. In 1870, the Cambrian News carried advertisements for household products like starch, washing machines, and cocoa. Inns were advertised, with an eye to female readers, as ‘family’ friendly. One advertisement, entitled ‘Advice to Mothers,’ suggested they should purchase ‘Mrs Winslow’s Soothing Syrup’ to make their teething children sleep, a product used in America and ‘highly recommended by medical men.’ Personal appearance was the subject of an advertisement for ‘Mrs S. A. Allen’s “World Hair Restorer or Dressing,”’ which restored grey or faded hair, prevented baldness, and promoted ‘luxuriant growth’ (9 Apr 1870: 1, 2, 4). In the Western Mail a family hotel in Bath was advertised, along with prams, clothes, dyeing services for fabrics, blankets, silks, laces, gloves, umbrellas, cornflower, glassware, potatoes, ladies’ bags, and hairdressers. The emphasis was on the woman as consumer of both essentials and luxury goods (9 Apr 1870: 1, 2). On 10 September 1880, the advertisements with a direct address to women in the Cambrian News stressed personal appearance and health. Thomas White’s, of Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, boasted a ‘splendid collection of Jewellery of the newest designs,’ and Hugh Pughe of Little Darkgate Street, Aberystwyth, advertised ‘the latest novelties in Ladies’ and children’s chip and straw bonnets and hats, French flowers and feathers.’ In recognition of the existence of a female readership, Mrs Cooke’s Ladies’ Outfitter, of Pier Street, Aberystwyth, promoted ‘Ladies new Patent Sanitary Towels . . . approved and highly recommended by eminent members of the medical profession,’ as well as Liebig’s Chemical Food, which claimed to cure headaches and nerves, afflictions commonly associated with the female body. The edition also carried display advertisements for national brands, such as Colman’s Starch and Reckitt’s Dye. One classified advertisement, which appeared as if it were a news item, listed the names and hotels of visitors to the area served by the paper, a testimony to the importance of tourism. It was assumed that the women and men who read the paper would be interested to know who else was staying in the area (2, 3, 8). The themes of domestic consumption, adornment, and health, as well as the idea that women had primary responsibility for their children’s health, continued to dominate advertisements addressed to women. By 1895, the Western Mail was carrying more of them and added a ‘Matrimonial’ section carrying adverts from men seeking women to marry, as well as a notice for the London-based publication the Matrimonial Herald and Fashionable Marriage Gazette (18 Jan 1895: 2). Advertisements therefore represented women as concerned with domestic matters, health, fashion, and

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matrimony echoing other content that situated them within the ‘feminine’ sphere of activity and as subordinate to men. In directly addressing them, however, these advertisements recognised the central importance of women’s purchasing decisions to the success of local businesses and as such afforded them a status as active, important agents in local economic life in the very public medium of the press.

Women as Victims, Criminals, and Litigants More disturbing representations appeared in stories about women as victims, criminals, or litigants. These stories were in stark contrast to the representations of women in more socially orthodox roles as wives, daughters, mothers, or upper-class aristocrats and philanthropists. Crime reporting was a staple of newspapers, with stories sourced both from the locality and from across the United Kingdom. Carter and Thompson have argued that stories about male violence toward women in the Western Mail of 1896 ‘were represented in ways which implied that they deserved to be assaulted or killed because of their “unfeminine” (or “unladylike”) behaviour (e.g. drunkenness)’ (1997: 35–6). Examples of this can be found in the Cambrian News of 9 April 1870: ‘Thomas Greenwood, a shoemaker of Southport, was sent for trial last week, on a charge of having killed his wife by kicking her. The woman was a drunkard and the husband appears to have become exasperated at her misconduct’ (2). Furthermore, in a report of the trial of D. Richards at Brynmawr for the murder of Susannah Evans, the fact that the victim had been drunk on the night of the murder and had ‘got very abusive’ was clearly noted as part of the defence, and the cause of death was put down not as beating but as ‘exposure to the inclement weather’ (2). Yet other stories in the same edition presented women as victims, with no suggestion of drink or bad behaviour. Patrick Walters was fined £10 at Aberystwyth and bound over to keep the peace for twelve months for threatening his wife with a poker, beating her with a whip, and threatening to murder her (4). Three men were charged at Aberdare Police Court ‘with a criminal assault on a married woman . . . perpetrated under circumstances of great atrocity’ (2). The vulnerability of poor women was illustrated by the story of two men charged in 1880 with neglecting their wives and leaving them to be supported by the local workhouse; both men received sentences of one month’s hard labour (Cambrian News 10 Sep 1880: 8). A report from the Central Criminal Court in London told how Frederick Glengross pleaded guilty to promising to marry one Sarah Savery, obtaining £100 from her then absconding (Cambrian News 18 Jan 1895: 3). In the section of the Western Mail which answered questions from readers, the following advice was given to a widow, who was clearly being victimised by her son: ‘Unsatisfactory Son. – “Widow.” – You are entitled to insist on your son leaving your house, and we suggest that you should send for a policeman and have him removed’ (18 Jan 1895: 3). Stories about ‘deserving’ or ‘innocent’ women who had fallen victim to crime or misfortune were therefore regularly featured in both papers. More challenging to essentialist representations of femininity in Victorian Wales were the many stories about women who fell foul of the legal system. It was not unusual for women in Wales to engage in riotous public behaviour and appear before the courts for a variety of reasons (James 2002; R.

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Jones 2011). Both papers reflected aspects of this reality. In 1870, the Cambrian News reported the case of a woman in Wrexham who obtained money and goods fraudulently from local moneylenders and shopkeepers and then simply ‘departed’ (9 Apr 1870: 2). Another report discussed a case of assault, apparently arising in reaction to anonymous letters written by one Mrs Jones charging the assailant, David Davies, with infidelity (4). In the same year, the Western Mail reported on Jane White and Ann Lank, who were ‘indicted for uttering counterfeit coin at Llanelly,’ on Mary Ann Richards of Newport, indicted for stealing jewellery under false pretences, and on Mary Hannah Thomas of Swansea, ‘charged on suspicion with picking the pocket of Emily Thomas, at the Globe Inn.’ Moses Oram, from Swansea, ‘was charged with allowing notoriously bad characters to assemble in his licensed house,’ including ‘ten prostitutes and a number of men’ (9 Apr 1870: 3–4). Public drunkenness was another reason women appeared in the papers, as when in 1880 Jane Lewis of Aberystwyth ‘was fined 2s. 6d. for having been drunk at Trefechan. The police constable . . . said the woman was too drunk to stand’ (Cambrian News 10 Sep 1880: 6). The Western Mail reported the cases of Mary Ann Davies, for drunkenness, and Sarah Williams, a ‘woman of evil repute . . . charged with causing an obstruction in Wind Street by quarrelling with men,’ under the heading ‘Disreputable Women’ (10 Sep 1880: 4). Whereas the papers reported on the lives of local women who clearly did not conform to ideals of demure behaviour and sexual propriety, they also occasionally recorded cases where women from across the United Kingdom used the courts for their own ends. In 1870, the Cambrian News reported on Mrs Eliza Banks of Nottingham, who successfully sued a local newspaper for alleging she acted corruptly, and in the same edition, on one Mrs Howard, clearly a woman of means, who ‘intends shortly to take an action of ejectment against one of the tenants on her Wicklow estate’ (9 Apr 1870: 2). In 1880, at Llanilar Petty Sessions Elizabeth Jones unsuccessfully brought a charge of assault against two men and a woman, alleging she was hit with a pickaxe in a dispute over who owned the property immediately outside her house (Cambrian News 10 Sep 1880: 6). The Western Mail reported the case of Maud Branscombe, a retired actress who brought a summons against the man she had been living with because he had ‘assaulted her and locked her in her room for six hours. The summons was granted’ (18 Jan 1895: 8). Whether as victims, criminals, or litigants, the papers represented women living often unhappy, miserable lives in which conflict and brutality were very much a part of the social landscape.

Women and Work: Service and Self-employment Striking evidence of the fact that the papers were addressing both men and women and that they assumed their audience crossed classes can be found in the situations vacant and situations wanted advertisements that became increasingly important across the twenty-five years surveyed here. Many such advertisements were inserted by, or addressed to, men or boys, but throughout the period, there were also a considerable number inserted by, or addressed to, women or girls. The vast majority of these advertisements were for domestic workers and occasionally for positions in the retail trades. They invoked a world in which young girls and women were essential to the day-to-day economy of households and shops, in both town and country. In an 1870 issue of the Western Mail, the ‘situations vacant’ section advertised for the following: kitchen girls

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with ‘knowledge of plain cooking’; a nurse ‘used to children’; an experienced woman to work as an assistant in the wine and spirits trade; an ‘efficient Parlour Maid’; and a general servant ‘whose wife can wash and iron.’ Women advertised their services as governesses for young children, farmhouse servants, housekeepers, general servants, or laundresses (9 Apr 1870: 2). In 1895, the Western Mail reported on the annual meeting of the Cardiff branch of the ‘National Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousewomen and Clerks’ (18 Jan 1895: 7). The advertisements represented women not as ‘angels’ of the hearth but as workers essential to the functioning of society. There were also many stories and advertisements that conjure up a world in which women ran businesses. Women appeared as licensees of public houses (Western Mail 9 Apr 1870: 4) and as landladies, drapers, and farmers (Cambrian News 10 Sep 1880: 2–3). In 1880 the Western Mail recorded women working as lace cleaners, music teachers, second-hand clothing dealers, and corset makers (1, 2, 4). They appear as stationers and booksellers, or, like the ‘Misses Jenkins’ of Aberystwyth, as the proprietors of crockery shops and as newspaper agents (Supplement to the Cambrian News 19 Jan 1895: 5–6). They might also serve as suppliers of pianos and jewels (Cambrian News 19 Jan 1895: 1, 3). Another area of female work that gained an increasingly important presence in the advertisements was education. Late nineteenth-century Wales witnessed sustained political campaigns to improve the provision of education for girls and young women (W. G. Evans 1990). The two newspapers are full of evidence of women working as teachers or running schools, and, latterly, in campaigns for educational and electoral reform, in a context in which these political issues were becoming more important (see the next section). References to these topics increase in frequency between 1870 and 1895. In 1870, the Cambrian News reported the award of a grant of £8 by the Aberystwyth Board of Guardians to Miss Morrell, who taught in the workhouse school (9 Apr 1870: 3). In the same title in 1880, there was a series of advertisements for schools for girls and young women, one of which stressed the health benefits of the school (Ladies’ Collegiate School, Aberystwyth) and one that prepared pupils for the Oxford and Cambridge local examinations (Aberystwyth Caerleon House School for Young Ladies). In an editorial comment on education in Wales, John Gibson argued that ‘something should certainly be done to provide in each county in the Principality middle class schools for girls’ as they were ‘left entirely at the mercy of private adventure schools, which are neither as large or as well conducted as the private adventure schools for boys’ (10 Sep 1880: 1, 5), a position very much in keeping with the ideas he developed in 1891 in The Emancipation of Women (W. G. Evans 1992). The Western Mail carried advertisements for girls’ schools in Glamorgan and nearby English counties, as well as, by 1880, a ‘situations vacant’ column headed ‘Scholastic.’ This column advertised for governesses, music teachers, and language teachers (10 Sep 1880: 1). Many, if not most, of these schools were run by women, which demonstratres both the growing provision of education for females and the importance of women’s careers in teaching.

Women in Public Roles Women appear in the paper in more public capacities as well, and not simply as servants, tradeswomen, or educationalists. One recurrent representation is of women as amateur or professional singers and musicians. For example, in 1870 the Cambrian

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News reported a fairly typical local event at ‘Cross Inn, near Llannon.’ This was a concert in aid of a school, where among the entertainers were Miss H. Richards and the Misses Jones of Llannon. Middle-class women, frequently local, figured in stories about concerts, where they sang and played instruments across the period of this study (9 Apr 1870: 1). References to professional performers also appear. In 1880, the Queen’s Assembly Rooms in Aberystwyth presented a dramatisation of Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Aurora Floyd (1863), a popular sensation novel of a kind not everyone thought suitable reading for middle-class women (see Flint 1993), plus an entertainment by the singers Miss Kate Read and Miss Conyers (Cambrian News 10 Sep 1880: 1). On 2 January 1895, the New Theatre and Star Opera House in Swansea presented ‘Miss Annie Oakley, late of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, supported by a Powerful Company in the Comedy Drama, MISS RORA’ (Western Mail 18 Jan 1895: 4). There were also references to women as authors (Cambrian News 9 Apr 1870: 4), as sportswomen (Western Mail 10 Sep 1880: 3), and as painters (Western Mail 18 Jan 1895: 4). More frequent than references to female entertainers, artists, or sportswomen are references to the roles middle- or upper-class women played in public social or charitable activities. Admittedly, these were conventional activities expected of God-fearing, privileged women; nonetheless, they do testify to the extent to which women of those classes took on active public roles in matters of social welfare and established a presence outside of the home. In the Cambrian News in 1880, women appeared as patrons of a local Cottagers’ Garden Show at Talybont, and as hosts for Sunday school children’s parties at Ynyshir Hall (10 Sep 1880: 5, 6). In 1895 Miss Evans is recorded as being elected president of the Baker Street Independent Chapel Temperance Society in Aberystwyth (Supplement to the Cambrian News 18 Jan 1895: 6), and Miss Gilbertson is noted as being the honorary secretary of the Aberystwyth Choral Union (Cambrian News 18 Jan 1895: 10). The presence of women in or on the edges of formal politics was increasingly noted in the papers by the 1890s. The Cambrian News reported the decision of the executive of the Central Committee of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage to promote a bill for the enfranchisement of women, and while disagreeing with the tactic, argued that they would be better off seeking to get unsympathetic MPs removed at election time (3). When the National Liberal Federation held its annual meeting in Cardiff in 1895, the Western Mail reported on a meeting of the Women’s Liberal Federation, where speakers pressed the case for voting, educational reform, and the disestablishment of the Church of England in Wales. Set against this straightforward reporting, however, was a report from the paper’s ‘Lady Correspondent,’ who commented wryly on the conference ball, combining a focus on dress and a swipe at the idea of the ‘advanced woman’ (18 Jan 1895). Nonetheless, by 1895 the papers were reporting women’s involvement in formal politics, along with a range of other representations.

Conclusion The Cambrian News and the Western Mail occupy an interesting place in the history of women in Victorian Wales. They represented women in conventional roles as mothers, wives, widows, daughters, wealthy philanthropists, and consumers. In portraying a world where men dominated politics, local government, industry, and

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commerce, a world in which women were routinely defined in relation to men, the papers appeared to propagate separate spheres ideology. But ideological convention was always under pressure from the heterogeneous content papers were obliged to contain if they were to appeal to the men and women in the locality that supplied purchasers, readers, and advertisers. This content consistently blurred the distinction between the public and the private by presenting women as criminals, victims, litigants, low-paid workers, educationalists, entertainers, artists, charity workers, and, in time, active members of political organisations. In this sense, they reflected the complexity of public discourse around the lives of Welsh women. In addition, as Bingham (2004) has shown for the period 1918–39, successive editions of newspapers included too many sources of information and addressed too many different constituencies to produce over-simplified representations of women. These papers were embedded in a rapidly changing world in which women, although clearly subordinated legally and ideologically to men, were fundamental to its economic and social well-being. Not reflecting this fact would have been commercial suicide for local newspapers like the Cambrian News and the Western Mail. The growth of a commercial local press in late Victorian Wales stimulated the circulation of representations of women that showed they were active agents in a complex and changing society rather than just ‘angels of the hearth.’

Notes 1. During much of the period studied, its full title was the Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard and Welsh Farmers’ Weekly, but the abbreviated form is used here. 2. This chapter is based on a close reading of selected editions of the two papers, rather than extensive reading of a large number of papers. Editions published on the following dates were read: 9 April 1870, 10 September 1880, and 18 January 1895. The Cambrian News published a supplement on 18 January 1895, which I also read. They are accessible via the ‘Welsh Newspapers Online’ facility of the National Library of Wales. 3. A keyword search of the two papers between 1870 and 1895 revealed thousands of references to ‘women’ and ‘ladies.’ In some cases, it was clear that ‘ladies’ carried a connotation of respectability and social elevation, but this was sometimes also the case for ‘women.’ At times they were used interchangeably. A study of the various uses of these words in the two newspapers would be illuminating, but it is beyond the scope of this chapter. 4. For further information on the Welsh-language press, see C. Evans 1926; A. Jones 2000; P. Jones 1990; Roberts 1990; Walters 2000. 5. O’Malley et al. 1997: 139, 140, 142–3; Carter and Thompson 1997: 35, 45; Cayford 1992.

Works Cited Barlow, David, Philip Mitchell, and Tom O’Malley. 2005. The Media in Wales: Voices of a Small Nation. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London: Routledge. Billig, Michael. 1995. Banal Nationalism. London: Sage. Bingham, Adrian. 2004. Gender, Modernity, and the Popular Press in Inter-War Britain. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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Carter, Cynthia and Andrew Thompson. 1997. ‘Negotiating the “Crisis” around Masculinity: An Historical Analysis of Discourses of Male Violence in the Western Mail, 1896.’ A Journalism Reader. Ed. Michael Bromley and Tom O’Malley. London: Routledge. 28–49. Cayford, Joanne. 1992. The Western Mail, 1869–1914: A Study in the Politics and Management of a Provincial Newspaper. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Evans, Catherine. 1926. The Rise and Progress of the Periodical Press in Wales up to 1860. Unpublished MA thesis, University of Wales, Bangor. Evans, W. Gareth. 1990. Education and Female Emancipation: The Welsh Experience. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. —. 1992. Introduction to The Emancipation of Women by John Gibson. 1891. 2nd edn. Llandysul: Gomer Press. 7–55. Flint, Kate. 1993. The Woman Reader, 1837–1914. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Hobbs, Andrew. 2009. ‘When the Periodical Press was the National Press (c.1836–c.1900).’ The International Journal of Regional and Local Studies 5.1: 16–34. James, Deborah. 2002. ‘“Drunk and riotous in Pontypridd?”: Women, the Police Courts and the Press in South Wales Coalfield Society, 1899–1914.’ Llafur: the Journal of the Society for the Study of Welsh Labour History 8.3: 5–12. Jones, Aled. 1994. ‘Sir John Gibson and the Cambrian News.’ Ceredigion: Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarians Society 12.2: 57–83. —. 2000. ‘The Welsh Language and Journalism.’ The Welsh Language in its Social Domains 1801–1911. Ed. Geraint Jenkins. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. 379–403. Jones, Dot. 1998. Statistical Evidence Relating to the Welsh Language, 1801–1911. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. Jones, Philip Henry. 1990. ‘Y Amserau: The First Decade, 1843–1852.’ Investigating Victorian Journalism. Ed. Laurel Brake, Aled Jones, and Lionel Madden. London: Macmillan. 85–103. Jones, Rosemary. 2000. ‘“Separate Spheres”?: Women, Language and Respectability in Victorian Wales.’ The Welsh Language in its Social Domains, 1801–1911. Ed. Geraint Jenkins. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. 177–213. —. 2011. ‘Women, Community and Collective Action: The Ceffyl Pren Tradition.’ Our Mother’s Land. Chapters in Welsh Women’s History, 1830–1939. Ed. Angela John. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. 24–47. Lewis, G. J. 1979. ‘Mobility, Locality and Demographic Change: The Case of North Cardiganshire, 1851–71.’ Welsh History Review 9.3: 347–61. Morgan, Kenneth O. 1967. ‘Cardiganshire Politics: The Liberal Ascendancy, 1885–1923.’ Ceredigion: Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarians Society 5.4: 311–46. O’Malley, Tom, Stuart Allan, and Andrew Thompson. 1997. ‘Tokens of Antiquity: The Newspaper Press and the Shaping of National Identity in Wales, 1870–1900.’ Studies in Newspaper and Periodical History, 1995 Annual. Ed. Michael Harris and Tom O’Malley. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 127–52. Roberts, Brynley F. 1990. ‘Welsh Periodicals: A Survey.’ Investigating Victorian Journalism. Ed. Laurel Brake, Aled Jones, and Lionel Madden. London: Macmillan. 71–84. Vincent, David. 1989. Literacy and Popular Culture: England, 1750–1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Walters, Huw. 2000. ‘The Welsh Language and the Periodical Press.’ The Welsh Language in Its Social Domains, 1801–1911. Ed. Geraint Jenkins. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. 349–78. Williams L. J. and Dot Jones. 1982. ‘Women at Work in Nineteenth Century Wales.’ Llafur: The Journal of the Society for the Study of Welsh Labour History 3.3: 20–32. Williams, Sian Rhiannon. 2011. ‘The True “Cymraes”: Images of Women in Women’s Nineteenth-Century Welsh Periodicals.’ Our Mother’s Land. Chapters in Welsh Women’s History, 1830–1939. Ed. Angela John. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011. 73–94.

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Part II Constructing Modern Girls and Young Women

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Constructing Modern Girls and Young Women: Introduction

I

n a controversial article first published in the Saturday Review in 1868, Eliza Lynn Linton (1822–98) describes, in inflammatory terms, the ostensible moral degeneration of the character of the ‘Girl of the Period.’ Linton draws a sharp distinction between the ‘simple and genuine girl of the past, with her tender little ways and pretty bashful modesties’ and the new form of modern girl, ‘this loud and rampant modernization, with her false red hair and painted skin, talking slang as glibly as a man, and by preference leading the conversations to doubtful subjects’ (p. 340). The modern girl’s participation in the vulgar spectacle of cosmetics and dress was, for Linton, bound up with broader anxieties about the sexualisation of young women, not least because of their aesthetic proximity to the visual codes associated with the prostitute. It is no coincidence that four of the essays in this section make reference to Linton’s article and the anxieties about girlhood it expresses. While the essays here demonstrate that concerns about the regulation of girls’ behaviour both preceded and succeeded the mid-Victorian moment within which Linton was writing, it nevertheless becomes clear that her views endured as a popular yardstick by which to measure the progress or decline of girls in culture and society until the end of the century. This was particularly the case in the periodicals aimed at girls and young women that flourished at this time, where the caustic commentary put forward in ‘The Girl of the Period’ frequently functioned as a cultural formation to be either upheld or resisted. What emerges clearly from the essays that follow is a sense of ‘the girl’ as being, contra to Linton’s binary formulation, an ever-shifting and contested category and of girls’ periodical culture as being both reflective of and responsive to a plurality of lived and imagined girlhoods. This sense of the complexity and heterogeneity of Victorian girlhood(s) has emerged clearly from the scholarship that has flourished in recent years. Sally Mitchell’s groundbreaking study The New Girl: Girls’ Culture in England, 1880–1915 influentially speaks of the ‘provisional free space’ of girlhood, which is defined not only as a transitional state anchored ambiguously between childhood and adulthood but also as a period set apart from the poles that buttress it by a distinctive constellation of characteristics, experiences, and expectations (1995: 3). Mitchell’s study has inspired a new wave of scholars to further excavate the particularities and variances of Victorian girlhood, as well as to cast new light on an expansive girls’ print culture that proliferated at this time (see, for example, Moruzi 2012 and Rodgers 2016). A significant turn in recent scholarship is the identification of girls’ periodicals as a rich repository of the cultural reflection and refraction of girlhood. This was, after all, the period during which the commercial possibilities of periodicals for girls were finally being recognised and exploited by editors and publishers. A web of contributing social and legislative shifts from the 1850s onwards, including a series of education reforms and the concomitant rise in literacy rates, led to a growing demand for periodical materials that catered to the expanding market of juvenile readers generally. From the 1860s, girl readers, who had hitherto been scantily represented in the periodical landscape, were recognised by publishers as a significant untapped audience and a potentially lucrative source of revenue. As the essays in this section attest, a

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diversity of periodicals sprouted up, including fashion and domestic magazines aimed at middle-class girls and young women, titles associated with specific religious and charitable associations, and high-quality illustrated monthlies, among others, which appealed to the many and varied tastes of the real girl readers of the period. Taken together, the essays in this section add considerably to our understanding of the significance of periodicals and newspapers in the cultural diet of Victorian girls, not least in terms of the varied, often competing models of idealised femininity they provided for their readers. Jennifer Phegley’s ‘Promoting a Do-It-Yourself Spirit: Samuel Beeton’s Young Englishwoman’ focuses attention on the domestic-feminine ideal promoted in the 1860s by the Young Englishwoman (1864–77), a successful fashion and domestic magazine that has received scant scholarly attention on account of its ostensibly overt didacticism. While the magazine’s concentration on fashion, needlework, and household management may have contributed to its being overlooked by previous scholars, Phegley significantly recasts the magazine’s domestic preoccupations in more progressive terms. The Young Englishwoman emerges in this account as an important cultural space for the championing of female agency in the domestic sphere through the promotion of what Phegley calls a ‘do-it-yourself spirit’ among nascent domestic managers (p. 104). By stressing female agency, education, and independent consumerism on the home front, the magazine trained young women to be, in the words of Isabella Beeton (1836–65), ‘the commander of an army’ (p. 108). While Phegley’s chapter identifies the fire at the heart of the ‘hearth and home’ ideology promoted in the pages of the Young Englishwoman, Teja Varma Pusapati’s contribution, ‘Claiming Medicine as a Profession for Women: The English Woman’s Journal’s Campaign for Female Doctors,’ highlights a model of active femininity that places young women outside the domestic sphere. Pusapati explores the support extended to the mid-century campaign for women’s entry into medicine in England by the feminist English Woman’s Journal (1858–64). The journal’s promotion of a ‘specific and highly ambitious model of the college-educated, professional female physician’ functioned to encourage young women to strive for access to higher education as well as entry to the world of medicine (p. 122). As Pusapati demonstrates, the English Woman’s Journal frequently looked to examples from beyond Britain’s borders to buttress this sense of possibility for female readers, not only in terms of professional achievement but also to reassure readers, male and female, that women could practice medicine without flouting their ‘culturally sanctioned domestic and social roles’ (p. 123). Kristine Moruzi’s essay, ‘Encouraging Charitable Work and Membership in the Girls’ Friendly Society through British Girls’ Periodicals,’ also points to models of femininity with practical applications for girls outside the home. Moruzi uses the Girls’ Friendly Society as a case study to demonstrate how religious magazines aimed at girls in the 1860s and 1870s supported the work of the charity through the promotion of an idealised form of philanthropic girlhood (dutiful, moral, and virtuous) that readers were encouraged to emulate, irrespective of their class positions. Yet by tracing the promotion of the charity through magazines aimed at girls of different classes, including the Monthly Packet (1851–99), which targeted middle-class girls, and the Girls’ Own Paper (1880–1956), which largely addressed working-class and lower-middle-class girls, Moruzi shows that the specific roles and behavioural expectations assigned to girls were very much aligned with their class. In spite of these tensions, these magazines

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helped to foster communities of girls bound by common reading materials and active engagement with charitable pursuits. The significant role of the press in the cultivation of class-based networks of female readers is also explored in Suz Garrard’s essay, ‘“Welcome and Appeal for the ‘Maid of Dundee’”: Constructing the Female Working-Class Bard in Ellen Johnston’s Correspondence Poetry, 1862–1867.’ The essay takes for its focus the Scottish poet Ellen Johnston’s (c.1830–74) ‘conversations in verse’ with her working-class correspondents in the letters page of a Glasgow newspaper, the Penny Post (p. 153). Writing under the pseudonym ‘The Factory Girl,’ Johnston was in fact a woman writing in her late twenties and thirties, which once again indicates the malleability of ‘the girl’ as a site of identification for female authors and readers alike. The poetic exchanges between ‘The Factory Girl’ and her working-class female correspondents demonstrate the radical potential of the letters page. As a space co-opted by female readers and writers for the development of ‘their own system of writing and mentoring,’ the letters page is here shown to have destablised the ‘material and social limitations of class by enabling conversations between marginalised authors that would not have otherwise occurred’ (pp. 158–9). These intimate poetic exchanges in the public space of the newspaper are read as a political intervention through which women sought to ‘achieve upward social and cultural – if not economic – mobility’ (p. 154). The role of periodicals in expanding readers’ horizons is also a feature of Beth Rodgers’s chapter, ‘The Editor of the Period: Alice Corkran, the Girl’s Realm, and the Woman Editor.’ Whereas Phegley and Moruzi identify opportunities for female agency in periodical genres more readily associated with gender conservatism, Rodgers focuses attention on a middle-class monthly periodical that was self-consciously modern in its outlook, especially in terms of the models of girlhood it advanced. In addition to encouraging girls to cultivate lives outside the home through education and employment, the Girl’s Realm (1898–1915) further embodied its progressive 1890s moment through the prominent textual presence of its female editor, Alice Corkran (1856–1915). Through an analysis of Corkran’s monthly ‘Chat With the Girl of the Period’ column, Rodgers not only shows how the editor served as an exemplar of modern female professionalism for the magazine’s girl readers but also demonstrates the significant platform afforded to those readers within the editorial space. In the final essay of this section, ‘The “Most-Talked-Of Creature in the World”: The “American Girl” in Victorian Print Culture,’ Bob Nicholson shifts the focus from girls’ magazines to periodicals and newspapers aimed at adult readers, while also moving away from the British girl to a consideration of her American counterpart. As a celebrated and vilified figure in the British press, the American girl constituted yet another prominent form of contested femininity in Victorian Britain, one which Nicholson suggests was reflective of a growing fetishisation of America in British print culture, as well as a broader cultural anxiety about the effects of Americanisation. If Linton’s ‘Girl of the Period’ constituted a threat to the moral health of the nation from within, then the American girl was seen by many as an invasive threat to femininity from beyond Britain’s borders. Nicholson’s essay, together with the other essays collected in this section, demonstrate the potency of the girl as a symbolic force in Victorian Britain, as well as the crucial role of periodicals in shaping the various, often competing cultural forms that she assumed.

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Works Cited Mitchell, Sally. 1995. The New Girl: Girls’ Culture in England, 1880–1915. New York: Columbia University Press. Moruzi, Kristine. 2012. Constructing Girlhood through the Periodical Press, 1850–1915. Farnham: Ashgate. Rodgers, Beth. 2016. Adolescent Girlhood and Literary Culture at the Fin de Siècle: Daughters of Today. New York: Palgrave.

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7 Promoting a Do-It-Yourself Spirit: Samuel Beeton’s YOUNG ENGLISHWOMAN Jennifer Phegley

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amuel Beeton, known primarily for publishing the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine (1852–79) and Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1861), was a successful publishing entrepreneur who founded a slate of magazines for middleclass women, boys, and girls. His Boy’s Own Magazine (1855–74) and its counterpart the Young Englishwoman (1864–77) are milestones in Victorian periodical history as they were among the earliest magazines aimed at target audiences defined not only by age but also by sex. Kristine Moruzi points out that in 1824 only five magazines for young people were published in England; by 1900 there were 160. However, most children’s magazines were short-lived with runs of a year or less while just a handful lasted multiple years (2016: 294). Earlier in the century, youth periodicals tended to have a religious bent and were often aimed at both boys and girls, but as the century progressed ‘gendered reading became . . . more strictly demarcated’ (301). Beeton was an early adopter of niche marketing to boys and girls, and the long-lived success of his Boy’s Own Magazine bolstered his theory that more narrowly defined audiences were viable targets for new periodicals. Beeton’s savvy ability to imagine new audiences and craft ingenious strategies to engage them helped him build a network of ‘Beeton readers’ that supported his expanding periodical empire. The Young Englishwoman, first published in December 1864, was a particularly risky venture despite Edward Harrison’s launch of the Young Ladies’ Journal earlier that year (Beetham and Boardman 2001: 71). According to Kathryn Hughes, ‘conventional wisdom suggested that there was no point in producing a magazine directed at teenage girls since in this period they moved from childhood to adulthood without inhabiting any transitional stage. While Beeton had triumphantly shown that male adolescents were hungry for a literature of their own, it was far from clear that he could pull off the same trick with their sisters’ (2005: 296). Although the Young Englishwoman’s fashion plates and usable patterns for clothing, accessories, and home handicrafts were expensive to produce, including these features paid off. The debut of the Young Englishwoman ‘was one of the brighter moments in the sad months to come’ when Sam’s wife and collaborator Isabella would die unexpectedly in February 1865 at the age of twenty-eight after giving birth to her second surviving son. Following Isabella’s death, Sam turned to his neighbour Matilda Browne for assistance with his publications as well as his orphaned sons. Their partnership proved fruitful despite the tragedy and upheaval, and the Young Englishwoman ‘became one of . . . Beeton’s most successful titles, lasting until the end of the century’ (Hughes 2005: 296–7).

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Beeton’s early success building a formidable publishing business with a cadre of trailblazing magazines was due in large part to his savvy partnerships with the clever women who helped him reach new audiences. His collaboration with Isabella on the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, the Queen, and the Book of Household Management was so crucial to his success that Margaret Beetham maintains the name ‘Beeton’ represented the ‘working partnership and companionate marriage’ of Sam and Isabella themselves (1996: 61). Beeton magazines continued to be collaborative enterprises when Sam joined forces with Browne, who took over Isabella’s duties and made a name for herself as ‘Silkworm’ in the advice column ‘Spinnings,’ launched in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine in 1867 (Beetham 1996: 79–80). She later took on the pen name ‘Myra’ in the Young Englishwoman and continued to use both monikers when she and Sam founded Myra’s Journal of Dress and Fashion in 1875. Both Isabella and Matilda helped shape the Young Englishwoman’s light-hearted and entertaining approach to cultivating its audience. The magazine was geared toward training proper domestic managers, but it conveyed a more progressive view of the teenaged girl than one might expect, teaching self-reliance and a ‘do-it-yourself’ spirit. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, women’s magazines were largely elite fashion and society publications that ignored the practical concerns of everyday housewives. In contrast, Beeton marketed the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine to lower- and middle-class women by discussing subjects such as home handicrafts, cooking, and gardening. The magazine rejected the model offered by earlier highbrow magazines such as La Belle Assemblée (1806–32), the New Monthly Belle Assemblée (1834–70), and the World of Fashion (1824–79), described by Beetham and Kay Boardman as ‘luxury’ commodities with ‘exquisitely coloured fashion plates’ (2001: 10). Beeton’s magazines, on the other hand, were notable for addressing ‘women’ rather than ‘ladies’ and thereby sought to reach what he saw as an untapped audience of housewives. Kathryn Ledbetter argues that the initial price point of two pence per weekly issue in a market in which most middle-class magazines cost a shilling per month is ‘proof of [Beeton’s] intent to attract and expand middle-class readerships’ (2016: 267). The Young Englishwoman followed in the footsteps of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, selling for only one pence per weekly issue or seven shillings per yearly subscription (6 May 1865: 312).1 Unlike the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, the Young Englishwoman has received scant attention from the Beetons’ biographers.2 It is only mentioned eighteen times across their four books, despite being touted by all as one of Beeton’s most successful ventures. This is probably partly due to Isabella’s death just a few months into what was her pet project, necessarily limiting any exploration of how she shaped the magazine’s contents. The sole surviving letter between Sam and Isabella during their marriage indicates that she played a significant role in the conception and production of the magazine. In October of 1864, Sam wrote to her from Newmarket, where he went to sell a horse, perhaps to obtain the funds to launch the new magazine. He asks her to ‘send the description of the 8 pages you have already got up for the YE’woman as soon as pos[sible]’ to the publishers along with the ‘2 sets of diagrams and Needlework patterns,’ which, he claims, ‘will set us right for 6 weeks’ (qtd in Hughes 2005: 296). This suggests that Isabella not only determined the format and features of the early issues of the magazine but also solicited or wrote much of its initial material. However, no other direct record of her work on the magazine exists.

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Another factor contributing to the neglect of the Young Englishwoman may be the inaccessibility of the periodical today.3 One gets the sense that most of the Beetons’ biographers never read the magazine. The assumption seems to be that it had a strong didactic purpose but no other compelling features. Sarah Freeman rather brutally refers to it as ‘the least interesting of the Beeton periodicals.’ She goes on to argue that its ‘immediate success’ was attributable to ‘its innocuous character’ and to the Beeton name, which ‘carried considerable selling power’ (1978: 231). What she considered innocuous about it is uncertain; why something so innocuous would be so popular is another conundrum. In contrast to what this uncomplicated account of the magazine might suggest, the Beetons eschewed a purely moralistic or instructive aim from the very first issue, explaining that ‘it is essentially a magazine of fiction and entertaining literature; but beyond the casual information that may be gleaned from its pages, and the interest which we hope may be derived from its perusal, we do not seek to make it in any respect an education journal replete with information on all the “ologies”’ (24 Dec 1864: 24). Indeed, the editor unequivocally rejects a reader’s request for more instruction and advice: ‘We are sorry we can not oblige’ the request for more rules of etiquette in place of fashion as it would draw upon ourselves the just displeasure of at least 9,900 of 10,000 of our readers if we presumed to insert . . . sundry dreary injunctions forbidding them to pick their teeth with a fork, etc. – if we dared, in fact, to be guilty of the gross impertinence of telling them how to behave themselves. There are plenty of handbooks from one penny upwards which will put [our reader] up to everything that she ought to know with regard to ‘deportment.’ (11 Mar 1864: 184) The editor goes on to inform another correspondent that the magazine will not ‘publish lessons on Italian, German, or any other language, or papers on Botany, Conchology, Zoology, etc.,’ betraying a class bias toward those who already understood etiquette rules and received basic instruction in a variety of learned subjects (184). Yet the magazine’s emphasis on needlework, sewing, and other crafts set it apart from previous elite fashion journals and encouraged a maker’s culture for those who could not yet afford to buy the goods they desired.4 The first volume of the Young Englishwoman featured all manner of clothing and accessory illustrations and instructions, including slippers, knitted caps, satin bonnets, and men’s collars in a variety of styles, including the ‘Oxford,’ the ‘West End,’ the ‘Mexican,’ and the ‘Albert’ (see, for example, see Figure 7.1). There were numerous beaded and ruffled bag, purse, and carrying-case designs; scarves and capes that were knitted, netted, and crocheted; and shirt cuffs embroidered with flowers, butterflies, bees, and geometric patterns (see, for example, Figure 7.2). Hughes provides the fullest account of the Young Englishwoman to date, calling it more practical than ‘its elder sister,’ the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. However, she seems to buy into standard assumptions about it when she argues that the fiction and articles ‘steer clear of even the most coded references to “advanced” matters such as political and legal reform’ (2005: 297). This assessment gives short shrift to the innovative nature of the new venture, which offered a decidedly progressive message couched in the rhetoric of self- and home-improvement.5 The Young Englishwoman was less cheeky than the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine (with its rebellious courtship advice column and its racy commentary on tight-lacing). However, it

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Figure 7.1 ‘Puffed Crape Bonnet’ and ‘Satin Bonnet,’ Young Englishwoman (28 Jan 1865: 97).

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Figure 7.2 ‘Scarf in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet,’ Young Englishwoman (28 Jan 1865: 96).

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certainly imagined its readers as competent and reasoning subjects who could make their own clothes as well as their own decisions about a range of issues, from the mundane (planning meals, managing budgets, and overseeing servants) to the lofty (including developing opinions on the education and professionalisation of women). While the Young Englishwoman promoted traditional domestic ideals, it built on Isabella’s gender-bending conception of the matriarch as ‘the commander of an army, or the leader of any enterprise’ (Beeton 2008: 7). What many have missed is that the magazine embraced women’s education and work, even while focusing largely on domestic activities. As Beetham eloquently puts it, Beeton imagined womanhood as a ‘skilled task in a modern world which increasingly stressed literacy and printbased knowledge’ as the key to creating a ‘space within the feminine for the masculine qualities of “strong-mindedness” and organisational competence’ (1996: 67). Indeed, the Young Englishwoman offered to serve a serious reader well by publishing ‘social essays on various subjects that claim a thoughtful woman’s attention, and interesting biographies of women of past and present times, who are famous for their courage and heroism’ (24 Dec 1864: 24). Readers of the Young Englishwoman would be professional housewives who treated their wifely tasks as jobs to be done with knowledge, competence, and precision, but they would likewise be independent thinkers. In fact, the young Englishwoman of the title seems to have been an earlier, less sexualised version of the notorious ‘Girl of the Period,’ who thought, dressed, and shopped for herself.

Commanding an Army of Women to Do Things for Themselves The very first issue of the Young Englishwoman counterbalanced the ideal of the domestic angel with that of the independent new girl. Eliza Lynn Linton made the controversial ‘Girl of the Period’ famous in her 1868 Saturday Review essay, four years after the premiere of the Young Englishwoman. According to Linton, the ‘fair young English girl of the past’ was focused on marrying and becoming ‘her husband’s friend and companion, but never his rival,’ on making his house a true home, ‘not a mere passage-place for vanity,’ and on becoming ‘a tender mother, an industrious housekeeper’ (14 Mar 1868: 339). The ideal reader of the Young Englishwoman was this supposedly extinct, or at least endangered, species. However, the magazine simultaneously addressed an advanced young woman who was more in line with Linton’s dreaded Girl of the Period. Linton laments that the new girl is a creature who dyes her hair and paints her face, as the first articles of her personal religion – a creature whose sole idea of life is fun; whose sole aim is unbounded luxury; and whose dress is the chief object of such thought and intellect as she possesses. Her main endeavour is to outvie her neighbours in the extravagance of fashion. (14 Mar 1868: 340) The Young Englishwoman certainly promoted fashionable self-indulgence with its fashion plates, which were accompanied by lavish descriptions of the sartorial trends they depicted. However, it also encouraged those coming into their own to speak their minds and take charge of their lives in a way that Linton claims makes men ‘afraid’ and ‘unwilling to take her for life,’ despite enjoying her company for an evening

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(14 Mar 1868: 340). According to Linton, young ladies who steer ‘the conversation to doubtful subjects,’ thinking they are ‘piquante and exciting, . . . may make men laugh with her’ but not respect or marry her (340). Kristine Moruzi explains how influential Linton’s essay was, inspiring ‘parasols, comedies, waltzes, cartoons, and publications’ such as the Girl of the Period Miscellany (1869). The Miscellany echoed the Young Englishwoman as it reworked ‘the Girl of the Period from an object of disdain into a figure who might be humorous, but who was also engaging and sympathetic’ (2009: 9). Moruzi points out that in the Miscellany, ‘many girls of the period are asserting their independence and making their own choices,’ even if they are depicted as cartoonish rarities (14). While Beeton’s Young Englishwoman predates Linton’s famous essay and the corresponding magazine, it anticipates many aspects of the new girl but casts them as practical traits concordant with the leader of a domestic enterprise. A prime example of this tightrope walk can be seen in G. A. Sala’s depiction of the new American girl in ‘The Yankee Young Lady.’ Sala touts American young women’s stunning conversational skills and ability to absorb noteworthy facts from newspapers. Although he pokes fun at national differences, Sala’s commentary also sets an example for young Englishwomen to follow. He notes, It is very charming to see the ladies sitting in the balconies of the United States Hotel at Saratoga, fluttering their fans and eating ice-creams. It is more charming to hear their shrill prattle. It would be most charming, perhaps, to see them engaged in some kind of needlework . . . but the sprightly belles of Yankeedom very seldom take a needle between their delicate fingers, – at least in public. (24 Dec 1864: 11) While denigrating American girls’ preoccupation with eating sweets and chatting loudly, he compares them favourably to the old-fashioned type that Linton prefers: a blushing, timid English girl . . . bends over some inscrutable piece of muslin, or evokes the misty phantoms of slippers and braces with Berlin wool from squares of canvas, chiefly because she has nothing to say for herself, or having something, dares not say it. . . . Our English girls have certainly much to learn. They are behind the age. It is a reproach to civilization, progress, and women’s elevated mission, to see them poring over samplers like so many school-girls. (11) The Young Englishwoman certainly promotes sewing and embroidering, but it also endorses Sala’s view that there are more interesting options, as demonstrated by the American girl, who ‘never stammers’ or ‘hesitates’ and ‘was probably up much earlier than you were this morning, and read the New York Herald while you were still dreaming’ (11). Sala is particularly impressed with the range of subjects upon which American women are able to converse. He notes that they can hold forth on anything from the Monroe Doctrine to the abolition of slavery, from the Origin of Species to ‘the last novel and the next comet, – she has something smart, and sparkling, and voluble to say. . . . In all seriousness and sincerity, I render to the young ladies of America the tribute of being the most accomplished talkers in the world’ (11). In contrast to these informed young women, Sala thinks English girls have embarrassingly lacklustre conversational skills. In urging a remedy for this, the Young Englishwoman notably

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promotes a plucky drawing-room persona but also endorses wider educational and professional opportunities for women. ‘What Women Say about Men’ contests the assumption that men want to confine the female sex to domesticity. The essay debunks the notion ‘that men are anxious to keep women from taking a share in any work of more general importance and utility than stocking-darning or pudding-making; and that this anxiety on their part is a proof of the slow progress of society towards true civilization’ (4 Feb 1865: 109). The author points out that many men approved of Florence Nightingale, whose service in the Crimea was embraced ‘by the Secretary of War, by the army doctors, by the Commander-in-chief.’ While even wartime nursing was undoubtedly linked to women’s traditional domestic skills, the writer claims that men are more open to women’s work than they are given credit for and that ‘there are few trades in which women, if they have capital, may not engage as freely as men, and, provided they have industry, prudence, and good sense, with nearly an equal chance of success’ (109). The essayist refutes the notion ‘that men who are both sensible and well-educated really prefer women to be silly or ignorant,’ just as it is ridiculous to think that ‘clever or “learned” women are incapable of performing domestic duties’ (110). The author goes so far as to recommend that women establish their own colleges and professional schools rather than rely on the government to do so. Ultimately, the writer concludes, women must stop worrying so much about what men think and take action to change societal assumptions (109). Young women readers of the magazine were thereby encouraged to behave in unprecedented ways that went beyond traditional domestic pursuits. Likewise, ‘“Unwomanly” Women’ defends the so-called masculine behaviour of some modern women, noting that ‘Every now and then some lawgiver of society enters a protest against “fast” young ladies, but without defining very clearly what they mean’ (26 Feb 1865: 141). The author speculates that a fast woman could be either a ‘strong-minded’ woman (a bluestocking) or a ‘charming’ one (a flirt). In any case, she ‘delights in doing all sorts of things in opposition to the established customs of society, and in defiance of its opinions, for the sake of showing her contempt for it, and for the male portion of it in particular’ (141). Surprisingly, the essayist implicitly supports unconventional behaviour and urges women to be more assertive in their pursuit of opportunities outside the home. This puts a new spin on what a fast young woman might be, imagining her as a valuable public and professional figure. ‘Young Lady Advertisers’ also lends support to women’s work, as long as careful consideration is given to class distinctions and social expectations. For example, bartending and shopkeeping were not acceptable occupations for a middle-class girl because they would potentially have her serving those beneath her in station. Though the writer is concerned about the erosion of class distinctions, he or she also reminds readers that ‘there is nothing degrading in work’ (269). Yet the Young Englishwoman gestures toward some levelling of the playing field by also advocating for working-class women’s education in ‘College for Working Women,’ which examines the Working Women’s College in Queen’s Square. The college once occupied ‘a house where, doubtless, belles in brocade and beaux in laced suits danced minuets when old Bloomsbury was a fashionable quarter of the town.’ Now, however, ‘there are lectures being delivered, and classes being taught; and busy women, who have been at work all day . . . dropping in’ to improve their minds and cultivate ‘their tastes and abilities’ (24 June 1865: 411). With the likes of Thomas Hughes, Frances

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Power Cobbe, and others delivering lectures from seven to ten in the evenings on subjects such as arithmetic, grammar, geography, social economy, and French, readers are told that the project is a worthwhile experiment (412). The Young Englishwoman outlines possible paths for women of various classes to seek education and occupation outside the home. The majority of readers, though, would likely marry. The magazine aimed to prepare them for the process of finding an appropriate spouse and setting up a functional household.

Marriage and Household Management for Dummies Teaching uninitiated young women how best to fulfil their domestic duties was a central component of the Young Englishwoman. The magazine suggested that a modern wife must understand how to manage a household budget while feeding the family well and entertaining the occasional guest. Just as important was the creation of a pleasant home environment in which the family could spend its leisure hours. While motherhood was a key part of domesticity, there was very little discussion of child-rearing in the magazine. Instead, the focus was on selecting a husband, improving one’s cooking and household management repertoire, and maintaining a strong marital bond. On the cusp of adulthood, a young woman was first expected to choose an appropriate husband or resign herself to spinsterhood, which was certainly presented as an option, if not the most desirable one. Finding a spouse was no easy task in an era in which young, middle-class ladies and gentlemen were not able to spend much time together unchaperoned. Nevertheless, the Young Englishwoman, like many other magazines and advice manuals of the period, downplayed the importance of parental guidance and endowed the future wife with the responsibility of making her own decision about whether and whom to marry. For example, ‘Forbidden Banns’ rejects the obstruction of marital unions by parents or other family members. The essay denounces the clergyman’s public call for verbal objections during the wedding ceremony, noting that marriage is a ‘civil contract for the mutual benefits of the parties making it.’ As a result, parents and friends ‘have not the smallest right to forbid, or endeavour to prevent a young person from marrying’ (3 June 1865: 364). Addressing a mother who might want to prevent her daughter from marrying a particular suitor, the author quips that ‘it is quite absurd, my dear madam, for you to urge that your proposed son-in-law is ill-tempered, ugly, old, of low birth, stingy, a muff, or a blockhead. All reasons good why you should not marry him yourself. . . . She alone can decide what faults and peculiarities may make her future partner repulsive to her. . . . She only will be accountable for the consequences of her action’ (364). In this case, mothers are told to back off and daughters to step up and make well-reasoned decisions on their own. The magazine guides young women to evaluate potential husbands based on love rather than money in articles such as ‘Shall I Accept Him.’ Here, the focus is on what to do after finding a love match that does not bring vast wealth. Readers are informed that £250–£300 a year is a fine income if one exercises the proper ‘economy and management’ (8 Apr 1865: 237). In reality, this would have been a generous budget for many of the magazine’s readers. The Beetons themselves were most likely living on around £400 per year (Hughes 2005: 142). Even so, Isabella’s parents were anxious about their daughter’s future, given the volatility of the publishing business and

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Sam’s propensity for taking risks (101–3). Perhaps building on Isabella’s more optimistic view of her own marital fate, the Young Englishwoman advises that if a wife learns to effectively communicate and collaborate with her husband about the family budget, she will be more likely to succeed. She ‘must keep accounts, not for the week or the month, but continuously in a business-like and systematic manner.’ Likewise, she should ‘go to market [herself]’ in order to know what the prices are and to learn ‘to reject the ill-shaped and extravagant joints’ of meat and keep track of the best deals through a regular accounting of expenditures. It is even possible, the magazine argues, to find ‘a very snug and convenient little house’ for £45 per year, ‘one general servant (if you are fortunate to get a good one)’ for £10–£12, and a dress suitable for entertaining for £50. Furthermore, potential brides are rather optimistically encouraged to expect their husbands’ incomes to increase once they are married and he ‘has someone to work for!’ (8 Apr 1865: 237). Upon her move to a newly constructed suburban home in Pinner, Isabella made do with two servants: a nurse and a housemaid. She did indeed see her husband’s income rise, though she had a great deal to do with that as she worked alongside him in his publishing endeavours. It also seems that Isabella did the cooking herself, perhaps with some assistance from the housemaid (Hughes 2005: 143–4). As Isabella learned to economise, so would the magazine’s readers, who were encouraged to carefully plan their meals according to their circumstances. The recurring column ‘Our Drawing Room’ offered advice about how to create a luxurious menu on a frugal budget, something Isabella must have had experience with given the domestic role she played as the eldest daughter of a large family and in her somewhat constrained financial reality upon marriage. Andrea Broomfield explains that Isabella’s recipes ‘took into account women’s need for dishes that fit their time constraints, their limited number of servants, and their small kitchens,’ relying on the wider availability of processed foods in urban areas (2008: 112). Recipes in the Young Englishwoman also accounted for the cost of preparing a meal. The magazine pronounced that few ‘would be disposed to deny that it is a genuine pleasure to give any man, rich or poor, high or low, a really good dinner.’ Indeed, this maxim was applicable to all readers of the magazine, whether they were struggling to serve their own husbands or those less fortunate: ‘surely the next best thing to giving a man – especially a poor man – a good dinner, is to be able to put him in the way of getting a plentiful meal of sound, wholesome meat for himself and family at a moderate cost’ (24 Dec 1864: 40). One practical answer to dining well on a budget was imported ox meat from Montevideo, selling in England for three pence per pound. Readers are informed that this tried and true option is to be distributed by Messrs. James Gordon & Co. in Liverpool, ‘accompanied by sheets and instructions for dressing the beef.’ The Young Englishwoman announces that it will reprint these guidelines so that readers can ‘promote its sale among the poor, to teach those who buy it, how to cook it with advantage’ (40). While this may well have been a ploy to assist a particular grocer or to promote charitable work, it was also a veiled way to instruct the magazine’s lower-middle-class readers in the art of stretching their incomes. To further this agenda, the ‘Hints on Household Management’ section of the magazine offered suggestions for affordable meals as well as entire weekly menus that were intended to keep costs and waste to a minimum. A typical meal would provide roast beef on Monday that was revived on Tuesday as hashed beef and broiled bones. Or one might serve a roasted leg of pork with apple sauce and vegetables fixed up the

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following day as cold pork and mashed potatoes. Within the ‘Hints for Household Management’ column, the section on ‘Recipes for Seasonal Dishes’ listed the required ingredients first with a single paragraph of directions to follow. Estimated cooking times, costs, and guidelines for ‘seasonability’ were placed at the end. Attention was paid to making realistic suggestions for recipes with plentiful ingredients available at a reasonable price. For example, the Christmas mincemeat recipe concludes: ‘Average cost for this quantity, 8 s. Seasonable from December to March. It should be made about the beginning of December.’ Likewise, the mince pies recipe notes that the total time for cooking is ‘25–30 minutes; 10 minutes to rewarm them. Average cost: 4d. each’ for four pies. Plum pudding is a more intimidating proposition with ‘Time, 5 or 6 hours the first time boiling, 2 hours the day it is to be served. Average cost 4s. Sufficient for a quart mold for 7 or 8 persons. Seasonable on the 25th of December and on various festive occasions until March’ (31 Dec 1864: 39). Thus, the durability of the meal over time, the efficiency of preparation, and the cost and freshness of the ingredients are key elements to the recipes included in the magazine. Of course, not all women would be solely responsible for preparing their family’s meals. In many cases, servants would play a role. Despite being referred to as ‘The Greatest Plagues in Life,’ if treated appropriately servants could also be the household saviours. As the magazine explains, ‘The country furnishes us with a great many girls fit for service, who have received a decent education’ and are ‘honest and hard-working.’ It is up to their mistresses to turn them into ‘treasures’ by training them properly in their duties and doing so gradually and kindly. In fact, good servants are said to be so hard to find precisely because ‘when they have once found a comfortable home, directed by a sensible woman, they take care to stop where they are’ (29 Apr 1865: 293). Readers are encouraged to pay servants fair wages, treat them with respect, and avoid overindulging them. The Young Englishwoman thus places responsibility squarely on the woman of the house to select, train, and nurture good servants. Once a young woman had been married and her household was running smoothly, she was encouraged to turn her attention to sustaining a happy marriage. ‘On Home Attractions’ urges readers to better themselves for the good of their partnership: ‘Girls seem to think when they are married and their lot is fixed’ that they do not need to keep up their music, singing, and other accomplishments. This is a ‘fatal delusion!’ and a ‘short-sighted policy!’ To the contrary, if ever a woman needs to be ‘accomplished, brilliant, and witty, it surely must be when mistress of a household. . . . It is astonishing how soon cobwebs will gather in the brain: dust them out, don’t let your mind rust because you are married’ (13 May 1865: 324). While characterising the Englishman as ‘domesticated’ compared to his French counterpart, who ‘is essentially an out-of-door animal,’ the allure of the indoors is placed largely at the feet of women (324). However, what is most interesting to me is that young ladies are not simply told to look their best or maintain a well-run house but also to keep their minds active in order to engage their husbands. While a full stomach, a blazing fire, and a pair of handmade slippers certainly symbolised domestic contentment, the notable thing about the Young Englishwoman that the Beeton biographers miss is its emphasis on intellectual engagement and fun: conversing with each other, reading aloud together, and playing cards or other games were considered crucial to sustaining mutual interest and affection in marriage. Of course, Sam Beeton went so far as to collaborate professionally

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with the women in his life. As Hughes puts it, he was ‘that rare thing, a Victorian man who liked and respected women as much as he loved them’ and who sought a ‘genuinely companionate marriage’ (2005: 100). He found an equal partner in Isabella and, perhaps too, in the married Matilda. Nonetheless, within the pages of the Young Englishwoman, the household reigned supreme and the companionate marriage was organised around the parlour.

Victorian Pinterest: Curating the Middle-Class Home Despite the complaints of many scholars that women were constrained by the rules and expectations of domesticity, Thad Logan entertains the possibility that in the absence of other options women may have embraced the opportunity to craft a pleasurable home (2001: 101). While domestic acts such as cooking and managing servants became ways for women to show their managerial competence, this was augmented and complemented by their apparent zeal for home handicrafts, which revealed their ability to visualise and create attractive and useful objects for the home. Logan enumerates the varied treasures on display in the Victorian parlour: There were items that covered (like antimacassars and lamp mats) and items that contained (pincushions or matchboxes). There were graphic and plastic representations of flora, fauna, and figures of myth and history. . . . There were books (and after midcentury) photographs, ornamental glass and paper mâché, ferns and aquaria and peacock feathers, fans, fire screens, and clocks. (2001: 7–8) Within what we may consider an incredibly cluttered Victorian home, Logan sees a new kind of cabinet of curiosities inherited from the prestigious, masculine collections of exotic objects prevalent in the previous century (107). In taking on the role of curator of the Victorian home using objects found nearby rather than gathered from exotic locales, women elevated household work to an art with a practical purpose. The Young Englishwoman regulated taste for a wide range of middle-class readers, but it also granted women control over the home and thereby extended their ability to fashion household goods for themselves, recycling used items into newfound treasures. Thus, the ‘ornamental clutter’ of the parlour reflected ‘feminine pleasure in accumulation and display’ (2001: 103). In this way, the pages of the Young Englishwoman became a kind of Victorian Pinterest board. Each weekly issue of the magazine collected a range of projects intended to adorn the home. Readers could choose the ones that appealed to them, forging something new from whatever materials they had at hand and improvising as they saw fit. Today, women browse Pinterest to find images and instructions for do-it-yourself projects to save in a visual scrapbook that strikingly melds the Victorian era with the Internet age. If you want to plant a butterfly garden, paint your stair risers to look like book spines or piano keys, create silhouettes of your children to hang on the wall, or faux finish a kitchen countertop to look like marble, you can find out how on Pinterest. One can imagine a Victorian lady doing similar projects clipped from the pages of the Young Englishwoman. According to Talia Shaffer, the idea behind Victorian handicrafts was that the ‘craftswoman improved on nature by preserving, arranging and fixing the materials that nature

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had left in chaos’ (2013: 27). Much like the other aims of the Young Englishwoman, handicrafts gave women licence to creatively assemble their homes using their own imagination and skills. Victorian women thus crafted their way to authority as handicrafts became a ‘thrifty, skillful mode of domestic management’ that ‘signified the moral, managerial virtues’ of the middle class (27). Much like the Young Englishwoman’s suggestion that ox meat be used to affordably create a feast for those on a tight budget, the materials used for many crafts were intended to imitate more expensive, store-bought objects such as porcelain using cheap materials including wax, paper, glue, and cardboard. Scraps of fabric, seeds, leaves, feathers, and a variety of animal parts were often recycled into home decor. Following this trend, the Young Englishwoman includes patterns for items such as a Berlin-wool-work ottoman cushion, a crocheted breadbasket cover, a mat for a flower vase, a hand-screen in imitation feathers, a crêpe butterfly lampshade, and even a portable footstool inexplicably designed in the shape of a shawl and fastened with straps (e.g., see Figure 7.3). The two-page spread devoted to the tea cosy, ‘an ingenious method of keeping the tea-pot warm,’ is particularly elaborate. This ‘very popular’ design is rendered in black cloth cut with pinking shears, onto which a pineleaf pattern in scarlet cloth is sewn with gold thread (14 Jan 1865: 65). From there, the directions become more complicated, incorporating multiple stitching techniques, three shades of green and two shades of scarlet silk thread, red-worsted cord braided and formed into tassels, and alternating layers of red and black cloth ruched and arranged in tiers that create the effect of a flounced skirt (Figure 7.4). For such a simple object, the process is quite precise and onerous, leaving little room for improvisation. As with Pinterest, many of the featured projects seem aspirational or even unachievable. Whether they inspired new decorating ideas or simply overwhelmed and discouraged readers is hard to tell. In any case, they certainly caused a craze that reached its peak at mid-century. As handicrafts became more pervasive, they also became less desirable. Complicated designs for beaded work bags, gentlemen’s slippers, or travelling caps were probably more fun to imagine than to make and use. As Schaffer puts it, as this ‘visual culture flourished’ in magazines, women likely enjoyed the privilege of looking ‘at engravings of crafts’ more ‘than actually mak[ing] them. . . . Craft itself became a kind of taxidermy, a stuffed relic of what had once been alive’ (2013: 38). The current revival of craft culture on Pinterest notwithstanding, by the end of the nineteenth century such endeavours ‘came to symbolize a traditional model of womanhood’ that was outmoded (38). The very objects used in handicrafts often seemed absurd. As the Young Englishwoman noted in ‘Costume vs. Congruity,’ incorporating rotting flowers or dead insects into hats or jewellery may be ludicrously unstable and out of place. Clusters of rowan, holly, or other berries of a like nature are graceful and becoming; but several varieties of fruit, in season and out of season, and enough to furnish dessert for half a dozen people, displayed on the summit of a lady’s head-dress, is an outrage both upon common sense and taste; . . . When a young lady exhibits a whole sheaf of oats in the front of her hat . . . so fragile as to break with every rustle and bestrew her path, she deserved the remark made by a witty gentleman, that ‘she was merely sowing her wild oats.’ (14 Jan 1865: 78)

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Figure 7.3 ‘Crape Butterfly for Lamp Shade’ and ‘Foot-Stool in the Shape of a Shawl,’ Young Englishwoman (1 Apr 1865: 224).

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Figure 7.4 ‘Tea-Cosy,’ Young Englishwoman (14 Jan 1865: 65).

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Whether sewing oats onto hats or sowing their metaphorical wild oats, readers had a wide variety of home handicrafts and self- and home-improvement advice to choose from in the pages of the Young Englishwoman. While the popularity of handicrafts receded, the do-it-yourself spirit of the magazine prevailed in its insistence that young readers rely on their own intelligence, ingenuity, and work ethic to make their lives a success. Sam Beeton’s innovative collaborations with his wife Isabella and his neighbour Matilda Browne resulted in one of the first and most important magazines for young women. As the precursor to twentieth- and twenty-first-century teen magazines such as Seventeen, Young Miss, Sassy, and the current and surprisingly political Teen Vogue, the Young Englishwoman offered training for traditional domestic roles while also encouraging independent thinking among a newly defined group of readers. Beeton’s launch of his magazine for young girls thus sparked a publishing revolution that made girls a viable and profitable audience for centuries to come.

Notes 1. The Young Englishwoman was converted to a single-column, six-pence monthly for the Christmas 1866 issue. This was touted in an ‘Important Announcement’ as ‘more suitable in size and more interesting in contents,’ containing ‘64-pages of letterpress, needlework illustrations, fashion cuts, dress patterns, inclusive of a large sheet of models for cuttingout jackets, peplums, &c., together with a new coloured fashion plate every month’ (24 Nov 1866: 352). In other words, the magazine was now even more like the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine in its smaller size and grander illustrations. 2. See Freeman 1978; Hughes 2005; Hyde 1951; Spain 1948. 3. It is nearly impossible to locate copies of the weekly issues published prior to 1867 as most library holdings begin with the 1867 new series. The British Library’s earliest volumes are from 1868, while the Oxford University Library and Victoria and Albert Museum Library have issues dating from 1870. Google Books contains volumes for 1867, 1869, 1870, and 1871. A WorldCat search indicates that only the New York Public Library holds the early weekly numbers. I was lucky enough to purchase the first two volumes, covering weekly issues from December 1864 to November 1866, to which I refer in this essay. 4. The first issue of Young Englishwoman explains that its supplementary sections would include needlework patterns as well as engravings of toilettes for home wear, morning wear, and evening dresses, with full sized patterns for cutting out and making some article of dress. When we have said that this department is under the care of those ladies who have so long and so ably conducted the Fashions department of the ‘Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine,’ we have said enough to assure our readers that every novelty in dress and needlework will be brought under their notice at the earliest possible date. (24 Dec 1864) Clearly, Beeton hoped to use the popularity of the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine to promote his magazine for younger readers. Unfortunately, the fashion plates have been removed from the volumes of the magazine that I own, reinforcing the notion that the magazine encouraged a DIY culture, as readers likely removed the plates to admire, copy, or display them. 5. Interestingly, Hughes mentions that Isabella’s family was friendly with Samuel Smiles, whose seminal book Self-Help was published the same year as Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management and touted a similar message that perseverance, self-reliance, and hard work would result in upward mobility (2005: 72).

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Works Cited Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London and New York: Routledge. — and Kay Boardman, eds. 2001. Victorian Women’s Magazines: An Anthology. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Beeton, Isabella. 2008. Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Ed. Nicola Humble. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Broomfield, Andrea. 2008. ‘Rushing Dinner to the Table: The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and Industrialization’s Effects on Middle-Class Food and Cooking, 1852–1860.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 41.2: 101–23. Freeman, Sarah. 1978. Isabella and Sam: The Story of Mrs Beeton. New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan. Hughes, Kathryn. 2005. The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton. New York: Anchor Books. Hyde, H. Montgomery. 1951. Mr and Mrs Beeton. London: George G. Harrap and Co. Ledbetter, Kathryn. 2016. ‘Periodicals for Women.’ The Routledge Handbook to NineteenthCentury British Periodicals and Newspapers. Ed. Andrew King, Alexis Easley, and John Morton. Oxford: Routledge. 260–75. Logan, Thad. 2001. The Victorian Parlour. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Moruzi, Kristine. 2009. ‘Fast and Fashionable: The Girls in The Girl of the Period Miscellany.’ Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies 14.1: 9–28. —. 2016. ‘Children’s Periodicals.’ The Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers. Ed. Andrew King, Alexis Easley, and John Morton. Oxford: Routledge. 293–306. Shaffer, Talia. 2013. ‘Women’s Work: The History of the Victorian Domestic Handicraft.’ Crafting the Woman Professional in the Long Nineteenth Century: Artistry and Industry in Britain. Ed. Kyriaki Hadjiafxendi and Patricia Zakreski. Farnham: Routledge. 25–42. Spain, Nancy. 1948. Mrs Beeton and Her Husband by her Great Niece. London: Collins.

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8 Claiming Medicine as a Profession for Women: The ENGLISH WOMAN’S JOURNAL’s Campaign for Female Doctors Teja Varma Pusapati

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n 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910) successfully graduated from Geneva Medical College in New York to become the first female MD in America. News of her success reverberated in England and inspired various reflections on women’s roles in medicine. Punch, a comic weekly, published a celebratory poem entitled ‘An M.D. in a Gown,’ which encouraged young English women to follow the ‘example . . . of excellent Miss Blackwell,’ if only so that they could cure family members at home, saving their husbands, brothers, and fathers the trouble and expense of consulting professional physicians (2 June 1849: 226). In sharp contrast, Bessie Rayner Parkes, the future editor of the English Woman’s Journal (1858–64) and a prominent member of the mid-century feminist group focused on widening women’s employment opportunities, saw Blackwell as opening a new career path for educated women.1 As Parkes observed in a letter to her friend Kate Jeavons, ‘A Miss Eliz Blackwell, cousin of a friend of mine . . . has just taken a degree of medicine with some éclat in one of the American Colleges. . . . I heartily wish her success. . . . Why should such a lucrative profession as medical attendance on their own sex be denied women, as a matter of delicacy it is certainly preferable’ (8 Mar 1849). This concern about the impropriety of male doctors treating women was also voiced by several mid-century opponents of male midwives.2 However, unlike them, Parkes did not seek to merely reinstate female midwives, who had increasingly lost ground to male accoucheurs since the eighteenth century (Donnison 1977: 21–3). Rather, she wanted female doctors to acquire the same medical training as qualified male doctors and to attend to not only childbirth but also various other diseases of women and children. Contrary to Parkes’s claim, at mid-century the propriety of women becoming doctors was far from certain. British universities and medical schools did not grant degrees to women until 1878, partly because university education in general was considered too strenuous for women and a medical education even more so due to its reputation for coarseness (Witz 1992: 94). It was feared that the study of anatomy and dissection, which had become a critical component of medical training by 1850, would obliterate female sensibilities.3 The prospect of introducing women into medical classrooms, notorious for the rowdy behaviour and sexual innuendo of young male students, commonly evoked shock and revulsion (Bonner 1995: 210). Some argued that the presence of women in medical colleges would, by curtailing

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free discussion of ‘unfeminine’ topics, adversely affect the education of male doctors (Bonner 1995: 209–10). Moreover, various groups of medical men, who made wideranging efforts throughout the nineteenth century to transform medicine into a respectable, middle-class profession, feared that the advent of female doctors would lower their own income and social standing.4 Parkes’s eager support for women’s entry into professional medicine was inextricably bound up with two of the principal objectives of the mid-century women’s movement – enabling women’s access to higher education and promoting their employment in middle-class professions. In the years to come, she and others in the women’s movement consistently pressed for the training of female doctors in England. The English-born Blackwell, who was Parkes’s cousin, became actively involved in this struggle and was commonly cited in English feminist writings as proof of women’s fitness for the medical profession.5 Yet it was not these individual texts and pamphlets but the feminist English Woman’s Journal that best embodied their dedicated campaign for female doctors. Launched in 1858 as a joint-stock company, with Bessie Rayner Parkes as main editor and Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon as major shareholder, the monthly English Woman’s Journal engaged with the issue of women’s participation in the medical profession both centrally and reiteratively. Month by month, it published sketches, articles, reviews, and readers’ correspondence containing discussions of women’s work in medicine. While the circulation of the English Woman’s Journal never exceeded a thousand copies per month, it nevertheless played a prominent role in mobilising middle-class support for women’s work in medicine and other professional fields, partly because of its close links to influential reform groups (Phegley 2004: 159). Its leading spirits, Bessie Parkes and Barbara Bodichon, came from Unitarian families with a long history in radical politics, and they brought on board such veteran Unitarian reformers as William Johnson Fox, who acted as the auditor of the journal.6 The English Woman’s Journal was also closely associated with the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science (NAPSS), a reform collective that included leading parliamentarians, peers, public administrators, and several of the journal’s editors and writers; the NAPSS, in turn, formed a critical part of the journal’s readership.7 The journal also ‘acted as the communications hub for a host of related political organizations,’ including reform organisations founded by the journal’s own writers, such as the Female Middle-Class Emigration Society and the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women.8 The extent and intensity of the English Woman’s Journal’s support for women’s entry into medicine and other professions was unmatched by any other periodical of its time. While previous scholars have discussed individual articles and letters from the English Woman’s Journal as instances of Victorian feminist views on women’s medical work, they have not examined the journal as the site of a pioneering campaign in favour of female doctors.9 Catriona Blake, for example, observes that the English Woman’s Journal devoted considerable space to advancing the case for female doctors yet maintains that ‘there was no concerted campaign for women doctors’ in the early 1860s (1990: 56). Such readings have led to the assumption that the British medicalwoman movement did not begin ‘in earnest’ till 1869, when Sophia Jex-Blake and four other women enrolled as medical students at the University of Edinburgh and fought for women’s right to acquire the same medical degrees as men (Swenson 2005: 86).

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This chapter will revise current understanding of the women’s medical movement in England by tracing its history back to the English Woman’s Journal’s campaign for female doctors in the late 1850s and early 1860s. Its editors and writers threw their weight behind pioneering female doctors such as Elizabeth Garrett, who in 1865 became the first woman in England to qualify for a medical licence (Blake 1990: 66). Many of the ‘countervailing credentialist tactics’ deployed by Jex-Blake and her peers at Edinburgh were already being discussed in the English Woman’s Journal (Witz 1992: 187–8). Testimonies of the skill and dedication of aspiring female doctors, condemnations of the medical establishment’s exclusion of women, and affirmations of women’s right to acquire the same professional credentials as men are all to be found here. By closely examining the English Woman’s Journal’s extensive and sympathetic discussion of women’s medical work, I will show that it played a critical role in facilitating the rise of female doctors in England. This chapter will also examine a range of hitherto-ignored issues regarding how the format of periodical publication enabled the journal’s readers and writers to mount a campaign for women’s entry into professional medicine. How did the journal’s repeated celebration of female doctors, in such diverse genres as biography, articles, poetry, and correspondence, help to enhance the cultural image and status of professional medical women? In what ways did the journal’s editors and writers use the periodical’s inherent open-endedness and conduciveness to dialogue to conduct wideranging debates on female doctors and yet press, relentlessly, for a specific and highly ambitious model of the college-educated, professional female physician?10 By addressing these and other related questions, this chapter will offer the first in-depth account of the English Woman’s Journal’s campaign for female doctors.

Elizabeth Blackwell as Model Female Doctor As part of the English Woman’s Journal’s regular feature on the lives of women who successfully took on public and political roles, the second issue of the journal carried a brief eponymous memoir on Elizabeth Blackwell written by her sister Anna. ‘Elizabeth Blackwell’ appeared immediately after ‘Florence Nightingale and the English Soldier,’ an article celebrating Nightingale’s report to the 1857 Royal Commission on the health of the army (Apr 1858: 73–9). Medicine and nursing were reinvented as respectable occupations for middle-class women ‘in parallel with one another’ (Heggie 2015: 274). By placing the pieces on Nightingale and Blackwell consecutively, the English Woman’s Journal attempted to channel the post-Crimean public goodwill for nurses into support for female doctors. The English Woman’s Journal’s depiction of women’s work in medicine reflected the class biases of its middle-class editors and writers. It usually encouraged single women from the lower-middle and trading classes to take up low-status medical work such as paid nursing, while urging educated middle-class single women to aspire for the better-paying, higher-status work of professional medicine.11 However, it is critical to note that the journal promoted these lines of medical work simultaneously as two respectable yet different orders of medical work for women. In doing so, the journal not only underlined the dignity of lowerorder medical labour but also opposed contemporary attempts to depict the nurse as an obedient and far more respectable ‘feminine’ figure than the ‘strong-minded,’ ambitious female doctor.12

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‘Elizabeth Blackwell’ reflects the English Woman Journal’s overriding concern with making single women self-sufficient. It tracks Blackwell’s journey from being a gentlewoman impoverished by the death of her father to a successful medical professional. Elizabeth and her elder sisters initially established a boarding school for women, but the low pay and gruelling routine of school work impressed upon them the need to widen the scope of their employment beyond the conventional female work of teaching (Apr 1858: 85). Medicine struck them as a profession for which women were ‘especially qualified by nature’ because of its close association with the nurturing work that women, ‘the mothers, nurses, and first teachers of the human race,’ had long performed (86). Even as the sketch aligns the female doctor with women’s culturally sanctioned domestic and social roles in order to make her more acceptable, it calls for women to acquire the same qualification and status as certified male doctors. Rather than becoming yet another ‘self-constituted [female] “doctor,”’ Blackwell earns a ‘sound and regular medical education and . . . an orthodox diploma’ in order to ‘legitimate the assumption of the physician’s office for herself, and for her sex’ (86). The sketch presents the intellectual ambition of the female doctor as proof of her admirable vocational commitment, rather than a sign of inappropriate ‘strong-mindedness.’ To this end, it constantly foregrounds Elizabeth’s own strict adherence to social decorum. For example, it strikingly emphasises her acute self-consciousness about being the only woman at medical school: To cause her presence there to be regarded, by those around her, not as that of a woman among men, but of one student among five hundred, . . . she restricted herself, . . . to a diet so rigid as almost to trench upon starvation, in order that no involuntary change of colour might betray the feeling of embarrassment occasionally created by the necessary plain-speaking of scientific analysis. (89) This vignette simultaneously foregrounds Elizabeth’s consummate professionalism as well as her indelible femininity. In order to ensure that her training is not affected by her gender, she starves herself till she is too pale to betray, with a blush, her modest misgivings about discussing anatomical issues in a classroom full of men. However, her embarrassment demonstrates her ingrained sense of feminine decorum. Blackwell is shown to have excelled professionally on the strength of her expertise without seeking any concessions on the basis of her sex. Her college thesis is ‘highly approved by her Professors’ and is ‘printed by order of the Faculty’ (92). When she begins practising in New York, her evident medical skills soon win her the regard of ‘one or two physicians of the highest standing in the city’ (94). Her practice flourishes, enabling her to purchase a house in New York.13 The sketch ends by showing how Elizabeth’s younger sister Emily followed in her footsteps to become a doctor, implicitly encouraging the educated young female readers of the English Woman’s Journal to emulate the Blackwell sisters. In outlining how Blackwell rose to professional eminence without compromising her respectability, the sketch offers a model code of conduct for aspiring female doctors. In a remarkable scene, Blackwell is shown to foreground her strong sense of modesty in order to transform a classroom charged with sexual aggression into a conducive learning space. During one of her first lectures at the medical college, a male classmate

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throws a note containing ‘some gross impertinence’ at her (89). Feeling that she could only continue studying in the college if she repelled the ‘insult, then and there, in such a way as to preclude the occurrence of any similar act,’ Elizabeth tactfully displays her reaction to the offence in order to affirm her place in the medical classroom (89). She first finishes her notes, reinforcing that her motives for attending medical college are strictly professional, and then, bringing the note ‘clearly within view of every one in the building,’ drops it on the floor (89). Her resolute yet modest action, ‘at once a protest and an appeal,’ instantly wins over her classmates; in a show of solidarity, they break into ‘energetic applause, mingled with hisses directed against her cowardly assailant,’ and henceforth, treat her respectfully (89). Even as the scene dramatises the sexual dangers faced by women entering a male-dominated classroom, it also suggests, reassuringly, that women could prevail over such obstacles by unequivocally rebuffing improper advances. A wide range of publications drew on ‘Elizabeth Blackwell’ to report on the rise of female physicians in America, extending its influence far beyond the English Woman’s Journal’s readership. In May 1858, Chambers’ Journal, a low-priced weekly that helped popularise science amongst the working classes, published an extended excerpt (29 May 1858: 250–2). In 1860, Harriet Martineau, writing under the pseudonym Ingleby Scott for Once a Week, drew on the memoir to promote Blackwell as the ‘representative of a class [of women] now fairly established in the New World, and sure to extend over the most civilized portion of the Old’ (16 June 1860: 579).14 The memoir’s spectacular account of the triumph of the female doctor in the classroom had enduring appeal. In the 1884 American collection Our Famous Women, Lucia Gilbert Runkle’s chapter on Elizabeth and her sister Emily drew on the English Woman’s Journal’s sketch and was accompanied by T. W. Williams’s full-page illustration of the episode (Figure 8.1).

Professionalising Women’s Work in the ‘Healing Art’ In the English Woman’s Journal, the Blackwell memoir inaugurated extensive discussion of women’s work in medicine. In sharp contrast to Anna Blackwell’s unequivocal depiction of female doctors as fully fledged medical professionals, early letters from readers cast them in such semi-professional roles as sanitation lecturers and providers of cheap medical care. ‘Can Women enter the Medical Profession?’ asked S. E. Miles in a letter to the editors. Answering this question in the affirmative, Miles suggested the constitution of a ‘Medical Sisterhood,’ a community of female practitioners privately trained by a professor in the ‘healing art’ that would treat poor women and children (Oct 1858: 141–2). In the next issue, ‘Medicus,’ referring back to Miles’s question, suggested an alternative way women could ‘enter the medical profession’ – as lecturers in preventive medicine – and offered free classes for women in some of the sanitary sciences (Nov 1858: 209–10). These readerly reflections might have been driven partly by the passage of the British Medical Registration Act in August 1858. This landmark legislation initiated a movement toward greater autonomy and self-regulation in medicine by setting up a General Medical Council to monitor medical education and publish an annual register of all qualified practitioners in Great Britain and Ireland.15 In making medical qualification, by either university degrees or corporate licences, a prerequisite for registration, it effectively shut out women from the domain of licensed medical practice because women were not admitted to British

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Figure 8.1. Illustration from T. W. Williams, ‘An Incident in the Student Life of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell – An Actual Scene in the Operating-Room of a Medical College,’ Our Famous Women: An Authorized Record of the Lives and Deeds of Distinguished American Women of Our Times (Hartford, CT: A. D. Worthington, 1888): 142–3. Courtesy of the Huntington Library.

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universities and medical corporations.16 In this context, the lines of semi-professional female medical work might have seemed more feasible to the English Woman’s Journal’s readers than the Blackwellian model of the college-certified female doctor. In the following years, readers suggested a wide range of upcoming or potential avenues of women’s work in the ‘healing art,’ from hydropathic to homeopathic practice.17 These readers saw medical women as supplementing, rather than rivalling, the professional medical work of men. Despite accommodating such diverse ideas about women’s medical work, the English Woman’s Journal nonetheless steadfastly advanced the professional model of women’s medical practice as embodied by certified, full-time doctors like Blackwell. When some readers argued against this model by pointing out that it marginalised female practitioners who lacked such credentials, the editors allowed advocates of professionalisation to counter such views, providing them with all the time and space they needed to prevail in the debate. A clash in the correspondence section between supporters of supplementary and professional medical work by women makes this strikingly clear. In May 1861, ‘M. D.,’ a male reader, wrote in support of an earlier letter advocating women’s work in the ‘healing art,’ proposing that lady doctors should follow the lead of clergymen in acquiring basic medical knowledge so as to ‘stand in the gap’ and ‘save life’ whenever the professional doctor was not available (211). He approvingly reproduced in full a letter by a clergyman named W. H. Karslake from the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, in which the medical profession’s resistance to such alternative medical work was represented as a sign of ‘red-tapism’ (211). In doing so, M. D. aligned the interests of amateur medical practitioners such as clergyman and women against male professional doctors. In the next issue, ‘F. J. B., M.D.’ sprung to the defence of the medical profession, arguing that ‘diplomas or testimonial letters’ were critical indicators of ‘thorough training’ and that those practising without such credentials would only harm patients (June 1861: 284). This, in turn, prompted a stinging reply from ‘R. M., M.D.’ in the July 1861 issue, wherein he charged F. J. B. of imposing ‘totally impracticable’ standards for part-time medical practice (353). R. M. ascribed F. J. B.’s credentialist stance to the fear ‘that the inroads made by women and parsons into medical practice’ would soon drive professional male doctors out of work (353). Critically, F. J. B., the champion of medical professionalisation, was given the final word in this exchange. The editors seem to have contacted him in advance and published his lengthy rebuttal in the July issue, cheek by jowl with R. M.’s letter. To refute the insinuation that he had acted from professional jealousy, F. J. B. reproduced an 1856 letter that he had published in the British Medical Association Journal in which he had pressed for women to be given the same education and titles as professional medical doctors (July 1861: 353–4). Presenting himself as a committed campaigner for female doctors, he concluded his letter, and this hard-fought debate, by asserting that acquiring such professional credentials would only help women by enabling them to practise in all fields of medicine (355). The journal’s discussion of women’s medical work was not as polarised as the above exchange might suggest. Some of its writers explicitly pointed out the limits of such a binary understanding of regular and irregular medical practice, instead offering new ways of interpreting women’s medical work. For example, Parkes, in a biographical sketch, describes the American Harriot Hunt (1805–75) as a ‘sanitary physician’

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who had practised medicine without a degree (Feb 1860: 375). She professes ‘some hesitation’ in using the title for Hunt, who was ‘not a regularly educated and accredited physician like Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell’ (375). Yet in persisting with the title, she suggests that no other term could better describe Hunt’s work of treating diseases through sanitary science (375). Hunt, who had been previously attacked by the Saturday Review, a well-known conservative weekly, as being ‘out of the pale of medical science,’ is reinvented in the English Woman’s Journal as a sound medical practitioner (24 May 1856: 87). Parkes lays ‘great stress’ on the fact that Hunt had applied twice to attend the medical lectures at Harvard but was denied admission and was forced to endure the hostile reaction of her male cohort (Feb 1860: 383). She reinforces that Hunt ‘had none of the spirit of the quack about her, and that the irregularity of her professional education was beyond her own control’ (383). By highlighting how Hunt’s professional ambitions were thwarted, Parkes not only clears Hunt’s irregular medical practice from the taint of quackery but also holds the male medical establishment responsible for her shortcomings. Even as Parkes highlights Hunt’s services in sanitary science, she suggests that Blackwell was a better model for contemporary female doctors in having successfully acquired a college education. In an April 1861 review of the American writer Caroline Dall’s Historical Pictures Retouched and A Practical Illustration of ‘Woman’s Right to Labor,’ which had recently been published in London editions, the journal’s reviewers recounted women’s past, uncertified work in medicine as proof that contemporary female physicians were merely reclaiming their ‘natural’ and long-established right to practise medicine (133). They claimed that ‘nineteenth century female physicians duly qualified and legally entitled to write M.D. after their name’ drew so much attention not because women’s work in medicine was a ‘new thing’ but because men had, in the recent past, ‘unnaturally and illegitimately appropriated’ the ‘natural and legitimate exercise of the healing art by women’ amongst women and children, so much so that it had come to be ‘thought almost a sin, and certainly a shame, for a woman’ to take up medical work (133). Drawing on a section entitled ‘The Contributions of Women to Medical Science’ in Dall’s Historical Pictures, the reviewers presented a brief, transnational history of women’s work in medicine, ranging from eighteenth-century women such as an English midwife and medical botanist named Elizabeth Blackwell, the Italian anatomist Anna Morandi, and the French Mademoiselle Bihéron (who devised wax anatomical models) to the Victorian Blackwell sisters and Dr Marie Zakrzewska, a German-born Polish physician who was then currently practising in America (134). The rest of the review offered a snippet biography of Zakrzewska, whose autobiographical letter Dall had edited and published as A Practical Illustration. The reviewers also emphasise Zakrzewska’s pleasant experience of studying medicine alongside men, which differs strikingly from Blackwell’s and Hunt’s struggles and makes a strong case for medical co-education (134–5). As part of its attempt to enhance the public image of the female doctor, the English Woman’s Journal published Parkes’s poem ‘Minerva Medica’ (July 1859: 325). The poem invokes the eponymous Roman goddess of medicine and is dedicated to ‘E. B.,’ easily recognisable as Elizabeth Blackwell, who had recently become the first woman to appear in the British medical register on the strength of her American degree (Digby 1999: 157).18 By aligning the modern professional female doctor with the ancient goddess, the poem wistfully recalls a time when female doctors were

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culturally venerated. The speaker bemoans the decline in the worship of Minerva Medica and imagines the goddess appealing to be restored to her erstwhile status and seeking support for contemporary ‘Women bent to heal’ (July 1859: 325). Another article in this issue, ‘Things in General’ by ‘Nobody in Particular,’ enacts such solidarity by defending Blackwell, who was giving public lectures in England on women’s health and medicine, from being branded as a purveyor of ‘sham science’ by the Saturday Review (28 May 1859: 650). The English Woman’s Journal article points out several inaccuracies in the Saturday Review’s scathing report on Blackwell, including its contention that ‘Mrs. Blackwell’ was a self-proclaimed, rather than a certified physician (July 1859: 294–5).19 In January 1860, Blackwell herself contributed a ‘Letter to Young Ladies Desirous of Studying Medicine,’ in which she showed how women could utilise lower-order medical work, such as nursing and midwifery, as pathways to careers in professional medicine. Writing at a time when there was no single established course of medical education, Blackwell proposes a four-year training scheme, starting with a year’s private study in ‘various branches’ of medicine under the supervision of a ‘respectable medical practitioner’ and followed immediately with a six-month stint as a nurse, since ‘no woman can now enter a hospital except in this capacity’ (Jan 1860: 330–1). The ‘wearisome’ work of nursing, she underlined, could provide the ‘invaluable privilege of studying disease on a large scale’ (331). The trainee, however, was never to lose sight of her higher objective of becoming a doctor. ‘While diligently performing the distinct duties’ of the nurse, she had to ‘observe, and privately make a record of whatever belong[ed]’ to her ‘proper medical work’ (331). In a similar vein, Blackwell suggested that women should undertake six months’ residence at the La Maternité midwifery school in Paris, where Blackwell herself had trained, in the fourth year of their medical education (331). Just as nursing work was best taken up in the second year, when the student had acquired a basic knowledge of medical theory, the midwifery portion of the training was best deferred to an advanced stage in the course, when the student would have the necessary scientific knowledge to ‘discriminate and avoid’ the ‘great many old midwife prejudices and practices clinging to that institution’ (331). In underlining the female doctor’s ability to identify and shun outdated midwifery practices, Blackwell disassociates her from the figure of the uneducated female midwife and presents her as a counterpart to the well-educated male obstetrician (Donnison 1977: 60). Throughout, Blackwell encourages aspiring female doctors currently excluded from English medical schools to enhance their professional profile to the highest possible level. Thus, even while acknowledging that the British Medical Council might not register foreign degree holders, she nevertheless encourages her readers to acquire degrees from American colleges (Jan 1860: 332). In June 1861, the journal published a letter from ‘A. M. S.,’ a young woman who started studying medicine because she felt that the profession was well suited to women (282). In order to ‘test’ whether she, personally, had the ‘nerves and physical fitness’ required to enter the medical profession, she took up nursing work in the surgical ward of a London hospital (282). Apart from indicating her medical aptitude and providing critical opportunities to acquire practical medical knowledge, her stint as a nurse also suggested to her that women could, by their exemplary conduct as nurses, convince the male medical establishment to accept them as medical students. Sharing

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her deeply instructive experience with the readers of the English Woman’s Journal, A. M. S. underlines that the male medical community was already quite willing to aid nurses in broadening their medical studies. Apart from getting private instruction from a resident medical officer, she was afforded a ‘room in the hospital, not often wanted,’ to use ‘as a study, and permission . . . to be as much in the wards as I liked, to be present at surgical operations, to study practical dispensing under the resident apothecary, and generally to make all the use of the hospital I could’ (283). She stated that although the fear of ‘establishing a precedent of refusal’ for future female medical aspirants kept her from applying for admission as a student, she believed that the hospital’s medical committee, having seen that ‘no uncomfortable results’ arose from introducing women into medical colleges, would now ‘allow that it could be done safely’ (283). A. M. S.’s account unmistakably mirrors Elizabeth Garrett’s early efforts in acquiring a medical education. By 1861, Garrett and her close friend Emily Davies, who went on to edit the English Woman’s Journal from September 1862 to April 1863, had become associated with the mid-century women’s movement (Hirsch 1998: 200–1). In a January 1861 letter to her mentor Elizabeth Blackwell, Garrett stated that she chose the medical ‘profession more from a strong conviction of its fitness for women than from any absorbing personal bias’ (Blackwell 1895: 228).20 This statement is replicated almost identically in A. M. S.’s claim that she had started studying medicine ‘more from a sense of the fitness of the profession for women than from any strong personal bias towards it’ (June 1861: 282). Like A. M. S., Garrett initially approached her nursing work in the surgical ward of London’s Middlesex Hospital as an opportunity to test her fitness for hospital medical work (Anderson 1939: 59). Garrett, like A. M. S., was given a room at the hospital, was allowed to attend operations and accompany house doctors on their rounds, and was tutored privately by the resident medical apothecary (Anderson 1939: 64–7). The above evidence suggests that A. M. S.’s letter was probably written by Garrett herself to inspire other women to follow in her footsteps.21 Indeed, she ends her letter by inviting ‘any one seriously wishing to study medicine’ to direct any further inquiries to ‘A. M. S. English Woman’s Journal Office, 19, Langham Place’ (283). By using a pseudonym, Garrett kept her high professional ambitions hidden from her male colleagues at Middlesex Hospital. Such concealment was critical since Garrett’s access to medical studies depended on her appearing to be a nurse rather than an aspiring doctor and future competitor to her male peers. In fact, in June 1861, a few days after A. M. S.’s letter was published, Garrett’s success in a lecture course provoked some of her male peers to petition their lecturers to prevent her from attending further classes by claiming that her presence had distracted and inconvenienced them (Blake 1990: 60). Within a month, Garrett was ousted from the hospital (61). By foregrounding the arduous measures that women had to adopt to overcome their exclusion from the medical profession, both Blackwell and A. M. S. underlined the female doctor’s dedication and commitment to scientific expertise. Yet in showing women in England how to make their way into medicine by exploiting the limited ground currently granted to them as nurses, they also risked suggesting that female doctors were encroaching upon a male professional field in order to gain higher remuneration and status. To stake their claim for women’s entry into medicine as professionals

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in their own right, Blackwell and other writers of the English Woman’s Journal argued that current medical practice was plagued by several critical deficiencies that women alone could fix. In a review of Anna Jameson’s 1859 ‘A Letter to Lord John Russell,’ the journal’s reviewers echoed Jameson’s claim that the ‘imperative need of female physicians has been acknowledged by medical men of the highest standing’ (July 1859: 351). Only female doctors could salvage the women who currently suffered ‘cruelly’ and sometimes ‘fatally, rather than consult[ing] a medical man,’ especially during ‘phases of suffering peculiar to the feminine and maternal organisation’ (351). Lower-middle-class and poor women, ‘who cannot afford first-rate attendance,’ would then be saved from having to make do with such ill-trained medical practitioners as the ‘juvenile assistant of the parish apothecary’ or the village midwife (351–2). Jameson, like the earlier mentioned advocates of women’s supplementary medical work, suggests in her letter that women would charge less than male doctors; unlike them, however, she demands that such ‘advantages’ as training in medical colleges and hospitals be extended to women so that medicine could become a ‘profession to which well-born and well-educated women might devote themselves’ (352). She thus claims the entire market of female patients exclusively for female doctors. By foregrounding the female doctor’s commitment to social service, a key component of mid-century professionalism (Colón 2007: 14), Jameson and the journal’s reviewers enhance her professional image. When writing for the English Woman’s Journal, even Samuel Gregory, whose efforts were mainly directed at professionalising female midwifery so as to undo men’s ‘unnatural and wrong’ attendance in childbirth, foregrounded women’s special suitability for a broad range of professional medical avenues, such as the ‘female wards of hospitals, insane asylums, almshouses, prisons, and reformatory institutions for females’ (Mar 1862: 6, 3). Gregory echoed, in part, the wide grounds on which Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell had claimed ‘Medicine as a Profession for Women’ (May 1860: 145–60). In this article, the Blackwell sisters had emphasised that female physicians would serve as the much-needed ‘connecting link between the science of the medical profession and the every-day life of women’: they would show women how to apply physiological and sanitary science in their everyday lives as mothers, domestic managers, teachers, and philanthropic workers while also leading the male-dominated medical profession ‘to supply the needs of women as it cannot otherwise’ (149, 153).22 The above article had been delivered as a lecture in New York in December 1859 to raise an endowment fund for the New York Infirmary, a women’s hospital run by female physicians that Elizabeth Blackwell had founded in 1853. While touring England in 1859, she had attempted, unsuccessfully, to establish a similar hospital (Monteiro 1984: 523–6). By reproducing the above lecture, the English Woman’s Journal called public attention to the continuing lack of institutional support for female doctors in England. One reader who was deeply concerned by this gap wrote to the editors in March 1861, wondering whether the high initial expenses of the ‘raising up of a hospital, with all needful appendages’ might explain the otherwise surprising lack of progress on Blackwell’s proposed hospital scheme (68–9). Indeed, the absence of such a hospital severely impeded the professional prospects of aspiring female doctors. By the mid-Victorian period, hospitals had become centres of medical education partly due to an increasing emphasis on the physical examination of patients at bedside as part of medical training (Peterson 1978: 14–15). The formal offering of lecture courses by London’s general hospitals and the incorporation

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of clinical training in the medical curriculum reflected this wider transformation of the hospital into a medical school (Peterson 1978: 15). The physicians and surgeons who held appointments to these hospitals – also referred to as ‘consultants’ – came from an elite minority of medical practitioners with advanced qualifications from the London Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons.23 Hospital appointments further augmented such practitioners’ professional status by enhancing their public visibility, promoting their institutional connections, and affording them increased control over medical education (Waddington 1984: 29–31). By promoting the creation of separate hospitals for women, the English Woman’s Journal aimed to develop special avenues of medical education and professional advancement for aspiring female doctors. At stake here was a critical transformation in women’s work in Victorian professional medicine – whether women would continue as nurses subject to the authority of male doctors or would train and practise as fully fledged medical professionals in their own right.

Debates with Male Doctors in the English Woman’s Journal Interestingly, the English Woman’s Journal published articles and letters by male doctors who professed to be sympathetic to women’s paid work in medicine but sharply criticised the journal’s struggle for greater gender parity in professional medical practice as misguided and impractical. They suggested, instead, that women should continue to work as nurses or undertake an abridged medical education custom-made for a limited practice amongst women and children. These letters by male physicians are anonymous and might have been scripted by the editors of the English Woman’s Journal themselves in order to enable the journal’s readers and writers to systematically refute such views in subsequent issues. Indeed, several readers and writers of the English Woman’s Journal entered into heated debates with male doctors in order to reaffirm women’s claims to professional medicine. They contested the authority of medical men not only by pointing out limitations in their arguments but also by representing them in a particularly poor light as being either callous toward the plight of single women or, even worse, as wilfully jeopardising women’s medical practice as a public service in order to protect their own status in the medical market. Nineteenth-century male doctors, whose claims to professional status rested, in large measure, on assertions of their genteel character and material disinterest, could ill-afford such representations of ungentlemanly conduct to circulate in the public domain (Brock 2007: 136). The July 1860 issue of the English Woman’s Journal included ‘Medical Education for Ladies,’ an article written by a male physician expressly ‘to controvert the opinion of the Misses Blackwell’ (317). He presented himself, in contrast to the young Blackwells, as a veteran physician who had considered the issue of female doctors ‘under a variety of forms . . . during more than twenty years practice’ (315). The Blackwells’ view that aspiring female doctors ‘must enter the ordinary medical schools,’ treat ‘patients in hospitals, undergo examinations, take out diplomas of competency, etc.,’ he argued, derived from their unawareness of the flaws within existing male-dominated medical training and practice (317). Purporting to offer a more nuanced view of the current state of medical education, he criticised male medical colleges as imparting useless theoretical information and argued that instead of seeking to acquire such

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flawed education, women should seek to establish an institution wherein they might undertake a two-year course in the treatment of women and children (318–19). Although the writer calls himself a ‘physician,’ his grouse against contemporary medical education would have suggested to the journal’s readers that he was, in fact, a ‘general practitioner’ – a doctor who undertook physic and surgery, as well as midwifery and pharmacy.24 In Victorian discussions of medicine, it was general practitioners who regularly complained that contemporary medical education was too ‘geared toward the needs of specialists’ and did not provide generalists with the training they needed (Digby 1999: 40). The writer’s association with general practitioners is further strengthened by the fact that he supportively cites an 1857 article from the Lancet, a mouthpiece for general practitioners (Brown 2014: 183), in which the College of Surgeons was described as the refuge of the ‘most illiterate and ignorant’ and was criticised for devising examinations that, in being heavily oriented toward superficial, rote learning, were ‘wholly valueless as a test of qualification to practise’ (July 1860: 317). This struggle derived from the fact that, by the 1850s, general practitioners, despite constituting the majority of medical men, were far inferior in status and income to the small but powerful group of ‘consultant’ physicians and surgeons who dominated the General Medical Council.25 These two competing groups had vastly different stakes in obstructing the entry of women into medicine. Whereas the consultants almost never practised midwifery, the general practitioners almost always did and would thus be directly affected by the potential loss of this practice to women (Poovey 1988: 42). The physician’s proposals seem to be geared toward ensuring that female medical practitioners would not develop into professional competitors. Having recommended an abridged medical education for women without suggesting a similar course of action for male medical students, he goes on to suggest a subsidiary domain of medical practice for women. The general practitioner seems anxious that female doctors might potentially supersede him in professional status by gaining appointments to special women’s hospitals. He argues that it is not ‘at all necessary to establish a hospital’ for women doctors and suggests that women visit the ‘sick at their own houses,’ providing medical care to those who are not accommodated in hospitals (320). He thus attempts to relegate women doctors to supplementary and charitable roles, rather than wellpaid, prestigious medical work. In the next issue of the journal, ‘A. S.’ pointed out in a letter to the editor that the male doctor’s seemingly feasible scheme would, in fact, severely jeopardise women’s prospects in medicine (Aug 1860: 428–9).26 Providing women with a piecemeal education, where they learnt ‘this and that . . . as a matter of taste and impulse,’ would only encourage ‘Dilettanteism’ and render women unfit for professional medicine (428). She urged women instead to follow Elizabeth Blackwell in acquiring a thorough medical training. The burden of reforming the existing medical curricula, she argued, lay with male doctors, ‘whose footing [in medicine] is secure’ (428). For female doctors, who would have to face a world that was ‘ready . . . to detect their weak points,’ ‘time and money could not possibly be better spent’ than in acquiring ‘every advantage, real and apparent, every qualification and every prestige’ (428–9). The senior male doctor, for all his experience, is shown to be seriously lacking in his understanding of how hard it is for single women to break into the medical profession. Thus, he is less fit than even a lay female reader of the journal to decide the course of women’s work in medicine.

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In an April 1862 letter to the editors, ‘A Physician of Twenty-One Years’ Standing,’ probably the same writer as before or a similar authorial persona used by one of the journal’s writers, offered a far more hostile opposition to female doctors. At the very outset, he proclaimed his long-standing support for nursing – ‘distinctly’ a ‘woman’s sphere’ in medicine (138). He thus attempted to present his opposition to women’s medical education as a desire to stem the wastage of ‘time, work, and money’ that would be involved in setting up medical colleges for women (138). Such resources, he argued, would be better utilised in ‘analogous’ medical fields, such as nursing, where there was ‘great scope’ for female workers (138). He asserted that women were incapable of withstanding the physical and intellectual rigours of learning and practising medicine and that there was simply no demand for female doctors. He claimed to have consulted ‘nearly every lady that I have come into contact with’ on the issue, only to be told that they, having no ‘confidence in the decision of a woman,’ preferred male doctors (140). The above letter called forth such a barrage of readerly responses that the editors published a separate ‘independent article’ comprising readers’ letters on female doctors in the next issue of the journal (May 1862: 195–200). Issuing a point-by-point rebuttal to the physician’s letter, Emily Davies, writing as ‘A. C. R.,’ held a mirror to the medical profession.27 She observed that most male doctors were, in fact, ‘feeble in constitution’ and that female labourers had long proved women’s ability to take on far more exhausting work than medicine.28 By referring to the labour of lowerclass women, Davies was using a critical contradiction within contemporary medical men’s description of their work to her own advantage. As Claire Brock has observed, nineteenth-century medical practitioners tried to enhance their social status by distancing themselves from the ‘labors of trade,’ but by stating that medicine was ‘physically laborious and thus inappropriate for women,’ they unwittingly underlined the ‘laboring aspects’ of medicine (2007: 136). By distinguishing medicine from the far more strenuous labour of working-class women, Davies claimed medicine as suitable work for all members of the middle classes, men and women alike. Davies also used the physician’s own words against him. The physician had tried to win over the journal’s readers through flattery. ‘You know, and the readers of this Journal know, the female heart better than I can,’ he had proclaimed, only to imply that if women considered the validity of his views ‘honestly and candidly,’ they would agree with him (Apr 1862: 140). Davies responded to this point by stating that ‘men, the most liberal and the most generous, do not know, and never will now, what women are suffering, who, to the eye of the world, are “very happy”’ (May 1862: 198). Only women could know how torturous it was to be condemned to a life of idleness; for male doctors to dismiss their claims to the medical profession as unnecessary was both callous and insensitive. She alleges that the physician’s inability to communicate with women had resulted in a faulty assessment of the market for female doctors. While interviewing female patients, if the male physician had, like her, given them enough ‘time to think’ and underlined that the female doctor would be as well-trained as her male counterpart, and not a ‘shallow, superficially taught lady,’ they, too, would have preferred, like Davies’s own interviewees, to consult women (197). Joining the ranks against the male physician, ‘A Country Lady’ foregrounded the demand for female doctors, especially amongst the poor (May 1862: 198–9). In another letter, ‘George W.’ cited statistics and arguments from the census, along with

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Samuel Gregory’s article ‘Female Physicians,’ as proof of women’s suitability for the medical profession (May 1862: 200). The rise of college-educated, hospital-trained female doctors in England, he noted, would not only help to alleviate the ‘redundant’ woman problem but would also raise the standards of the medical profession, which ‘as now constituted, is not entirely without ignorant and unskilful members’ (200). George was holding medical men accountable for their own professed standards of professional ethics: if they were truly driven by a high-minded impulse to serve society rather than a purported trader-like desire to maximise profits, then they needed to welcome the rise of certified female doctors (Colón 2007: 14). George and other male supporters of women doctors appear in the journal as exceptional and exemplary men, in contrast to a much larger number of jealous and prejudiced male doctors. The English Woman’s Journal also published a few letters in support of male physicians, thus demonstrating its commitment to incorporating dissenting views. ‘A Doctor’s Wife,’ for example, argued that it was ‘Quixotic, not to say cruel’ to recommend medicine as a profession to middle-class women when the overstocked medical market would, in fact, force women doctors to work in disreputable localities, for very little pay, and even take up ‘of necessity’ such unsafe work as visiting patients ‘at night, and alone’ (July 1862: 356–7). Although the journal’s editors and writers did not explicitly address these concerns, they attempted to allay such fears by foregrounding the respectability and professional success of such pioneering female doctors as Blackwell. Some readers appear to have doggedly fought for the training of female doctors across the years. In June 1862, ‘A. S.,’ seemingly the same reader who had, in 1860, opposed the proposal for limiting women’s medical education and practice, once again took up cudgels against the ‘Physician of Twenty-One Years’ Standing.’ Echoing George’s allegation that narrow self-interest drove male doctors to block women’s entry into medicine, she argued that the male physician’s tirade against women doctors only showed that ‘it is not in nature for medical men to look forward with complacency to the contemplated invasion of their territory by women physicians’ (June 1862: 283). She then alerted readers to the long struggle that lay ahead, noting that ‘this invasion [of female doctors] will have to be contemplated for a great many years before it can be effectually carried out’ (283). Occasionally, the journal’s editors also adopted a long-term perspective on women’s entry into medicine. This helped to sustain the campaign in the face of deeply frustrating individual failures. For example, when Elizabeth Garrett was denied the right to matriculate as a medical student at the University of St Andrews in October 1862, the journal published the proceedings of the university counsel in which her case had been considered (Dec 1862: 286–8). Attempting to keep Garrett’s failure from discouraging other female aspirants to the medical profession and disheartening supporters of women’s higher education, the journal’s editors emphasised the show of support that Garrett had received ‘in the recent contest’ from the ‘general body of students’ (288). They also suggested petitioning Parliament to change existing university laws as a concrete plan of future action to enable women to gain medical degrees (288). In the January 1863 issue, the editors stated that although Miss Garrett herself had decided to not make ‘any further effort to obtain the M.D. degree,’ choosing instead to ‘avail herself, as a general practitioner among women and children, of the Apothecaries’ Hall licence,’ this regrettable setback to women’s higher education was only temporary (327). ‘As time wears on, other women, like-minded with Miss Garrett, encouraged

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and sustained by her example,’ would successfully enter medical colleges and universities (328). The journal also reproduced an open letter of solidarity written by a French woman named Julie Victoire Daubié, who had recently received a Bachelor of Arts at the Academy of Lyons. Daubié’s letter to Garrett, originally published in Le Temps, a Parisian journal, is reproduced in its entirety. Printed in French, it serves as testimony of the ‘French Sympathy with English Effort’ to claim higher education and middleclass professions for women (Jan 1863: 325–7). Even as late as January 1864, a few months before falling subscriptions led to its closure, the English Woman’s Journal published ‘Female Medicine,’ an article by ‘M. D. C.’ that sharply criticised the Medical Times and Gazette, a leading medical weekly, for opposing ‘female doctorship’ (336). In fact, the markedly aggressive tone of this article, unusual for the English Woman’s Journal, suggests that the editors were hoping to boost sales by stoking controversy. Responding to a proposal for a female medical college published in the Times, the editors of the Medical Times and Gazette had argued that ‘regular and systematic [medical] instruction’ would unsex women and that ‘furnishing them with an “expurgated”’ medical education that accounted for feminine delicacy would only make them ‘sciolists of the most dangerous type’ (337). M. D. C. reproduced the offending article, also entitled ‘Female Medicine,’ in full, mockingly comparing its two-fold argument to a dog in a popular advertisement for a glue, who was so hastily pasted together after an accident that his hind and fore legs faced in opposite directions, leading him to run back and forth alternatively. She suggests that the Medical Gazette, like the dog, went nowhere with its jumbled ideas about women’s delicacy. Heightening the polemical charge of her article, M. D. C. adjusts the analogy so as to make the opponent himself seem like the grotesque dog. ‘Our critic of “Female Medicine,”’ she writes, ‘when unable any longer to argue from the squeamishness of woman,’ hoped to ‘turn a somersault and denounce her overboldness in daring to enter upon so indelicate a profession’ (Jan 1864: 338). Declaring her wish to decimate her opponent by systematically undoing his faulty premises, she states: We venture to break one pair of his legs at once, with a stroke of our pen, by assuring him that the project for educating women to be physicians does not contemplate the elimination from a genuine course of study of a single thing, however ‘indelicate.’ Considering then the Gazette as permanently upon the fore-legs of its paragraph, we join issue with it utterly. We maintain that the profession of medicine is suited to the character of the sex; . . . that her adequate performance of them [medical duties] does not imply that she must be ‘unsexed.’ (Jan 1864: 338–9) This argument about the suitability of women for learning all medical subjects offers nothing new in terms of content. However, the strident language represents a radical departure from the usual polite tone of the English Woman’s Journal. M. D. C.’s forceful and witty article offers a new model of campaign journalism. In March 1864, nearly six years after Anna Blackwell’s sketch of Elizabeth Blackwell had appeared in the English Woman’s Journal, Barbara Bodichon sent a letter from Algiers claiming that the article ‘has been this month translated into French, and has been inserted in a French medical periodical, and from that reprinted in an Algerian newspaper’ (69). The sketch had ignited press discussions of female physicians

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in Algeria, a place that had not been very open to such ideas. Elizabeth Blackwell’s advice-letter to students, she reported, ‘has also been translated, and will appear shortly’ (Mar 1864: 69). Bodichon claims that the translator and disseminator of the English Woman’s Journal’s articles was a pioneering Algerian medical woman who had applied ‘to be admitted into the Medical College here as a student’ (69). This letter, evidently meant to boost the morale of the journal’s supporters even as it was heading toward closure, provides critical insight into its pioneering contribution to the effort to open up the field of medicine to women. By consistently foregrounding women’s claims to participate in the medical profession, month by month, year after year, the journal is shown to have helped launch women’s medical movements in various parts of the world. Far from dryly propagating a preset agenda, the journal used a range of innovative journalistic strategies, from biographical sketches to pointed editorial interventions, to sustain the topic of female doctors through its full run. By embedding its arguments for female doctors within its wider coverage of the mid-century women’s movement, the English Woman’s Journal underlined that women’s entry into professional medicine was not simply an issue within science and medicine but a development that would have major implications for women’s higher education and their broader intellectual and public roles in society. In steadfastly pressing for women to be given access to medical schools and hospitals, it paved the way not only for Sophia Jex-Blake’s 1869 campaign to enter an established male-dominated university but also for the foundation of new centres of women’s medical education and practice in the 1870s, such as the London School of Medicine for Women and the New Hospital for Women.

Notes I would like to thank Sally Shuttleworth, Alison Moulds, Héloïse Wislez, and Nitin for providing support and feedback at various stages of writing this chapter. I am grateful for a TORCH Women in the Humanities fellowship at the University of Oxford and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Huntington Library in California for providing financial support and access to research resources. I would also like to thank the Mistress and Fellows, Girton College, Cambridge, for access to the personal papers of Bessie Rayner Parkes. 1. Though the term ‘feminism’ is anachronistic for this period, I believe it can be usefully applied to these women. As Barbara Caine has pointed out, ‘no other term suggests adequately the extent or the intensity of their concern about the situation of women or their sense of the need to remove the injustices, the obstacles, and the forms of oppression which women face’ (1992: 6). 2. Morantz-Sanchez 1985: 27; Poovey 1988: 39. 3. Digby 1999: 53; Bonner 1995: 209–10. 4. Peterson 1978: 1–39; Witz 1992: 61–3; Blake 1990: 27. 5. Blackwell’s family had emigrated to America when she was eleven. Parkes does not mention her own familial relation to Blackwell in her letter (Cherry 2000: 12). In her famous 1857 tract, Women and Work, Barbara Bodichon reproduced a section of Blackwell’s An Appeal in [sic] behalf of the Medical Education of Women endorsing Blackwell’s call for the establishment of a large women’s hospital where female medical students could gain practical experience (54–7).

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medicine as a profession for women 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

19.

20. 21.

22.

23. 24. 25.

26. 27.

28.

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See Gleadle 1995: 178–9; Hirsch 1998: 187. Goldman 2002: 2, 114–15; Mussell 2008. Piesse 2016: 131; Lacey 1987: 12. Blake 1990: 43, 47–53, 57, 60, 65, 79; Brock 2007: 132–3. For a discussion of how the form of the periodical is particularly suited to dialogue, see Henson et al. 2004: xviii. Bauer and Ritt 1979: 153–4; Poovey 1988: 175. Poovey 1988: 175; Heggie 2015: 268. Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell are shown providing free medical care in a hospital for women, but their earlier status as impoverished gentlewomen suggests that this social service is facilitated by their medical earnings (Apr 1858: 96–7). For the identification of Harriet Martineau as Ingleby Scott, see Logan 2012: 249. Digby 1999: 2; Peterson 1978: 34–9; Furst 2000: 268. Blake 1990: 20; Witz 1992: 79–80. ‘A Constant Reader,’ Jan 1860: 355; ‘S. E. M.,’ Mar 1861: 68–9. The medical establishment in England, however, remained opposed to female doctors; in the following year, an addendum enabling the British Medical Council to deny registration to foreign degree holders was passed which kept women off the medical register till 1877, when British universities and colleges began to grant women medical degrees (Swenson 2005: 64n17; Digby 1999: 157). As Poovey has noted, on some occasions, the usually anti-feminist Saturday Review surprisingly spoke of medicine as a suitable profession for women, probably because of the ‘unlikelihood that this profession would be opened to women’ (Poovey 1988: 242n28; ‘Industrial Occupations of Women,’ Saturday Review, 18 July 1857: 64). However, as the ‘Things in General’ article in the English Woman’s Journal points out, the Saturday Review also repudiated Blackwell, ‘the only one among his country-women who ever reduced that principle to practice’ (July 1859: 296). Garrett met Blackwell and attended her lectures in 1859. She was deeply inspired by Blackwell and continued to correspond with her (Anderson 1939: 42). Blake’s passing remark, that ‘presumably, “A. M. S.” stands for “A Medical Student” and was a pseudonym used by Elizabeth Garrett,’ first alerted me to this possible link (60). However, Blake does not discuss the striking similarities in A. M. S.’s and Garrett’s nursing careers and self-descriptions. According to Morantz-Sanchez, Blackwell’s idea of the female physician as a ‘connecting link’ between the medical profession and women’s everyday lives influenced the American medical-woman movement (1985: 58, 151). Peterson 1978: 190; Poovey 1988: 41. Poovey 1988: 41–2; Digby 1999: 2. By the 1850s, medicine continued to be divided legally into three traditional estates – the physician, the surgeon, and the apothecary – but in practice, most medical men were general practitioners (Poovey 1988: 41–2; Digby 1999: 2). Except in the case of Emily Davies’s letter, which I discuss later, I have not been able to identify the writers of these anonymous letters. This letter served as a chapter entitled ‘Female Physicians’ in Emily Davies’s signed volume publication Thoughts on Some Questions Relating to Women, 1860–1908 (1910). Davies might have chosen to write under a pseudonym in order to avoid censure for adopting a combative, ‘unfeminine’ tone. This tone, for example, is missing in her paper, ‘Medicine as a Profession for Women,’ which she presented at the NAPSS annual conference in the following month (Blake 1990: 57; Lacey 1987: 410–14). May 1862: 196. See also Brock 2007: 133.

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Works Cited Anderson, Louisa Garrett. 1939. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, 1836–1917. London: Faber & Faber. Bauer, Carol, and Lawrence Ritt, eds. 1979. Free and Ennobled: Source Readings in the Development of Victorian Feminism. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Blackwell, Elizabeth. 1895. Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women. London: Longmans, Green & Co. Blake, Catriona. 1990. The Charge of the Parasols: Women’s Entry to the Medical Profession. London: The Women’s Press. Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. 1857. ‘Women and Work.’ Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon and the Langham Place Women. Ed. Candida Ann Lacey. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986. 36–73. Bonner, Thomas Neville. 1995. Becoming a Physician: Medical Education in Great Britain, France, Germany and the United States, 1750–1945. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Brock, Claire. 2007. ‘The Lancet and the Campaign against Women Doctors, 1860–1880.’(Re) Creating Science in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Ed. Amanda Mordavsky Caleb. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars. 130–45. Brown, Michael. 2014. ‘“Bats, Rats and Barristers”: The Lancet, Libel and the Radical Stylistics of Early Nineteenth-Century English Medicine.’ Social History 39.2: 182–209. Caine, Barbara. 1992. Victorian Feminists. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cherry, Deborah. 2000. Beyond the Frame: Feminism and Visual Culture, Britain, 1850–1900. London: Routledge. Colón, Susan E. 2007. The Professional Ideal in the Victorian Novel: The Works of Disraeli, Trollope, Gaskell, and Eliot. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Davies, Emily. 1910. ‘Female Physicians.’ Thoughts on Some Questions Relating to Women, 1860–1908. Cambridge: Bowes & Bowes. 19–27. Digby, Anne. 1999. The Evolution of British General Practice, 1850–1948. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Donnison, Jean. 1977. Midwives and Medical Men: A History of Inter-Professional Rivalries and Women’s Rights. New York: Schocken Books. Furst, Lilian R, ed. 2000. Medical Progress and Social Reality: A Reader in Nineteenth-Century Medicine and Literature. Albany: State University of New York Press. Gleadle, Kathryn. 1995. The Early Feminists: Radical Unitarians and the Emergence of the Women’s Rights Movement, 1831–51. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Goldman, Lawrence. 2002. Science, Reform, and Politics in Victorian Britain: The Social Science Association, 1857–1886. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Heggie, Vanessa. 2015. ‘Women Doctors and Lady Nurses: Class, Education, and the Professional Victorian Woman.’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine 89.2: 267–92. Henson, Louise, Geoffrey Cantor, Gowan Dawson, Richard Noakes, Sally Shuttleworth, and Jonathan Tompham, eds. 2004. Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media. Aldershot: Ashgate. Hirsch, Pam. 1998. Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, 1827–1891, Feminist, Artist and Rebel. London: Chatto & Windus. Lacey, Candida Ann, ed. 1987. Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon and the Langham Place Group. London: Kegan Paul. Logan, Deborah, ed. 2012. Harriet Martineau and the Irish Question: Condition of PostFamine Ireland. Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press. Monteiro, Lois A. 1984. ‘On Separate Roads: Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Blackwell.’ Signs 9.3: 520–33. Morantz-Sanchez, Regina, 1985. Sympathy and Science: Women Physicians in American Medicine. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

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Mussell, Jim. 2008. ‘English Woman’s Journal, 1858–1864.’ NCSE: Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition. (last accessed 1 September 2017). Parkes, Bessie Rayner. Letter to Kate Jeavons, 8 Mar 1849, GCPP Parkes 6/52, Personal Papers of Bessie Rayner Parkes. Girton College, Cambridge. Peterson, Jeanne. 1978. The Medical Profession in Mid-Victorian London. Berkeley: University of California Press. Phegley, Jennifer. 2004. Educating the Proper Woman Reader: Victorian Family Literary Magazines and the Cultural Health of the Nation. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. Piesse, Jude. 2016. British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832–1877. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Poovey, Mary. 1988. Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Runkle, Lucia Gilbert. 1884, repr. 1888. ‘The Doctors Blackwell.’ Our Famous Women: An Authorized Record of the Lives and Deeds of Distinguished American Women of Our Times. Hartford, CT: A. D. Worthington. 134–51. Swenson, Kristine. 2005. Medical Women and Victorian Fiction. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. Waddington, Ivan. 1984. The Medical Profession in the Industrial Revolution. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. Witz, Anne. 1992. Professions and Patriarchy. London: Routledge.

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9 Encouraging Charitable Work and Membership in the Girls’ Friendly Society through British Girls’ Periodicals Kristine Moruzi

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n the fiftieth anniversary of the Girls’ Friendly Society (GFS), Mary HeathStubbs described how the organisation remained ‘a fellowship of young girls whose bond of union is purity and prayer’ (1926: 4). The interconnected themes of purity and prayer provided the initial impetus for the founding of the GFS in 1875, when Bishop Samuel Wilberforce asked Mary Townsend to organise a campaign to ‘rescue’ young girls from temptation. Through her charitable work with a local orphanage, as well as with girls whose education ceased at primary school, Townsend ‘became aware of the problems faced by girls going into domestic service, including loss of communication with their families and unwanted pregnancies resulting in dismissal’ (Harris 2004). She soon realised that ‘if the power of rescue work will be so increased by organisation, why should not work be organised to save from falling?’ (Money 1911: 4). It would, she felt, be more effective to prevent girls from succumbing to temptation than it would be to try and help them afterwards. The GFS was intended to supply a ‘model of the decorous life’ in which female, middle-class associates provided material and emotional support to working-class girls who were engaged in paid employment (Cordery 2003: 79). These members, who were no longer being protected by their families or in schools, were perceived to be at risk of sexual promiscuity and potentially prostitution. The success of the GFS was based on attracting two seemingly different groups: middle-class girls and ladies as associates and working-class girls as members. Associates and members paid annual membership fees that supported the organisation and membership numbers reflected the Society’s influence. With members and associates numbering over 157,000 by July 1889 and reaching a height of 39,926 associates and 197,493 members in England and Wales in 1913, the organisation played an influential role in British society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Harrison 1973: 109). The periodical press played a key role in attracting these two sets of members, both through dedicated magazines published by the GFS and informational articles appearing elsewhere in girls’ periodicals. Beginning in 1876, the GFS established a quarterly magazine, Friendly Leaves, which was aimed at attracting new members and reinforcing the society’s aims. The GFS also promoted its cause through other girls’ magazines of the period to attract girls and young women as associates. This chapter examines how religious girls’

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magazines encouraged readers to join the Girls’ Friendly Society by emphasising the charitable impulses of the organisation and only referencing in veiled terms the sexual innocence required of members. In the Friendly Leaves, the rhetoric around sexuality was carefully coded for the subjects of philanthropic interest. Two different religious magazines published in this period responded to the creation of the GFS by including informational articles and correspondence that addressed the objectives of the organisation. The Monthly Packet (1851–99), a High Anglican girls’ magazine, focused on the charitable impulses of the GFS and encouraged readers to become associates. The evangelical Girl’s Own Paper was also interested in encouraging girls to become associates, but its readership was similarly comprised of workingclass and lower-middle-class girls who might consider becoming members. These magazines encouraged all female readers, independent of class, to model a particular feminine ideal by alluding to the risks encountered by unvirtuous, impure girls. In this way, these magazines depicted models of femininity that transcended class boundaries. All girl readers were expected to adhere to a consistent definition of girlhood based on virtue and social order in which each girl understood her role as a future wife and mother.

Working-class Girls and the Establishment of the Girls’ Friendly Society The plight of the working-class girl in the last decades of the nineteenth century has been well documented. Carol Dyhouse has shown that working-class girls often began working for pay at a ‘very early age’ (1981: 104). As late as 1914, 40 per cent of children left school by fourteen years of age (Dyhouse 1981: 105). Consequently, many working girls were no longer being actively supervised within the family home or at school, causing a great deal of anxiety among the middle classes. With their independence enabled by their regular earnings, working girls were free to spend their money as they wished. Concerns were raised about girls’ fashion, leisurely pursuits, and sexuality (Dyhouse 1981: 105). Advocates for girls’ clubs insisted that these girls were being left too much to their own devices, with serious consequences for their morality, fiscal responsibility, and health. The risk of women ‘falling’ was a dominant concern throughout much of the nineteenth century. Sally Mitchell explains that ‘Nineteenth-century thinking and writing about women is informed by the idea of feminine purity’ (1981: x). A fallen woman was understood to have chosen to abandon her innate purity and would be forced to suffer the consequences of her actions. Trying to prevent girls and women from engaging in prostitution was not a new idea in the 1870s, yet there was no national organisation dedicated to supporting this work. As Townsend explains, ‘Hundreds and hundreds of devoted women are labouring for their young sisters’ welfare, with loving hearts and untiring energy, but they are scattered and work alone’ (qtd in Money 1911: 5). The key to greater success was ‘not the idea of work for girls, but the idea of organised work’ in the form of an ‘organised association for the upholding of the purity of Christian maidenhood, based upon the foundation of the national Church’ (qtd in Money 1911: 6). The GFS was the first Anglican organisation ‘designed for and run by lay women’ (Harrison 1973: 109). This highly conservative society was intended ‘to promote friendship and social

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harmony across class boundaries’ (Dyhouse 1981: 108), especially between middleclass women and their maids. The Girls’ Friendly Society was not a typical friendly society. Daniel Weinbren explains that friendly societies in the nineteenth century normally ‘pooled money to protect members against the consequences of not being able to work at their normal trade due to unexpected problems, such as injury, or foreseen ones, such as maternity or old age’ while also offering ‘opportunities for sociability’ (2006: 320). While the GFS provided opportunities for social gatherings, there was no shared insurance scheme. Simon Cordery explains that it ‘occupied the anomalous position of offering conviviality and no insurance at a time when the trajectory of the friendly society movement was in a direction away from sociability’ (2003: 79). Yet the benefits were numerous, including ‘cheap lodges and hostels for those between jobs or in non-residential employment, holiday and convalescent homes, evening clubs, approved registry offices, education and training’ (Richmond 2007: 308). The difference from typical friendly societies can partially be explained by the GFS’s focus on governing working-class female sexuality; its interests were not necessarily in protecting those who were unable to work but in ensuring a moral standard among its members. As Lucy Bland explains, ‘To the middle classes, all girls needed “protection,” or rather “protective surveillance” – from themselves, from men, and from “unsuitable” company’ (2002: 112). The GFS attempted to provide this surveillance through its system of lodges, evening clubs, education, and training, as well as through its organisational structure of associates and members. The importance of morality is evident in the three central rules established by the GFS to define the organisation: first, associates must be members of the Church of England, with no such restriction on members, and the organisation was to follow that of the Church of England, with dioceses as its structure; second, both associates and members were required to make annual financial contributions; and third, ‘No girl who has not borne a virtuous character to be admitted as a Member; such character being lost, the Member to forfeit her card’ (Money 1911: 98). A girl’s ‘virtuous character’ referred to her virginity, and once lost, it could never be regained. In the first issue of Friendly Leaves, the GFS claimed to ‘provide for each of its members the help and blessing of true Christian fellowship’ (Jan 1876: 1), yet it was unquestionably a social purity organisation designed ‘to preserve chastity among young working-class women moving from rural homes to urban employment’ (Richmond 2007: 304). All girls were expected to be pure until they were married, at which point they ceased being members of the GFS. Working-class girls from a variety of backgrounds and employed in different occupations were attracted to the GFS, which subsequently created several departments to address their specific concerns, including the concerns of workhouse girls, girls working in clerical and commercial occupations, and domestic servants (Harrison 1973: 111). Domestic servants ‘formed the largest single occupational group among members’ (Richmond 2007: 306). Membership numbers underestimate the influence of the GFS because ‘the annual increase in membership (continuous till 1913, except for the years 1900–2) concealed a large annual exodus’ of GFS girls into marriage (Harrison 1973: 109). By the end of the nineteenth century, there were more than 155,000 members and 32,000 associates in over 1,300 branches (Richmond 2007: 308). The GFS employed a two-pronged strategy to attract associates and members. From 1876, it published a magazine primarily aimed at girls who were already

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members, while also attempting to attract girls into the society. The first quarterly issue of Friendly Leaves, published in January 1876 and edited by Mrs Jerome Mercier, opens with a letter ‘To Our Readers.’1 In it, Mercier explains that the intended readers are girls ‘to whom God has given the privilege of working for your own livelihood’ (Jan 1876: 3). While these girls are anticipated to be working in paid employment, they are also expected to have ‘a kind heart to share what you earn with others’ (3). They may be making their own money, but they are also sharing it with their families or with those who are less fortunate than they are. Like the associates who are asked to help others, GFS members are also expected to contribute to the welfare of others. The model of girlhood in Friendly Leaves is religious, charitable, and dutiful, as the first issue demonstrates. In addition to the editorial letter, contents include religious instruction in ‘Holy Thoughts’ as well as ‘Conversations on Practical Matters’ such as the sick room. A short story entitled ‘A Life in Shadow’ tells of a dying woman whose ‘last expression was of thought for others. It was the secret of her life – unselfish and full of tenderness’ (Jan 1876: 13). This emphasis on charity and duty toward others is a consistent theme in the magazine. In ‘Daughters at Home,’ for example, Townsend explains that ‘some of those who read our magazine may be “daughters at home,”’ while others ‘may be only at home for a short time before going out to service’ (Jan 1876: 30). Townsend extols the daughter who contributes to the home, explaining how sweet it is ‘to hear a mother say, with love and pride in her voice, “Ah, I don’t know what I should do without my girl: she’s quite my right hand”’ (30). The girl at home should always be ‘ready to help and hearten [her parents] in their many cares and worries’ (30). She should be a sunbeam in her own home to ‘light up everything’ and make everyone ‘feel glad’ (31). Amidst this rhetoric about a girl’s value in the home is advice on how to maintain her ‘sweet smile, and cheery word, and dutiful manner’ (31). The humblest home can be made ‘cheerful and pretty’ (31), and the daughter at home ‘might often enliven the evenings for her parents . . . by reading to them, or singing for them some of the songs and hymns she has learnt at school. . . . So much may be done by perseverance and making use of one’s opportunities’ (32). This paragon of femininity is seemingly never cross or impatient and must always remember ‘the influence she has, for good or evil, on her brothers and sisters’ (32). Although Townsend emphasises the danger of a girl hurrying over her prayers, lying, or carelessly handling her Bible, she especially highlights the girl’s influence on her family. If she were to become sexually active, she might adversely influence her younger siblings. The ‘daughter at home’ is a vital image for the GFS because it gestures toward a girl’s future occupation as a wife and mother. A sister ‘may have a very great influence in showing her brothers what a woman should be,’ particularly when she is ‘gentle and modest, homely and handy in all sweet household ways’ (Friendly Leaves Jan 1876: 33). Based on this model of femininity, a brother will desire the same qualities in his wife; thus, ‘the circle of home influence may spread much wider than you think for now’ (33). Moreover, the daughter will eventually have ‘that which every woman longs for, a home of your own’ (33), and these skills will prove beneficial. The GFS viewed marriage and motherhood as a natural goal for its female members, particularly for those working-class girls and women moving from rural homes to employment in urban areas.2 These girls needed to be properly educated about their future

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roles as wives and mothers so that they could make appropriate decisions about sexual activity and thus retain their marriageable status. Virtually identical rhetoric about girlhood appears in the second issue of Friendly Leaves, April 1876, in a series of ‘Letters to Our Girls’ by Amy Susan Marryat, the author of Friendly Words for Our Girls (1875). The first letter, ‘On Starting in Life,’ explains that the girl is leaving school and that her mother ‘now hopes to have you at home for some little time to help her with the younger children’ (Apr 1876: 67–8). The author wonders whether the girl ‘is going to be a helpful little daughter’ and encourages her to ask herself, ‘What kind of a girl shall I try and be?’ (68). The author hopes that she will be ‘a good, steady, industrious Christian girl’ but knows that she cannot become this ‘all at once,’ so she must set herself the task of learning how ‘by praying and by trying’ (68). A dedication to religious teaching and ideals will enable the girl to become a dutiful daughter who is highly valued at home. A good girl, who will become a good woman, is described in Friendly Leaves as Christian, pure-minded, gentle, loving, and patient and tender with children and those who are ill (68). She is also ‘useful, . . . learning all she can to make home happy and comfortable’ (68). Most of the girls who were members of the GFS joined precisely because they were no longer within the confines of the family home, which reflects the GFS’s desire to police girls’ activities until they entered the marital home. This rhetoric therefore implies a dutiful, familial role based on a feminine ideal that was not possible, or necessarily desirable, for working girls and women.

The Girls’ Friendly Society and the Girls’ Periodical Press The model of girlhood depicted in Friendly Leaves was middle class in its expectations for appropriate behaviours and attitudes of members who joined the GFS. In contrast, readers of magazines like the Monthly Packet and the Girl’s Own Paper were expected to do more than help dutifully at home. Although this model is based on similar connections between religion and the charitable feminine ideal, the implied middle-class readers of the Monthly Packet and the Girl’s Own Paper were expected to help beyond the home as GFS associates. Charity was an important facet of constructions of femininity during the early and middle decades of the nineteenth century. Lynne Vallone explains that ‘charity work and almsgiving had traditionally been considered part of women’s domestic duty’ (1995: 16). Charitable works in particular were viewed ‘as an extension of the domestic ideology that kept her arts in the home’ (17). Importantly, however, as Dorice Williams Elliot explains, while this charitable work was often based on women’s domestic experience, it was not ‘a “natural” extension of women’s domestic role; rather, the connection between charitable and domestic work, like many other assumptions about gender roles, is the result of specific historical factors and cultural representations’ (2002: 6). Girls’ magazines encouraged readers to embody this charitable ideal by articulating a model of femininity that naturalised a consideration for others and how they could be helped. In the Monthly Packet, girls actively sought information about how they should go about performing their charitable work. Prior to the formation of the Girls’ Friendly Society, much of this philanthropy was in the form of district visiting, which emerged out of a lengthy tradition of visiting the poor. Frank Prochaska explains that in cities and towns where the suffering was concentrated, communities were divided into districts:

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‘Armed with the paraphernalia of their calling – Bibles, tracts, blankets, food and coal tickets, and love – these foot-soldiers of the charitable army went from door to door to combat the evils of poverty, disease, and irreligion’ (1980: 98). Although this visiting was originally geared toward lying-in and sick visiting, it became oriented toward the poor more generally in the early nineteenth century. While parish churches typically sponsored a visiting society (Prochaska 1980: 104), the mechanisms by which young women could become involved were not always clear. Although gender was not necessarily a problem for those who sought to do this work, age certainly could be. In 1862, ‘Henrietta’ sought advice from Monthly Packet readers after encountering difficulties as a ‘young lady district visitor’ (Sep 1862: 332). She explains that ‘the name of young lady “visitor” does not inspire confidence or respect,’ despite knowing that ‘lay visitors are needed’ and that they can be ‘very useful assistants to the clergy’ (332). Given the feminine ideal of duty and charity that appears in the pages of the Monthly Packet, her conviction that ‘many young ladies begin to wish for parish work’ at the age of eighteen is reasonable (333). These girls ‘read of it in books, and hear of it in conversation. They see need around them, and wish to relieve it. They have friends or relations who are so employed’ (333). Having this feminine ideal modelled for them in the pages of their magazine and in real life by their mothers and sisters, girls take up parish work ‘with the greatest ardour’ (333) but then abandon it as becomes too difficult or when another hobby attracts their interest. Inexperience is one of ‘Henrietta’s’ primary concerns since young women visit poor families and try to assist them with challenges that they themselves may never have encountered.3 In contrast to district visiting, which required intervention into the homes of the poor, the GFS was aimed specifically at working-class girls, whose needs could be more easily identified and resolved by middle-class girls and in ways that were more aligned with the definitions of middle-class girlhood that it hoped all its girls, members and associates alike, would embody. The alignment of these feminine ideals meant that the Monthly Packet supported the GFS by including references to the charity in its pages. The May 1875 issue of the magazine includes an article by Townsend introducing the GFS as a cause in which readers might be interested. She explains that it is not a benefit society providing financial support but is instead intended to be a ‘friendly’ society in the ‘true sense of the word’ (May 1875: 467). At a time when ‘our girls are mostly safe in the shelter of happy homes, these others are sent out to earn their bread among strangers; sent out to fight the battle of life alone, carrying with them only the echoes of a very scanty teaching’ (467). The working-class girl is explicitly contrasted to the middle-class girl reading the magazine. While the implied reader of the magazine is one of ‘ours’ who is ‘safe’ at home, the other, working-class, girls are barely educated and are ‘battling’ for their future. These working-class girls urgently need assistance before their ignorance and inexperience lead them to make poor decisions: And then womanhood comes rapidly upon them; perhaps they form bad acquaintances, undesirable attachments; no mother is near to warn them, no friend to tell them of their danger. What wonder that so many pass away into the silence – that so many lives are wrecked for time and for eternity? Can you wonder? Rather, is it not surprising that their number is not greater still? (Monthly Packet May 1875: 467)

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Silence is a key word in Townsend’s rhetoric since it not only suggests the girls’ inability to speak about their experience but also their absence from civilised society, from which they have been permanently excluded. The lack of a maternal figure or wise friend to warn them of the consequences of their sexual activity has serious implications for their future, in which their lives will be wrecked ‘for time and for eternity.’ These concerns about fallen women not only reflect a genuine concern about the lives being wrecked but also adult concerns about girls’ sexuality. As Mitchell explains, an unchaste single woman is ‘usually isolated from the role in family and society by which most women were defined’ since she no longer embodies the ‘natural’ purity that defined the feminine ideal (1981: xv). The significance of this language cannot be overstated for both the readers of the Monthly Packet and for the girls in the GFS. All of these girls – both the middle-class girls, who, it is hoped, will become associates, and the working-class girls, who are members – need to understand the consequences of these undesirable attachments that could cause them to lose their virtue and purity. These working-class single girls are at risk because they are moving beyond the confines of the family into uncontrolled spaces. The GFS sought to provide supervised spaces for girls in transit or between positions to ensure their safety and security. Townsend, having elicited sympathy for the plight of these girls, sets forth an objective for the GFS: to ‘raise up friends (and sheltering homes) all over the country for these our young working sisters [and] to link such friends together, and bind them with the golden chain of sympathy to those whom they are to befriend, and with the bond of united prayer and work to each other’ (Monthly Packet May 1875: 467). The friends she targets are the readers of the Monthly Packet, who are united through prayer and shared work to help ‘our’ young working girls. ‘Ladies,’ she explains, will become associates and ‘girls’ will become members (May 1875: 468), reflecting the class consciousness that underpins the organisation of the GFS. The article separates these two types of girls by highlighting the benefits of membership for working-class girls who need assistance as they are leaving school and searching for a position: [O]ur object is the Associates should search them out, make friends with them, bring them under the notice of the Clergyman of the parish, and take a general interest in their welfare; . . . they would be able henceforth to recommend the girls passing out from under their own observation, to the care of an Associate in the town or village to which they might be going; and in like manner to receive girls recommended to them by Associates at a distance. They would watch over them in service, visiting them occasionally, when the permission of their employers could be obtained. (May 1875: 468) The network of surveillance provided by the associates is designed to ensure girls’ safety and security, yet it also enables an associate to be able to confidently assert that a member remains eligible because of her ‘virtuous character’ (468). An associate is thus established in a position of authority because of her class and her community connections, while the working-class girl is defined by her inadequate education, experience, and opportunities. Middle-class girls’ virtue is unquestioned, presumably because her family and social constraints enable the surveillance and protection that the GFS is attempting to establish for working-class girls.

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Readers of the Monthly Packet are strongly encouraged to consider joining the GFS and are reminded that no special skills are required. As Townsend explains, ‘It is a work in which all may join. It needs neither great talents, nor great means, nor to go out of our daily path to do it’ (May 1875: 469). Unlike district visiting, which is potentially more demanding, becoming an associate has no special requirements. By virtue of being a girl and being middle class, every reader of the Monthly Packet is already qualified to become an associate. Her virtuous character is unquestioned, so the only requirement is that she wish to help girls who are less fortunate than her. The article closes by encouraging its ‘dear readers’ to understand that this is ‘no fancy scheme, no chimera of the imagination, no unnecessary undertaking’ (469). This work needs to be undertaken now, especially when one thinks of ‘all these [unfortunate girls] scattered up and down in this our land: we pass them day after day, but we cannot help them, because we do not know them’ (469). All that is required is ‘a gentle touch, or a friendly glance, or a word of serious counsel’ that might save them from ‘misery and ruin’ (469). By modelling a feminine ideal of purity, charity, and duty and providing emotional, spiritual, and material assistance, the associates can save working-class girls who risk their futures by making bad decisions. The Monthly Packet further supported the GFS by including an update from Townsend in 1877. This second article reflects on the progress of the society as it is ‘spreading and growing and consolidating itself’ (Oct 1877: 377) and now has almost 4,000 associates, 140 branches, twenty-two affiliated societies, and many thousand members. The various branches have established Bible classes – ‘so greatly needed for our girls’ (377) – as well as homes for members seeking respectable lodging between jobs as domestic servants and evening meetings for young women working in shops and warehouses, ‘who too often spend their evenings in the dangerous atmosphere of the streets’ (378). The practical work on which Townsend focuses is aimed at girls who are in danger of losing their virginity and thus their membership in the organisation. Yet these tasks are enabled through the attention (financial and otherwise) of the middle-class associates who promote the cause and facilitate classes, lodging, and evening meetings. Not only does the article describe the positive effects of the society, it also encourages readers to join since this work is ‘merely a beginning’ in the quest to have ‘at least one associate in every parish and a branch in every rural deanery throughout England and Wales’ (Oct 1877: 379). The work is not yet complete and requires more action by Monthly Packet readers. As Townsend explains, ‘I would urge upon all who read this paper that they can help us’ by joining as an associate, by mentioning the organisation to others, and, of course, by donating to the cause (379). Even those who are reading the paper ‘on the couch of sickness’ are encouraged to help with ‘their thoughts and prayers’ or by joining as honorary associates (379). Their connection to this ‘friendly work might become a “voice of comfort” in their loneliness’ (379). All kinds of girls are encouraged to contribute to the organisation, regardless of whether they are healthy or not. Alongside the practical need for middle-class girls to assist workingclass girls, middle-class associates were also modelling the charitable femininity lauded in British society and encouraged in girls’ periodicals of the time. Although the Girls’ Friendly Society was promoted in the pages of the Monthly Packet, the magazine did not provide ongoing support to the organisation through regular updates. However, the magazine content demonstrates the extent to which

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readers were engaged with the society. In the May 1875 ‘Notices to Correspondents’ section, ‘M. B.’ is told to ‘communicate direct with Mrs. Townsend . . . the Secretary of “The Girls’ Friendly Society,” which has eight Servants’ Homes in connection with it’ (516). This response suggests that ‘M. B.’ has written about a servant girl for whom she is hoping to find a place. While the magazine was a source of information about the GFS, specific inquiries were best handled by the organisation itself. Nonetheless the magazine also promoted GFS charitable activities. Mary Grant, the Branch Secretary of Deptford, wrote to solicit donations for a South London branch library. She explains that ‘We are anxious to have a good branch library in full work before the winter sets in’ because it will benefit candidates and members in business, domestic service, factory girls (Nov 1882: 496). Providing a place for working girls to go on cold days is important in preventing them from potentially seeking out inappropriate entertainment or unsuitable venues for relaxation. Readers of the Monthly Packet are well situated to assist in the development of the library. Grant confidently remarks, ‘I feel I may leave it to your readers to send what will be suitable for them to read, as the library is being started with the view to discourage the use of much other cheap and undesirable literature’ (496). As consumers of the Monthly Packet, they have already demonstrated their refinement in selecting appropriate reading material. The logistical difficulties of providing services to girls in predominantly workingclass areas are also apparent in the pages of the Monthly Packet. An appeal from Cordelia J. Hawksley, president of the Rochester Diocesan Council reflects the challenges of organising events and members in an area where few lady associates live. She writes of the ‘great need which exists in the many districts of the South of London’ (Dec 1882: 598). In Lambeth, Southwark, Bermondsey, and Deptford, ‘thousands of young women are employed in the various factories . . . which abound in these parts,’ yet there is ‘scarcely anything being done to provide the wholesome amusement and cheerful club-rooms which we find now established in many other parts of London’ (598). One of the problems of the branch structure of the GFS was that factory workers tended to be located in areas that did not include a sizable population of middleclass girls and women to organise a GFS branch. As Hawksley explains, the GFS ‘is trying . . . to supply the present need, but the number of ladies of education and leisure resident in these districts is so very small, that we must look to other parts of London to supply almost all the workers’ (598). She proposes organising ‘a band of ladies to go down on certain evenings to those neighbourhoods and hold classes for young women’ (598). While a middle-class woman was unlikely to travel alone to these areas, a group of women could safely travel together and perform charitable work without risk. The difficulty of maintaining GFS facilities in these South London branches is apparent through a July 1885 appeal, in which ‘those interested in the welfare of young girls’ are asked to help: ‘Money is urgently needed to carry on Girls’ Friendly Society work in South London’ (July 1885: 99). Funds would support recreation rooms, enable outings to the country, provide outfits, and pay permanent mission women or workers. Evidently, depending on voluntary labour in the form of ladies travelling to these South London locations was not sustainable, so instead the GFS employed women to work in these locales. These notices in the magazine reflected the extent to which the editorial staff and the contributors themselves felt that readers would be interested in the efforts of the GFS and how they could contribute through voluntary labour and financial contributions.

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Like the Monthly Packet, the Girl’s Own Paper was also engaged with the question of virtuous girlhood. The first formal discussion of the GFS appears in March 1883. This era is, according to the anonymous author, ‘an age of societies’ because the ‘world is so large’ and ‘the circle which any one of us can hope to influence [is] so small’ (Mar 1883: 377). The author implies that readers are already engaged in activities that influence others in doing and being good since ‘wherever we see that a great work wants doing we try to find or make a society to do it’ (377). The readers of this article are understood to have a shared belief in the importance of supporting and doing good work. In particular, readers of the Girl’s Own Paper will naturally be attracted by the GFS, whose ‘very name claims our interest at once’ (377). Significantly, this interest is ‘on both sides,’ for the Girl’s Own Paper ‘is warmly welcomed and eagerly read by many members of the GFS’ (377). This implies the dual readership of the Girl’s Own Paper by both working- and middle-class girls, the former potentially as GFS members and the latter as associates. Unlike the Monthly Packet, which never suggests that its readers include working-class girls who might become members, the Girl’s Own Paper anticipates both member and associate readers. The article suggests a shared model of girlhood based on the mutual desire ‘to live true, pure lives’ (377). Moreover, this model is not exclusively English: it has inspired similar societies in Scotland, Ireland, America, and many British colonies. The language in the article appears more inclusive than the language of the Monthly Packet, presumably because of the broader readership of the Girl’s Own Paper.4 The object of the society, the article explains, is to ‘bind together in one society ladies as associates and working girls and young women as members for mutual help (religious and secular) [and] for sympathy and prayer’ (Mar 1883: 378). Although this article makes obvious distinctions based on class, the language of ‘one society’ and girls and women of both classes being ‘bound together’ for mutual help implies a shared feeling and benefit. This ideal is reinforced in the following paragraph extolling ‘mutual help, mutual prayer, mutual love’ (378). Members can spend evenings in recreation rooms, where classes are often run. In some cases, members provide assistance to other members who are ill. There is, the article assures readers, ‘no end to the ways in which those whose hearts are warm can help one another’ (378). Nonetheless, the article concludes with the ways associates can contribute: ‘a variety of work’ is available ‘to suit everyone’s taste’ (378). The activities for associates include undertaking to ‘spend an evening at regular intervals’ at a reading room, managing the circulating library for their branch, giving lectures in the evening, and assisting with the annual GFS festival (378). These activities clearly privilege leisured middle-class girls and women, who have the time and money to participate in these ways. While this introductory article articulates a shared mutual benefit and is designed to encourage both classes of girls to join the GFS, the Girl’s Own Paper correspondence suggests working girls were aware of the benefits of belonging to the society. As early as 1881 – almost eighteen months prior to the first GFS article – girls and young women were writing to the Girl’s Own Paper to obtain information about the organisation or asking for assistance that the GFS could provide. ‘A Would-Be Sister’ is told that she ‘will find exactly what you desire in the “Girls’ Friendly Society,” which is a kind of “Co-operative Sisterhood,” binding together in one society associates and members for mutual help, sympathy, and prayer’ (Oct 1881: 14). The response concludes, ‘Your letter and its sentiments do you infinite credit’ (14), suggesting that

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the correspondent is likely to satisfy the requirement of having a ‘virtuous character’ (Mar 1883: 378). A similar response to ‘Nestfield Darlington’ appears in February 1882, which again includes the address of the central London Girls’ Friendly Lodge and the name of the general secretary. ‘Bousch’ is encouraged to join the GFS for it ‘would be of the greatest use to you’ (May 1882: 558). These responses in the correspondence section suggest that Girl’s Own Paper readers were already aware of the GFS even before it was formally introduced and that the editor of the section was similarly familiar with the society. This implies the organisation had achieved a degree of notoriety even before it began explicitly making requests of magazine editors to support its efforts through informational articles like those published in the Girl’s Own Paper in 1883. The purity requirement is explicitly articulated in the Girl’s Own Paper for the first time in the March 1883 article. None of the responses directing readers to the GFS mention the need for a virtuous character; however, one response to ‘Mayfly’ in December 1886 informed her of a Home of Rest where GFS members are accepted at the lowest rate and ‘any respectable girls recommended by two members or two associates . . . will be eligible and received, room permitting’ (Dec 1886: 175). ‘Inquirer’ is also informed that members need not be from the Church of England but must be ‘of good character’ (Jan 1886: 223). Readers of the Girl’s Own Paper were expected to be able to interpret these coded references to female sexuality, although Richmond argues that ‘some girls were unaware’ of the meaning of the third central rule (2007: 309). Furthermore, some associates ‘disagreed about what virtue encompassed’ (309), and many found it very difficult to police. The reticence to discuss female sexuality in girls’ periodicals meant that the requirement insisting on a girl’s virginity is phrased ambiguously, both in the GFS central rules and in the magazines promoting the society. Friendly Leaves, the Monthly Packet, and the Girl’s Own Paper demonstrate how the feminine ideal for both working- and middle-class girls was based on a shared understanding of the importance of a girl’s virginity, which was never referred to explicitly but was implied by the feminine ideal of virtue. Middle-class girls, who would become GFS associates, were seemingly never at risk of losing their virtue because they rarely had the opportunity to experience the world unsupervised or to make decisions that might compromise their purity in the eyes of the world. Consequently, these middle-class girls could be expected to guide working-class girls, who were at risk because they lacked this pervasive surveillance of their girlhood, toward this virtuous feminine ideal. These magazines depict working-class girlhood as a time of risk and danger that could be overcome by associating with middle-class girls and women, by structuring leisure time through education and appropriate clubs focussed on socialisation and community, and by taking advantage of organisational benefits like housing and networking. Yet these advantages were available only to those working-class girls who were prepared to abide by the requirement that they remain virtuous. Those who failed would be stripped of their membership in the Girls’ Friendly Society. The assumption of middle-class girls’ virtue was unshakeable, and those girls were never at risk of losing their membership. Only those working-class girls most in need of assistance risked being ostracised due to their inability to adhere to the feminine ideal of purity. Friendly Leaves, the Girl’s Own Paper, and the Monthly Packet operated in tandem to recruit and retain GFS members and associates while also reflecting the intricacies of working- and middle-class girlhood

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at a time when the expectations of girls regarding sexuality and employment were under constant scrutiny. How these tensions were reflected and negotiated in these periodicals demonstrates the complexities of negotiating definitions of girlhood in the last decades of the nineteenth century.

Notes 1. Anne Mercier wrote primarily religious and historical fiction for the Christian Knowledge Society, Rivingtons, and Hatchards. 2. Thus, as Richmond explains, although the GFS did much to ‘endow with dignity and purpose the life of the much-scorned nineteenth-century spinster,’ it considered spinsterhood ‘a state to be borne, not chosen’ (2007: 305). 3. Other readers of the Monthly Packet reacted to ‘Henrietta’s’ questions about district visiting, with a series of responses appearing over the next six months. In November 1862, ‘Jane’ explains that district visiting requires experience that only time can provide. Yet the opportunity to visit those less fortunate is ‘a privilege, quite as much as a duty, to be allowed to work in however small a sphere for our Christian brethren’ (545). If ‘Henrietta’s’ friends and family are reluctant to support her in becoming a district visitor, it is likely because of the ‘faults and follies of young people’ (545). ‘Jane’ reminds her readers that ‘[o]ur position as district visitors is to visit those put under our charge, neither as a clergyman, doctor, or nurse, nor only as a kind neighbour who has a fancy for visiting, but as a fellow-member of Christ, sent to them . . . to help and cheer them’ (547). The importance of religion is not to be forgotten in the zeal of being a district visitor. 4. Hilary Skelding suggests that the paper’s ‘ambitious attempt to be “every girl’s magazine” may have contributed to its many ambiguities and inconsistencies’ (2001: 39). The Girl’s Own Paper’s publication as both a weekly and a monthly reflects its desire to attract both working-class and middle-class readers. Kristine Moruzi and Michelle J. Smith make a related observation about the Girl’s Own Paper’s differing attitudes toward paid employment, arguing that the magazine ‘reinforces a traditional feminine ideal discouraging middle-class girls from working outside the home, while also reaffirming the necessity for working-class girls to earn income through paid labour’ (2010: 429).

Works Cited Bland, Lucy. 2002. Banishing the Beast: Feminism, Sex and Morality. London: Tauris Parke Paperbacks. Cordery, Simon. 2003. British Friendly Societies, 1750–1914. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. Dyhouse, Carol. 1981. Girls Growing up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Elliot, Dorice Williams. 2002. The Angel out of the House: Philanthropy and Gender in Nineteenth-Century England. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. Harris, G. M. 2004. ‘Townsend, Mary Elizabeth (1841–1918).’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, (last accessed 10 Oct 2017). Harrison, Brian. 1973. ‘For Church, Queen and Family: The Girls’ Friendly Society, 1874–1920.’ Past & Present 61: 107–38. Heath-Stubbs, Mary. 1926. Friendship’s Highway: Being the History of the Girls’ Friendly Society, 1875–1925. London: G. F. S. Central Office. Mitchell, Sally. 1981. The Fallen Angel: Chastity, Class and Women’s Reading, 1835–1880. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green University Popular Press.

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Money, Agnes L. 1911. History of the Girls’ Friendly Society. London: Wells Gardner, (last accessed 30 May 2017). Moruzi, Kristine and Michelle J. Smith. 2010. ‘“Learning What Real Work . . . Means”: Ambiguous Attitudes Towards Employment in the Girl’s Own Paper.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 43.4: 429–45. Prochaska, F. K. 1980. Women and Philanthropy in the Nineteenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon. Richmond, Vivienne. 2007. ‘“It Is Not a Society for Human Beings but for Virgins”: The Girls’ Friendly Society Membership Eligibility Dispute, 1875–1936.’ Journal of Historical Sociology 20.3: 304–27. Skelding, Hilary. 2001. ‘Every Girl’s Best Friend?: The Girl’s Own Paper and Its Readers.’ Feminist Readers of Victorian Popular Texts: Divergent Femininities. Ed. Emma Liggins and Daniel Duffy. Aldershot: Ashgate. 35–52. Vallone, Lynne. 1995. Disciplines of Virtue: Girls’ Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. New Haven: Yale University Press. Weinbren, Daniel. 2006. ‘The Good Samaritan, Friendly Societies and the Gift Economy.’ Social History 31.1: 319–36.

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10 ‘Welcome and Appeal for the “Maid of Dundee”’: Constructing the Female Working-Class Bard in Ellen Johnston’s Correspondence Poetry, 1862–1867 Suz Garrard

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llen Johnston, a Scottish poet and power-loom operative, gained regional fame for the numerous poems and verse conversations she published in workingclass newspapers in Scotland. This led to the publication of two editions of her collected poetry (1867, 1869), both of which included brief autobiographical narratives. The majority of Johnston’s verses are overtly autobiographical and vary in genre and style depending on their subject and her intended audience. Writing explicitly as ‘The Factory Girl,’ her identity was predicated on her class and gender identity. Emphasising either ‘factory’ or ‘girl,’ Johnston’s poetic oeuvre is somewhat disjointed because she wrote for multiple, diverse readerships. Nowhere is this strategy of shifting selfrepresentation more apparent than in the poetry she exchanged with female admirers in the ‘To Correspondents’ section of the Glasgow Penny Post. In this essay, I analyse the exchanges between Johnston and writers named ‘A Glasgow Lassie,’ ‘Isabel,’ and ‘Edith’ in the late 1860s.1 I argue that these women’s conversations in verse constituted a majority working-class coterie in which Johnston served as an inspiration and mentor for other writers, with her self-proclaimed identity as ‘The Factory Girl’ serving as a replicable model that working-class women poets could use to fashion their own public selves. Despite the peculiarity of Johnston’s history as an unwed mother, impoverished jute weaver, and popular working-class poet, she was adept at ‘engaging [with] the everyday [lives]’ of working-class women (Green 2012: 462). She exemplified how to discuss the complexities of factory labour, the hardships of urban living, and the pleasures of poetic production while claiming to speak to and from within a sympathetic, like-minded community. In the correspondence sections of working-class newspapers, working-class women could carve a niche within a classed literary space, crossing the borders between public and private, domestic and industrial, conventional and subversive. The correspondence sections of regional newspapers both created and validated the collective identities of their contributors. The poetry Johnston shared with fellow writers in regional, working-class newspapers is some of the most unique in her oeuvre, due in part to the diverse ways she constructed her poetic self as she responded to one correspondent or another. She and her female respondents align with Gary Kelly’s definition of a coterie as a

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‘group of personally acquainted individuals, meeting informally and corresponding with each other, who advance certain shared social, cultural, and political interests’ (2000: 148). Johnston’s network of female readers and respondents advanced the idea that working-class women could use poetry to achieve upward social and cultural – if not economic – mobility. Johnston and her coterie utilised the working-class newspaper as both a ‘meeting place’ and a vehicle for sharing their poetry. Julia M. Wright argues that the ‘literary coterie conventionally functions for a time in the interstices between public and private spheres’ (2006: 65). The ambiguity between publication and private correspondence in female working-class coteries – reinforced by Johnston’s candid depictions of her public and private life in her stand-alone poems – is further accentuated by the medium of periodical publication. Typically placed in the ‘To Correspondents’ column of the Penny Post, these poetic conversations were likely to have been read by male and female subscribers to the paper, thus heightening their potential political and social impact. However, the poetry Johnston and her correspondents published was probably most influential within the group of women who read and participated in the conversations. In her work on American women’s writing communities, Lauren Berlant claims that forums of socially liminal writers and readers embody how the ‘personal is the general’ and how all ‘publics presume intimacy’ (2008: vii). She examines genres of literature that have been gendered as part of ‘women’s culture’ and illustrates how women’s participation in these communities and their consumption of these texts create a ‘culture of circulation’ in which participants ‘feel as though [the particular community] expresses what is common among them’ by speaking to both their common history and their ‘ongoing attachments and actions’ (vii). The result, she argues, is an ‘intimate public of femininity’ which subverts dominant representations of gender, genre, and self (4). Although the poems women wrote seemed to conform to dominant idealisations of middle-class femininity, they nevertheless expressed contributors’ marginalised class and gender positions. In the Penny Post, the dialogues between female poets such as Johnston, ‘Isabel,’ ‘Edith,’ and ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ revolved around conventional middle-class ideologies of female courtship, labour, and writing. Johnston and her correspondents expressed a desire to leave factory work, establish a trusted cohort of fellow writers, and assume a respectable social role. In this way, Johnston and her peers attempted to use poetry to transcend their liminal class positions and become successful performers of bourgeois femininity.

Ellen Johnston Most of what we know about Johnston comes from the brief autobiographical narratives published in her collected poems in 1867 and 1869 (Klaus 1998).2 Born in Hamilton in about 1828, Johnston was the daughter of a stonemason and milliner. She began to apprentice as a power-loom weaver at eleven and gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Mary Achenvole, at seventeen. After working in Belfast for a time, Johnston moved to Dundee to be closer to her biological father’s family and to seek work as a weaver in one of the many jute factories operating in the city. In her autobiography, she claims that her first poem appeared in the Glasgow Examiner in 1854 and that ultimately she achieved local fame through the ‘To Correspondents’ section and frequent poetry contests held by the People’s Journal between 1862 and 1865.3 Around

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1865, Johnston returned to Glasgow and shifted her place of publication from the People’s Journal to the Penny Post. Johnston’s self-avowed love of Romantic writers such as Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott inspired her to represent herself as a mainstream literary heroine in her poetry, transforming her childhood from a random series of traumatic events into a progressive narrative of romantic subjectivity.4 By claiming that she had ‘suffered trials and wrongs that have but rarely fallen to the lot of woman,’ Johnston writes into the typology of melodramatic femininity established by her favourite Romantic poets and novelists and establishes this identity as a model for working-class women’s selfrepresentation (1867: 5). Although she suggests that factory labour is central to her poetic identity, she undermines this claim by emphasising that the ‘strange romantic ordeals’ of her life have placed her on a road to emotional contentment and literary success (5). Her identification as ‘The Factory Girl’ poet in her autobiography is constructed around ideologies of women’s social and literary respectability rather than industrial wage-labour or working-class self-improvement. A particularly noteworthy scene is Johnston’s description of her dismissal from the Verdant Works factory on 5 December 1863: I was discharged by the foreman without any reason assigned or notice given, in accordance with the rules of the work. [. . .] In fact, on account of that simple and just law-suit, I was persecuted beyond description – lies of the most vile and disgusting character were told upon me, till even my poor ignorant deluded sister sex went so far as to assault me on the streets. [. . .] Anonymous letters were also sent to all the foremen and tenters not to employ me, so that for the period of four months after I wandered through Dundee a famished and persecuted factory exile. (14) Rather than decry the actions of the factory owner or the structures that promote working-class exploitation, Johnston focuses her description on her identity as an exceptional and persecuted individual. What is most interesting about Johnston’s account, however, is how she portrays her relationship with her female peers at the factory. Though her fellow factory workers verbally and physically attack her, Johnston claims that they are blinded by envy because of the attention she receives as the ‘most intelligent of the factory workers’ (9). By focusing on the reasons behind the negative reactions of her female peers, Johnston establishes the importance of being included in their community. Her narrative is intended to inspire sympathy from female readers by casting the offending women as ignorant rather than villainous. Even when criticising the collective actions of this group, Johnston speaks to an assumed readership of sympathetic working-class women. As a ‘living martyr’ who still ‘never fell out’ with her female peers, Johnston consistently codes her writing identity within romantic, gendered typologies of heroic achievement and sentimental friendship, rather than working-class narratives of labour activism or factory reform (9). After Johnston became popular as a contributor to the Penny Post, editor Alexander Campbell published her collected poems in 1867. The collection gained enough subscribers that it went to a second edition in 1869. However, despite the moderate success of her published collections and her continued status as a house poet of the Penny Post, Johnston never achieved enough commercial success to leave factory

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labour. Her health declined rapidly in the late 1860s and early 1870s, and she died in Glasgow in 1874 under unknown circumstances. After her death, Johnston and her writing faded into obscurity, yet she lived on as a replicable writing subject position. Though her autobiography illustrates her transformation into ‘The Factory Girl,’ that persona is less a voice for the experience and concerns of the working classes than a figure of romance and gendered poetic development; her wage-labour and workingclass status are plot devices in her larger project of self-fashioning in the brief Bildungsroman of her autobiography.

Johnston and Her Fellow ‘Factory-Girls’ In her conversations with poets such as ‘A Glasgow Lassie,’ Johnston’s role as a mentor for working-class female followers is often emphasised. Johnston repeatedly underlines the suffering she has experienced, figuring her class experiences as obstacles to her overall success. This success is figured in gendered terms as she invokes traditional stereotypes of the nineteenth-century ‘poetess.’ Virginia Blain notes that ‘poetess’ was an ‘unstable term’ that took on ‘different coloration according to context’ throughout the century; it was assigned to female poets as a neutral indication of the poet’s gender, as a signifier of the anxiety surrounding the ‘feminization of literature in general,’ and as an association of women poets with ‘amateur dabblers’ (1995: 31–2). Despite the negative connotations associated with the term ‘poetess,’ Johnston and her two factory-poet correspondents derived subjectivity from the conventionality of domestic femininity and traditional definitions of women’s writing as a sentimental and amateurish pursuit. In her earliest exchange with ‘A Glasgow Lassie,’ for example, the name ‘Factory Girl’ is transformed from a marker of Johnston’s individual identity to a model that can be shared and adapted by fellow working-class women. ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ initially contacted Johnston through the Penny Post in June of 1866, praising her for her poetic skill and her success in reaching working-class readers through popular newspapers: Had I been gifted, gentle maid, With half thy sweet poetic fire, Then would I make the Muse my slave, And bid the heavenly-sounding lyre Extol thy praise till none should be So famed as Ellen of Dundee. But Fate so willed that thou shouldst sing, And I mute list to thy sweet strains, And thank kind Heaven for sending here – To dry our tears and soothe our pains – A creature womanly and kind, With gentle heart and sterling mind. [. . .] O call me sister, and I will Give deep, unselfish love away;

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O call me sister, for, like thee, I weary toil from day to day, And feel sharp worldly thorns each hour, Yet gather, too, sometimes a flower. (Penny Post 23 June 1866) Written predominantly in uninterrupted iambic tetrameter, the poem reinforces conventional statements about female friendship and affection. The ‘poetic fire’ that Johnston possesses is ‘sweet’ rather than provocative and all-consuming, and ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ hopes that they will primarily exchange affection and love through their correspondence. Their industrial labour is nothing more than a shared burden, something that Johnston has seemingly overcome due to her ‘womanly’ nature and ‘pretty songs.’ As Parnassian as the imagery in the poem is, it nevertheless reveals an engagement with particular discursive spaces and frameworks of gendered representation. ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ seems to place herself in a competitive relationship to Johnson, yet the poem’s tone is grateful and communal rather than sardonic and competitive. Johnston’s greatest contribution, according to ‘A Glasgow Lassie,’ is her ability to create an Arcadian world for female readers that serves as a pleasurable distraction from wage-labour.5 The correspondence column is framed as a safe space for women’s emotional effusion and communal catharsis rather than as a space of masculine pastoral nostalgia. The type of working-class woman that ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ constructs is both an industrial and domestic figure. The second and third stanzas evoke the ‘Angel in the House’ in order to construct Johnston as a figure of ‘womanly’ kindness and empathy even though she acknowledges that she, like her readers, is a full-time factory employee. Domesticity is a dream for the factory women reading the poem. Such conventional typologies of gender become subversive if expressed by liminal authors in the context of intimate publics. This is reinforced by Johnston’s response, which appeared on 18 August 1866. In the poem, Johnston apologises for her late reply and underscores the importance of the readership that ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ represents: Ah, believe me gentle sister, my soul thou dost enthrall; As the ivy leaves doth cluster around the ruined wall, So doth thy sweet revealings cling as closely round my heart, With fond endearing feelings that words can ne’r impart. Sister, why art thou mourning for bright poetic fire, Whilst heavenly light is burning around thy mystic lyre? Why midst oblivion’s slumber dost thou linger lone and mute, Whilst thou with golden numbers canst tune thy silvery lute? (Penny Post 18 Aug 1866) Adopting the term ‘sister,’ Johnston echoes the endearments of romantic friendship that ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ had employed in the original poem. She likewise transforms the ‘sweet poetic fire’ into ‘sweet revealings.’ In this way, both poets position themselves in a circle of like-minded working-class women who seek the respectability associated with middle-class women’s writing and representation. Depictions of ‘ivy

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leaves’ and ‘fond endearing feelings’ evoke both romantic nature imagery and the language of idealised, domestic femininity. As in the original poem from ‘A Glasgow Lassie,’ there is a divide between the representation of factory labour and its material realities, as well as a divide between the ideal and real contours of their personal relationship. These women most likely never met in reality and were only able to communicate with one another through the medium of the ‘To Correspondents’ section of a working-class newspaper; however, they speak as if they were writing private letters to one another. The poetic exchange between Johnston and ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ created a new space for writing, feeling women in the Penny Post. Later, in her poetic conversations with Isabel, Johnston even more overtly establishes herself as a literary mentor for other working-class women. On 21 November 1866, ‘Isabel’ praises Johnston’s poetry: Dear Ellen, when you read these lines, O, throw them not aside, Oh, do not laugh at them in scorn, or turn away in pride! I know ’tis a presumptuous thought for me to thee to write, For, Ellen, feeble are the words that my pen can indite. (Penny Post, 1 Dec 1866) Johnston clearly served as a beacon for those women who, like Isabel, believed they were ‘lone and mute’ (4). Again, Johnston is addressed as ‘Ellen,’ rather than ‘The Factory Girl,’ thereby suggesting an intimacy in the writers’ relationship that is belied by Isabel’s effacement of her own poetic skill. Isabel, by asserting that Johnston is an arbiter of factory women’s poetic skill, situates herself within what Erica Obey has called the ‘discourse of patron and patronized,’ thus undermining the ‘prevailing emphasis on extraordinary (male) individuals, which has been traditionally associated with Romantic notions of genius’ (2010: 67). Isabel and ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ clearly believed that the role of the Romantic genius could be filled by a marginally classed and gendered figure and that female newspaper poets could develop their own system of writing and mentoring. In her response to Isabel, however, Johnston reveals a more conservative interpretation of her role as a poetic mentor. Instead of emphasising her poetic triumphs, she highlights her sufferings throughout life: Dear Isabel, thou fain would’st learn my history – Could’st thou feel joy to learn a tale of woe That’s link’d with many a strange and cruel mystery Which God in heaven alone can ever know? (Penny Post 1 Jan 1867) Johnston reinforces the narrative of her own victimisation by pairing ‘woe’ and ‘know,’ but she also draws attention away from the non-romantic, classed particulars of her past by rhyming ‘history’ with ‘mystery.’ By consciously omitting the autobiographical details of her history, Johnston suggests that it is a potential obstacle to her career as a poet and life as a respectable Victorian woman. Johnston’s apparent shame about her past is interesting because in her other poems she extensively discusses her childhood

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abuse, her status as an unmarried mother, and her desire for an attractive male partner.6 Yet in her rejoinder to Isabel, she writes, I leave my wrongs with Him – He will avenge them – In His almighty wisdom to destroy; And those that wronged me I will ne’er estrange them; Theirs may be grief perchance when mine is joy. (1 Jan 1867) Here she replaces her agency with the power of God and fate. Though she does not repudiate her role as a mentor and source of inspiration for female readers, she constructs her identity as a more conventional natural genius, an outsider whose past turmoil connects her to a conventionally male, Romantic subjectivity: My life’s young years were spent in dark repining, In persecution, falsehood, and envy; But now a world of love is round me twining – My fame is soaring upwards to the sky. (1 Jan 1867) Like William Wordsworth, who saw a ‘continuity between childhood and adulthood’ as essential to his imaginative power, Johnston emphasises her individual experiences in order to make herself exceptional amongst working-class women poets, even as she participates in creating that same community (Homans 1980: 67). The poetic dialogues between Johnston, ‘A Glasgow Lassie,’ and ‘Isabel’ exemplify how the medium of the periodical, when viewed as an intimate public, destabilises the material and social limitations of class by enabling conversations between marginalised authors that would not have otherwise occurred. This intimate public disrupts how prescriptive gender representations function across class and publishing contexts. Through the ‘To Correspondents’ section of the Penny Post, these poets could each write as and respond to ‘The Factory Girl,’ participating in the creation and narrative trajectory of their individual and group identity.

Johnston and ‘Edith’ Johnston’s longest and, in many ways, most complex exchange occurred with ‘Edith,’ who claimed to be a lower-middle-class schoolteacher and an avid reader of Johnston’s writing in the Penny Post and the People’s Journal. It is not surprising that Edith read the People’s Journal given that it actively sought a working-class and middleclass readership with its moderate political reporting; however, her familiarity with the Penny Post is less expected since it targets working-class Scots readers due to editor Alexander Campbell’s radical-leaning politics. It is Edith’s lower-middle-class status that makes her conversations with Johnston extraordinary. Exchanging several poems throughout 1866 and 1867, Johnston and Edith addressed similar themes but approached writing and community differently than did Isabel or ‘A Glasgow Lassie.’ The cross-class dialogue between Johnston and Edith demonstrates that Johnston’s narrative of social victimhood, ‘natural genius,’ and middle-class sentimentality could

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effectively embed her writing and identity within bourgeois ideologies of women’s writing. Edith initially contacted Johnston on 18 March 1866 in order to learn what in Johnston’s life had inspired her to write ‘’Mid steam and dust and ceaseless ring / Of cotton wheels in factory room’ (Penny Post 3 Mar 1866: 4). Edith attributes the genius of Johnston’s verses to the ‘Spirit of the Olden Muse,’ who uses Johnston as a mouthpiece: They ask me, girl, what made thee sing ’Mid din of shuttle and of loom – ’Mid steam and dust and ceaseless ring Of cotton wheels in factory room. What made thee sing? Ask first the thrush That haunts the woods ’bove fair Dundee, And on her hills the breezes hush Till bird and breeze explain to me. (4) Edith’s reference to ‘cotton wheels’ evokes generalised representations of factory labour rather than the reality of Johnston’s work in the jute industry. Edith cannot relate to Johnston’s work as a factory employee and thus resorts to clichéd language, referring to the poetess as a singing bird and omitting the particulars of Johnston’s past. In this sense, she was expressing what Susan Zlotnick has identified as a particular progressive and middle-class view of women’s factory labour. Zlotnick notes how bourgeois authors such as Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Gaskell composed narratives in which the ‘wage-earning factory woman was less a cause for concern than for celebration’ because she had the potential to be financially independent from a patriarchal male figure (1998: 63). Edith’s celebration of Johnston’s poetic skill is limited by her desire to ‘elude the intractable problems of class conflict and exploitation’ that are apparent between Johnston and Edith’s real-life contexts (164). In later poems, Edith states that Johnston’s writing possesses ‘grace to mine doth not belong’ (Penny Post 19 May 1866: 4). In fact, one of Edith’s final poems to Johnston calls her a ‘spirit rare’ who could be known by her ‘minstrely’ anywhere (Penny Post 29 Dec 1866). In her replies, Johnston embraces Edith’s sentimental, non-classed representations of her and her writing by rarely mentioning her experiences with wage-labour. Instead, she echoes Edith’s characterisations of her sublime talent: They ask thee, Edith, why I sing ’Mid factory din, its dust and gloom, And why I soar on fancy’s wing ’Mid dreamland bowers and summer’s bloom. [. . .] Yet still I sung, though all in vain, While year in sorrow follow’d year, When all at once like magic strain My harp burst on the world’s ear.

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Ah, gentle Edith, see me now, With hope’s bright banner o’er me spread, Fame’s golden wreath around my brow, Love’s lyric crown upon my head. (Penny Post 7 Apr 1866) The first two stanzas reflect Edith’s narrative of how Johnston became a poet, even echoing Edith’s description of the factory as a dreary cacophony of monotonous work. As the poem continues, however, Johnston asserts that her poetic spirit, ‘like the linnet,’ was painfully caged in factory labour. Lines 41 through 48 gesture toward her position as a leading poetic voice of a community of sentimental poets, a community that includes Edith as a lower-middle-class poet. In fact, Edith wants more of her middle-class peers to read Johnston’s poetry as an example for idle young women: We with our weary years of ‘Havet’s Grammar,’ With dates, astronomy, and dear knows what, And parsing, where the thoughtless often stammer, ’Mid mood and tense, and case, and this and that. (Penny Post 21 Sep 1867) The first three lines of the stanza depict the lives of Edith and her female peers as aimless and framed by a pedagogy that suppresses affect and individual experience. The iambic pentameter of the final line embodies the monotonous pattern of rote memorisation that characterised the education of Edith and her peers; however, it also reflects the endless clamour of the factory machinery with which Johnston laboured. Edith’s claim that Johnston’s writing provides a means of escape from this restrictive paradigm for middle-class women indicates Johnston’s cross-class appeal, but it also suggests that Edith views her exchange with Johnston as representative of a more conventionally classed patron-writer relationship. Johnston is useful to Edith and her peers: her poetry demonstrates that wage-labour is not necessarily corrupt and that writing can serve as a tool for women’s class mobility. For both women, sentimental writing was not just a mode of expression but an opportunity for social and aesthetic reconfiguration. By embedding her language and self-representation within bourgeois ideologies of femininity, Johnston performatively transcends her working-class experiences, mobilising a collective of female newspaper poets. Unlike the correspondences between Johnston and her fellow working-class poets, however, the differences in socio-economic status between Edith and Johnston disrupt the representational possibilities of the Penny Post’s intimate public. If Johnston’s correspondence with ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ and Isabel harnesses conventional bourgeois domesticity as a means of establishing group subjectivity, her exchange with Edith reaffirms the link between working-class women’s self-help and middle-class women’s self-fashioning. However, Edith can never fully apprehend the experience of the workingclass women whose good work she promotes. As a middle-class woman, Edith does not share a common history with Johnston that would enable them to form an intimate public. Since Edith converses with Johnston without engaging with her ‘Factory Girl’

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persona, she isn’t able to completely participate in the correspondence column as an intimate space of exchange. Since Edith does not aim to model herself after Johnston, she does not see the latter poet’s femininity as a plastic construct but as a static invocation of bourgeois femininity. To Edith, the idea of factory work represents the end of recognisable femininity and poetic production. Rather than viewing factory labour as a source of solidarity and a point from which women derive subjectivity, she views it as an obstacle to performing femininity. The ‘To Correspondents’ column, as a gendered and classed space within the Penny Post, is rendered less subversive when subject to middle-class interventions.

Conclusion Ellen Johnston’s correspondence poems in the Penny Post are an invaluable example of working-class women’s poetics, community, and self-representation. The way in which Johnston’s ‘Factory Girl’ became a model for her working-class admirers enabled the creation of a working-class coterie of female factory-worker poets whose conversations in verse redefined how dominant typologies of femininity could be represented. Johnston’s fame inspired the creation of an intimate public that consolidated the audience for which it presumed to speak. This public exchange of semi-private texts exploited the language and social conventions of middle-class gender representations, despite contributors’ radically different material circumstances. Johnston’s conversations with Edith, in particular, prove how well working-class women poets wrote themselves into middle-class feminine scripts. However, these conversations forced Johnston to redefine her factory labour as something that she must escape from in order to reach her poetic – and by extension, her feminine – potential. Ultimately, Johnston’s correspondence poems exemplify the importance of working-class newspapers in facilitating communities of working-class women poets, enabling them to become active participants in shaping their own domestic ideal.

Notes 1. Though it is impossible to verify if these contributors were definitively women – particularly ‘A Glasgow Lassie’ and ‘Isabel’ – the style and content of their verse varies significantly from the male correspondents who are known to have written to Johnston. I follow scholars such as Susan Zlotnick and Florence S. Boos in analysing these poets as women. 2. Like Klaus, I am cautiously taking the main points of Johnston’s autobiography as a semi-factual narrative as there is very little evidence of her or her daughter’s birth or death. 3. The journal’s full title is the Dundee, Perth, and Forfar People’s Journal. 4. See Scott’s Tales of My Landlord. Johnston was also most likely familiar with Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor. In the novel, Lucy Ashton’s tragically failed love affair with Edgar leads her into the wild act of murdering her husband – Francis, Laird of Bucklaw – before descending into insanity and death because of her frenzied lost love for Edgar. 5. See Garrard 2017. 6. See Johnston’s poems ‘A Mother’s Love’ (44–5), ‘Lines to a Lovely Youth’ (51–2), and ‘The Absent Husband’ (27) in her Autobiography.

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Works Cited Berlant, Lauren. 2008. The Female Complaint. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Blain, Virginia. 1995. ‘Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Eliza Mary Hamilton, and the Genealogy of the Victorian Poetess.’ Victorian Poetry 33.1: 31–51. Garrard, Suz. 2017. ‘“And, oh! but the lilies are pure and fair”: Fanny Forrester, Ben Brierley’s Journal, and the Creation of a Working-Class Women’s Pastoral Tradition.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 50.3: 447–66. Green, Barbara. 2012. ‘Complaints of Everyday Life: Feminist Periodical Culture and Correspondence Columns in The Woman Worker, Women Folk and the Freewoman.’ Modernism/ Modernity 19.3: 461–85. Homans, Margaret. 1980. Women Writers and Poetic Identity. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Johnston, Ellen. 1867. Autobiography, Poems and Songs of Ellen Johnston, the ‘Factory Girl.’ 1st edn. Ed. Alexander Campbell. Glasgow: William Love. Kelly, Gary. 2000. ‘Politicizing the Personal: Mary Wollenstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and the Coterie Novel.’ Mary Shelley in Her Times. Ed. Betty T. Bennett and Stuart Curran. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 147–59. Klaus, Gustav. 1998. Factory Girl: Ellen Johnston and Working-Class Poetry in Victorian Scotland. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. Obey, Erica. 2010. ‘“The Poor Girl’s Talent”: Romantic Mentorship and Mary Colling’s “Fables.”’ Keats-Shelley Journal 59: 65–77. Scott, Walter. 1819. Tales of My Landlord. Third Series. Ed. Jedediah Cleishbotham. Edinburgh: Longman Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown. Wright, Julia M. 2006. ‘“All the Fire-Side Circle”: Irish Women Writers and the Sheridan-Lefanu Coterie.’ Keats-Shelley Journal 55: 63–72. Zlotnick, Susan. 1998. Women, Writing, and the Industrial Revolution. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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11 The Editor of the Period: Alice Corkran, the GIRL’S REALM, and the Woman Editor Beth Rodgers

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ollowing on from the success of magazines like the Girl’s Own Paper (1880– 1956), Atalanta (1887–98), and the Young Woman (1892–8), the Girl’s Realm was launched in November 1898. Priced at sixpence, this middle-class monthly magazine was one of the most expensive and expensively produced girls’ magazines. It printed photography, carried interviews with leading writers and celebrity figures, and gave away bicycles and pianos in prize competitions. Scholars of girls’ periodicals such as Sally Mitchell (1995) and Kristine Moruzi (2012) have noted that Girl’s Realm also stood out from its competitors due to its self-consciously modern outlook, with its apparent endorsement of employment, education, and modern pastimes such as photography and cycling. Editor Alice Corkran (c. 1847–1916)1 fostered and encouraged this sense of modernity in a variety of ways, perhaps most deliberately in the naming of her monthly editorial column ‘Chat with the Girl of the Period.’ As Mitchell notes, this was an ‘[assertive reclamation] of the phrase Eliza Lynn Linton had used to castigate girls of the 1860s’ (1995: 110). Linton’s infamous ‘Girl of the Period,’ described in her Saturday Review article of 1868 as being vain, immodest, excessive, and flirtatious, is efficiently debunked in Corkran’s hands. Corkran was writing thirty years after Linton, but her reclamation of the ‘Girl of the Period’ was timelier than it may at first seem. According to Lyn Pykett, Linton’s essays ‘enjoyed a new currency in the 1880s and 1890s (following their publication in volume form in 1883)’ (1992: 158). Corkran, who was herself part of the generation under fire in Linton’s original piece, perhaps recognised something similar in more recent debates about modern girlhood and the New Woman. Alice Corkran was by no means the most famous or longest-serving woman editor of the nineteenth century, but she stands as a revealing case study. Historians of the press, including Margaret Beetham, Barbara Onslow, and Beth Palmer, have drawn attention to the particular challenges faced by nineteenth-century women editors such as Eliza Cook, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Charlotte Yonge, Isabella Beeton, and Annie S. Swan. For example, although the expansion of the press led to an increase in women editors as the century progressed, the ‘cultural association of editorship with manliness’ meant that the very term ‘woman editor’ was seen as contradictory and problematic in some quarters (Palmer 2011: 3, 7). As a woman editor at the turn of the new century and as the editor of a magazine that engaged with the strategies of New Journalism, Corkran was a writer whose career trajectory and distinctive editorial persona illustrate the connections

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between the periodical press and debates about girlhood and womanhood in the nineteenth century. The complex relationship between a periodical’s editorial voice and its textual identity has been of much interest in periodical studies. In particular, the recognition of the multivocal nature of the textual space of the periodical has implications for our understanding of the editor’s role. As Marianne Van Remoortel notes, ‘Critics have started to question the sovereign nature of the editorial function, arguing that the editor’s authority is necessarily fragmented, dispersed and even contested through the multitude of voices that comprise the periodical’ (2015: 3). In Corkran’s case, we might ask to what extent her editorial persona corresponds to, promotes, or, indeed, modifies the purported modernity of the Girl’s Realm’s textual identity. Moreover, to what extent is her editorial persona distinctive in the first place and what is the relationship between the persona and the professional woman behind it? Although some work has been done on the Girl’s Realm in recent years,2 Alice Corkran herself has remained a somewhat elusive figure. Aside from a short biographical note by John Sutherland, there has been very little written on her (1988: 149). Who was she and how did she become an editor? What kind of an editor was she, and what does her editorship tell us about women’s professional literary lives in the late nineteenth century? Some of these questions are easier to answer than others. As Palmer has recently noted, editorial work is often invisible in the final product: ‘Publisher’s archives, editorial correspondence, and the visible work of editors (opening remarks, editorials, reviews, and answers to correspondents) all help the modern scholar reconstitute the work of the editor, but such sources are not always available’ (2015: 60). In the second half of this essay, I examine Corkran’s editorial columns in order to think about her ‘visible’ editorial presence, but my discussion begins by bringing together biographical research drawn from letters, biographies, profiles in periodicals, census data, and Royal Literary Fund files. Like Van Remoortel, my approach advocates for the importance of considering the press’s ‘relationship to lived reality – the vagaries and vicissitudes of people’s lives, the social networks in which they participated and the ongoing processes of periodical production’ (2015: 5). My findings suggest that Corkran’s marginal status in literary history today obscures a biography that is in fact intimately connected to the history of the press.

‘Journalist, etc’: Be(com)ing a Woman Editor Alice Corkran was born in Paris around 1847, one of three daughters and two sons born to John Frazer Corkran and Louisa Corkran, née Walshe. The Corkrans had married in Dublin in 1839 before relocating to Paris, where John Frazer Corkran served for many years as a correspondent for the Morning Herald. He was the ‘type and model of the great correspondents of the old school,’ according to one contemporary (Whiteing 1915: 135). As suggested by the title of his daughter Henriette’s memoir, Celebrities and I (1902), Frazer Corkran’s position granted the family intimacy with many key literary and artistic figures of the day, especially other literary families such as the Brownings, the Thackerarys, and the Wildes (the lifelong friendship with the latter seems to date from their years in Dublin). In her recent work on British writers in mid-nineteenth-century Paris, Elisabeth Jay notes that Louisa Corkran’s regular literary salons, together with Frazer Corkran’s professional

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credentials, put the Corkrans ‘at the heart of press life in Paris’ (2016: 174). Alice and Henriette are among what Jay characterises as a second generation of literary and artistic workers inspired and shaped by their parents’ professional networks of mid-century Paris, suggesting that ‘ink had entered their bloodstream there’ (2016: 175). This literary atmosphere does not seem to have diminished upon the family’s collective move to London in the late 1850s. Commenting on the publication of Celebrities and I decades later, the Athenaeum called the Corkrans a ‘well-known literary family’ (4 Oct 1902: 454). Given this considerable literary heritage, it is perhaps no surprise that Corkran pursued the family business of journalism and authorship. Her varied writing career included novels, especially for girls, such as Margery Merton’s Girlhood (1888) and Meg’s Friend (1889); children’s books, like Down the Snow Stairs; or, From Goodnight to Good-morning (1887), which has been compared to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in recent scholarship;3 non-fiction texts, such as The Life of Queen Victoria for Boys and Girls (1910); biographies of figures including Frederic, Lord Leighton, a family acquaintance through the Brownings; and books on history and art for general readers. Given Marysa Demoor’s observation that ‘editors were appointed partly for their literary connections,’ it is tempting to assume that Corkran’s family’s literary associations facilitated as well as inspired her career, particularly her appointment as an editor in later life (2016: 96). For women, these connections were all the more pertinent, according to Barbara Onslow: Whatever the ideal requirements of successful editorship, achieving it at all depended on factors which were the reverse of women’s usual condition. Their education was all too often inadequate, political sophistication was discouraged and their personal expectations and ambitions modest. In such circumstances it is perhaps more surprising that so many, rather than so few, reached the editorial chair. Family connections aside, the most likely route was via success as a novelist. (2000: 106) Clearly, Corkran had useful family connections (as well as some success as a novelist), which made her career trajectory resemble the model Onslow identifies to some extent; however, these facts are far from the whole story of her experiences within the literary marketplace. What is less apparent in references to the ‘well-known literary family’ is the fact that the family had retreated to London in penury following Frazer Corkran’s loss of his position as Paris correspondent. As Jay observes, ‘The family’s consequent period of poverty . . . would have brought sharply home to [Alice and Henriette] the need for a woman to be able to earn her own living’ (2016: 259). Letters to the Royal Literary Fund suggest that Corkran’s own writing career was at times motivated by extreme economic need. In 1881, when she was thirty-four years old, she appealed to the Royal Literary Fund on the grounds of ‘serious illness,’ stressing that she had ‘no regular engagements, all precarious, nothing permanent.’ She informed the Fund: The day I cease to work, my source of income ceases too – not only am I myself entirely dependent on my pen but I contribute to the support of my parents. This illness has been brought on by overwork, by an excessive strain upon my brain. I am now utterly disabled, all work forbidden, and advised by my doctor complete rest for a few months.4

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The application included letters of support from Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Leslie Stephen, and Robert Browning, which may have influenced the Royal Literary Fund’s decision to grant Corkran’s request for £50. It was not the first time the Corkran family had been compelled to appeal to the Fund: John Frazer Corkran had previously made applications in 1862 and 1878. Recorded also in his file is an application made by Louisa Corkran in May 1884, following her husband’s death in February that year. In the letter to Ritchie included as part of the case for support, Louisa notes, ‘I see too plainly the [e]ffect these money miseries have on Alice’s health.’5 These difficult experiences are one of the key reasons why Corkran stands as a revealing case study of the woman editor at the end of the century. Although her family’s connections to the literary world no doubt opened certain editorial doors, as suggested by Onslow, they also force us to recognise the ways her life was shaped by what happens when editors and publishers cannot be found, or when periodicals and newspapers unexpectedly fold. Tracing her professional and personal networks not only enables us to study the ways in which women took advantage of their literary connections but also forces us to acknowledge that this work was never done, in part because of ‘the vagaries and vicissitudes of people’s lives’ but also because of wider social pressures. In addition to the social and personal challenges cited by Onslow, Palmer comments that women editors also had to be ‘strategic operators in a shifting landscape of annuals, periodicals, and newspapers. All competed for an expanding base of potential readers and needed to keep pace with developments in technology and communications that were changing the shape of the industry’ (2015: 70). Corkran’s steady publication record across a range of genres and subject areas, from the appearance of her first novel, Bessie Lang, in 1876 to her death in 1916, suggests not only her ability to ‘keep pace’ but also her keen awareness of the need to do so in order to maintain an income. Further research into Corkran’s career reveals in more detail how important active involvement in literary networks was to her work as an editor. The Girl’s Realm was not her only experience of editorship: in the 1880s, she edited the Bairn’s Annual of Old Fashioned Fairy Tales (1885–90), a ‘cheap little book’ that represented a ‘pleasant revival of the “annual” of some fifty or sixty years ago, but in a simpler and more business-like form,’ according to the Spectator (19 Dec 1885: 23). The annual featured poems and stories by Corkran, as well as by a range of authors from within her family and her literary circle. The 1885–6 volume, for example, included pieces by Lady Wilde, John Frazer Corkran, and the Rev. Charles L. Corkran, her uncle. Corkran clearly knew how to make the most of the resources available to her, but it is also clear that she was a useful resource to others in turn. Two of Oscar Wilde’s surviving letters to Alice, sent in 1888 while she was editor of the Bairn’s Annual and he of the Woman’s World, reveal that both utilised their personal connection in the professional sphere. The Wildes and the Corkrans were long-term family friends. Several of Wilde’s other letters make reference to evenings spent with the whole Corkran family,6 and Henriette Corkran’s Celebrities and I recounts a lifelong friendship between herself and Lady Jane Wilde, noting that ‘even before my birth my mother and “Speranza” had had a long correspondence’ (1902: 137). What is most interesting about these two extant letters to Alice, however, is the insight they give us into the two editors’ behindthe-scenes machinations. In the first letter, it is implied that Corkran has written to Wilde on behalf of both herself and another woman writer, to which Wilde responds,

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I think your friend’s little book quite delightful, and I will be very pleased if she will write me an article of 3000 words on Economical French Cookery, giving practical hints to English housewives. As regards your own article, everything that you write is full of grace and delicacy of literary style, so I hope you will do your account of the Retreat. (Hart-Davies 1985: 78–9) Corkran does not appear to have published anything in the Woman’s World, despite Wilde’s attempts to get her to do so. In the second letter, also from 1888, he writes, ‘I am hard at work at some new stories, which I think you will like. Why don’t you send something to the Woman’s World? I want an article on Spinets and Harpsichords, with references to the South Kensington collection, for illustrations’ (Hart-Davies 1962: 232). In each letter, Wilde sends his love to both Louisa and Henriette before signing off, reminding us of the intimacy between the two families, but the content is otherwise thoroughly businesslike in tone. It is notable that Corkran and Wilde are equally engaged in networking with each other. Wilde’s ‘new stories’ may well be those that would become The House of Pomegranates (1891), so it is a prudent move on his part to bring them to the attention of the editor of an annual of fairy tales. Indeed, the Bairn’s Annual had a track record of publishing authors by the name of Wilde: in addition to publishing Jane Wilde, Corkran included a story by Constance Wilde in the 1887 volume (Fitzsimons 2015: 156). Although Corkran does not appear to have published in the Woman’s World herself, she secured a commission for a fellow writer and ensured that a review of her own new novel would appear in the magazine. Wilde writes, ‘I have been reading your charming and clever story, Meg’s Friend, and have said a few words about it in my Christmas number, which is now being printed. You have certainly a most sympathetic touch, and a very graceful style’ (Hart-Davies 1962: 232). Intriguingly, Wilde notes that the ‘nonappearance of the review makes no matter,’ suggesting that Corkran had reviewed something of his, possibly The Happy Prince and Other Stories (1888), but had not been able to place it. Wilde’s relaxed attitude about the ‘non-appearance’ and the forthcoming nature of his praise give the impression of an effective reciprocal working relationship between the two editors. This is emphasised all the more – though no doubt unconsciously so – by Rupert Hart-Davies’s juxtaposition of one of Wilde’s letters to Corkran next to a letter to W. T. Stead, one of the leading editors of the period (1962: 232). Corkran’s utilisation of her networks in the production of the Bairn’s Annual paid off. In 1885, a reviewer for the Spectator notes that readers can be assured of the ‘good reading in it’ thanks to the ‘name of the editor and of the contributors’ (19 Dec 1885: 23). The reviewer highlights Corkran’s name in order to allude to her family connections or to make reference to her novels, several of which had been published by that point. However, it may also have been a recognition of her steady work as a contributor to periodicals. Certainly, Corkran’s sense of the craft involved in journalistic writing and her pride in her work for the press are clear threads running through her personal and professional history. Indeed, it is notable that in her Who’s Who entry, written toward the end of her life, Corkran elected to describe herself as a ‘journalist, etc’ instead of an ‘author.’ Her novels and other publications are listed under a separate heading, but her journalism is the focal point of the article.

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The centrality of journalism in both Corkran’s self-representation and her daily working life is stressed all the more in the Who’s Who piece under the heading ‘Career’: ‘Sometime Editor, the Girl’s Realm, the Bairn’s Annual’ (‘Alice Corkran’). Corkran clearly believed in the importance of her editorial roles, and this is also apparent implicitly in the census data recorded during her Girl’s Realm editorship years. Whereas early census entries note her profession as a ‘journalist’ or ‘journalist and author’ who is always working ‘on own account,’ the 1901 census lists her as an ‘editor’ and ‘worker,’ without adding ‘on own account.’7 For Corkran, the distinction between ‘editor’ and ‘journalist’ was worth recording. In this respect, she resembled L. T. Meade, the novelist and editor, who took charge of Alatanta for much of its run. According to the interviewer Helen Black, Meade considered editing Atalanta ‘the greatest idea and achievement of her life’ (1896: 226). The claim is initially surprising given the considerable success of her girls’ books and detective stories, yet it makes sense given Meade’s prominence as an editor. Indeed, Meade was one of only two women included in the Review of Review’s 1891 photographic collage ‘Some Magazine Editors’ (Demoor 2016: 100). Despite the fact that women such as Eliza Cook and Mary Elizabeth Braddon had worked as editors earlier in the century, the idea of a woman editor was still unusual enough for both Meade and Corkran to be acutely aware of its distinction. As ‘journalist, etc,’ Corkran wrote for a number of periodicals over several decades. In her application to the Royal Literary Fund in 1881, she states that she wrote regularly for Aunt Judy’s Magazine, the Girl’s Own Paper, the Queen, and the Burlington Magazine, and she also later contributed to Meade’s Atalanta. Like many contributors to periodicals, she published a number of unsigned pieces as well. A decade before the launch of the Girl’s Realm, a profile in Merry England noted that ‘Miss Alice Corkran, as a journalist, is one of the authors whom more people read than know,’ pointing out that ‘in the more solid parts of the Queen Miss Corkran’s hand is at work week by week’ (July 1888: 143, 144). The idea of being more read than known is particularly striking in light of Corkran’s representation of editorship as a mark of distinction: editorship grants the recognition that week-to-week and dayto-day journalistic work, no matter how ‘solid,’ does not necessarily provide due to the convention of anonymity or the ephemeral nature of the press. Given the demanding and multifaceted nature of the editorial role, editors needed to be industrious, organised, and effective at a range of behind-the-scenes activities. Meade described her time at the helm of Atalanta as ‘harder work altogether than you can imagine,’ commenting that ‘an “eight-hours’ day” would have seemed very little work to me!’ (Black 1896: 226, 227). Perhaps, then, it was the combination of Corkran’s recognisable name, her authorship of girls’ novels, her reputation for hard work, and her experience editing the Bairn’s Annual that endeared Corkran to the publishers of the Girl’s Realm. As announced in publicity before the launch of the first number, the magazine was to be a ‘companion magazine’ to the successful Lady’s Realm, resembling its predecessor in terms of ‘illustrations and general get-up’ (Review of Reviews Oct 1898: 402). The Lady’s Realm was similar to the Queen in tone, content, and readership; according to Beetham, the Queen ‘explicitly constructed an upper middle-class reader with an above average income, [but] was almost certainly read by those for whom such a style of life was an aspiration or even a fantasy’ (1996: 90–1). As an experienced contributor to a periodical used to accommodating diverse readers within a broadly aspirational textual

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identity, one with access to a potentially fruitful list of literary acquaintances to boot, Corkran’s appointment makes a great deal of sense. What is surprising, however, is that despite her evident qualifications and credentials, the initial publishers of both the Lady’s Realm and the Girl’s Realm (and later, Henriette Corkran’s memoir), did not seem to place Corkran among other celebrity ‘author-editors,’ like Eliza Cook or Annie S. Swan, who, as Palmer points out, strategically ‘used the currency of their own well-known names to link to their own magazines’ (2015: 61, 63). Indeed, the first volumes did not prominently name her as the editor at all. The true extent of her actual involvement in the production of the magazine is also difficult to detect in a notice published in the Review of Reviews, which only briefly states that ‘Alice Corkran recounts the exploits of girl heroines’ amid a list of other things readers can expect to find in the opening number (Oct 1898: 402). Corkran was already hard at work at her editorial duties, however. Her letters to the novelist Sabine Baring-Gould suggest she was in negotiations with contributors from at least August 1898. These letters also provide some insight into the nature of Corkran’s work behind the scenes: she refers to problems with illustrations, to forwarding letters to the publisher, Mr Hutchinson, and to needing work done quickly. In one letter, which seems to have been written in response to Baring-Gould’s suggestion of an alternative topic to the one he had been commissioned to write, Corkran is quick to assert that the original idea, a series of articles on ‘The Virgin Martyrs’ with ‘an heroic note exalted by the religious spirit,’ would be more appropriate for her readers (17 Aug 1898).8 These letters are snapshots of what must have constituted an extensive editorial correspondence, just one facet of the invisible work of the editor. Corkran’s name did become a more integral part of the periodical as it became more successful. The sections written by ‘The Editor’ became a more prominent feature of the magazine. A full-page advertisement in the Review of Reviews places ‘Chat with the Girl of the Period. By Alice Corkran,’ rather than ‘The Editor,’ in the most prominent position on the page (Oct 1902: 457). In the next part of this essay, I will examine how Corkran used her ‘Chat with the Girl of the Period’ column to establish herself as the distinctive editorial persona at the heart of the Girl’s Realm.

‘My dear girls’: Making Modern Girls in the Girl’s Realm As the notice in the Review of Reviews indicated, the Girl’s Realm was intended to be a magazine for ‘“young gentlewomen” between six and sixteen . . . that difficult age’ (Review of Reviews Oct 1898: 402). Like the Lady’s Realm, it would carry articles by and about aristocratic figures, stories that were ‘gruesome and grotesque,’ articles on dress, and ‘short – very short’ sermons; however, the notice also stressed features specific to the interests of girl readers, including articles on school and sport (402). The new venture was also advertised in the Lady’s Realm’s ‘Children’s Corner’ in the weeks before its launch, with ‘Flora’ repeatedly referring to the masses of letters she had received from girl readers and the insufficiency of a ‘corner’ to accommodate their particular needs (Nov 1898: 724). These comments were of course designed to drum up anticipation for the new magazine and must therefore be taken with a requisite pinch of salt, but the emphasis on reader correspondence (whether real or exaggerated) is significant given the later centrality of Corkran’s editorial persona and reader

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contributions to the Girl’s Realm’s textual identity. Important to both was the idea of the modernity of girlhood and the importance of community and kinship among magazine readers and producers in the assertion of that modernity. From the outset, Corkran’s ‘Chat with the Girl of the Period’ editorial columns established the tone that would characterise the magazine, as well as her position in relation to her readers. As noted earlier, the title made an unmistakeable reference to Eliza Lynn Linton’s controversial ‘Girl of the Period’ article of 1868. In Celebrities and I, Henriette Corkran remembered meeting Linton at the Corkran family home shortly after the article’s appearance in the Saturday Review, noting that ‘the impression she then made on me was not favourable’ (1902: 171). After pressing Linton to confirm she was the author of the anonymous article, Henriette reports they ‘had quite an uncivil war. I was outspoken, and told her I thought it wicked to turn against her own much younger sex’ (172). Given the closeness of the sisters, Alice likely witnessed the encounter. Henriette’s reminiscence provides an illuminating context for the knowingness of Corkran’s reclamation of the term. In addition, her use of the diminutive word ‘chat,’ a word that would have been familiar to the readers of many women’s magazines of the period, was indicative of her editorial savvy; it was a strategic manoeuvre that seemed to adopt a non-threatening stance toward the objects of her critique. Corkran uses this strategy at various points during the magazine’s run. For example, after an impassioned call for a ‘new kind of literary page’ that considers contemporary writing – ‘living literature,’ as she calls it – she invokes the word ‘chat’ to underplay the more radical dimensions of her plea, reminding readers, ‘I am not delivering a lecture but only writing a chat’ (Girl’s Realm Mar 1899: 532). Yet in spite of its non-threatening title, the ‘Chat with the Girl of the Period’ column frequently read like a ‘new girl’ manifesto. Corkran constructs herself and her readers as modern girls and she adopts a clear and direct address in order to foster bonds of kinship and community. The ‘Chats’ are rather long – two columns of fine print in early numbers, growing to twice that later. I will quote from the first one at some length in order to give a sense of Corkran’s ‘call to arms’: My Dear Girls – I must apologise to you for giving you a name that recalls an attack made by a woman of brilliant talents on the girls of more than a quarter-of-a-century ago. The death of Mrs Lynn Linton, the other day, set us talking about the great article in the Saturday Review that made her fame. Some of us said it was deserved by the girls, others, and I was among them, vowed that there was no foundation for that savage onslaught, and that the writer had created a monster on purpose to slay it. . . . Every period has its girls and you are the girls of yours. I think that I know a good deal about you; and that I appreciate the attitude you adopt towards life. The claims that you make are the result of your reaction against the restrictions that hemmed in the lives of the girls in the days of your grandmothers. The influences that moulded and fashioned them were all negative. ‘Don’t’ was the word they were always hearing. ‘Do’ is the word that inspires you. . . . The modern girl is tired of living in a doll’s house and, married or unmarried, she will never take a back seat. . . .

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There is forming an esprit de corps among girls which delights me. It sets me dreaming of a Guild of Girls, of which the Girl’s Realm will be the organ. If you respond to this scheme, I will return to it in a future number. I should like my girl readers to write to me in their own frank way. . . . If you write to me about yourselves – never mind how frivolous your desires are – about your ambitions, your difficulties, I will try to help you, to realise yourselves; we shall grow to know one another, and be able to work together. Your Friend, The Editor. (Dec 1898: 216) Corkran covers a great deal of ground in this opening ‘Chat.’ She returns to all of these issues in subsequent numbers – girls’ ambitions and loyalty to their sex as well as their access to education and employment. She also outlines her plan for a Girl’s Realm Guild of Good Service, which she later brings to fruition. Her emphasis on frankness, collaboration, and newness allows her to construct a relationship with ‘her’ readers based on friendship. In this way, she asserts a coherent editorial identity across multiple numbers and volumes of the magazine. Subsequent ‘Chats’ have less of a manifesto-like tone, primarily because much of the space is taken up by the reprinting of excerpts from reader correspondence, followed by Corkran’s responses. This format distinguished the Girl’s Realm from other publications such as the Girl’s Own Paper and the Young Woman, which usually did not print the actual letters from readers. Corkran not only publishes sections of readers’ letters but puts them in conversation with each other, so that the narrative moves between the editor’s voice and the reader’s voice. Some letters raise new topics for discussion, but many respond directly to specific issues from previous ‘Chats,’ meaning that instalments of the column collectively form a scaffolding on which the magazine’s identity is consolidated with each subsequent number. The second ‘Chat’ is a case in point: I said something about esprit de corps. I had a curious and suggestive letter from ‘Jessica.’ ‘Of course, I knew what it meant,’ she writes, ‘but I thought I would just look it up in the dictionary and see how Mr Nuttall defined it. He says it is a “spirit of brotherhood.” Isn’t it just silly? I shall write and tell him to add, “or sisterhood” in the next edition, for I, for one, certainly mean to be very sex-loyal after what you said to us in the Girl’s Realm.’ Now this exactly strikes the right note. We are not going to have ‘sisterhood’ swallowed up in ‘brotherhood,’ and brotherhood just settling, as it were, for both. (Jan 1899: 324) ‘Jessica’s’ spirited reply is very much in keeping with the ideals of girlhood as espoused by Corkran in the first ‘Chat.’ The structure of this column, moving from Corkran to reader and back again, is typical of the rest of the columns in the series. As it progresses, the ‘Chat’ increasingly becomes a sort of hybrid editorial/correspondence page, an ongoing conversation between multiple readers. Corkran eschews her own authority as editor, characterising herself instead as a facilitator. In the sixth ‘Chat,’ for example, she writes, ‘I feel rather as a hostess listening to the conversation of her guests than as the leader of the talk’ (May 1899: 756). Other ‘Chats’ refer to meeting with sets of readers in her office, where together they extended written discussion in spoken conversation. In this regard, Corkran was quite unusual. Whereas some

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editorial personae could be difficult to pin down (Atalanta’s ‘Brown Owl’ identity appears to have been passed between Meade and other editorial staff) or were elaborate constructions, as Beetham has shown in her study of Annie S. Swan (1996: 165–8), Corkran’s editorial identity seems to have been rooted in her accessibility. Readers appear to have responded with gusto. In another early ‘Chat,’ Corkran admits, ‘I let myself in for more than I expected when I invited you to write freely to me. I forgot that there were 100,000 of you, and that you are of the writing sex’ (Jan 1899: 324). A group of nine friends who are unable to solve a debate among themselves about women’s careers write, ‘We have decided to refer the subject of it to “Our Editor,” as we call you’ (June 1899: 864). Corkran then throws the topic back out to readers, inviting the further exchange of ideas. It is possible, of course, that these readers were in fact clever editorial inventions that were used strategically to further debates and raise new topics in ways that would enable Corkran to maintain her image as facilitator rather than authoritarian leader. Or they might have been devised simply to provide quick copy. Corkran is very open with readers about the challenges of editing a magazine, including time pressures, noting at one point that she must hurry because the ‘boy is at the door for my proof’ (Jan 1899: 324). It is impossible to prove the veracity of every letter, particularly when so many correspondents use pseudonyms, yet the reappearance of names across volumes and, more compellingly, the publication of photographs, full names, and addresses that accompany entries to the ‘Readers’ Own Realm’ section suggest that we can count on the authenticity of a significant number of these letters. It is also important to note that Corkran published more than just ringing endorsements of her magazine in the ‘Chat’ column; sometimes she reproduced letters in which readers challenged her ideas or the views of fellow readers. In the ‘Conduct Competition’ section of later ‘Chats,’ she sets up moral quandaries and petitions readers for solutions. In her report on their suggestions, she includes voices of dissent alongside those that ‘adopted the straight course,’ and sometimes she attempts to resolve disputes between readers (Apr 1899: 648). Such moments demonstrate what Beetham has called the magazine reader’s ability to ‘consent to or resist the writer’s designs upon them’ (1996: ix). However, the fact that she allows room for such conflicting positions in the first place tells us much about her confidence as an editor. In 1900, Isabel Gee of Walworth, southeast London, calling herself ‘your constant and fault-finding reader,’ criticised Corkran for over-emphasising the lives of better-off readers, stating that although she ‘had to go out to work at fifteen’ and now worked as a shorthand typist, ‘these facts do not prevent me from taking in your journal regularly and appreciating its contents’ (Aug 1900: 1022). In her response, Corkran swiftly rebukes the charge, suggesting that it comes from ‘over-sensitiveness’ on Isabel’s part (1002). However, given that the pre-publicity for the magazine emphasised its appeal to ‘young gentlewomen,’ not to mention the fact that more than one reader is referred to as ‘The Honourable,’ it is understandable why this particular disgruntled reader might feel this way. Yet the more one reads the ‘Chat’ columns, the more evident it becomes that Corkran is interested in discussing the challenges facing those girls struggling to ‘earn their bread.’ Her references to proofs, callers at the editor’s office, the impossibility of returning readers’ essays due to her workload, and the necessity of farming out readers’ queries to fellow writers demonstrate that the tasks of her daily working life form a key part of her editorial identity. This expands out so as to include discussions of

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work more broadly. On the topic of making the most of one’s ‘Sunday half-holiday,’ for example, she urges readers to ‘bravely make the most of your limited opportunities. In that lies the whole secret of every success in life’ (Sep 1899: 1170). Although the Girl’s Realm was aimed at middle- and upper-class readers, it was more progressive on issues of class than most other girls’ periodicals of the period. Corkran establishes a guild to support less fortunate girls (some of whom were also readers), and she takes care to ensure that cheap editions are cited in the literary pages. Likewise, her willingness to engage with ‘fault-finding reader[s]’ demonstrates the liberality of her editorial voice. It is perhaps the case that her self-positioning as a friend or elder sister figure made such interactions possible. Although she was in her fifties and was most likely closer in age to the mothers of her readers than to the readers themselves,9 Corkran resists the more authoritarian or even more maternal possibilities of editorship. It is remarkable that she sets herself up as a friend rather than a mother figure, particularly since the 1894 ‘Revolt of the Daughters’ articles in the Nineteenth Century had pitted the generations against each other. She constructs herself differently, as a new kind of editor for a new kind of girl. This is not to say that Corkran does not sometimes endorse ideals that conflict with those of the modern girl. Several ‘Chats’ in the second volume are devoted to discussing the plight of ‘Pauline,’ whose family wants her to sacrifice her place at Girton in favour of her brother being able to attend university. In this instance, Corkran sides with self-sacrifice. Yet Corkran’s contribution to the magazine’s engagement with the modern girl is apparent when considering how the periodical changed after her retirement from the editorial chair around 1904 due to ill health. Notably, however, she continued to write the ‘Chat’ column until 1911, a sign of the ongoing importance of Corkran’s editorial persona to the Girl’s Realm’s identity. Moruzi notes that the new editor, the novelist Simon Henry Leeder, was a ‘somewhat unusual choice to head up the Girl’s Realm after Corkran’s departure’ (2012: 187n20). She identifies a corresponding change in the magazine’s tone, thus echoing Cadogan and Craig’s observation that the magazine became increasingly ‘conformist’ (2003: 91). As the suffrage campaigns intensified during the 1910s, the ‘suffrage fiction in the Girl’s Realm is significantly less supportive than the “Chats” and the correspondence,’ Moruzi notes (2012: 185). She argues that this disparity represents a ‘remarkable shift from the agency and responsibility promoted by Corkran,’ to an overall message that ‘girls’ involvement in political issues is . . . foolish and better left to adults’ (2012: 188). According to Mitchell, this tonal shift becomes even more marked in the magazine’s final years: By 1912, the publisher’s notice in the Newspaper Press Directory described Girl’s Realm as ‘an ideal home magazine appealing to the girl who will do the shopping and housekeeping of the future.’ Even the pictorial covers were transformed. No longer did they feature an athletic body in motion (playing hockey, riding a bicycle, carrying a tennis racquet); instead there are head shots: softened, glamorized, with a focus on the girl’s pretty face rather than on her activity. In November 1915 Girl’s Realm also merged with an adult magazine, Woman at Home, under the pressure – or excuse – of wartime paper shortages. (1995: 179)

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There are a number of reasons for these changes: in addition to wartime pressures, there were significant changes in the demographic associated with girl readers that affected many of the girls’ magazines founded during the late Victorian period (Mitchell 1995: 178). Yet it is difficult not to associate the specific nature of the Girl’s Realm’s decline with Corkran’s final retirement from the magazine in 1911. The ‘Chat’ column, while it remained in print, served as a space of dissent even as other aspects of the periodical changed dramatically. In one of the earliest ‘Chats,’ Corkran describes herself ‘sitting before a table covered with letters,’ telling readers, ‘I try to build up from these letters the ideal girl of the twentieth century’ (Feb 1899: 432). As this comment suggests, the letters and Corkran’s particular method of weaving them together into a narrative were the building blocks of the Girl’s Realm’s textual identity. While the magazine initially withstood the loss of the more invisible aspects of Corkran’s editorial work, it could not recover from the loss of her visible work in 1911.

Conclusion Alice Corkran’s case both confirms and complicates our understanding of women’s career advancement in the periodical press. She undoubtedly benefited socially and professionally from the advantages and connections associated with her father’s career as Paris correspondent, but those privileges did not protect her from experiencing the setbacks and frustrations experienced by many of the women editors who preceded her. Her relative obscurity today may tell us something about the kinds of literary work and workers that are valued and overlooked by different parties and at different times, and it may also say something about the complex role of the editor more broadly, with its balancing act between visibility and invisibility. Certainly, Corkran’s obscurity stands in sharp contrast to her own sense of her achievement as a conscientious worker and ‘Sometime Editor.’ It is therefore striking that her final appearance in the Girl’s Realm was not as an editor or a contributor but as the subject of an article written to celebrate her contributions to the magazine. The article’s author, Corkran’s friend Blanche Warre-Cornish, assures readers that ‘for Alice, success meant regularity in work’ and that the Girl’s Realm had been the ‘opportunity of her life’ (Apr 1913: 850).

Notes 1. There is some confusion over her exact date of birth. Sutherland gives her year of birth as 1856, but the census reports and other sources, although not all in agreement, indicate that she was more likely born in 1847. Her application to the Royal Literary Fund, for example, signed by her mother, states that she was thirty-four years old in October 1881. Loan 96 RLF 1/2125, Western Manuscripts, British Library. 2. See Bilston 2004; Moruzi 2009, 2012; Dawson 2014; Rodgers 2012, 2016. 3. The story is included in Carolyn Sigler’s Alternative Alices: Visions and Revisions of Lewis Carroll’s Alice Books (2015). According to Sigler, Corkran’s story ‘offers fascinating insights into some of the ways that evangelical Victorian women writers . . . appropriated and transformed domestic literary conventions as a means to larger social reform’ (2015: 223).

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4. Letter to Royal Literary Fund, 29 Oct 1881, Loan 96 RLF 1/2125, Western Manuscripts, British Library. 5. Nigel Cross includes detail from John Frazer Corkran’s case file (no. 1592) in his selected catalogue (1980: n.p.). 6. In a letter to Mrs Alfred Hunt on 8 Feb 1881, for example, Wilde refers to catching a cold on Saturday night ‘coming from the Corkrans’ ’ (Hart-Davies 1962: 75). 7. Census data drawn from (last accessed 22 June 2017). 8. These letters have been catalogued and described by Ron Wawman; details can be found at . 9. The readers of the Girl’s Realm were not quite within the six to sixteen range advertised in the Review of Reviews; competition guidelines suggest most readers were in their teens and early twenties.

Works Cited ‘Alice Corkran.’ 2014. Who Was Who 1920–2016. Online edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (last accessed 22 June 2017). Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. New York: Routledge. Bilston, Sarah. 2004. The Awkward Age in Women’s Popular Fiction, 1850–1900: Girls and the Transition to Womanhood. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Black, Helen C. 1896. Pen, Pencil, Baton, and Mask: Biographical Sketches. London: Spottiswoode. Cadogan, Mary and Patricia Craig. 2003. You’re a Brick, Angela!: The Girls’ Story 1839–1985. Bath: Girls Gone By. Corkran, Henriette. 1902. Celebrities and I. London: Hutchinson. Cross, Nigel. 1980. A Select Catalogue of Applicants to the Royal Literary Fund, 1790–1870, with a Historical Introduction. PhD dissertation, University College London. (last accessed 1 Oct 2016). Dawson, Janis. 2014. ‘Our Girls in the Family of Nations: Girls’ Culture and Empire in Victorian Girls’ Magazines.’ Internationalism in Children’s Series. Ed. Karen Sands-O’Connor and Marietta A. Frank. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 38–55. Demoor, Marysa. 2016. ‘Editors and the Nineteenth-Century Press.’ The Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century Periodicals and Newspapers. Ed. Andrew King, Alexis Easley, and John Morton. Oxford: Routledge. 89–101. Fitzsimons, Eleanor. 2015. Wilde’s Women: How Oscar Wilde Was Shaped by the Women He Knew. London: Duckworth. Hart-Davies, Rupert, ed. 1962. The Letters of Oscar Wilde. London: Harper, Brace, and World. —. 1985. More Letters of Oscar Wilde. London: John Murray. Jay, Elisabeth. 2016. British Writers and Paris, 1830–1875. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mitchell, Sally. 1995. The New Girl: Girls’ Culture in England, 1880–1915. New York: Columbia University Press. Moruzi, Kristine. 2009. ‘Feminine Bravery: The Girl’s Realm (1898–1915) and the Second Boer War.’ Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 34.3: 241–54. —. 2012. Constructing Girlhood through the Periodical Press, 1850–1915. Farnham: Ashgate. Onslow, Barbara. 2000. Women of the Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Palmer, Beth. 2011. Women’s Authorship and Editorship in Victorian Culture: Sensational Strategies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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—. 2015. ‘Assuming the Role of Editor.’ The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women’s Writing. Ed. Linda H. Peterson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 59–72. Pykett, Lyn. 1992. The ‘Improper’ Feminine: The Women’s Sensation Novel and the New Woman Writing. London: Routledge. Rodgers, Beth. 2012. ‘Competing Girlhoods: Competition, Community, and Reader Contribution in the Girl’s Own Paper and the Girl’s Realm.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 45.3: 277–300. —. 2016. Adolescent Girlhood and Literary Culture at the Fin de Siècle: Daughters of Today. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Sigler, Carolyn, ed. 2015. Alternative Alices: Visions and Revisions of Lewis Carroll’s Alice Books. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press. Sutherland, John. 1988. The Longman Guide to Victorian Fiction. Harlow: Longman. Van Remoortel, Marianne. 2015. Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Whiteing, Richard. [1915]. My Harvest. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

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12 The ‘Most-Talked-Of Creature in the World’: The ‘American Girl’ in Victorian Print Culture Bob Nicholson

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n June 1890, the North American Review published an article about the experiences of ‘American Girls in Europe.’ Its author, the American writer and socialite M. E. W. Sherwood, celebrated the ‘triumphant march’ of a new generation of ‘lovely Amazons’ who were marrying the best of the British elite (689). Never before, she argued, did the women of one nation so successfully invade all nations and, reversing the Sabine legend, carry off the most able-bodied warriors. The march over England and the Continent by the American girl is . . . a great story of conquest. . . . No women are more courted, admired and praised. (689)

Among these admirers was the British journalist and editor W. T. Stead. A month later, in the Review of Reviews, he urged English girls to seek out Sherwood’s article, and others like it, ‘in order to understand how hopelessly they [were] being beaten out of the field by their cousins from across the sea’ (July 1890: 40). They would not have needed to look far. During the 1880s and 1890s, the American girl was, as Sherwood put it, one of the ‘most-talked-of creatures in the world’ (North American Review June 1890: 689). As this chapter will demonstrate, she appeared across thousands of newspapers, periodicals, critical reviews, women’s magazines, novels, satirical cartoons, and other forms of late Victorian print culture. Her accomplishments, ambitions, and actions were exhaustively discussed and fiercely contested by commentators on both sides of the Atlantic. To some, she was an object of lustful fascination, an intoxicating combination of beauty, intelligence, wealth, and modernity. ‘It is,’ explained a love-struck contributor to the London Journal, ‘her freshness, her independence, her modern ideas, her indifference to threadbare conventionalities and old-time fashions that charm us’ (26 Sep 1896: 279). Her detractors, on the other hand, typically interpreted these qualities as faults. As an anonymous literary celebrity explained to Sherwood during one of her visits to London, ‘We observe in your handsome young women an entire absence of that delicate reserve, that fragrance of propriety, which is our idea of good breeding’ (North American Review June 1890: 684). To these critics, the American girl was ‘vulgar,’ ‘strange,’ ‘fast,’ and – horror of all horrors – prone to ‘speaking through her nose’ and using coarse Yankee slang.1

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The American girl was not alone in receiving such close critical attention. Throughout the nineteenth century, women’s bodies and behaviours were forensically dissected and fiercely contested by legions of critics, writers, artists, scientists, and political activists of both sexes. The American girl stood alongside the ‘New Woman,’ the ‘Girl-of-the-Period,’ the ‘Factory Girl,’ the ‘Suffragette,’ and a range of similar female archetypes that were used as focal points for wider sociopolitical debates and anxieties. In the 1880s and 1890s, the American girl sat at the intersection of two particularly pressing questions. First, she was inevitably drawn into debates about the changing nature and roles of women. She caught the attention of British observers shortly before the term ‘New Woman’ came into vogue and pre-empted many of its defining characteristics. For better or worse, both women were often depicted within the press and popular fiction as independent, strong-willed, modern, and unwilling to bow to established conventions. However, while there was a great deal of discursive overlap between the New Woman and the American girl, the two figures were not entirely synonymous. For example, Amanda Claybaugh argues that British critics were quicker to praise the intellectual independence of American girls, and that they consequently functioned as a ‘less threatening alternative to the New Woman for those who wanted to argue for greater female autonomy’ (2013: 239). In many respects, this analysis holds true. While the American girl pushed at the boundaries of respectable female behaviour – and met with her fair share of ridicule in the process – she did not, in most cases, transgress these strictures entirely. As we shall see, British writers and artists routinely placed her in romantic scenarios that emphasised her femininity and set her on a pathway to marriage and motherhood. Consequently, while she was often mocked for her unladylike manners, she usually escaped the charges of unwomanliness that were levelled at female political activists and other radical manifestations of new womanhood. But we should not be too quick to downplay her cultural and political potency. For in addition to contributing to debates about the Woman Question, the American girl played a significant role in shaping British responses to another of the period’s most transformative developments – the growing power and influence of the United States. In December 1901, W. T. Stead devoted the Christmas annual of the Review of Reviews to a discussion of the ‘Americanisation of the World.’ He provocatively predicted that the economic, political, and cultural ascendency of the United States would become the ‘trend of the twentieth century’ (1). For Stead, this shift in the transatlantic balance of power was not a distant prospect but an immediate reality. It was already ‘beyond dispute,’ he argued in his introduction, that America had ‘arrived at such a pitch of power and prosperity as to have a right to claim the leading place among the English-speaking nations’ (9). Over the course of 164 pages, he exhaustively chronicled America’s conquering achievements in the fields of commerce, industry, science, literature, journalism, theatre, society, and sport. Instead of ‘chafing against this inevitable supersession,’ Stead argued that Britain should ‘cheerfully acquiesce in the decree of Destiny, and stand in betimes with the conquering American’ (9). Not all of his countrymen were so eager to concede defeat. An editorial in the Lincolnshire Echo, for example, confidently downplayed the implications of America’s future prosperity and predicted that Stead’s ‘extreme opinions’ would ‘attract more scoffers than apostles’ (Lincolnshire Echo 3 Jan 1902: 2). Other papers, such as the Shields Daily Gazette, teased Stead for his over-enthusiasm but also

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acknowledged that some aspects of America’s progress could not be denied (Shields Daily Gazette 6 Jan 1902: 2). A group of indignant British manufacturers reportedly began to organise an advertising boycott of Stead’s paper rather than subsidise a publication that was ‘decrying their business’ – a response which suggests anxiety rather than self-confidence (Northern Whig 3 Dec 1901: 3). However, alongside these voices of resistance were others that praised the ‘timeliness’ of Stead’s intervention or observed that discussions about the implications of Americanisation were already in wide circulation (Dundee Evening Post 26 Dec 1901: 6). In truth, by 1901, many aspects of Stead’s prophecy were no longer radical. As early as 1878, Gladstone drew the ire of patriotic Victorian commentators by warning that America was ‘passing [Britain] by in a canter’ and would soon usurp its position on the world stage (North American Review Sep–Oct 1878: 181). It was essential, he reiterated in 1890, for Britain to proactively address the ‘paramount question of the American future’ (North American Review Jan 1890: 26). During the final quarter of the nineteenth century, observers on both sides of the Atlantic attempted to make sense of America’s growing power within a wide range of social, cultural, political, and economic contexts. Almost every transatlantic encounter provided an opportunity to explore and contest this issue: tennis tournaments and heavyweight boxing bouts, comparisons between British and American beef, encounters with tourists from across the ‘herring pond,’ the performances of Buffalo Bill and other travelling celebrities, literary and theatrical representations of the United States and its people, arguments over the merits of American slang, and barbs exchanged by professional humourists. This is the context in which the American girl emerged as an object of intense interest and is perhaps the main reason why she became the ‘most-talked-of creature in the world.’

The ‘Real’ American Girl British observers encountered the American girl across a wide range of social and cultural contexts. This chapter focuses on her representation within the period’s print culture, but it is important to stress that she had a presence beyond the page. The 1891 census of England, Wales, and Scotland records 8,492 women who had been born somewhere in the United States.2 Birthplace, of course, is no guarantee of national identity, and it is entirely possible that many of these women would not have been conspicuously American. For example, the town of Mold in North Wales was home to Elizabeth Jones, a seventeen-year-old who was born in Pennsylvania but whose parents and siblings were all Welsh. Her mother and father appear to have met after emigrating to America during the 1860s, but they returned to Wales while Elizabeth was still a baby. Thus, while she was born on the other side of the Atlantic and appears as ‘American’ in the census, it is likely that she identified as Welsh or British. By the same token, the census is likely to include women who were born in Britain, and many other countries, but subsequently spent their formative years in America. Many of the American women listed in the 1891 census would not have been categorised as American girls. Narrowing down this category requires us to address the thorny question of defining the word ‘girl,’ especially when it was used in such a fluid way in British print culture. As Beth Rodgers has explored, girlhood was understood to be a ‘distinct cultural category’ within fin-de-siècle print culture, a transitional borderland between childhood and womanhood with its own distinct cultures and practices

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(2016: 1). Moreover, the ‘modern girl’ or ‘up-to-date’ girl frequently emerged as a site of social and political debate during the nineteenth century – most famously in Eliza Lynn Linton’s 1868 essay on the ‘Girl of the Period’ (Saturday Review 14 Mar 1868: 339–40). It is important, therefore, to acknowledge that the term ‘American girl’ was by no means synonymous with ‘American woman.’ However, while the term ‘girl’ was in wide use, its precise definition was ambiguous and open to debate. As Anita Harris observes, girlhood has always been a ‘constantly shifting’ category that ‘cannot be linked to a fixed age or developmental stage in life’ (2004: 191). It might, depending on context, include a schoolgirl of twelve, a recently married teenage mother, or an unmarried girl in her mid-twenties. The term ‘American girl’ was deployed in all of these contexts, but it was typically focused on young women from the United States who had reached marriageable age or had embarked on some kind of independent life: young women, in other words, who cut a striking figure in society. The freedom and education afforded to younger American girls was occasionally the subject of discussion in Britain – particularly in the mid-nineteenth century – but was often framed as an explanation of how the finished article was forged.3 A search for American-born women between the ages of fifteen and thirty (a rather broad definition of girlhood) returns 3,484 results in the 1891 census. The total population of England and Wales at this time was just over 33 million, which means that American girls made up about 0.01 per cent of the population – or, one per every 10,000 people. They were found, in relatively small numbers, living in towns and cities throughout the country. A twenty-eight-year-old American schoolmistress worked in Ormskirk, a small market town in West Lancashire, and a fifteen-year-old American girl was employed as a domestic servant in the house of an Irish dental surgeon in Exeter. American girls appeared more frequently in some of the country’s bigger cities. Forty-seven lived in Liverpool, thirty-one in Manchester, and twenty-four in Birmingham. The largest group – roughly a third of all American girls recorded in the census – were concentrated in London and its suburbs. While these numbers are not insignificant, they suggest that encounters with walking, talking American girls would not have been a regular occurrence for most Victorians, particularly those who lived outside London and away from the transatlantic tourist trails. As a result, it is likely that many Victorians formed an impression of the American girl without seeing her in the flesh. This highlights the power and importance of print culture in shaping British perceptions of American girlhood, and indeed of the United States more broadly. As I have explored in detail elsewhere, books and periodicals functioned as a pervasive and wide-reaching ‘contact-zone’ between nineteenth-century Britain and America (Nicholson 2012a). As an article in the Spectator argued, even the most ‘stay-at-home’ members of the British public could ‘visit’ America without ever setting foot on a steamship; for the price of their favourite newspaper, they could explore the country’s landscapes, encounter its characters, and debate the merits of American civilisation from the comfort of their armchairs (Spectator 18 July 1891: 23). These texts carried representations of the American girl into places that her real-life sisters could not reach. An article about American girls published in a bestselling paper like Lloyds Weekly News, a joke at her expense on the front page of Tit-Bits, or a satirical cartoon in Punch had the capacity to reach millions of British people almost instantaneously. Within these texts the archetypal American girl was usually imagined to be a fabulously wealthy heiress or a trailblazer in a profession, such as journalism, that had

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previously excluded women. The reality, of course, was rather less glamorous. Most American-born girls belonged to the working or lower-middle classes and entered similar kinds of employment as their British sisters. Approximately 59 per cent of the American-born ‘girls’ identified in the 1891 census provided an entry for the occupation field, and their responses fall in line with wider patterns of female work in this period. Various forms of domestic service loom large, as does the textile industry, dressmaking, millinery, shop work, and teaching. A small number had more eye-catching professions: a few dozen actresses and singers, fifteen barmaids, a pair of circus performers, two medical students, a comedian, a newspaper contributor, and a ‘lady bicyclist.’ The public-facing nature of these professions may well have given these American girls an amplified presence within Victorian society, but they nevertheless made up a very small percentage of the total. Of the remaining 41 per cent of American girls who did not list an occupation, two thirds lived in households without a domestic servant, while forty-five of them (just under 3 per cent) lived in large properties with more than five people in service. Finally, the 1891 census features American girls who were born in a wide variety of locations. A large percentage were simply described as born in ‘America’ or the ‘United States,’ but some provided more detail about their origins. Major cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and New Orleans appear frequently, as do vaguer references to states such as Texas, Ohio, Georgia, California, Massachusetts, and Florida. There were also representatives from small-town America. For instance, a girl named Henrietta Hand was born in the village of Humboldt, Kansas, but ended up as a hotel waitress in the Worcester spa town of Great Malvern. Similarly, a sixteenyear-old worsted twister living in Bradford originally hailed from the small hamlet of Tomkins Cove in New York State, while a ‘steel warehouse assistant’ in Ecclesfield came from Shelburne Falls in Massachusetts. As the British travel writer James Fullarton Muirhead argued, the size and uneven development of nineteenth-century America made it a ‘land of contrasts’ (1898). It was easy, he warned, to ‘pass an entirely and even ridiculously untrue judgement upon the United States by having an eye only for one series of [its] startling opposites’ (7–8). Not all British observers were oblivious to these nuances, but discussions about the American girl – including a lengthy chapter in Muirhead’s own book – were almost always framed in straightforwardly national terms. Indeed, Sherwood drew attention to this in the opening of her article for the North American Review: There is no such thing as the American girl. There is the finished, accomplished, well-bred, repressed, and lady-like girl, found everywhere from Maine to the Gulf. There is the unfinished, not at all bred, not repressed, not in the least lady-like girl, also from everywhere. . . . [But] we must, when in Europe, look upon the American product with European eyes, trying to avoid geographical prejudice. The local accent in different parts of America is so marked that a New-Yorker can detect a Philadelphian, a Bostonian, a Southerner, or a Westerner (whatever that means) in a moment. . . . But in Europe such shadowy definitions are necessarily lost, and we are all grouped in the English mind. (June 1890: 44–5) The outcome of this ‘grouping’ was the construction of the American girl as a cultural symbol: a highly stylised figure who drew upon and distorted the appearance, manners,

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and experiences of ‘real’ young women from the United States. In this respect, the construction of the American girl stereotype echoed the complex relationship that existed between the archetype of the New Woman and the actual women whose behaviour and ideas she was designed to interpret. Crucially, while both sets of imagined women could be regarded as ‘nothing but foolscap and ink,’ they nevertheless had important cultural and political work to perform (Schaffer 2002). As Agnes Macdonnell put it in an article for Macmillan’s Magazine: [The American Girl] speaks for more than herself; she throws a light on American social institutions and ideas, such as not even the travelling notes of observant and philosophical members of parliament give us; and through her we are constantly getting deeper insight into the working of the wonderful social and political fabric that those energetic and fearless descendants of ours are building out of old-English manners. (Oct 1875: 548) In short, British observers were fascinated by the stereotype of the American girl because she, better than anything else, seemed to embody what Muirhead termed ‘that intangible quality of Americanism’ (1898: 46).

Inventing the American Girl The precise origins of the American girl as a cultural symbol are difficult to determine. The idea that British and American women could be differentiated based on particular aspects of their appearance or personality certainly had deep roots and can be found in commentary published on both sides of the Atlantic. For instance, a much-reprinted extract from James Fenimore Cooper’s England (1837) sought to assess the beauty of girls on each side of the pond. ‘The English female has the advantage in the bust, shoulders, and throat,’ he mused: She has usually more colour, and, on the whole, more delicacy of complexion. The American is superior in general delicacy of outline, as well as in complexion; she has a better person, bust and shoulders excepted, and smaller hands and feet. . . . Of one thing I am certain, disagreeable features are less frequently met with among the native females of America. . . . I have remarked that faces [in England], which appear well in the distance, often fail in some necessary finesse or delicacy when closer, and I should say, as a rule, that the American female, certainly the American girl, will bear the test of examination better than her European rival. (201–2) Similarly, the radical politician William Cobbett longingly reminisced about the years he spent as a soldier in Canada, during which time he met a young woman from New England whose features had a ‘softness’ and ‘sweetness’ that was ‘so characteristic of the American girls’ (qtd in the Belfast Commercial Chronicle 19 Dec 1829: 4). Attempts to explain these differences – and indeed the wider origins of American national character – typically focused on a combination of three factors. Some commentators emphasised geographical and climatological variations between the old world and the new. For example, British writer Captain Frederick Marryat argued that the ‘sunny, yet variable atmosphere of America’ was injurious to women’s complexion and

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physical development (qtd in the Naval and Military Gazette and Weekly Chronicle of the United Service 10 Aug 1839: 12). ‘If you transplant a delicate American girl to England,’ he claimed, ‘she will, in a year or two, become so robust and healthy as not to be recognisable upon her return home’ (12). Secondly, writers in both countries stressed the influence of migration and ‘blood’ from other nations and ‘races’ – a process that was varyingly interpreted as either enriching or polluting the ‘original’ English stock. The Sherborne Mercury, to give but one example, printed a story about a schoolmaster who ‘accounted for the self-willedness of his American pupils by attributing it to the infusion of Red Indian Blood in their veins’ (14 Oct 1851: 4). Finally, many observers also highlighted the influence of republican democracy and America’s emerging social systems on the development of women’s characters.4 One of the most striking examples comes from the second volume of Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous account of Democracy in America (1835), in which he claimed that the country’s political atmosphere worked to accelerate its girls’ transition from childhood innocence to youthful independence. ‘In the United States,’ he argued, the doctrines of Protestantism are combined with great political freedom and a most democratic state of society; and nowhere are young women surrendered so early or so completely to their own guidance. Long before an American girl arrives at the age of marriage, her emancipation from maternal control begins; she has scarcely ceased to be a child when she already thinks for herself, speaks with freedom, and acts on her own impulse. The great scene of the world is constantly open to her view; far from seeking concealment, it is every day disclosed to her more completely, and she is taught to survey it with a firm and calm gaze. Thus the vices and dangers of society are early revealed to her; as she sees them clearly, she views them without illusions, and braves them without fear; for she is full of reliance on her own strength, and her reliance seems to be shared by all who are about her. An American girl scarcely ever displays that virginal bloom in the midst of young desires, or that innocent and ingenuous grace which usually attends the European woman in the transition from girlhood to youth. . . . It is easy indeed to perceive that, even amidst the independence of early youth, an American woman is always mistress of herself; she indulges in all permitted pleasures, without yielding herself up to any of them. (1835: 198) The American girl, even at this relatively early stage in the debate, was already identified with a youthful precocity and independent spirit that mirrored wider European perceptions of America’s nascent national character, and stood in stark contrast to the growing exclusion of English women from the public sphere. This interpretation of American girlhood was not uncontested. Harriet Martineau, for example, was disappointed to discover that the social and political position of American women failed, in her estimation, to live up to the country’s egalitarian and ‘democratic principles’ (1837: 226). In stark contrast to de Tocqueville, she argued that the American ‘woman’s intellect [was] confined, her morals crushed, her health ruined, her weaknesses encouraged, and her strength punished’ (226). According to Martineau, the substance of female education in America was much the same as it was in Britain; both focused on ‘training women to consider marriage as the sole object in life, and to pretend that they [did] not think so’ (229). She refuted the oft-repeated

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claim that America was a ‘paradise for women’ and argued that a superficial culture of chivalry was no substitute for true political and economic equality (226). ‘Is it to be understood,’ she asked, in a passage that was reprinted in several British newspapers, ‘that the principles of the Declaration of Independence bear no relation to half of the human race?’ (259). America’s emerging models of girlhood and womanhood were evidently not radical enough for Martineau. Nevertheless, it is telling that she, like many other European commentators, looked to the character and position of women as a way to make sense of the progress of American civilisation. Reflections on the nature of the American girl continued to appear sporadically in British books, newspapers, and periodicals between the 1830s and 1860s. Many travel writers followed the examples of de Tocqueville and Martineau and devoted at least some portion of their narratives to the nature of American womanhood and the social, political, biological, and geographical influences that shaped it. A quantitative analysis of data from the British Newspaper Archive reveals an increasing number of references to the American girl in the late 1860s, with an even more rapid growth in the following three decades (Figure 12.1).5 This kind of ‘distant reading’ has obvious limits, as I have shown elsewhere (Nicholson 2012b; Nicholson 2012c; Johnes and Nicholson 2015). The dramatic spike in 1884, for instance, looks intriguing but turns out to have been distorted by reports about a racehorse named ‘American Girl.’ That said, the names of racehorses or boats do give us valuable insights into the zeitgeist of the period: owners often drew upon phrases, characters, and slang terms that were currently in fashion. Even without this horse-driven spike, it is clear that the term was in much wider circulation than it had been before. This is the moment when the American girl became the ‘most-talked-of creature in the world’ and her defining features became crystallised in the British imagination.

Figure 12.1 Occurrences of the term ‘American girl’ in the British Newspaper Archive, 1800–96. Generated using the History Playground tool,

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There are several factors that help explain the American girl’s growing cultural footprint. She was not, it should be noted, particularly visible during the American Civil War, even though the conflict stimulated an enormous increase in other press coverage about the United States. Instead, the first increase correlates with the publication of Eliza Lynn Linton’s controversial essay on the ‘Girl of the Period’ (1868), which sparked a heated debate about the moral implications of mid-Victorian girlhood. The phrase ‘Girl of the Period’ quickly transcended the context of Linton’s polemic and found itself subject to an eclectic array of textual and commercial responses.6 For instance, a short-lived comic monthly named the Girl of the Period Miscellany was launched and featured an article on ‘American Girls of the Period’ alongside similar explorations of ‘French Girls of the Period,’ ‘Tourist Girls of the Period,’ and ‘Athletic Girls of the Period.’7 One-off articles and extracts about the ‘American Girl of the Period’ appeared occasionally in British newspapers from this point forward, including this heavily reprinted story from 1869 about her ‘typical’ daily routine: She went to the theatre and two parties in one evening, carried on three flirtations at each, and the next day refused three offers of marriage, accepted two and broke off three previous engagements, read four novels, wrote two letters and 100 notes of invitation, practised her music lesson, made herself a new waterfall, ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner, took a walk on Fifth Avenue, bought two pounds of French candy and ate it, rode to the Central Park with one of her lovers, and walked home with the other.8 This dizzying account – supposedly written by one of her rejected suitors – encapsulates several tropes that were continually repeated. The American girl’s promiscuous flirting, casual willingness to make and break engagements, and freedom to travel without a chaperone all served to highlight her independence, as well as her power over scores of seemingly helpless men. Meanwhile, her interest in stereotypically feminine pursuits such as fashion, music, and social events avoided the trap of conflating her heightened agency with manliness. Female novel reading, of course, was a familiar source of anxiety in this period, so its inclusion here raises doubts about the American girl’s critical faculties; the exaggerated speed of her reading, in particular, implies an unseemly appetite for sensation. Finally, her impulsive candy consumption indicates her childishness and lack of self-discipline. These character traits suggest she has all the independence of a fully grown woman (or to some degree, a man) but lacked the necessary maturity and discipline to use it responsibly. Interestingly, this particular account seems to have originated in the American press, where it was typically framed as a description of modern girls in New York. This serves as an important reminder that the development of American girlhood inspired just as much debate at home as it did abroad. In Britain, however, as Sherwood predicted, this geographical nuance was collapsed into a nationally based discussion about girls from ‘America.’ The serialised publication of Henry James’s Daisy Miller (1878) in the Cornhill is often highlighted as a landmark moment in the literary life of the American girl. As a reviewer for the Examiner pithily summarised, the story centres on a ‘mysterious American young lady’ who travels to Europe and attempts to break into high society, but her flirtatious behaviour ‘offends against every law of propriety, and

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[she] eventually dies of Roman fever caught while “gallivanting” with an Italian adventurer . . . in the Colosseum’ (22 Feb 1879: 24). Daisy’s descent into disgrace and death was a well-trodden literary pathway. She was a ‘very pronounced young American girl, whom the writer [had] to carry to the grave, as he [could] not make a heroine of her,’ concluded the Essex Standard (6 July 1878: 6).9 Not all British reviewers were immune to her charms. The Illustrated London News, for instance, was disappointed by the fate of James’s ‘charming heroine’ and predicted that most readers of the Cornhill would feel the same way (6 July 1878: 13). Similarly, the Worcester Chronicle lamented James’s decision to ‘finish off . . . this eminently silly, rash, random, and reckless young lady, with whose untimely fate . . . every reader will deeply sympathise. Many a sentimental young girl will drop a tear over the drooping, dying Daisy, and exclaim, “Daisy, with all thy faults, I love thee still”’ (13 July 1878: 3). In this respect, she neatly embodies wider British responses to the American girl (and many other aspects of American culture and society), which found it necessary to temper public declarations of admiration with a self-protective note of condemnation. ‘The universal criticism of the American girl in Europe,’ observed Sherwood, ‘may be crudely described as nearly always taking this formula: “Beautiful, rich, vulgar. Beautiful, rich, strange. Beautiful rich, fast. Beautiful, rich, loud. Beautiful, rich, rather better style than you usually find them”’ (North American Review June 1890: 682). James’s tale proved popular with British audiences, and consequently passing references to Daisy Miller began to appear in other literary and journalistic contexts.10 However, the idea of the modern American girl was by no means new to British audiences. When British reviewers were first tasked with summarising the subject of James’s story in a single sentence, they deployed phrases like ‘eccentric Yankee beauty’ and ‘fast American girl’ in ways that suggest their readers would have been familiar with this type of character. ‘Daisy Miller,’ explains the Sheffield Independent, ‘is a clever and amusing character study of the typical American young lady to be met abroad’ (13 June 1878: 8). The Pall Mall Gazette agreed that she was a ‘familiar figure to all frequenters of hotels’ on the Continent (20 Mar 1879: 12). In other words, James’s text was symptomatic of a wider interest in the behaviour of American girls who were beginning to cross the Atlantic in ever-increasing numbers. Improvements in the safety, speed, and comfort of oceanic travel allowed tourists from Britain and America to travel abroad with relative ease. Crucially, however, the time and cost involved in such journeys was prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of people. ‘The real American girl in her millions never has the opportunity of visiting Europe,’ Stead pointed out (1901: 324). ‘We only see in the Old World a very small percentage of American womanhood, that which is drawn exclusively from the wealthier classes’ (324). A trip to Europe was something of a rite of passage for the daughters of rich American families, an adventure that was often undertaken without fathers and brothers, who remained at home to attend to business.11 Her arrival was a performance in itself that made her visible to British observers. By the 1890s, American tourists descended on central London in such great numbers that the journalist Elizabeth L. Banks (herself an American) was moved to describe July as ‘invasion season’ (1902: 109). No longer contained within her natural habitat or distantly encountered through the eyes of a travel writer, the distinctive ‘nasal twang’ of the American Girl rang out across the streets, cafes, shops, and drawing rooms of London and Paris (Grantham Journal

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13 Mar 1897: 7). It was the arrival of this particular brand of American girl – a rich young woman who was raised in the New World but determined to make her mark on the Old – that prompted such widespread debate. Many Americans who visited Europe did so to see the sights and then return home, but the wealthy American girl and her equally ambitious mother were assumed to have another objective in mind – landing a European husband, ideally a man with an impressive title. This stereotype has some basis in reality. From the 1870s onwards, several American women successfully married into the upper echelons of British society. Jennie Jerome, the daughter of a flamboyant New York stock speculator, married Lord Randolph Churchill in 1874 and gave birth to Winston Churchill soon afterwards. Two years later, a Cuban-American diplomat’s daughter named Consuelo Yznaga became the Duchess of Manchester. In 1895, the Vanderbilt family used their extraordinary wealth to engineer an unhappy union between Consuelo Vanderbilt and the debt-ridden Duke of Marlborough. That same year, Mary Leiter from Chicago married a promising young MP named George Curzon, and three years later she became the Vicereine of India. An article in the New York Journal, reprinted in Stead’s Review of Reviews, excitedly announced that Leiter was now the ‘next woman in rank to Queen Victoria throughout the whole British Empire’ (Sep 1898: 221). This was just the tip of the iceberg. In 1899 the Woman’s Signal reported that ‘no fewer than 152 American women have married European noblemen’ and brought them dowries amounting to more than £3,330,000 (9 Feb 1899: 87). British commentators responded to the arrival of these American girls in a variety of ways. Many, like Elizabeth L. Banks, reached immediately for metaphors of ‘invasion’ and ‘conquest.’ ‘We are going to have an invasion this season of the American girl,’ predicted a writer for Table Talk, and it ‘looks like an attack en masse on our unmarried dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts, and barons’ (qtd in the Grantham Journal 13 Mar 1897: 7).12 The Dundee Evening Post printed a list of transatlantic aristocratic marriages under the headline ‘American Girls’ Conquests’ (14 Jan 1903: 4). While it was hardly new for the dynamics of love and marriage to be framed in these warlike terms – hearts were ‘conquered’ long before the American girl rode into battle – the growing economic power of the United States imbued this language with a new potency. By the 1890s, America had surpassed Britain in terms of manufacturing output and had cornered many of its markets both at home and abroad. From the late 1870s onwards, articles about ‘American competition’ and the ‘invasion’ of American products appeared regularly in the British press (Nicholson 2012a: 83–7). Closing prices from the New York stock exchange became a fixture of British newspapers as the ‘almighty dollar’ began to exert a decisive influence on international trade. Several articles about the American girl made this economic connection explicit by discussing the effect of American ‘imports’ on the marriage market. They likened the unromantic, practical, and businesslike manners of American girls to those of the country’s world-conquering businessmen. ‘They succeed in London drawing-rooms,’ observed the Standard, ‘as their brothers succeed in dry goods stores in New York, and for much the same reason. . . . [They] understand the conditions of success better [than English girls], and accommodate themselves to them’ (8 Nov 1888: 5). The tone of these alarmist responses was mocked by Stead in a sarcastic article for the Pall Mall Gazette:

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The advent of the American girl in English society at first was a curiosity. It soon became a portent. It is now assuming the dimensions of a menace. Before long it will be regarded as a calamity. Of all forms of competition, there is none so deadly as this. We can stand our farmers being ruined by American corn, we can listen unmoved to the wails of the graziers made bankrupt by the influx of American beef, but the American girl is too much. Already we hear the murmur of the cry of the drawing-room, the growl of the despairing Belgravian mother who sees season after season American girls swoop down upon the most eligible partners and cut our native girls out before the eyes of their distracted parents. . . . How can we cope with it? What is to be done? Are we to impose a prohibitive tariff on this description of American produce? Or are we to make it a felony punishable by hanging without benefit of the clergy for a native, British-born male to marry any woman or girl of American birth? . . . Clearly the matrimonial market is being destroyed by the wealthy heiresses who swarm in the United States. Against such bounty-fed competitors what can our English girls ‘whose face is their fortune’ hope to do? (8 Nov 1888: 1) Stead’s comic outburst highlights, once again, the ability of the American girl to act as a surrogate for other debates on Americanisation. While the complexity of large-scale economic processes makes them difficult to visualise and comprehend, the metaphor of the ‘marriage market’ is immediately familiar and understandable. America’s successful invasion of the British aristocracy evidently had greater narrative potency than its incursion into the beef and corn industries, but responses to these stories were attempting to make sense of the same process. The American girl’s adventures in British high society were also fertile ground for the country’s humourists. Punch, for instance, rarely missed an opportunity to mock American manners and treated the American girl with a predictable brand of distain. A piece of comic verse contributed by the dramatist Henry Savile-Clarke captures the general tone of their coverage: She ‘guesses’ and she ‘calculates,’ she wears all sorts o’ collars, Her yellow hair is not without suspicion of a dye; Her ‘Papa’ is a dull old man who turned pork into dollars, But everybody admits that she’s indubitably spry. She did Rome in a swift two days, gave half the time to Venice, But vows that she saw everything, although in awful haste; She’s fond of dancing, but she seems to fight shy of lawn tennis, Because it might endanger the proportions of her waist. Her manner might be well defined as elegantly skittish; She loves a Lord as only a Republican can do; And quite the best of titles she’s persuaded are the British, And well she knows the Peerage, for she reads it through and through. She’s bediamonded superbly, and shines like a constellation, You scarce can see her fingers for the multitude of rings;

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bob nicholson She’s just a shade too conscious, so it seems, of admiration, With irritating tendencies to wriggle when she sings. She owns she is ‘Amur’can,’ and her accent is alarming; Her birthplace has an awful name you pray you may forget; Yet, after all, we own, ‘La Belle Américaine’ is charming, So let us hope she’ll win at last her long-sought coronet. (20 Sep 1890: 136)

Savile-Clarke’s poem includes several well-worn barbs used by Victorian humourists to mock America. The American girl’s fondness for admiration and wearing too many diamonds emphasises her superficiality, while the suspicion of hair dye reveals her captivating beauty to be artificial. Similarly, her ‘dull’ father’s mercantile background and her ‘awfully named’ birthplace work to undermine her thin veneer of respectability and skewer her nouveau riche pretentions. Her ‘alarming’ accent and use of American slang exposes her unpolished manners. Punch used a similar technique satirising President Lincoln and other Americans who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in the magazine’s crosshairs (Stedman 1953). What is more, the American girl eagerly abandons her homeland’s republican principles and embraces the trappings of the British class system; unfortunately, her naïve appreciation for the old world and its traditions is handled with vulgar American haste. As I’ve explored elsewhere, this contrast between British tradition and American modernity was the subject of much transatlantic humour (Nicholson 2012d; Nicholson 2012e; Nicholson 2013). At a time when America’s economic supremacy seemed almost inevitable, many British writers emphasised their country’s enduring ability to determine issues of taste and culture – qualities that the almighty dollar could not buy. Punch’s attack on the American girl ends on a curious note. After a blistering critique of all her faults, Savile-Clarke owns that she ‘is charming’ and hopes that she will succeed in her assault on the peerage. This begrudging crumb of admiration raises an important question. If the American girl’s ‘invasion’ of Britain caused so much alarm and her rough Yankee manners attracted such scorn, then how did she manage to ‘win at last her long-sought coronet’? Stead’s answer was simple: ‘She has (1) more intelligence and (2) more money’ than her English rival (Pall Mall Gazette 8 Nov 1888: 1). Other admirers of the American girl were keen to emphasise the importance of her personal qualities. In 1902, the Duke of Manchester (son of Consuelo Yznaga) explained his decision to follow in his father’s footsteps and marry a girl from the United States: American girls are the most beautiful and fascinating in the world. They have all the qualities of all the other girls put together. . . . They are beautiful, witty, graceful, high-bred, original, innocent, audacious, intellectual, and practical. . . . I suppose the most striking characteristic of American girls is their independence. They are simply overflowing with it. And yet they are perfectly womanly. . . . I do not believe that money is the reason for many of these marriages. (Manchester Courier 7 Sep 1901: 12)13 The duke, like his father, was a notorious spendthrift and his marriage eventually ended in divorce, so we should take some of this with a healthy pinch of salt. But the qualities he identified in his wife echo other positive accounts of American girlhood.

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An anonymous contributor to the London Journal agreed that it is ‘quite a mistake to suppose that an American girl’s greatest attraction is her wealth’ and went on to praise her freshness, independence, enthusiasm, common sense, and willingness to ignore old-world codes of propriety (26 Sep 1896: 279). A contributor to the Speaker was equally smitten by the American girl and rhapsodised about her virtues in a discussion about the artwork of Charles Dana Gibson (5 Dec 1896). Gibson’s cartoons circulated in British newspapers and presented the American Girl as a specimen of almost implausible beauty: she was youthful, thin waisted, large busted, pretty, fashionably dressed, and self-confident. Even in British caricature, she was typically represented as a beautiful woman with hordes of helpless old bachelors falling at her feet (Figures 12.2 and 12.3).14 Satirists also had fun mocking the jealousy that English girls were assumed to feel about ‘their’ men’s fascination with girls from across the pond.15 Far from treating her as a hostile and unwanted invader, plenty of Victorians seem to have welcomed the American girl and all that she represented with open arms. In truth, however, most British observers seem to have adopted a cautious middle ground between outright condemnation and rapturous admiration – not just of the American girl, but of the United States more broadly. For instance, in an 1887 article

Figure 12.2 ‘The American Girl Abroad,’ Sketch (22 Jan 1896: 35).

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Figure 12.3 ‘The American Girl Exports a Lord,’ Sketch (11 Sep 1895: 31). for the Court and Society Review, Oscar Wilde gently mocked the American invader’s ‘harsh and strident’ voice, her ‘funny, exaggerated gestures,’ and her ‘ardent admiration’ for the British aristocracy (37). But these jibes were delivered with a tone of benevolent condescension rather than reactionary hostility. He drew upon a familiar set of attributes when praising the American girl’s ‘bright’ and ‘clever’ nature, her

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‘native self-assertion,’ and her mastery of the ‘art of amusing men’ (37). Wilde continually undercut these compliments by emphasising – and wryly praising – the superficiality of the American girl’s eye-catching charms: If a stolid young Englishman is fortunate enough to be introduced to [American girls] he is amazed at their extraordinary vivacity, their electric quickness of repartee, their inexhaustible store of curious catchwords. He never really understands them, for their thoughts flutter about with the sweet irresponsibility of butterflies; but he is pleased and amused and feels as if he were in an aviary. . . . Perhaps, the chief secret of their charm is that they never talk seriously except about amusements. (38) Wilde particularly enjoyed this contrast between American vivacity and English stolidity, and admitted that ‘after a time one gets to love these pretty whirlwinds in petticoats as they sweep so recklessly through society and are so agitating to all duchesses who have daughters’ (37). It was possible, in other words, to admire the American girl’s beauty and revel in her unconventional Yankee manners while still keeping her at a suitable critical distance. Wilde and many of his British contemporaries seem to have been happy to enjoy the novelty of the American girl for a season or two, but they often stopped short of embracing her unreservedly; compliments, as we have seen, were routinely tempered with criticisms that conspicuously signalled an admirer’s enduring allegiance to British codes of taste and respectability. These encounters with the American girl mirrored wider Victorian responses to the United States. Many British people were curious about modern America and were willing to admire some of its emerging features, but not without caution and some provisos. As the Saturday Review pithily put it, ‘An American girl ranks among the number of those agreeable acquaintances, without whom life would be grey and colourless, and whom there is no need to introduce to one’s wife’ (4 Feb 1871: 137).

Conclusion The American girl inspired a wide range of responses within British print culture. In the early nineteenth century, her appearance and personality were scrutinised by European travel writers who hoped to explain America’s nascent national character. Native-born girls were used as a barometer to measure the impact of America’s geographical and political climate. By the late 1860s, the American girl was drawn upon by an increasing number of British writers as a reference point in debates about the nature of modern girlhood. Soon, the growing power of the United States – and the prospect of what Gladstone termed an impeding ‘American future’ – imbued the idea of the American girl with a heightened sense of cultural and political potency. By the 1880s and 1890s, she continually ‘invaded’ Britain alongside a range of other American tourists, products, texts, and ideas. In her archetypal printed form, she was a highly stylised cultural symbol who bore tenuous relation to the ‘real’ American girls who made their home in Britain. Just like other expressions of American culture during this period, she met with plenty of resistance and ridicule and offered her critics an opportunity to reaffirm traditional British values at a time when they seemed to be under threat. But she also won plenty of admirers. Just as some British newspaper audiences laughed at the ‘freshness’ of imported American jokes

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or enjoyed playing with ‘racy’ Yankee slang, so too did many of them celebrate the American girl’s beauty, modern ideas, and freedom from traditional codes of respectability. Most Victorian observers seem to have fallen somewhere in the middle of these two camps; they were willing to admit that the American girl possessed some admirable new qualities but could not bring themselves to fall rapturously at her feet. Similar responses emerged in reply to other manifestations of modern American culture and society, but few rivalled the attention bestowed upon the American girl. It was not simply her beauty, wealth, and ‘go-ahead’ spirit that made her ‘the-mosttalked-of-creature in the world.’ She became one of the most conspicuous manifestations of ‘Americanisation’ and thereby offered British observers a way to personify and unpack its complex implications. By making sense of her, they could make sense of a nation.

Notes 1. The terms enclosed in quotation marks can all be found in Sherwood’s and Stead’s articles (cited above), but they are representative of the broader discourse surrounding the American girl at this time. 2. The census data in this chapter comes from the Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM) project. See Schurer and Higgs 2014. Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM), 1851–1911. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 7481. 3. See, for example: ‘An American Girl,’ Belfast Commercial Chronicle 28 Feb 1842: 4; ‘English and American Girls,’ Roscommon Journal and Western Impartial Reporter 25 Jan 1851: 4. 4. See, for example, ‘Influence of Democracy of the Female Character’ (1840). 5. This particular implementation of cultural analytics was performed using the History Playground tool, which promises a more nuanced technique of tracking the usage of a term than simply counting its frequency. See Lansdall-Welfare et al. 2017 for a detailed discussion of this methodology. 6. The Girl of the Period has received a correspondingly large amount of academic attention. For example, see Rinehart 1980; Fraser et al. 2003; Moruzi 2012; and Bouffis 1994. 7. For an in-depth exploration of this curious periodical, see Chapter 3 of Moruzi 2012. 8. This account appeared in dozens of British newspapers. For example, see ‘The Typical American Girl of the Period,’ Birmingham Daily Post 24 Aug 1869: 3; Illustrated London News 28 Aug 1869: 19; and the Wrexham Advertiser 28 Aug 1869: 3. 9. James later adapted Daisy Miller into a comic play and published it in the Atlantic Monthly (Apr–June 1883). In this version, Daisy survives her brush with death and ends up happily betrothed to the story’s hero. ‘Mr James having repented the murder of his heroine,’ quipped one unimpressed reviewer, ‘now murders his novel’ (Sheffield Independent 29 Sep 1883: 9). 10. See, for example: ‘Some Magazines,’ John Bull 4 Jan 1879: 10; ‘Sir George Campbell on America,’ Fife Free Press & Kirkcaldy Guardian 8 Feb 1879: 3; ‘The American Girl Abroad,’ Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer 18 June 1879: 3; and ‘The American Girl,’ Dundee Evening Telegraph 21 Nov 1884: 4. 11. See, for example, ‘American Girl’s Ambition,’ Daily Telegraph and Courier 17 Sep 1904: 5. 12. Similarly, the Grantham Journal describes the arrival of transatlantic tourists as ‘an incident of every recurring spring’ and names the American girl as the most well-known member of the ‘invading forces’ (15 June 1889: 7).

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13. The article was original published in the New York Journal, but it was widely reprinted in the British press. 14. See also ‘The American Girl Abroad,’ Funny Folks 10 Feb 1894: 7. 15. See ‘The American Girl,’ Funny Folks 24 Nov 1888: 371; and ‘The Englishwoman’s Idea of an American Girl, and Vice Versa,’ Judy 21 May 1902: 246.

Works Cited Banks, Elizabeth L. 1902. ‘American London.’ Living London: its work and its play, its humour and its pathos, its sights and its scenes. Vol. 2. Ed. George R. Sims. London: Cassell and Company: 107–13. Bouffis, Christina. 1994. ‘“Of Home Birth and Breeding”: Eliza Lynn Linton and the Girl of the Period.’ The Girl’s Own: Cultural Histories of the Anglo-American Girl, 1830–1915. Ed. Claudia Nelson and Lynne Vallone. Athens: University of Georgia Press. 98–123. Claybaugh, Amanda. 2013. ‘The Victorian Novel and America.’ The Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel. Ed. Lisa Rodensky. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 227–47. Fenimore Cooper, James. 1837. England: With Sketches of Society in the Metropolis. Vol 1, 2nd edn. London: Richard Bentley. Fraser, Hilary, with Stephanie Green and Judith Johnson. 2003. Gender and the Victorian Periodical. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Harris, Anita. 2004. Future Girl: Young Women in the Twenty-First Century. London: Routledge. Johnes, Martin and Bob Nicholson. 2015. ‘Sport History and Digital Archives in Practice.’ Sport History in the Digital Era. Ed. Gary Osmond and Murray G. Phillips. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 53–74. Lansdall-Welfare, Thomas, Saatviga Sudhahar, James Thompson, Justin Lewis, FindMyPast Newspaper Team, and Nello Cristianini. 2017. ‘Content Analysis of 150 Years of British Periodicals.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114.4: 457–65. Martineau, Harriet. 1837. Society in America. Vol 2. London: Saunders and Otley. Moruzi, Kristine. 2012. Constructing Girlhood through the Periodical Press, 1850–1915. Aldershot: Ashgate. Muirhead, James Fullarton. 1898. The Land of Contrasts: A Briton’s View of His American Kin. London: Wolffe and Company. Nicholson, Bob. 2012a. ‘Looming Large: America and the Late-Victorian Press, 1865–1902.’ Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Manchester. —. 2012b. ‘Counting Culture; or, how to read Victorian newspapers from a distance.’ Journal of Victorian Culture 17.2: 238–46. —. 2012c. ‘The Digital Turn: Exploring the methodological possibilities of digital newspaper archives.’ Media History 19.1: 59–73. —. 2012d. ‘’You Kick the Bucket; We Do the Rest!’ Jokes and the culture of reprinting in the transatlantic press.’ Journal of Victorian Culture 17.3: 273–86. —. 2012e. ‘Jonathan’s Jokes: American humour in the late-Victoran Press.’ Media History 18.1: 33–49. —. 2013. ‘The Old World and the New: Negotiating Past, Present, and Future in Anglo-American Humour, 1880–1900.’ History and Humour: British and American Perspectives. Ed. Barbara Korte and Doris Lechner. Bielefled: Transcript Verlag. 151–70. Rinehart, Nana. 1980. ‘“The Girl of the Period” Controversy.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 13.1: 2–9. Rodgers, Beth. 2016. Adolescent Girlhood and Literary Culture at the Fin de Siècle. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Schaffer, Talia. 2002. ‘“Nothing But Foolscap and Ink”: Inventing the New Woman.’ The New Woman in Fiction and Fact: Fin de Siècle Feminisms. Ed. Angelique Richardson and Chris Willis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 39–52. Schurer, K. and E. Higgs. 2014. Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM), 1851–1911. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 7481. Stead, William Thomas. 1901. The Americanisation of the World; Or, The Trend of the Twentieth Century. London: Review of Reviews Office. Stedman, Jane W. 1953. ‘American English in Punch, 1841–1900.’ American Speech 28.3: 171–80. Tocqueville, Alexis de. 1835. Democracy in America Vol 2. The Henry Reeve Text as revised by Frances Bowen, now further corrected and edited by Phillips Bradley [1956]. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Wilde, Oscar. 1991. ‘The American Invasion.’ Court and Society Review 23 March 1887. Reprinted in The Uncollected Oscar Wilde. Ed. John Wyse Jackson. London: Fourth Estate.

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Part III Women and Visual Culture

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Women and Visual Culture: Introduction

W

hen the first issue of the Illustrated London News appeared on 14 May 1842, it set the stage for the development of myriad forms of illustrated journalism that would become ubiquitous in popular print culture for the rest of the century. Illustrated newspapers and periodicals contributed to a broader visual culture which aimed to engage and construct a mass-market audience for print. From the very first, women were imagined as part of this ‘modern,’ largely urban audience. Indeed, the inaugural issue of the Illustrated London News not only included a brief column titled ‘The Fashions,’ accompanied by a fashion plate illustration, but also, two pages later, a portrait of Queen Victoria decked out in medieval attire for a costume ball at Buckingham Palace. The accompanying letterpress discussion of the fashion plate and Victoria’s opulent costume suggested that women’s apparel was interesting both as a spectacle of modern life and as an enticing category of commodities in an expanding consumer marketplace. The potent mixture of fashion, celebrity worship, and gender-specific ‘news’ fuelled the proliferation of illustrated content in a variety of forms, including domestic magazines, women’s columns in popular newspapers, and advertisements selling everything from corsets to cosmetics. Within these intersecting modes of visual representation, women were defined as creators, consumers, celebrities, viewers, and spectacles. The essays in this section address the many ways women were engaged with and represented by visual culture during the second half of the nineteenth century. The investigation begins at mid-century with Charlotte Boman’s ‘Vicarious Pleasures: Photography, Modernity, and Mid-Victorian Domestic Journalism.’ Family magazines such as the Leisure Hour (1852–1905) and All the Year Round (1859–95) featured articles on the rise of new visual media technologies, linking them to domestic consumption and a rapidly shifting urban environment. Boman focuses specifically on the stereoscope, which became popular after being introduced to the public at the Great Exhibition (1851). Photography was a frequent topic of discussion in the mid-Victorian periodical press and played a key role in constructing the relationship between middle-class domesticity and the urban environment, demonstrating the ‘reciprocity between graphic and verbal culture and the resulting erosion of the private-public dichotomy’ (p. 216). Because women were so closely associated with privacy and domestic life, urban photography had the effect of unsettling conventional gender relations and destabilising the divide between public and private space. As the century progressed, women not only consumed photographs in the home but also regularly encountered a wide variety of images in periodical advertisements. As Margaret Beetham points out, ‘These advertisements constructed a femininity in which desirability was linked to visible beauty. The association of the feminine with the pleasures of looking was endemic in the culture and central to the tradition of the woman’s magazine’ (1996: 148). In ‘Beauty Advertising and Advice in the Queen and Woman,’ Michelle J. Smith expands upon this idea by exploring the ‘visually

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spectacular’ advertisements for cosmetics that appeared in late Victorian women’s periodicals (p. 218). Focusing specifically on the Queen (1861–1970) and Woman (1890–1912), she argues that editorial and advertising content were aligned in their treatment of cosmetics, recommending natural beauty over artifice, personal hygiene over self-fashioning. Advertisements figured older actresses as models of natural beauty rather than as practitioners of the cosmetic arts. Meanwhile, editorials, along with the ‘advice provided in advice columns and articles,’ enabled the woman reader to ‘negotiate acceptable use of branded products in tandem with home-made methods and daily attention to a beauty regimen grounded in hygiene’ (p. 229). Cutting-edge cosmetic preparations and technologies of image reproduction were thus used to disseminate rather conventional ideas about women’s health, natural beauty, and artless femininity. By the fin de siècle, women were not only targeted as readers of gender-specific newspapers and magazines but of illustrated general-interest periodicals as well. In these contexts, women were often assumed to fit within the broad category of general readers, but they were also the subject of specialised women’s columns that were designed to appeal to their presumed interests in fashion and homemaking. Interestingly, these columns also addressed the Woman Question – debates on women’s employment, education, and suffrage. In ‘Women of the World: the Lady’s Pictorial and Its Sister Papers,’ Gerry Beegan examines women’s columns in the illustrated papers produced by the Ingram Brothers in the 1880s and 1890s: The Illustrated London News (1842–1900), the Sketch (1893–1959), and the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (1874–1943). Images of women were ubiquitous in these weeklies, but it was in the women’s columns that feminist politics were most often addressed. The Illustrated London News, for example, sometimes addressed women’s employment and other topics affecting women – controversial subject matter that was safely embedded in an otherwise tame mixture of advice on fashion and cookery. The Lady’s Pictorial, founded by the Ingram Brothers in 1880, took a similar approach by mixing conventional feminine subject matter with debates on gender issues. However, while its sister papers were more likely to feature actresses and celebrities in their women’s columns, the Lady’s Pictorial depicted women ‘out in the world . . . enjoying the London social season, attending charitable events, participating in sports, and engaging in amateur drama’ (p. 248). Utilising both text and illustration, it defined a new brand of ‘modern mobile womanhood’ (p. 253). During the 1890s, the Ingram Brothers were innovators in the market for illustrated journals not only due to their treatment of women’s concerns but also because they employed the latest imaging technologies, including photographic halftones. The Sketch, for example, ‘was the first middle-class weekly to be illustrated entirely by photorelief processes’ (Beegan 2008: 38). Illustrated papers were not only crucial for imaging women’s bodies and identities but also for depicting other cultures, often through an imperialist lens. As Andrea Kaston Tange notes in ‘Rewriting Fairyland: Isabella Bird and the Spectacle of Nineteenth-Century Japan,’ weeklies such as the Illustrated London News responded to the opening up of Japan after 1854 with illustrations ‘that tended to draw more heavily on tropes that depicted a country that was artistically very fine in part because it was simultaneously woefully behind in modern technologies’ (p. 273). To some degree, Isabella Bird (1831–1904), in her travel narrative Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (1880), reiterates these orientalist strategies, yet she

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also, through letterpress descriptions and visual representations, balanced ‘fairyland’ imagery with realist detail that defies stereotypes and self-reflexively draws attention to her own status as a foreign spectacle. Tange’s essay challenges us to view women writers’ relationship to the colonialist discourse of illustrated journalism in complex terms, as a ‘series of layered registers, a palimpsest of meaning’ (p. 273). The rise of new illustrative methods of course had the effect of edging out more traditional forms of image production such as wood engraving. This had a significant impact on women engravers, who had found steady work in the illustrated press beginning in the 1840s. Wood engraving was an attractive field of employment for women since it could be completed as piecework and carried out in the domestic realm. In ‘Victorian Women Wood Engravers: The Case of Clemence Housman,’ Lorraine Janzen Kooistra explores the career of an important yet neglected artist whose work in the illustrated press deserves more concentrated attention. From 1885 to 1895, Housman (1861–1955) worked as an engraver for the Graphic (1869–1932), but by the mid-1890s there was little work in the trade since most papers were converting to systems of photomechanical reproduction. She then transitioned to fine-art wood engraving in the book trade, producing several exquisite titles in collaboration with her brother Laurence Housman, including The Were-Wolf (1896). She continued working the field until the 1920s, eventually producing her masterpiece, an engraving of James Guthrie’s ‘Evening Star.’ The trajectory of her career not only demonstrates how new reproductive technologies altered women’s work in the periodical press over the course of the nineteenth century but also reminds us of the thousands of other women who contributed to this industry but have been largely overlooked in press history. Indeed, as Janzen Kooistra’s essay makes clear, women were not just the subject matter or intended audience for periodical advertisements and illustrations; they were actively engaged in the production of the images that proliferated throughout the Victorian illustrated press.

Works Cited Beegan, Gerry. 2008. The Mass Image: A Social History of Photomechanical Reproduction in Victorian London. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London: Routledge.

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13 Vicarious Pleasures: Photography, Modernity, and Mid-Victorian Domestic Journalism Charlotte Boman

T

he expansion of Victorian print culture in the middle of the nineteenth century played a critical role in opening up an imaginative, vicarious engagement with metropolitan spaces and situations. Unfolding through a potent cross-fertilisation of ideas, the periodical press attests to an intense interaction between words and images at mid-century, bespeaking what Gerard Curtis calls a ‘new literary/visual culture, one that was motivated by imperial, educational and mercantile ambitions, and moderated by issues of gender, class and the impact of change’ (2002: 1). In the pages that follow, I explore the visualisation of modernity in mass-produced photographic images and the rich textuality surrounding new media in the second half of the century. I begin by focusing primarily on the photographic communication in periodicals aimed at an ordinary, domestic readership during the 1850s and 1860s. In particular, I trace the discursive patterns coalescing around stereoscopic viewing – the Victorian pictorial activity that perhaps more than any other mid-century viewing practice melds worldly participation and domestic seclusion. In doing so, I emphasise the interconnection of technology with the emulous ideological processes that shaped urban consciousness in the decades predating the handheld camera and dry-plate processes of the 1880s and 1890s, developments that enabled new and decentred modes of image making and consumption (Beegan 2008: 160). The second part of this essay approaches the stereoscope from a different methodological angle by exploring the ways in which popularised stereoviews reproduced or reworked media topics familiar to a predominantly urbanised (or suburbanised) middle-class readership. Taking as its subject a relatively unexplored aspect of Victorian print culture, this essay seeks to throw light on the ideological work performed by the photographic economy, focusing specifically on the stereoscope and its role in the construction of women as modern subjects. I do not perceive the stereoscope as primarily defined by its association with familial isolation, that is, as a technology that works to amplify the separation of the domestic sphere from public and communal spaces. Rather, I suggest that middle-class enthusiasm for entering into the virtual reality offered by stereoscopic imagery, along with the critique that accompanied its popularisation, highlights the ambivalent relationship between mid-Victorian domesticity and modernity. I place the surge in stereographic viewing in the 1850s and 1860s within a context of metropolitan trends and patterns

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of consumption, viewing it as an episode in Victorian media culture that is forged and modified through a dialogue between advertising, the city, and the periodical press. Consequently, I am not inclined to agree with Jonathan Crary’s view that visual mass culture during this period tended toward abstraction and dematerialisation, profoundly separating the self from other sensory impressions, social relationships, and tangible matter (1990: 13). Instead, I concentrate on the average domestic consumer’s viewpoint in order to argue that the medium serves as a relay between middle-class subjects and a changing social and material modern world, one in which their own role is, as yet, only sketchily drawn.

‘An immense stock of subjects’: The Stereoscope in the Periodical Press In the heated mid-century photographic market, stereoviews complemented cheap portrait formats such as the carte de visite since they were better suited to show topographical and architectural motifs and to reconstruct interior and exterior groups or ‘scenes,’ indeed ‘almost every incident of ordinary life,’ as London Stereoscopic Company advertisements boasted (National Magazine Jan 1857: 18). The stereograph grew into a cultural sensation following its display at the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851, where it reportedly received royal approval (Leisure Hour 3 June 1858: 348). ‘At the present moment it is in use and demand in almost every town and hamlet in the country,’ the Leisure Hour informed its readership, and ‘is fast making its way into the households of the middle-classes’ (348). The author notes that many stereoscopic images demonstrate a regrettable ‘love of startling effects’; nevertheless, they still conjure wholesome scenes of imparting ‘cheerful and innocently-exciting amusement’ and ‘sound, solid instruction’ to members of the domestic circle by providing comprehensive collections of national and foreign sites ‘open to the selection of the purchaser’ (349). As this article implies, stereoscopes and stereoviews were specifically advertised as a form of domestic entertainment with a topical diversity that claimed to cater to every individual taste within the family unit, thus alluding to the centrality of the family unit as a consumer group in Victorian print culture, particularly where periodical journalism was concerned. In the social and cultural climate of mid-Victorian Britain, this marketing strategy contributed to the colossal success of stereographic publishing houses. The London Stereographic Company, founded in 1854, soon sold half a million Brewster stereoscopes annually and manufactured at least a thousand slides per day (Seiberling 1986: 71; Darrah 1977: 45). Amongst some 100,000 subjects on offer, views of towns, ports, and resorts were common, along with cultural landmarks, monuments, and prominent official institutions, such as libraries, museums, and places of learning. Contemporary public spectacles were increasingly available to the public, including international exhibitions, which were photographed for stereo viewing beginning in 1851. Photography transformed public conceptions of the city’s visual landscape, imagining it as something to be observed at street level, to be selected, bought, and owned. Photographs also appeared in shop windows throughout the metropolis. In 1859 the Leisure Hour argued that the capital was being transformed by photographs, which ‘[occupied] . . . about as much space as the placards of the bill-sticker, with

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this notable difference, that they are always placed in the sight level’ (11 Aug 1859: 508). The author continues: The demand for [stereoscopic slides] is so immense as to support large establishments, and employ, it is said, nearly a million of capital. They are exhibited by the hundreds of thousands in the shop windows, and embrace an endless variety of every imaginable subject. . . . We have groups and conversation pictures – ghost scenes, for which the stereoscope is remarkably adapted – public buildings, exteriors and interiors, cities, towns, street scenes, coast scenes, dead game, fruit pieces, and landscapes innumerable. (509) Here was a cultural form that combined participation in group-oriented mass culture with a sense of individualised and personalised experience, a conjoining of the private sphere and the public world. Nowhere is this more evident than in the London Stereoscopic Company’s advertising campaigns. In 1857, for instance, the firm presented readers of the National Magazine with an advert carrying the firm’s much-publicised catchphrase ‘No home without a stereoscope,’ which is reinforced by a drawing illustrating the ‘exquisite entertainment it affords in the Social and Domestic Circle’ (Jan 1857: 18). The centrality of the parlour in the visual space of the advertisement denotes its symbolic density in an era that promoted a distinctly bourgeois brand of domesticity. At the same time, the firm is forthright about the propinquity of the home and the marketplace, urging ‘all who can visit their Establishments to do so’ and suggesting that ‘those who reside at a distance’ may access the stock by mail order (18). Thus, the advertisement invokes what Thad Logan describes as the complex interplay between ‘the emergent culture of consumerism and the ideology of domesticity’ in an interior world increasingly constituted by things that were being curated and arranged by women (2001: 23). To be sure, the advertisement’s mixed messages are further underscored by an image used to promote the firm’s Cheapside Studio in the City of London during the 1860s, a commercial location that had become its trademark (Figure 13.1). Here, the company brand (which appears amongst the rooftops) is made to appeal precisely through its direct association with modernity, manifested by the confusing, congested urban milieu in which it is physically located. It would have been self-evident to a reasonably well-informed observer, however, that photographic technology in its present phase would not have been able to render this turbulent scene in focus and that consequently the image must have been subject to considerable manipulation. In this sense, such an elaborate piece of publicity (like the stereoscope itself) invites viewers to knowingly indulge in the image as a simulacrum, while simultaneously subliminally inducing them to ‘come and see.’ By and large, the advertising and other marketing techniques employed by stereoscopic printers are representative of the period’s more underhand practices. As Darrah explains, stereographic publishers were first and foremost participants in a highly competitive print market: ‘Negatives were bought, resold, multiplied, copied legitimately and pirated illegitimately. Many of the most famous photographers purchased negatives and advertised them as their own . . . [and] assistants were seldom properly credited’ (1977: 6). During a time when photographic techniques and processes were broadly standardised, familiar, and consequently less newsworthy, commentators discussed photography in the context of broader social and cultural debates. In an article published in All the Year Round in 1863, for instance, George Augustus Sala reflects on the

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Figure 13.1 ‘London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company, Ltd,’ c. 1867. Courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.

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modernisation of ordinary life through ‘the things among us, which have been born and grown strong and lusty and become affiliated to our households’ (19 Nov 1863: 77). Highlighting the advent of the printing press, steam engine, railway, and photography (most notably the stereoscopic ‘mania’), Sala speaks not only of profound material transformations but of ‘new types of life’ (78). In recounting the social impact of photography, he is attentive to the experience of change and carefully traces patterns on the ground, offering readers speculative accounts of desperate, dissipated photographers operating in ‘vile little slums’ where stereoscopic models exhibit ‘crinolines and legs . . . for a penny wage’ (79). His critique of urbanity stops just short of challenging the periodical’s aim to produce ‘natural, pleasant, careful’ material suitable to its domestic audience (Oppenlander 1984: 28). Notwithstanding, he suggests that the stereoscope has positive effects on viewers, who ‘peep through two little holes’ so as to inhabit known and unfamiliar localities, ‘not as painters and poets have imagined them, but in their actual terrible reality’ (79). Interestingly, Sala’s article acquires much of its effect by building on the reader’s prior knowledge of photography as a domestic practice while at the same time using the medium as a vehicle to engage middle-class readers with more complex, unsettling aspects of urbanisation. Of course, the narrative tactics employed in this and other articles on the topic reflect Charles Dickens’s editorial advice: to avoid competition with specialist journals and to instead seek out a ‘socio-cultural angle’ (Mackenzie et al. 2012: 270). This is not to say, however, that journalists writing for the domestic press were not attentive to specialist views and interests. Indeed, the field of photography reveals the extent to which periodicals functioned as vehicles for dialogue and exchange, with topics and ideas migrating across the boundaries of different types of publications. The topicality of the stereoscope reflects All the Year Round’s engagement with travels and journeys, as well as the fact ‘that populations in Victorian times are far from stationary – that this is an era when migration through necessity and travel for business and pleasure result in a kind of perpetual flux’ (Mackenzie et al. 2012: 266). What writers such as Sala clearly appreciated was that photography provided a potent metaphor for reflecting on the protean nature of modernisation and its ramifications for individuals, families, and society. As Mary Warner Marien argues, ‘Compounding issues as disparate as public morality, the effects of industrialization, and the value of cultural accomplishment, photographic discourse provided a new way to explain transitions and to articulate anxiety’ (1997: xv). Verbal and visual depictions of second-rate photographers, profligate ‘streettouters,’ and opprobrious photography shops are common tropes in mid-Victorian journalism which were regularly deployed for comic or sensational effect, seemingly without losing their ability to stir visceral anxieties about the street’s vitiating force. As John Bull sternly remarked in 1858, ‘The stereoscope is one thing; the [prurient] stereoscope-shop is another’ (1 Nov 1858: 697). In 1861, the Photographic News republished an article from the Daily Telegraph that put the ‘photographic nuisance’ foremost on its list of grievances relating to London streets, which included ‘swindling shopkeepers,’ ‘insolent omnibus conductors,’ ‘extortionate cab-drivers, who fleece and insult ladies,’ and ‘little half-naked ruffians’ (16 Aug 1861: 389). Street encounters of this kind represent a seemingly endless source of titillating amusement for readers of Punch, which regularly incorporated salacious references to questionable viewing practices. A representative cartoon from 1859 shows a gentleman peering into the peepholes of what appears to be a stereoscope rigged up in a shop window. He is shoved away by two young lads, but the small groupings of men and women further

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down are apparently too preoccupied with the window display to notice the incident (Figure 13.2). Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that the presence of several women in the background alludes to a progressively anxious media debate on gender, sexuality, and domesticity. By the middle of the century, Punch was a pacesetter in periodical journalism and its contributions were regularly reproduced in the pages of other

Figure 13.2 ‘Our friend Mr. Blobbins’s stereoscopic studies are suddenly assisted by two young friends, who oblige him with an illustration of “differing angles,”’ Punch 65 (16 Apr 1859: 152). Reproduced with permission of Special Collections, Cardiff University.

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periodicals. As this cartoon begins to suggest, the use of comedy as a vehicle for social and cultural commentary often loosened discursive boundaries, allowing artists and writers to push against the edges of what might be considered ‘good taste’ in middleclass circles. ‘Acting as urban eyes on the prowl, comic periodicals “read” and “represented” evidence taken from the crowded streets,’ Martha Banta argues, ‘although they often stated their desire to protect the sacred privacies of home and domestic virtue from contaminants seeping in from the outside world’ (2003: 23). Anxieties about photography can be attributed to the expansion of the print industry itself: the general progress made in virtually all areas of the ‘communication circuit,’ including production, labour, transportation, retail opportunities, and expanding audiences, developments that are more or less unfailingly examined with reference to class and gender (Darnton 2006: 12). As one agitated correspondent for the Photographic News put it, ‘I do not, sir, believe that the public are at all aware of the demoralisation introduced, even among the higher class of females. . . . Stereoscopes of the most obscene and lascivious character are in more common circulation than is supposed’ (10 Aug 1860: 180). Another contributor to this exchange draws attention to the pernicious effect of advertisements, which ‘[offer] employment to young ladies . . . and thus, probably, not a few poor women are lured to destruction,’ and mass circulars, which are ‘descriptive of their infamous wares,’ targeting, we may infer, male recipients in ‘the navy, the army, the merchant service, pupils and tutors of public schools, students of universities’ (Photographic News 10 Aug 1860: 180). These comments are symptomatic of what Simon Popple describes as a ‘growing sense of moral panic and societal dilemma’ in the decades following Lord Campbell’s anti-obscenity act of 1857, legislation that went on to have a deleterious effect on the moral status of photographic print technology in public discourse (2005: 113). What the moral debate over photography exposes, then, is the extent to which it functioned as a ‘disturbance (to civilization),’ to use Roland Barthes’s phrase, and was linked to an industrialised print culture supported by an ever-expanding infrastructure (2000: 12). The challenge to civil society posed by the spread of nefarious print, the Leisure Hour wearily concludes in 1872, is shown in the overwhelming ‘mass of corrupting matters’ laid before the courts, a plague of litigation that has been ‘greatly increased by the application of photography’ (13 Jan 1872: 32). The divisive attitudes toward photography in the periodical press from the late 1850s are linked to circumstances that shaped both patterns of discourse and usage: urbanisation, an enlarging consumer market, social and demographic change, and evolving anxieties around sexuality, gender, and domesticity. To be sure, by the time of the Great Exhibition in 1851 urbanisation was a fact. As demonstrated in the census, Britain now had, for the first time, a higher aggregate of urban, as opposed to rural, residents. As indicated in advertisements, publicity materials, periodical articles, and published correspondence, stereoscopic viewing tapped into conflicting public desires and impulses, serving as symbol of both domestic expansion and confinement. Embedded in the social and cultural practices surrounding the stereoscope is not only a cultural longing for seclusion and separation but also what Simon Gunn describes as a swelling metropolitan perspective among the middle-classes, ‘a shift . . . to the more anonymous public world and social relationships of the mid-Victorian city’ (2007: 29). As Gunn argues, after 1850 middle-class culture is increasingly performed in public spaces through tourism, leisure activity, formal events, or simply travelling to work

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and shopping, disparate activities that are linked by the ‘impulse to convert appearance in public into images of authority’ (2007: 30). But modernity, cultural historians argue, unfolded in a less orderly fashion. It emerged via a range of discontinuous discourses, through the tension between order and disorder (in other words, between environments that were surveyed, measured, planned, and built and those that were personal, diverse, relative, and playful). As Richard Dennis suggests, new public environments in the nineteenth century can be regarded ‘as products of rational planning and scientific management, but also as spaces for new kinds of everyday life, and as potential spaces of resistance or subversion’ (2000: 99). His recognition of competing or complementary approaches in defining modern life provides a useful conceptual framework for thinking about the disparate body of mass-produced print circulating in the 1850s and 1860s. By mid-century, Victorian print was well adapted to cater to the diverse needs of a mass audience and was a profoundly urban phenomenon. As Richard D. Altick points out, the periodical press was eminently suited to feed a restless public’s ever-growing ‘desire to keep up with the world,’ so the ‘topicality of the newspaper and many weekly and monthly publications’ made them attractive to ‘the common reader’ (1957: 318). Accordingly, the periodical press also played a pivotal role in sharpening interest in popular and fashionable photographic forms (as consumable objects and as social acts) among ordinary men and women. In addition to exploring the complementary and sometimes conflicted relationship between stereography and the periodical press, I am interested in examining the cognitive and experiential process involved in reading stereographic photography. In its marketing strategies, topical diversity, and investment in the domestic sphere, stereography emerges as a form of visual counterpart to mid-Victorian domestic journalism. In thinking about these viewing practices, I owe a great deal to Victor Burgin, who observed that ‘[even] a photograph which has no actual writing on or around it is traversed by language when it is “read” by a viewer’ (1982: 144). Indeed, he argues that The intelligibility of the photograph is no simple thing; photographs are texts inscribed in terms of what we may call ‘photographic discourse,’ but this discourse, like any other, engages discourses beyond itself, the ‘photographic text,’ like any other, is the site of a complex ‘intertextuality,’ an overlapping series of previous texts ‘taken for granted’ at a particular cultural and historical conjuncture. (1982: 144) More recent studies employ the concept of ‘phototextuality’ when examining the narrative qualities of photography during the mid-nineteenth century. Ari J. Blatt emphasises significant historical (and contemporary) manifestations of the reciprocal exchange between words and images in pictures that not only project narratives but also elicit a powerful narrative agency in the viewer: ‘We tell stories about pictures, all pictures ultimately, in an attempt to gain some semblance of control over them, tapping into their language, their innate grammar’ (2009: 116).

‘Instantaneous’ Viewing: The World through the Stereoscope London-based photographer Valentine Blanchard was one of the first to turn the Victorian street into a commercial success. By using a small camera mounted on top of a hansom cab and by keeping exposure times to a minimum, he managed to capture the

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capital in images that were marketed as ‘instantaneous’ views (Photographic Journal 16 June 1862: 73). The Photographic Journal’s 1862 review of Blanchard’s Instantaneous Photographs of London; and Marine Views commends the publication as a whole, noting the technical quality of his views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament, while somewhat obliquely questioning the wisdom of attempting street photography: ‘Perhaps no city in the world presents greater difficulties or greater temptations to the instantaneous photographer than London’ (73). Consequently, in its characteristic search for ‘depth of sentiment’ and ‘artistic taste,’ the journal expresses a preference for Blanchard’s nautical sunsets (73). In 1863 the British Journal of Photography remarks that Blanchard’s Instantaneous Views of London had made it possible ‘for those who have never visited the metropolis of England to familiarize themselves with the aspect of its out-of-door life and bustle’ (1 May 1863: 189). The review highlights their ability to communicate everyday events, particularly the interaction between people of different age, gender, and social class. For example, in front of the National Gallery, viewers encounter ‘an omnibus into which a lady is in the act of entering, the door being held open by the conductor, while leaning from the “monkey board,” according to the manner of the species,’ the slight blurring of pedestrians and traffic in the immediate vicinity giving a vivid sense, the review suggests, of the daily preoccupations facing people in the streets of the city (189). The series is indicative of the repetitive compositions employed in stereo imagery, techniques that were intended to enhance the experience of seeing the photograph through a three-dimensional viewer and help audiences make sense of complex scenes. However, the effect of this perspectival approach, as commonly argued by contemporary critics, was a relentless conventionality and standardisation that imposed an ‘impersonal authority’ upon the viewing subject (Westerbeck and Meyerowitz 1994: 82). Nevertheless, the appeal this kind of stereoview held for the Victorian public calls for further probing. Take, for example, Blanchard’s view of Temple Bar, the ceremonial entrance point to the City of London from the western parts of the capital (Figure 13.3).

Figure 13.3 Valentine Blanchard, ‘Temple Bar, Fleet Street,’ c. 1862 © Valentine Blanchard/Museum of London.

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Through the peepholes of the viewer, the closest image plane displays ordinary men, women, and children on the pavement and then further layers of traffic and pedestrians. The vanishing point accentuates the daily gridlock underneath Christopher Wren’s arch as the scene merges into a formless mass of people, vehicles, and animals. To the Victorian public, Temple Bar was an emblem of the capital, a key locus for ritualistic performances of civic and national identity. For example, the site was highlighted in press accounts of the royal procession following the wedding of the Princess Royal in 1858. ‘Temple-bar was decorated specially in honour of the occasion,’ writes the Englishwoman’s Review, before engaging in a detailed account of the panoply of symbols denoting state and municipal puissance on the arch and its surroundings (6 Feb 1858: 349). Far more frequently, Temple Bar is depicted in less salubrious contexts, most especially as the localisation of some of the most chaotic and dangerous conditions for pedestrians and vehicles in the city. Domestic readerships were fed a regular news diet of major and minor incidents and accidents. The Englishwoman’s Review, for instance, reported that a runaway horse had caused a crash between a delivery van and an omnibus under the Temple Bar arch (31 Oct 1857: 142). Throughout the 1850s and 1860s diverse periodicals took an active role in the controversy surrounding the congested passage, publishing articles and drawings on the topic: some dramatically illustrated the hazardous conditions prevailing in the area while others described its picturesque beauty. ‘No doubt of it – Temple Bar must come down,’ stipulated Punch in 1852, irreverently suggesting that it could be usefully preserved as the facade of a local public house (27 Nov 1852: 230). By contrast, the Lady’s Newspaper presented the monument (in words as well as image) as an embodiment of the nation’s historical and cultural identity which should not fall victim to the ‘modern rage for improvement’ (5 Nov 1853: 273). However, as Lynda Nead has pointed out, by the middle of the century, most people had come to regard the monument as ‘a physical expression . . . of the complex landscape of London government, which blighted dreams of a total London makeover in the image of Paris and of the creation of a modern, unified metropolis’ (2000: 203). All the Year Round’s ‘The Dangers of the Streets’ represents a characteristic attempt to bring into focus the circuitous issues around London’s street environment through personalised, thrilling narratives. Framed as a hair-raising journey by foot through the city’s central parts, M. R. L. Meason punctuates his account with arguments, facts, and statistics: ‘The Times recently informed us that, every year, two hundred and twenty-three people are killed by carts or carriages in our thoroughfares. . . . At this rate, about two people are murdered every three days’ (24 Feb 1866: 156). The underlying problem, Meason notes, is the absence of street regulations and the great sway given to the principles of ‘self-government and non-interference,’ which has resulted in streets east of Temple Bar as being, quite simply, ‘the worst regulated thoroughfares in Europe’ (156). The pre-eminence of individual sovereignty did indeed run deep in the collective psyche, but, as James Winter points out, there was something more personal at stake for both men and women in the debate about the streets: freedom from the constrictions prevailing in the domains of private society and domestic life (1993: 10). Urban culture was to a large extent created and conceived through a dialogue between the periodical press and the Victorian public, with the periodical becoming

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what Michael Wolff and Celina Fox call ‘a sort of primer of Victorian urban selfconsciousness’ (1973: 559). At the same time, they emphasise that graphic representations of modernity aimed at a predominantly middle-class readership involved careful negotiation of moral and aesthetic sentiments. New topics arising out of the city did not as a rule alter the artistic style of representation since the ‘techniques of illustration employed and artistic conventions used [reflected] social values, present in both staff and reader,’ which ‘[distanced] the urban reader from the urban scene’ (562). Photographers were slow to challenge the aesthetic and ideological status quo, but the notion of ‘instantaneously’ accessing urban situations through the lens of modern technology clearly added an important participatory dimension to the relationship between the city and middle-class audiences, in particular women, given their more curtailed circumstances. In any case, the daylight ordinariness of Blanchard’s photograph communicates a more astute forecast of Temple Bar’s prospects. After finally being dismantled in 1878, it was re-erected at the entrance to the private home-county residence of the successful brewer Sir Henry Meux, an outcome that in many ways epitomises the shifting of social and cultural authority that shaped all Victorian cities. Photographic publishers became increasingly adept at feeding the Victorian public’s awestruck fascination with public spectacles, producing views that demonstrated the complex signification surrounding specific localities. Photographer Alfred Silvester’s work, for instance, covers diverse aspects of mid-Victorian life, combining humorous scenes of domestic interiors with representations of the thespian, carnivalesque side of metropolitan spaces. The comic ‘Full Stop’ depicts a bizarre encounter between a young girl with a skipping rope and a vexed gentleman, who, in rushing past, has become caught in the loop of the swinging rope. Behind the pair is a moneylender’s shop and the walls are covered with printed bills, adding to the playful realism with the self-referential faux advertisement for ‘Sketches [from?] Life for the Stereoscope by A. Silvester’ at the top right-hand corner (Figure 13.4). Here, too, an important part of the cartoon’s impact is derived from its assumption that the camera can freeze a split-second, fugitive moment and that the photographer has the skill to disguise the manufactured nature of the arrangement. But the whimsical mood of the incident is significant; after all, this could be a discomforting reminder that to venture out of doors in the Victorian city is to separate oneself from one’s private identity and encounter the unknown. By the same token, visual (and verbal) comedy in Victorian periodicals, as Wolff and Fox remind us, put a different slant on the bleak and dispiriting side of urban living. It seems clear that stereoviews of this kind came to play an analogous role in that they, too, ‘created an illusion of portraying urban reality that was both plausible in its presentation and harmless in its deflationary effect’ (Wolff and Fox 1973: 571). The episodic sequence National Sports. The Rail! The Road!! The Turf!!! The Settling Day!!!! (c. 1865) explores what Blanchard Jerrold calls one of ‘the salient features of our metropolitan life’: an outing from London to Epsom Downs (1872: 73). The series charts the different modes and classes of travel followed by the racing event itself and what comes after: the settling of debts. This narrative chronology was clearly intended to reinforce the illusion of going on a journey by optically travelling into the depth of each frame and creating a sense of moving forward in time and space with each slide. Furthermore, it allows the photographer to expand the topic by weaving in associative ideas, thereby broadening the appeal. The Rail recalls that

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Figure 13.4 Alfred Silvester, Full Stop, c. 1850–60 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

railway compartments became increasingly common motifs for artists and writers in the 1850s and 1860s. The framing of the compartment, along with the varying degrees of comfort and privacy offered within, neatly exposes the polarised class divisions of society at large. But for all the social compartmentalisation, the intimacy of public train travel as a pictorial motif inevitably ran the risk of disclosing morally questionable situations. Silvester’s railway carriage, as Carol Jacobi notes, shows a packed carriage inhabited by a mother who appears to have fainted and is attended to by a stranger, all under the disapproving gaze of an older man with a bandaged nose (possibly indicating that he suffers from syphilis) (2016: n.p.). Interestingly, in ‘Epsom,’ one of several articles on this and related topics to appear in Household Words and All the Year Round at mid-century, Dickens and W. H. Wills employ similar narrative strategies. Pitched so as to engage all members of the familial reading group, including those ‘who know Epsom races only by name,’ the authors reassuringly vouch that they ‘know little of horses’ and ‘nothing of sporting’ (Household Words 7 June 1851: 241). Dickens’s and Wills’s sequential tale also begins with a train journey toward the eponymous, oddly rural-metropolitan place, where ‘[there] is little perceptible difference in the bustle of its crowded streets,’ and where diverse scenes unfold rather like slides in a stereoscope (244). In what follows, the condensed demographic mosaic that is ‘the Derby people’ is broken up and transformed into a series of tableaus of ‘so many carriages, so many fours, so many twos, so many ones, so many horsemen, so many people who have come down by “rail,” so many fine ladies in so many broughams, so many Fortnum and Mason’s hampers’ (245). Silvester’s centrepiece, The Turf, can be seen as a visual companion piece to Dickens’s and Wills’s

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fragmentary, climactic account of the race itself: ‘Now they’re off! No. Now they’re off! No. Now they’re off! No. Now they are! Yes! There they go! Here they come! Where!’ (245). In The Turf, a coloured-in composite print, the viewer is positioned close to the nearside crowd, looking over the heads of the tightly pressed men and women (Figure 13.5). At the centre of the image horses plough through, cheered on by a rapturous audience at the far side. As indicated by the American commentator Oliver Wendell Holmes in one of three key articles he published in the Atlantic Monthly, the cluttered, dislocating distribution of figures in stereoviews of this type conveys the psychological and physical intensity of the moment and incites viewers to carefully navigate their way around the scene. He notes that the ‘mind feels its way into the very depth of the picture,’ which reveals ‘a frightful amount of detail,’ but therein lies its compelling power, for ‘a perfect photograph is absolutely inexhaustible’ (June 1859: 744). Indeed, for Holmes it was the decentralised details of a stereoview image, rather than its subject matter, that were at the heart of the viewing experience: ‘The more evidently accidental their introduction, the more trivial they are in themselves, the more they take hold of the imagination’ (745). ‘It is common,’ he adds, ‘to find an object in one of the twin pictures which we miss in the other’ (745). That is, these details convey a sense of unpredictability, an openness to multiple readings that contravenes the medium’s authority. Implicitly, he suggests that the stereoview needs to engage with the variegated needs, interests, and experiences of a domestic audience. With Holmes’s own mid-Victorian familiarity with the practice in mind, then, we might ask: how would middle-class consumers read the stereoscope images discussed above? If the eye is liable to stray from the topical or visual centre, what would it focus upon? Evidently, many viewers of The Turf (or indeed, readers of All the Year Round’s ‘Epsom’) were less interested in the horse race than in the appearance and relationship between individuals in the crowd, for example the way a masculine arm is curved around a female

Figure 13.5 Alfred Silvester, ‘National Sports. The Rail! The Road!! The Turf!!! The Settling Day!!!!,’ c. 1865. Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

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Figure 13.6 Edward Anthony, ‘Broadway, New York, in the Rain,’ c. 1860. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

waist (‘trained like vines,’ as Dickens and Wills observe) or the intriguing fact that the lady appears to have moved marginally closer to the man in the second view. In 1861, Holmes extolled Edward Anthony’s series of ‘instantaneous views’ of New York as an embodiment of human experience in the bustling city (Atlantic Monthly July 1861: 16). To look at Anthony’s street photography, he notes, is to immerse oneself in ‘the central life of a mighty city . . . in all its multitudinous complexity of movement’ (Figure 13.6). He continues: See the shop-boys with their bundles, the young fellow with a lighted cigar in his hand, as you see by the way he keeps it from his body, the gamin stooping to pick up something in the midst of the moving omnibuses, the stout philosophical car-man sitting on his cart-tail, Newman Noggs by the lamp-post at the corner. Nay, look into Car No. 33 and you may see the passengers; – is that a young woman’s face turned toward you looking out of the window? See how the faithful sun-print advertises the rival establishment of ‘Meade Brothers, Ambrotypes and Photographs.’ What a fearfully suggestive picture! . . . What if the sky photographs . . . every act on which it looks? (July 1861: 17–18) Importantly, Holmes’s lively, fanciful description invokes the stereoview not merely as image but as language. Compensating throughout for a technology not yet able to accommodate photographic illustrations on the periodical page, he painstakingly reads selected images (allegedly chosen out of 1,000 views), many showing streets and tourist sites in Europe. London, seen with Holmes’s keen eye, is transformed into a phantasmagoria of people, vehicles, and buildings, interwoven by a bewildering array of voices and stories, past and present. The sight of the Thames induces a particularly

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vivid account that recalls its contested significance in Victorian art, journalism, and fiction, where, as Caroline Arscott notes, it featured increasingly as ‘an amalgam of the debased and the aesthetic’ (2000: 818). ‘London Bridge!’ Holmes exclaims, ‘[the] parapet is breast-high; – a woman can climb over it, and drop or leap into the dark stream lying in deep shadow under the arches,’ while the distant Monument provokes further fantasies of suicidal women falling through the air in front of witnesses below (19). In sum, if we are to take Holmes seriously, the potency of even the most innocuous city view seen through mid-Victorian eyes should not be underestimated. In 1861, the Bookseller proposed that in order to understand the domestic consumer of Victorian periodical literature (who seeks the ‘wonderful, new, true, political, historical or exciting’) one must move beyond private homes and public libraries and examine ‘the broadside-covered walls, and the picture-filled windows, of our great centres of population’ (30 Nov 1861: 681). This observation captures two critical features of the expansion of the Victorian publishing industry: the reciprocity between graphic and verbal culture and the resulting erosion of the private-public dichotomy, developments which are thrown into sharp relief by commodities such as the stereoscope. Edgar Allan Poe, ever alert to the nearness of the homely and the unhomely, conjectured that ‘it is the unforeseen upon which we must calculate most largely’ (qtd in Rabb 1995: 5).

Works Cited Altick, Richard D. 1957. The English Common Reader: A Social History of the Mass Reading Public, 1800–1900. London; Chicago: Chicago University Press. Arscott, Caroline. 2000. ‘The Representation of the City in the Visual Arts.’ The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. Volume III, 1840–1950. Ed. Martin Daunton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 811–32. Banta, Martha. 2003. Barbaric Intercourse: Caricature and the Culture of Conduct, 1841–1936. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Barthes, Roland. 2000. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Trans. Richard Howard. London: Vintage. Beegan, Gerry. 2008. The Mass Image: A Social History of Photomechanical Reproduction in Victorian London. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Blatt, Ari J. 2009. ‘Phototextuality: Photography, Fiction, Criticism.’ Visual Studies 24.2: 108–21. Burgin, Victor. 1982. ‘Looking at Photographs.’ Thinking Photography. Ed. Victor Burgin. London: Macmillan. 142–53. Crary, Jonathan. 1990. Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Curtis, Gerard. 2002. Visual Words: Art and the Material Book in Victorian England. Aldershot: Ashgate. Darnton, Robert. 2006. ‘What Is the History of Books?’ The Book History Reader. 2nd edn. Ed. David Finkelstein and Alistair McLeery. Abingdon: Routledge. 9–26. Darrah, William C. 1977. The World of Stereographs. Gettysburg: Darrah. Dennis, Richard. 2000. ‘Modern London.’ The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. Volume III, 1840–1950. Ed. Martin Daunton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 95–131. Gunn, Simon. 2007. The Public Culture of the Victorian Middle Class: Ritual and Authority and the English Industrial City, 1840–1914. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Jacobi, Carol. 2016. ‘“Poor man’s picture gallery”: Victorian Art and Stereoscopic Photography.’ Tate Britain. (last accessed 10 May 2016).

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Jerrold, Blanchard. 1872. London: A Pilgrimage. London: Grant. Logan, Thad. 2001. The Victorian Parlour. A Cultural Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mackenzie, Hazel, Ben Winyard, and John Drew. 2012. ‘All the Year Round, Volume I, 30 April–22 October, 1859, Nos. 1–26.’ Dickens Quarterly 29.3: 251–77. Nead, Lynda. 2000. Victorian Babylon: People, Streets, and Images in Nineteenth-Century London. New Haven: Yale University Press. Oppenlander, Ella Ann. 1984. Dickens’ All the Year Round: Descriptive Index and Contributor List. New York: Whitson Publishing Company. Popple, Simon. 2005. ‘Photography, Vice and the Moral Dilemma in Victorian Britain.’ Early Popular Visual Culture 3.2: 113–33. Rabb, Jane M. 1995. Literature and Photography Interactions, 1840–1900: A Critical Anthology. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Seiberling, Grace. 1986. Amateurs, Photography, and the Mid-Victorian Imagination. London: University of Chicago Press. Warner Marien, Mary. 1997. Photography and Its Critics: A Cultural History, 1839–1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Westerbeck, Colin and Joel Meyerowitz. 1994. Bystander: A History of Street Photography. London: Thames & Hudson. Winter, James. 1993. London’s Teeming Streets: 1830–1914. London: Routledge. Wolff, Michael and Celina Fox. 1973. ‘Pictures from the Magazines.’ The Victorian City: Images and Realities, Vol. 2. Ed. H. J. Dyos and Michael Wolff. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 559–82.

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14 Beauty Advertising and Advice in the QUEEN and WOMAN Michelle J. Smith

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argaret Beetham has likened women’s magazines to corsets in that each can serve as an ‘instrument of control and source of pleasure’ (1991: 163). This sense of competing ideologies – between demarcating the bounds of acceptable femininity and enabling a range of fantasies – is especially visible in English women’s fashion magazines in the late nineteenth century. In this period, women’s magazines transformed substantially: first, because there was a ‘great increase’ in the number of magazines published (Fraser et al. 2003: 171), and second, because of the increased prominence and visual appeal of the advertisements they contained. Though advertising was relatively common in women’s magazines, as Beetham and Kay Boardman note, it was not until the 1880s that advertisements began to occupy a greater proportion of each issue and to break out from endpapers and supplements to be interspersed with editorial content (2001: 5). The Queen (1861–1958), for example, which is one of the two periodicals considered in this chapter, gave up half of its pages to advertising by the mid-1880s. Advertising also became more visually spectacular in the late Victorian period, with increasing depictions of products and illustrations of idealised women serving as models to entice the reader to purchase a growing number of brandname beauty products. In this chapter, I consider how these feminine expectations relating to sexuality and cosmetic advertising and advice were mutually reinforcing. Hilary Fraser, Stephanie Green, and Judith Johnston point out that women’s magazines hosted ‘important debates about class and gender,’ but that these ‘were often displaced into discussions relating to the apparently trivial and ephemeral world of fashion’ (2003: 1). In the late Victorian period, the work of femininity, as it was constructed in many illustrated women’s magazines, became increasingly tied to knowledge about, purchase of, and correct usage of a variety of consumer goods that might be broadly termed beauty products. Nevertheless, women’s fashion magazines were infused with contradictory impulses. In their editorial content, women’s magazines often maintained traditional views about the subjects of beauty, cosmetics, and women’s dress, frequently advocating ‘natural’ beauty and home-made cosmetics, yet at the same time these magazines relied upon promotion of an extensive variety of beauty commodities and introduced the notion of the beauty regimen. This chapter explores two very different illustrated women’s magazines, the Queen and Woman (1890–1912), and the ways in which the practical beauty advice provided in their editorial content largely conforms to ideas about the attainment of beauty in the advertisements contained within them. It focuses

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on the period of the 1890s to enable contemporaneous comparison of the two periodicals and because the 1890s saw a rapid growth in the quantity and spectacle of advertising in British women’s magazines. This chapter aims to demonstrate how beauty ideologies remained consistent across these publications aimed at distinct audiences, showing that prescriptions and limits relating to women’s beauty largely transcended class differences. The Queen was an illustrated publication founded by Isabella and Samuel Beeton in 1861, and later sold to publisher Edward William Cox and merged with the Lady’s Newspaper in 1863 (Beetham 1996: 89). It had lavish production values, including its broadsheet format and hand-coloured fashion plates. The paper was sold in weekly issues for sixpence, signalling, along with its print aesthetics and editorial assumptions about reader income, that it was intended for wealthy readers. However, it was likely also consumed by aspirant women who would not have the means to purchase many of the products advertised within it or the status to move within the social circles often discussed. Fashion and luxurious living were significant preoccupations, but the magazine also included domestic advice such as gardening tips and recipes. The Queen mentioned that it was overseen by an ‘editress,’ but Helen Lowe (editor from 1862–94) remained anonymous. In contrast, Woman was a conservative penny weekly, but had what Beetham and Boardman describe as an ‘advanced’ reputation for periodicals in this price range, which were defined by their lesser aesthetic qualities in comparison with more expensive magazines (2001: 87). During the 1890s, the magazine was edited by novelist Arnold Bennett, who adopted several female pseudonyms (including ‘Sal Volatile’ and ‘Lady Betty’) to maintain the expected ‘feminine persona’ of women’s magazines (Beetham 2015: 227). Woman combined short fiction with informational articles, fashion and beauty notes, dress patterns, domestic tips, and advice columns.

Women’s Magazines and Changing Patterns of Consumption The growth of women’s magazines in the second half of the nineteenth century had a profound and practical impact on how goods were purchased and on sparking the initial desire to buy them. Rachel Bowlby describes the corresponding transformation in consumer patterns, in which goods no longer came to buyers but ‘it is the buyers who have taken themselves to the products’ (1985: 1). Women’s magazines played a critical role in this process of looking upon consumer goods relating to the home, clothing, and beauty in a way that did not require a special visit to a store, and which could be repeatedly revisited on the page. Much as department stores became a ‘fantasy world of escape from dull domesticity,’ the fashion magazine transformed ‘merchandise into a spectacle’ (Bowlby 1985: 4, 6). Beauty products, which were not as readily browsed in stores given that creams and elixirs were encased in glass jars and tins, were ideally suited to display in advertising through images of what girls and young women could become if they used them. Young women’s bodies were imbricated in creating the spectacle associated with merchandise, as symbols of consumption and objects of desire for the reader. Thomas Richards suggests that the initial transformation of the female body ‘into a specific site of advertised spectacle’ took place in patent medicine advertising (1990: 206). In addition, fashion plates were already in use throughout the century in quality women’s

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magazines, utilising beautiful colour illustrations of women to sell both a physical product in the form of patterns that readers could purchase by mail and a particular image of femininity. Crucially, in the final decades of the century, these discrete uses of women as image and commodity became universalised in women’s magazines: women’s bodies and faces infused both descriptions and depictions of idealised femininity, and advertisements came to sell these imagined selves as much as the products that sponsored them. One form of ideal female self that rose to prominence in women’s magazines was the celebrity, who served as a model of beauty, especially in demarcating how to retain youthful looks into middle age. Women’s magazines construct a fluid dialogue between editorial and advertising in the commodification and construction of the self in response to these idealised femininities. As consumer objects, cosmetics and other beauty products worked differently to other goods in that they require an ongoing – even lifelong – pattern of consumption. In 1899, in The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen proposed that the motivation to own consumer objects is ‘emulation’ (1899: 25). When ‘popular esteem’ is based on the ownership of property ‘it becomes also a requisite to that complacency which we call self-respect’ (31). Here Veblen refers to the need to accumulate as many goods as others of a person’s same social class and the satisfaction inherent in possessing more items than others. As the promise of beauty products was the almost immeasurable attainment or preservation of youthful features, the same equivalencies of accumulation or possession did not apply. Moreover, material goods, once obtained, had a degree of permanence (financial ruin notwithstanding) through which the self-respect that they conferred might be largely permanent. In contrast, emulation of female beauty ideals required a continuous process of consumption and the maintenance of a beauty regimen. ‘Complacency’ was not an option when emulation required repeated consumption, and it is the ongoing work of beauty that magazine advertising sought to promote and editorial content to regulate.

Beauty and Health A wide range of late Victorian publications for girls and women did not generally advocate the use of cosmetics. Instead, the key to true beauty was tied to the acquisition of health and a daily regimen of cleanliness. Woman’s beauty advice column was entitled ‘Health and Appearance,’ showing the close link presumed between the two. The framing of beauty products and regimens as part of a quest for ‘health’ avoided the negative connotations associated with potentially harmful cosmetics comprised of dangerous ingredients. Health rhetoric also became a means to disassociate the quest for beauty from undesirable personal characteristics such as vanity and being ‘fast.’ Indeed, Woman’s slogan – ‘Forward! But not too fast’ – extrapolated from the specific idea of ‘forward,’ or modern, fashion that avoided the pejorative meaning of ‘fast’ regarding women to its general approach to all topics. The emphasis on health in the cultivation of beauty is present in advertising in both the Queen and Woman. A Pears soap advertisement published in the Queen in 1891 declares: ‘Health is always beautiful. Other beauty there is none’ (17 Oct 1891: xxv). The implicit suggestion in this motto, which was reflective of that contained in advice manuals of the period, is that beauty without health – such as any attempt to obtain beauty by artifice – was an impossibility. An ad for Bovril beef tea from Woman in

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1896 adds a further link to the causal chain to tie food consumption to beauty: ‘Beauty depends upon health, and health depends largely on proper food’ (30 Sep 1896: 17).1 The Pears advertisement espouses the core ideology that underpinned discussions of beauty in women’s magazines in that it implores readers not to tolerate skin faults that are ‘directly within our control’ (17 Oct 1891: xxv). The text calls on the reader to look into a mirror because most people ‘do not know how ugly’ they are (xxv). On contemplating their reflection in the glass, women must ask the following question: ‘Can you see no use for a soap that purges the skin of pallor and pimples and oil, that softens and smooths it, brings out the rose and alabaster?’ (xxv). Adopting a nutritious diet, regularly seeking out fresh air and exercise, taking baths, and keeping the face and body clean were all acceptable methods for the maintenance of health and therefore the production of beauty. The Pears advertisement calls on women to adopt a routine of cleansing the face with soap to suppress indicators of ill-health like pallor and pimples, and to bring out idealised pale skin with a healthy blush. The beauty regimen that would merely allow a woman’s inborn qualities to shine, or which would diminish their degradation through the ageing process, mandated continual labour in the pursuit of beauty and demanded the woman reader’s keen attention to practices and products that conformed to and transgressed the ‘natural,’ healthy ideal. Quick-fix solutions or attempts to artificially mask flaws in appearance or signs of ageing were generally not advocated in either magazine editorials or advertising. As Paula Black observes, the scepticism surrounding cosmetics fed into the selling of the daily beauty routine as ‘a duty to women in order to preserve their own natural assets’ (2004: 29). An advertisement for Saunders’s Face Powder or ‘Bloom of Ninon’ that appeared in the Queen tellingly uses the language of preservation, promising that the product ‘preserves the Beauty and Freshness of Youth to extreme age’ (11 Apr 1891: xxxiii). Implicit in the discouragement of excessive adornment and cosmetics is the equation of ‘simplicity with naturalness and virtue, and artifice with deceit’ (Steele 1985: 120). Women’s magazines in their editorial and advertising continually provided judgements that demarcated the healthy from the harmful with respect to beauty practices in complex and confusing ways. Coloured cosmetics, such as blush, were the most policed of all beauty products within women’s magazines. Cosmetics were an ‘overtly erotic’ (Steele 1985: 126) form of adornment and they also had associations with the demi-monde and therefore the potential to endanger a woman’s moral character. As such, cosmetic advertisements continually seek to deny or obfuscate that the products they promote are indeed cosmetics. A spurious ad for ‘Narubine (Regd.) (Natural Blush)’ in Woman describes the way the ‘clear and colourless liquid . . . gradually and imperceptibly produces a lovely peach-like blush, perfectly natural in tint, bloom and appearance’ when applied to the cheek (4 Mar 1896: 21, original emphasis). The copywriter ties herself in knots to describe a product that produces colour but which is devoid of colour. The blush produced is ‘lovely’ but it is also ‘imperceptible,’ helped no doubt because of the ‘natural’ quality of the result, which is emphasised through comparison with the downy softness of a fruit (21). The distinction between acceptable methods for improving the appearance and potentially morally or physically harmful products is especially evident in advertisements that pertain to hair loss or greying hair. Hairpieces and toupees were often advertised with illustrations of the various types included, but these advertisements were not

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always accompanied by the same claims about undetectability made by many cosmetic ads. One advertisement for C. Bond and Son’s wigs and hairpieces in Woman in 1892 describes the products, which are designed for concealing baldness or grey hair, as ‘the most perfect imitations of nature’ (2 Apr 1892: xx). Colouring of the hair was, however, regarded as problematic, and advertisements were more likely to refer to ‘hair restorers’ than dyes. An advertisement for Jean Stehr’s hair colouring in Woman in 1896 does use the word ‘colouring,’ but tempers this with the qualification that the product is ‘natural’ and free from harmful chemicals (9 Dec 1896: 7). In addition, the smaller print describes the ‘consultations’ that Stehr himself conducts in which he ‘treat[s]’ ‘Greyness and Faded Hair’ drawing on his ‘long experience’ and ‘thorough knowledge of Chemistry’ (7). The idea of medicalised ‘treatment’ sidesteps the association of dyes with unacceptable artificiality, detectability, and even harm to health. Very few editorials, therefore, discuss the cosmetics that fall outside of the acceptable realm of self-improvement occupied by healthful activities and maintaining cleanliness. One rare example from Woman in 1894 adopts the pretence of a visit to a ‘Parisian Beautifier’ to deliver several cautions about cosmetic use. In ‘The Art of “Making-Up,”’ Woman interviews ‘Madame M—’ who, with her daughters, beautifies wealthy French women. Madame M makes several pronouncements that deflect common anxieties about cosmetic usage. First, she denies the transformative potential of cosmetics, emphasising that that they do not pretend to turn ‘ugly women into beautiful ones’ (22 Aug 1894: 9). Instead the focus is on instructing women on taking ‘care of their beauty,’ in accordance with accepted rhetoric about preserving youthful features, as well as improving features ‘where the features are good’ and adding to existing beauty (9). The emphasis on the inability to create beauty where it did not naturally exist was crucial in response to male anxieties about cosmetics that had appeared in the periodical press for decades. For instance, in 1862, during coverage of fraudulent beautician Madame Rachel’s legal proceedings against one of her clients for unpaid debts, newspaper articles expressed anxiety about the deceit being perpetuated on men when nature was usurped through processes such as her enamelling technique, an elaborate process in which lines in the skin were filled and covered with powder. The Glasgow Herald remarked: We feel alarmed when a beauty looks as if she were going to be betrayed into a smile lest her cheek should suddenly become fractured. We shall watch with tremendous apprehension when some beauty applies a pocket handkerchief to her nose, lest four or five guineas worth of its exquisite proportions should come away with it. (qtd in Rappaport 2012: 66) Madame M, therefore, emphasises that cosmetics cannot create beauty where it does not already exist. She also promotes the artistic nature of cosmetic use and critiques women who are artificially made up. She describes her encounter with a young society lady who looks ‘horrible!’ because of her excessive use of powder and coloured cosmetics: ‘Two vivid spots of rouge, hard, and as accurately defined as if put on with a stencil, glowed upon her cheeks. . . . Her lips were too red . . . and spoilt by careless outlining. Her eyes were blackened far too much; her eyebrows heavy and badly shaped’ (22 Aug 1894: 9). Although this article purportedly provides an insight into the practices of a make-up artist who works with society ladies, Madame M’s opinions

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on ‘cosmetiques’ discourage their use and favour natural methods that were generally accepted in women’s magazines. She advises that beautiful women do not need cosmetics and also generates alarm about the permanent burden of cosmetic use by suggesting that once a woman begins to apply cosmetics, she must continue to use them. Madame M instead recommends several practices that are ‘natural’ and which may be taken up simply for ‘temporary occasions,’ such as holding a saucer over a flame to gather lamp black to lightly darken the eyebrows and eyelashes. She also recommends beetroot juice as ‘an innocuous substitute for rouge’ applied with a camel-hair brush and then toned down with chamois leather (9). In both editorial and advertisements, magazines such as the Queen and Woman inevitably critiqued or avoided reference to cosmetics, instead advocating the maintenance of youthful beauty through health and a daily hygienic regimen.

Beauty and Celebrity Women The growth in the number of women’s magazines and increase in the presence of periodical advertising also coincided with the popularisation of celebrities as figures of public interest. As Alexis Easley observes, from the 1870s ‘celebrity news became a ubiquitous feature of the popular press’ (2011: 137). In addition, Kathryn Ledbetter notes that from this decade some women’s periodicals were moving away ‘from the nondescript woman depicted in fashion plates toward images of beauty that corresponded to the new freedoms being explored by women’ outside the home (2009: 134). Women known for their place in society or the performing arts featured in gossip pages, interviews, and illustrations in women’s magazines. Beautiful celebrity women could also become the focus for magazine covers, as on the 2 April 1892 edition of the Queen, which featured an illustrated image (derived from a photograph) of Countess Feodora Gleichen, a sculptor whose family had been taken in by Queen Victoria. Feodora is depicted in a standing pose that displays most of her lavish gown; the image sits within an ornate illustration of a frame that confers a degree of value, specialness, and perhaps even familiarity, in the manner of framed family photographs of loved ones. Other covers featured young celebrities, including American soprano Emma Eames, who was also encased within an elaborate frame (18 Apr 1891). Exoticised portraits of anonymous women, such as ‘An Iberian Beauty’ (1 Oct 1892) and ‘An Eastern Beauty’ (21 May 1892), also appeared on covers, suggesting that beautiful women occupied another realm, whether through celebrity or geography. While actresses were historically troubling figures in terms of sexuality and morality, they became increasingly tied to the marketing of beauty products in women’s magazines and the subject of admiring articles and illustrations. Several of the best-known actresses, such as the internationally renowned French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt and Jersey-born Lillie Langtry, who was widely noted for her beauty, even endorsed their own brands of cosmetics. The way in which potentially problematic women could endorse potentially problematic products was through careful adherence to the doctrines of health and preservation mentioned above. Sarah Bernhardt’s rice powder ‘Diaphane’ as it was advertised in the Queen throughout the early 1890s is typical of magazine advertisements of the period in its direct attempts to disassociate the product from detectable and potentially injurious cosmetics. In an 1892 advertisement (Figure 14.1), the powder is described as ‘invisible’ and ‘hygienic’ (4 June 1892: xxx). The notion of

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Figure 14.1 Diaphane advertisement, Queen (4 June 1892: xxx).

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invisibility, which also appeared in ads for Ruppert’s skin tonic, is crucial because of the overall distinctions made in the periodical press between products that might ‘preserve’ or ‘retain’ youth, such as soaps, treatments, and baths, and those that attempt to artificially conceal aged skin, such as enamelling or the use of obvious coloured cosmetics. While advertisements for beauty products focused on methods for retaining youth and were usually embellished with illustrations of young women, celebrity women provided exceptional examples of older women as icons for emulation. The fame associated with celebrity women such as Bernhardt could disrupt the usual visual emphasis on young faces. Moreover, the artistic skills of actresses like her could relate to the artistry of retaining youthfulness into middle age. An advertisement in Woman for ‘Camelline for the Complexion’ headed ‘Women who never grow old’ pictures three actresses in middle age (15 Apr 1896: iii). It carries testimonials from ‘Miss Ellen Terry,’ ‘Mrs Kendal,’ ‘Mdme Adelina Patty,’ ‘Mdme Jane Hading,’ and ‘Mrs Bancroft’ and highlights that actresses especially do not age because ‘[k]eeping young is an art’ (iii). In an advertisement for her Diaphane powder in an 1891 edition of the Queen, the 56-year-old Bernhardt appears clearly middle aged and in her endorsement she describes herself as ‘the godmother’ of the brand (11 July 1891: xlvi). Woman published an article in the same year expressing amazement that Bernhardt was ‘looking fatter and fairer, but absolutely younger, than she did ten years ago’ (12 Aug 1891: 13). This was understood to be especially remarkable because of her age, but also because she had experienced ‘unusual stress of work, dissipation, and fatiguing travel’ but nevertheless was ‘left free from the footprints of time’ (13). This observation represents a transformation in early Victorian beliefs in which negative thoughts and stresses would be understood as inevitably rendering themselves visible on the ageing woman’s face. Contrary to Bernhardt’s prolific advertisements for soap and rice-based face powder, the article suggests that the actual secret of her youthful appearance is bathing in a home-made, undiluted Eau Sedative comprised of ammonia, camphor, and salt when she is tired. This process keeps the skin firm and prevents wrinkles, providing an example of acceptable preserving or preventative beauty treatments for older women and of editorial emphasis on ‘natural’ methods of beautification.

Slippage between Advertising and Editorial The 1892 Diaphane advertisement discussed above not only carries a statement of endorsement from Bernhardt that draws on her celebrity to promote the powder, but also a line of praise from the Queen that testifies to the product’s quality, invisibility, and effectiveness. In the same way as editorial content began to recommend specific products, so too did advertisements begin to include the endorsement of the publications in which they appeared. Women’s magazines were arbiters of acceptable behaviour through the advice and instructions provided in their editorial content and because their endorsement carried a degree of reputability. This authority was mobilised in these advertisements with magazine endorsements elevating the products to which they gave their approval above those that they were published alongside. Moreover, this value translated across publications with the seal of any magazine bringing some weight with it to wherever it appeared. An advertisement for Beetham’s Glycerine and Cucumber published in the Queen in 1892 (Figure 14.2) includes multiple endorsements from both the Queen (‘at all times safe, as we have found from personal

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Figure 14.2 Beetham’s Glycerine and Cucumber advertisement, Queen (14 May 1892: n.p.).

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experience’) and the Gentlewoman. Moreover, the product was mentioned in brief notes sections of the magazines that were interspersed with advice and responses to correspondents, but these endorsements were marked with a relatively unintrusive ‘[ADVT].’ A note in the Queen in 1891 gave an ‘IMPORTANT CAUTION!’ for readers to specifically ask for Beetham’s product and goes on to warn of imitations that ‘are often poisonous preparations of lead and other minerals,’ lending weight to the case for seeking out branded products as featured in the magazine (18 Apr 1891: 629). The slippage between the designated areas of editorial and advertisement was also evident in the way in which some advertisements took on the appearance of informational articles, with extensive copy. This was another way in which the legitimacy carried by the women’s magazine could be imparted onto the products being advertised. For instance, throughout 1891 and 1892, advertisements for London lectures by the self-styled ‘celebrated American skin specialist’ Anna Ruppert (Anna Shelton) often appeared in the Queen (Figure 14.3), some of which advertisements included a substantial amount of copy. The advertisements also made mention of her 1892 book on ‘natural beauty,’ as well as various products including a skin tonic. While originally marketed as ‘Face Bleach’ in the United States, the tonic is described in one advertisement as harmless and invisible: ‘It is not a cosmetic as it does not show on the face after application’ (21 Nov 1891: xxxii). Another of Madame Ruppert’s advertisements reproduced the accepted rhetoric surrounding beauty typical of women’s magazines, encouraging women to ‘Be beautiful not with artificial means, but naturally so’ (31 Oct 1891: xl). The reality, however, was that Ruppert’s product was dangerous; after a chemical analysis, it was revealed that the skin tonic included the dangerous ingredient ‘corrosive sublimate (bichloride of mercury)’ (‘Editor of “Health News”’ 1897: 67). Before this revelation and her subsequent discrediting, Ruppert had nevertheless appreciated the importance of marketing her products as natural and non-cosmetic, regardless of their true composition. The example of Ruppert also demonstrates how the authority of a women’s magazine like the Queen and the adoption of the features of editorial content could convey an air of legitimacy for beauty products and services, even those as dubious as Ruppert’s skin tonic. In contrast with the Queen, Woman’s name was not commonly used as an endorsement within the advertisements it published; however, Woman’s advice columns would regularly name specific branded products. The frequent naming of certain brands indicates a paid arrangement with the companies who produced health and beauty products, perhaps tied to the regular placement of advertising within the magazine. In ‘Medica’s’ short article on the treatment of sunburnt skin, she recommends the application of Rowland’s Kalydor and the use of Pasta Mack Tablets dissolved in a bath (1 July 1896: 11). In the ‘Health and Appearance’ column in the same issue, she also recommends Pasta Mack tablets for the second time. Both products appear in the magazine, with Kalydor advertised regularly, including on the cover. Other products such as Beetham’s Glycerine and Cucumber and Broux’s Mixture, to give a few examples, are products both advertised in the magazine and recommended by Medica. Beetham and Boardman note a ‘strong relationship’ between advertising and editorial advice in magazines of the period (2001: 5), and this is extremely evident in the recommendation of products in Woman’s editorial content. Medica also, however, frequently recommends home-made treatments in each issue, such as hair washes composed of ingredients including rose water and diluted sulphuric acid (11 Jan 1893: 18).

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Figure 14.3 Anna Ruppert advertisement, Queen (3 Dec 1892: n.p.).

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The connection of advertised cosmetic products with medicine and health was nevertheless critical in establishing their acceptability. In addition to magazine endorsement through columns such as Medica’s, magazine advertisements for beauty products frequently sought legitimacy as healthful through supporting statements obtained from doctors and chemists. The frequently advertised product Koko for the Hair in the Queen in 1891, for example, included ‘An Authoritative Analysis’ from a laboratory that verified the product did not contain any ‘injurious’ elements nor any ‘colouring matter or dye’ (Figure 14.4). Unlike Ruppert’s potentially harmful product, Koko was sold well into the twentieth century and subsequent analysis by the British Medical Association in 1912 showed that it contained 94 per cent water, 3 per cent alcohol, and 2 per cent glycerine, as well as smaller amounts of borax and formaldehyde, which in large quantities can be carcinogenic (More Secret Remedies 1912: 25). It is likely, however, that the ‘Authoritative Analysis’ to which the advertisement in the Queen referred was merely advertising bluster. This is especially the case when considering the context of typical Koko advertisements, which, like this one, reproduced photographs of women with almost floor-length hair. The visual language of the full-page advertisement promises extraordinary results, not least through the illustration of a woman confidently riding a horse side-saddle with an extreme mane of hair flowing behind her. The medicalisation of cosmetics, as is evident in the language used to advertise Koko, gave one framework for designating certain products as not only free from injurious components, but as acceptable to use, and even beneficial for a woman’s health. In tandem with the advice provided in advice columns and articles, the woman reader could gradually negotiate acceptable use of branded products in tandem with home-made methods and daily attention to a beauty regimen grounded in hygiene.

Conclusion Several scholars have discussed the worlds of goods and images of beauty to be consumed in women’s magazines as sites of fantasy. Christopher Breward describes women’s ability to pore over a cornucopia of goods in magazines of the period as the perusal of a ‘fantasy world’ of commodities that could release them from domestic pressure (1994: 87). In her study of beauty and poetry in women’s periodicals, Ledbetter highlights how the periodical might be purchased for the reader’s ‘imaginative use as fantasy or for practical use in enhancing their own physical and spiritual beauty’ (2009: 117). This practical function is, as I have argued in this chapter, central to how beauty is presented in women’s magazines such as the Queen and Woman, despite their different implied readerships. While figures such as celebrities might have provided exotic glimpses into the glamourous world of the stage, for instance, beauty advice and advertising were often grounded in the production of ‘ordinary’ beauty or the preservation of youth. Disgraced skin specialist Anna Ruppert wrote in her A Book of Beauty that if a woman wanted a happy home the worst thing she could neglect after marriage was her appearance. As she reminded the reader, even ‘[t]he most noble beauty, if unattended, will soon lose its charm’ (1892: n.p.). In the late Victorian period, through the rhetoric of women’s magazines, beauty was transformed into a process of daily work. It was work that required the women’s magazine to be

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Figure 14.4 Koko for the Hair advertisement, Queen (27 June 1891: xxxviii).

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a supervisor and arbiter of what role products like cosmetics should play in the production of acceptable models of idealised femininity. Moreover, the ideologies these magazines reproduced about the essential place of naturalness and health within this ideal contributed to the content of the beauty advertisements they contained, which continually reproduced accepted beliefs about cosmetics as undesirable.

Notes 1. There are several different Bovril advertisements published throughout 1896 in Woman that repeat this precise line about the relationship of health to beauty.

Works Cited Beetham, Margaret. 1991. ‘“Natural but firm”: The Corset Correspondence in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine.’ Woman: A Cultural Review 2.2: 163–7. —. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine. Oxford: Routledge. —. 2015. ‘Periodical Writing.’ The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women’s Writing. Ed. Linda H. Peterson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 221–35. Beetham, Margaret and Kay Boardman, eds. 2001. Victorian Women’s Magazines. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press. Black, Paula. 2004. The Beauty Industry: Gender, Culture, Pleasure. London: Routledge. Bowlby, Rachel. 1985. Just Looking: Consumer Culture in Dreiser, Gissing and Zola. New York and London: Methuen. Breward, Christopher. 1994. ‘Femininity and Consumption: The Problem of the Late NineteenthCentury Fashion Journal.’ Journal of Design History 7.2: 71–89. Easley, Alexis. 2011. Literary Celebrity, Gender, and Victorian Authorship, 1850–1914. Newark: University of Delaware Press. ‘Editor of “Health News.”’ 1897. Exposures of Quackery: Being a Series of Articles upon, and Analysis of, Various Patent Medicines. London: Savoy Press. Fraser, Hilary, Stephanie Green, and Judith Johnston. 2003. Gender and the Victorian Periodical. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ledbetter, Kathryn. 2009. British Victorian Women’s Periodicals: Beauty, Civilization, and Poetry. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. More Secret Remedies. What they Cost and What they Contain. Based on Analyses made for the British Medical Association. 1912. London: British Medical Association. Rappaport, Helen. 2012. Beautiful For Ever: Madame Rachel of Bond Street – Cosmetician, Con-Artist and Blackmailer. London: Vintage. Richards, Thomas. 1990. The Commodity Culture of Victorian England: Advertising and Spectacle, 1851–1914. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Ruppert, Mrs Anna. 1892. A Book of Beauty. London: [no publisher]. Steele, Valerie. 1985. Fashion and Eroticism: Ideals of Feminine Beauty from the Victorian Era to the Jazz Age. New York: Oxford University Press. Veblen, Thorstein. [1899]. 1912. The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions. New York: Macmillan.

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15 Women of the World: The LADY’S PICTORIAL and Its Sister Papers Gerry Beegan

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he LADY’S PICTORIAL was a prominent illustrated weekly in the 1880s and 1890s. This essay situates the magazine in relation to the other illustrated sixpenny weeklies controlled by Ingram Brothers, a major early press conglomerate. By the mid1890s, the Ingram weeklies consisted of the Illustrated London News, the Sketch, the Lady’s Pictorial, and the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. All of these periodicals proclaimed their use of imagery through their titles, all posited a middleclass readership, and all were innovators in new imaging technologies and techniques. They shared writers, illustrators, editorial content, and advertising, yet they were arranged to cover very distinct spheres of the contemporary scene, attracting readers and advertisers on this basis. In this study, I look at the different ways in which these texts mapped women’s space as central or peripheral, defining what kinds of gendered knowledge it was possible to produce in the 1890s. I will outline the position of women’s writing and imagery in the sister papers of the Lady’s Pictorial and then look in more depth at the magazine itself. Beginning in 1880, the Lady’s Pictorial constructed a distinctive and enlarged female sphere, encompassing fashion, art, literature, careers, the home, and good works. Its launch was particularly well timed. The last two decades of the nineteenth century marked a turning point in gender roles, as legal, economic, medical, and social changes affected the status of women and men. Women moved into the workforce in large numbers: between 1881 and 1911, there was 161 per cent increase in the number of women workers in middle-class occupations (Holcome 1973: 76). At the same time, there was a related expansion of the fashion trade, with the latest styles diffused in the editorial and advertising sections of women’s illustrated magazines and displayed and sold in department stores (Fawcett 2004: 145–57; Rappaport 2000: 184–7). All of these phenomena of mobility and circulation were linked. As women moved outside the home to engage in work, shopping, theatre-going, or social engagements, knowing what to wear became increasingly important. As the writer and artist Evelyn March-Phillips noted, ‘Appearance is more constantly dwelt upon and its influence is more widely recognized. Even those who excel in other ways, cannot neglect cultivating the art of dressing well. “Mind you go well dressed,” is a common piece of advice to the seeker after employment’ (Fortnightly Review Nov 1894: 662). Controlling one’s appearance required a good deal of effort, especially in a period when female dress was at its most elaborate. Laura Alex Smith linked the growth of women’s magazines in this period to the ‘fanatical interest in fashion,’ which

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brought both anxieties and pleasures (1896: 13). ‘To read a lady’s paper of to-day,’ she notes, ‘is to learn the utter inadequacy of our own possessions’ (13). The expansion of fashion had been driven by the decreasing cost of fabrics and by the reduction in postal costs. This allowed for the diffusion of fashion advertising and patterns through magazines, and for fabrics to be sent through the mail.1 All of Ingram’s weekly magazines included sections for women and imaged women within their pages. In the Illustrated London News and Sporting and Dramatic News, women were seemingly peripheral, with both sport and the empire depicted as male spheres. However, as we shall see, they were not excluded entirely. In the Sketch, women were depicted as objects of desire, particularly actresses, who were represented as visually available and glossily sexual but physically untouchable.2 In these weeklies, women were marginalised, objectified, or placed within a female sphere, such as the theatre or fashionable society. Conversely, the Lady’s Pictorial’s wide-ranging editorial and advertising content positioned its readers as at the centre of their worlds, rather than as simply wives and mothers or as sexual objects. There was a great deal of political debate in the 1890s, much of it focused on the ‘Woman Question.’ This was covered in the daily newspapers as well as in monthly magazines and reviews. Controversial political opinions were largely absent from Ingram’s weeklies, as the publisher could not afford to alienate readers or advertisers. The Illustrated London News had long adopted a solidly middle-of-the-road, patriotic editorial stance. Predictable events with strong visuals, clear narratives, and a lack of controversy were ideal elements in the new illustrated press of the 1890s. Visual reporting led to an emphasis on politics as a spectator sport, highlighting ceremonies and personalities rather than showing politics as a process that the reader could engage with (Chalaby 1998: 76–8, 111–14). It was in the columns for and by women that the most politically engaged writing took place, highlighting feminist politics in sophisticated and meaningful ways. By using the approaches of the New Journalism – the paragraph format and light, personal tone that were the essence of the new style – journalists were able to inform their readers about the latest developments in the progress of women and engage them in the political process. In doing so, they avoided being characterised as strident or extremist.

The Illustrated London News In 1891, William Ingram, director of Ingram Brothers, appointed Clement Shorter, a young journalist with no editorial experience, to the editorship of his major publication. Launched as the first middle-class illustrated weekly in 1842, the Illustrated London News had become moribund. The paper’s sales were threatened by newer weeklies that featured more visually entertaining and varied content. Shorter was an energetic and well-connected young journalist who promptly revitalised the paper by introducing new writers, including L. F. Austin, Andrew Lang, Grant Allen, Edmund Gosse, Walter Besant, J. M. Barrie, and Jerome K. Jerome, to contribute to the magazine. Additionally, Shorter switched from the wood-engraving methods that the Illustrated London News had pioneered to modern methods of photomechanical reproduction. However, the magazine continued to reproduce the same kinds of conventional imagery that it had previously featured: depictions of imperial adventure, sensational accidents, picturesque topography, sentimental art, and ceremonial and

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civic events. Controversial political comment was avoided. Shorter’s colleague J. M. Bulloch recalled that Shorter ‘exercised a self-denying ordinance in excluding politics from his papers, for he held the sound view that an illustration is a neutral fact, and that it is foolish to deneutralise it by expressing opinions, at least of a political kind’ (Shorter 1927: xviii) (Figure 15.1). Of course, illustrations are never neutral, and in the case of the Illustrated London News, they were selected to convey a strong patriotic message. The paper brought the empire into the homes of the Victorian middle classes through the work of ‘Special Artists’ who sent drawings from conflicts on the imperial front lines. This production of textual and visual knowledge was vital to affirming and normalising imperial relations. These dramatic, hand-drawn visual accounts of violent encounters were balanced by picturesque images of topography, fauna, and ‘natives,’ which made farflung places seem familiar and reassured readers of the legitimacy of colonial rule (Suleri 1991: 75–110). The imperial metropolis continually defined the boundaries of the empire yet also constantly had to locate itself in relation to this periphery. In addition to its depictions of the distant empire, the Illustrated London News covered the metropolitan manifestations of the empire in London, from the London Zoo to the annual empire exhibitions (Schneer 1999: 93–118). The imperial frontier was a polarised, masculine space distanced from the domestic civilisation of family and the home country (Green 1980: 23). Additionally, national institutions – the military, the church, Parliament, the law, civic government, industry, and the city – were fundamentally male. Indeed, women were specifically excluded by legal and other means from these spheres. So when the Illustrated London News depicted women in its accounts of these bodies, either visually or textually, they were marginal characters – the wives and daughters of explorers, politicians, civic dignitaries, and captains of industry – or they were anonymous figures in the many crowds depicted at ceremonies. Queen Victoria was one exception to this peripheral positioning, though her actual appearances were rare. She was, nevertheless, at the apex of the most visible structure that was coded as female – ‘society.’ This included the rounds of events, balls, parties, musical performances, and sporting events that the upper classes enjoyed in their leisure time. The social season was a means of facilitating dynastic reproduction, of ensuring that eligible men and women met. In the Illustrated London News, society events were reported on the ‘Ladies’ Page’ near the back of the magazine. Women journalists covered society; indeed, this was one of the few institutions in the Illustrated London News and its fellow papers that women journalists had access to (Onslow 2000: 60). Columns specifically aimed at women were spatially marginalised, placed near the back of publications. In the Illustrated London News, the ‘Ladies’ Page’ was placed facing the advertisements that shared space with the editorial content at the rear of each issue. Although advertising was booming, it was still held at arm’s length in magazines. In the more conventional papers, such as Queen, it was restricted to the extensive advertising wrappers that were bound around the outside of the paper. Mixing advertising and editorial material was regarded as suspect, and advertisements within the magazine were often restricted to the back pages. In the Illustrated London News, the ‘Ladies’ Page’ announced the explicit introduction of commodity consumption, another sphere that was gendered as female (Figure 15.2).

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Figure 15.1 Cover, Illustrated London News (18 July 1896).

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Figure 15.2 ‘The Ladies’ Page,’ Illustrated London News (1 Aug 1896: 150).

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The ‘Ladies’ Page’ in the Illustrated London News usually began with a section on fashion and included two fashion illustrations. The issue of 11 July 1896 is indicative of this relatively unvarying format. One and a half columns are taken up with Paulina Pry’s fashion coverage entitled ‘Dress,’ which is accompanied by a wash tonal halftone of a ‘Chameleon Silk Gown’ (54). Pry remarks on the cheapness of silks in the sales, the necessity for gowns for yachting, and modes of dress for Lords, Goodwood, and the Eaton and Harrow cricket match, all of which were designated fixtures in the social calendar. The other regular feature on the page, occupying a similar amount of space, is the ‘Notes’ section, contributed by a prominent feminist, Florence Fenwick Miller, who began writing the column in 1886 and continued to do so for thirty-two years. Over the course of these years, Fenwick Miller interspersed feminist discourse with commerce and fashion in paragraphs, all conveyed in her distinctive, wry voice. In her 11 July 1896 column, she echoed Pry’s remarks on the low price of silk, noting that pretty silks were indeed available at astonishingly low prices in the sales (54). However, unlike Pry and the contributors to the Ingram papers in general, she connected consumption to production, noting the low wages in the silk industry. Fenwick Miller’s insights were based, she stated, on an ‘interesting but sad little volume,’ The Condition of Working Women and the Factory Acts, by Jessie Boucherett (1896). She explained that Boucherett had founded the Society for the Employment of Women in 1859 and had since devoted her life to campaigning in favour of women’s work (54). Her column also included commentary on society events, for example the Prince of Wales conferring an honorary degree on the Princess of Wales at the new Welsh university. Fenwick Miller took this as an opportunity to merge society news with a message about the importance of equal educational rights for women. She noted that, unusually, the new university made no distinction between the sexes and was unique in that it included a residence for female students. She pointed out to her readers that the university was open to students from the entire United Kingdom, implicitly encouraging them to take advantage of this new opportunity. Her final paragraph abruptly returns to the realm of commerce, plugging a new catalogue of bedroom furniture issued by Heals, a regular advertiser in Ingram’s papers (11 July 1896: 54). Her potentially contentious remarks on labour and education are thus safely cushioned by Heals adverts, along with a full-page display advertisement for Vogeler’s Curative Compound, the first of the ads in the rear section of the magazine. This patent medicine advert also focuses on women and work, beginning with a discussion of training schools for nurses, followed by a testimonial from ‘Nurse Alice,’ who successfully took the compound to cure her own ailments caused by overwork (11 July 1896: 55). She had been feeling ‘nervous, weak, dizzy, faint’ with a ‘complication of female ailments’ (55). This interweaving of fashion, feminist argument, and commerce was the standard format of the ‘Ladies’ Page.’ The longevity of the page suggests that this was a successful formula for attracting and retaining readers.3 Women were allowed spaces in otherwise male-gendered magazines to speak on women’s topics. These arenas were outside the male norm and were therefore able to operate according to different conventions. As women were effectively excluded from politics, the radical presentations of these ‘women’s’ topics were, apparently, safely contained. Their light rather than shrieking tone also rendered them more acceptable to a broad audience. At the same time, the content of the women’s sections in the Ingram weeklies were in keeping with the surrounding editorial coverage. The

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topics Fenwick Miller addressed on the ‘Ladies Page’ often echoed accounts of public events, such as the openings of institutions, which were the backbone of the Illustrated London News.

The Sketch In February 1893, Ingram Brothers launched a magazine to serve a more urban, upto-date readership than the Illustrated London News. The Sketch depicted a range of newly commodified attractions, with theatre as its particular focus (Figure 15.3). Editor Clement Shorter claimed that this was the first weekly to be entirely illustrated by photomechanical methods, and he printed many large photographic halftones, mostly of actresses. The Sketch offered middle-class males a voyeuristic glimpse of flirtatious sexuality (Shorter 1927: 75). In his introductory editorial Shorter promised that the ‘man who buys the Sketch every week may form a perfect seraglio of sirens, without molting a feather of his propriety’ (1 Feb 1893: 3). Actresses and music-hall entertainers were photographed for the male viewer to examine and enjoy. The Sketch offered readers images that captured the scopic intensity of a highly charged visual realm.4 It also featured photographically illustrated interviews, a new format focusing on individual personality that was one of the defining elements of the New Journalism in the 1890s. Its columns of brief personal comment and opinion were expressed in a light, modern style of journalism. Any political coverage was positioned as a kind of sport. The opening editorial set the tone: ‘We have nothing in common with Ministerialists or Opposition, except the unassuming confidence and exuberant spirits with which they address themselves to the political fray’ (1 Feb 1893: 3).5 Although the magazine claimed that women might be interested in almost all of its content, the Sketch, like the Illustrated London News, offered a designated space for women readers at the back of the magazine, a two-page section titled ‘Our Ladies’ Pages’ (Figure 15.4).6 The section was written by ‘Sybil,’ a nom de plume evoking a classical female oracle. The content was in keeping with the rest of the magazine, serving as a weekly guide to the opportunities for new forms of leisure and consumption that were now available to the middle classes. It contained commercial plugs for products and firms, many of which were advertised in the magazine or in other Ingram publications. In this regard, it echoed ‘Short Talk,’ the most extensive section of the paper, which contained paragraphs of comment that were often puffs. The male writers of ‘Small Talk’ were able to move with relative freedom though the city while remaining alert to the complexities of the metropolis. Sybil’s walks were more confined but were similarly driven by urban consumption. Sybil’s columns, often subtitled ‘Frocks and Furbelows,’ never strayed far from fashion, clothes, and accessories. There were no recipes or domestic advice, as there were in the Lady’s Pictorial. The excision of domestic concerns from the column brought readers closer to the conspicuous leisure that was at the heart of aristocratic culture. This level of ease and luxury was out of reach for most readers, but in the final decade of the century people now had time for pleasurable consumption, including opportunities to vicariously enjoy the conspicuous consumption Thorstein Velben identified in The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions (1899).

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Figure 15.3 ‘Miss Mabel Love,’ Sketch (11 Nov 1896: 99).

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Figure 15.4 ‘Our Ladies’ Pages,’ Sketch (21 July 1899: 393).

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‘Our Ladies’ Pages’ for 28 April 1897 gives a sense of the recurring concerns and structures of the section. It begins with a paragraph on the anticipated events of the coming social season. This is followed by two long and detailed paragraphs about a visit to the famous dressmaker Kate Reily on Dover Street. This is illustrated by two halftones presumably supplied by the dressmaking firm, which had branches in New York and Chicago.7 The paragraphs go into a great deal of technical detail on the designs and on the occasions at which it would be appropriate to wear them. The next paragraph deals with the ongoing Greco-Turkish War, but only to complain about barrel organs constantly playing the ‘Sultan’s Polka’ in the streets. Sybil hoped that the conflict would be quickly resolved so as put an end to this annoyance. This is followed by an extensive plug for the Goldsmiths’ and Silversmiths’ Company of Regent Street, a regular advertiser in Ingram publications. The two paragraphs are illustrated by five drawings supplied by the jeweller. The pages are sprinkled with guidance on achieving a fashionable but tasteful appearance. Sybil advises that although hats may be worn in an array of bright colours and silk stockings may also be worn in many hues, ‘gloves are only acceptable to the really well-dressed in black, white, and neutral colours’ (28 Apr 1897: 43). The column ends with a short ‘Answers to Correspondents’ section which consists of short snippets of fashion advice that are mainly plugs for shops, department stores, and services. Sybil’s flippant tone expressed opinions that were far from progressive. On 4 November 1896, Sybil discussed the ‘surplus population’ of young schoolboard-trained women in ‘Fashions as they Are’ (85). She suggested that ‘unless a few more newspapers are started, or another handful of theatrical ventures put forward’ there would be an oversupply of women who were no longer prepared to go into service. She proposed, satirically, that they could become cabbies (85–6). The second half of ‘Our Ladies’ Pages,’ written by Florence Mulleneux, concentrated on clothes that were featured in theatrical productions. There were, in fact, very close connections between the stage, fashion, and the press. Prominent dressmakers provided costumes to actresses in major productions and ensured that the costumes were discussed in the press. The Sketch, the Lady’s Pictorial, and Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News all gave detailed reports and identified the dressmakers, who were not identified in the programmes (Kaplan 1994: 8–9). It was only fitting that the Sketch, with its theatrical emphasis, should highlight these networks of consumption. Mulleneux claimed to be one of the first to link fashion and the stage. She was also on the staff of the Lady’s Pictorial and went on to edit Ladies’ Fashions for Ingram (Newsagent’s Chronicle 6 Mar 1897: 5–6).

The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News The Sketch and the Illustrated London News both covered spectator sports, but their coverage did not achieve the same depth as Ingram’s Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. As its title suggests, sport and, to a lesser extent, theatre dominated the Sporting and Dramatic News. Current affairs, economics, and politics were largely absent. Women, with the exception of actresses, were initially confined to their specified section, the ‘Sportswoman’s Page.’ They became more visible in the magazine’s pages toward the end of the century, when sports became a new arena for female emancipation (McCrone 1988).

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Like the other Ingram weeklies, it had an attractive format: it was printed on coated paper, which added to the impact of its many photographic halftones of traditional field sports and new spectator sports, including horse racing, fishing, shooting, hunting, and cricket. Coverage concentrated on the British Isles, but there were also reports of imperial happenings. Although it shared many advertisements with other Ingram weeklies, its classified advertisements for bloodstock were particularly notable. Indeed, coverage of equestrian pursuits was an important element of the magazine. This coverage was linked to the increasing popularity of horse racing in the last decades of the century. Specific race meetings, such as Ascot and Goodwood, were now an established part of the social season. An interest in the ‘turf’ through owning, breeding, and racing horses was a means of demonstrating social position and wealth. For the nouveau riche, horse ownership could be a means of gaining upward mobility. Women were often barred from membership in the clubs that controlled racing and rarely owned horses, but they were visible in race meetings (Huggins 2000: 124–5). The most detailed coverage of women was in the ‘Sportswoman’s Page.’ Unlike the other Ingram weeklies, the section varied in position, and at times was placed near the front of the paper. At other times, it was nearer to the back, next to the advertising like its sister pages. Despite the section’s title, the focus was not on sport but on ‘the great world’ of high society; sport was subsumed within the activities of the upper classes. The column cycled through the elite gatherings that accompanied the sporting events of the social season, including the Derby, the Oaks, Ascot, Sandown, Kempton, cricket at Lords, rowing at Henley, and sailing at Cowes. Other upper-class activities covered included art openings, theatrical performances, and shopping expeditions. Fashion was threaded throughout in the descriptions of clothes worn at these events. The appropriate outfits of both women and men were described in great detail, with an emphasis on colour and material (Figure 15.5). The section was written by ‘Diana Up-to-Date,’ a nom de plume that melded the classical huntress with the current day. Diana was not, in fact, particularly sporty or up to date; her opinions were entirely conventional and indeed reactionary. However, although Diana disparaged the ‘shrieking sisterhood’ who were proponents of women’s rights, she necessarily chronicled a more active and independent woman, albeit from a fairly narrow viewpoint (28 Jan 1899: 838). The illustrations were usually limited to two or three relatively small images: either photographic portraits of society women or fashion drawings supplied by advertisers. This visual restraint was unusual in a magazine that made a feature of its many large and detailed photographic halftones. Commercial plugs for advertisers were interspersed throughout the columns, often in the form of fictional accounts of shopping expeditions for clothes and jewellery in London.8 These narratives of consumption were framed around the activities of Diana and her extended family: her Aunt Araminta, ‘a lady of the old school,’ and her married cousin Peggie. Diana and Peggie visit shops, social events, and sporting events, and they travel together and apart. There may well have been a number of Dianas since the column changed in tone over the decade, as did the spelling of Peggie’s name. But the writer of the section certainly seemed to have access to more intimate detail on aristocratic events than Sybil did. These accounts gave middle-class readers information and gossip on the society from which they were excluded. The 1890s saw a blaze of aristocratic display as the boundaries that were essential to preserve upper-class privilege were threatened by economic and social change.

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Figure 15.5 ‘Sportswoman’s Page,’ Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (17 June 1899: 631).

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The tensions accompanying the rise of new economic and social groups were made explicit in Diana’s account of the Ascot race meeting in 1898. She writes, ‘It is a patent fact that the Royal enclosure was the most select and exclusive place, and that those privileged to be in it had the best time. The other places are simply given over to the nouveau riche of the most pronounced type, to the tradespeople with money, and to the class of society which hangs on to the skirts, as it were, of the great world, exaggerates all of its vices, and carefully overlooks its virtues in their travesty of its conduct’ (25 June 1898: 665). By making the aristocracy more visible, the column paradoxically diluted its aura. Over time, Diana’s tone became increasingly gossipy, personal, and anecdotal. Covering fashionable coaching in a London park in 1898, she noted: ‘The Prince and Princess were there together in a smart victoria – not a French one – drawn by a pair of beautifully shaped chestnut cobs. They were looking as bright and sunshiny as the day – I mean their Royal Highnesses, not the cobs’ (18 June 1898: 633). Diana covered aristocratic engagements and weddings, even though she did so less extensively than the writers of the Lady’s Pictorial. Also, unlike Lady’s Pictorial, Diana’s nuptial reports were not illustrated and were confined to the upper classes. The complex aristocratic systems of inclusion and exclusion traced in the ‘Sportswoman’s Page’ stood in stark contrast to the relatively straightforward middle-class and professional alliances in the Lady’s Pictorial. Diana’s columns tracked dynastic defences. She established who ‘the right people’ were through an exclusionary list of names, relationships, and titles. The photographic portraits of women from the great world were accompanied by biographies. In one instance, she writes, ‘This week I have the pleasure of giving a portrait of Lady Arthur Grosvenor, wife of the Duke of Westminster’s second son. Lady Arthur is a first rate horsewoman, and is very fond of dogs and horses and a country life. She is the second sister of Sir Berkeley Sheffield, sixth Baronet of Normanby, co. Lincoln. Her elder sister is the wife of the Hon. Lancelot Lowther, brother of Lord Lonsdale, who frequently during Lord Lonsdale’s Mastership of the Quorn deputised for him’ (30 July 1899: 881).

The Lady’s Pictorial Alfred Gibbons launched the monthly Lady’s Pictorial in September 1880 as a rival to the Queen, the leading upper-class fashion weekly. It was priced at three pence and included both fashion illustrations and short fiction. In the following year, he began publishing the magazine as a sixpenny weekly, and in 1884 he went into business with the Ingram Brothers (Sketch 30 Jan 1895: 23).9 Gibbons described himself as a city man in the Sketch, though his friend Jimmy Glover recalled that he manufactured ‘ladies’ mantles’ (1913: 184). He was interested in fashion news and believed that he could improve on the Queen’s illustrations. Fashion images had to be particularly precise, with all parts of the costume in sharp relief, since they were used as guides by professional dressmakers. In the elaborate female fashions of the period, the fine points of fastenings, fabrics, and other details were vitally important in establishing and differentiating social position. Gibbons was very much a hands-on publisher who was closely involved in the design and layout of the magazine, which he regarded as an absorbing puzzle. He had a sensitive grasp of the visual turn in the media, which is reflected in his embrace of

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innovative developments in image production and reproduction. He was also involved in the new world of mass entertainment. Moving in bohemian theatrical circles, he collaborated with Augustus Harris, the theatrical impresario, and married a music-hall performer, Dot Mario. The Lady’s Pictorial, like other society papers of the 1890s, demonstrates how the worlds of fashion, mass entertainment, and mass publishing were integrally connected. The purchasers of the Lady’s Pictorial were solidly middle class. Gibbons believed that women who could afford the magazine would have servants and would patronise good dressmakers (Sketch 30 Jan 1895: 23). According to Arnold Bennett, the magazine appealed to ‘women of education and breeding’ (1898: 86–7). And Ella Hepworth Dixon, a key columnist in the Lady’s Pictorial, noted that it ‘had an enormous vogue in Suburbia’ (1930: 163). The suburbs were not simply a Pooterish hinterland but were also the home of Dixon’s own version of the modern woman. The Lady’s Pictorial’s editorial content consisted of fiction, theatre reviews, advice columns, short columns of criticism, and extensive fashion coverage. It also included reports on social events, including galas, balls, and garden parties. Visually, it was dominated by fashion illustrations and by many images of weddings, including drawings of wedding dresses and small photographs of brides and grooms (Figure 15.6). At first sight, then, the content might appear to be thoroughly conventional and somewhat dull. We might also assume that like the Sketch and the Sporting and Dramatic News its content would avoid contentious issues and maintain a light, agreeable tone so as to attract a wide audience. However, this was not the case. As a space that was outside the norm, a female space, it was able to deal with many of the debates and fierce battles on gender issues during this period. Gibbons’s statements on editorial policy initially seem to support a politically neutral approach. In 1895 he states, ‘The New Woman? – Oh, bother the “New Woman”! We are simply on the side of the womanly woman. It isn’t our business to indulge in strong views on any subject, but merely to put what we think [are] right views firmly’ (Sketch 30 Jan 1895: 23). The phrase ‘womanly woman’ referred to a woman who maintained her true nature as a wife and mother, in contrast to the ‘New Woman,’ who questioned those roles and moved, threateningly, into male territory. However, two years later, Gibbons’s views had clearly shifted. He was interviewed in Woman, the penny weekly edited by Arnold Bennett that was aimed at the ‘intelligent womanly woman’ (1 Jan 1890: 1). Surveying developments in women’s magazines during Victoria’s reign, Gibbons states: The raison d’etre of the Lady’s Pictorial is two-fold. It chronicles . . . upon one hand, every movement and every incident of importance which makes for the progress of woman, in the best sense of the word, and records sympathetically everything which tends toward the improvement of the status and the enlargement of her natural talents and acquired capabilities; while on the other hand, it depicts by pen and pencil that lighter, but equally important side of woman’s life, in which she contributes to the well-being of others, as well as pleases herself, by the adoption of all that is newest and most charming in dress; by planning her part in the social side of life as hostess or guest, and by assisting in a score of ways in advancing the interests of benevolent institutions, and bringing together, to their mutual advantage, all classes of Society. Recognizing that both the lighter and the graver side of

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Figure 15.6 ‘Hats for the Holidays and Early Autumn Wear,’ Lady’s Pictorial (1 Aug 1896: 182).

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women’s life have their proper place and their due influence, the Lady’s Pictorial opens its columns equally to the purely fashionable, and as some may deem it frivolous phase of society, and to that earnest zealous section that aims at the intellectual and material progress of women, the amelioration of their condition as a body, and the eventual emancipation of the sex from all disabilities imposed upon them as women, and their due establishment upon an equality with men in all the essential conditions of industrial, professional, and social life. (Woman 16 June 1897: 36–7) In order to achieve this mix of the ‘earnest’ and the ‘frivolous,’ Gibbons mainly employed women writers, many of whom were prominent journalists and active feminists. He writes, ‘Women can best write of women, and what is more, so far as my own experience goes, I find women to be on the whole more steady and reliable workers than men’ (Windsor Magazine Dec 1895: 707). In an article in the Sketch, Gibbons lists his staff as Mrs Whitley, fashion editor and assistant editor; Miss Curtis, book reviewer; Miss Lloyd, society and fashion reporter; Mrs O’Donoghue, Irish correspondent; Miss Clifford, Paris correspondent; Emily Faithfull, author of two columns, ‘Woman’ and ‘Northern Gossip’; Mrs Alfred Brerlyn (‘Vera’), columnist; Mrs Conyers Morrell, author of ‘The Home’ and ‘Fancy Work’; and Florence Mulleneux, secretary and occasional contributor. Other columnists included Ella Hepworth Dixon, who wrote a long-running column, ‘Pensées de Femme’; Mrs F. Ada Ballin, who answered questions on ‘Health and the Toilet’; Florence Fenwick Miller, whose column was titled ‘Woman: Her Position and Her Prospects, Her Duties and Her Doings’; and Jane Ellen Panton, who contributed a column on home management. Fenwick Miller, Dixon, Faithfull, and Ballin were key figures in feminist and journalistic circles; they not only wrote for magazines but also edited and published periodicals that promoted women’s causes.10 Their columns were signed and thus emphasised their individual personalities and unique voices. These writers were models of wisdom and erudition, as well as activism and involvement. Literary contributors included Elizabeth Banks, Marie Corelli, Margaret Oliphant, Vera Carpenter, and Lady Colin Campbell. Importantly, Ella Hepworth Dixon’s Story of a Modern Woman (1894) initially appeared as a serial in the magazine. Perhaps the most well-known contributor was Mrs C. E. Humphry, who wrote for the Lady’s Pictorial as ‘Mrs Humphry.’ Her writings on etiquette, society, and fashion made her a highly respected member of the profession. She also served as president of the Society of Women Journalists (Onslow 2000: 147). Her contribution to the Lady’s Pictorial, ‘Letters From A Woman of the World,’ was a wide-ranging column of chatty advice in the form of a letter purportedly from Humphry to her niece ‘Daphne.’ It was a format she had initiated years before as a contributor to another society paper, Henry Labouchere’s Truth. Her Lady’s Pictorial column for 5 August 1899 is typically varied, offering advice on the necessity of exercise for maintaining an attractive figure in youth and a graceful posture in later life. She also reminds Daphne of the importance of Victor Hugo, discusses the mental crisis that many women face when small difficulties become insurmountable, discourses on the misuse of the word ‘née,’ and speaks about the confusion surrounding the increasingly popular word ‘employee’ (90). As was its usual practice, the column ends with a recipe reinforcing women’s domestic roles. Another constant in the letters is Mrs Humphry’s marital advice to Daphne. In the article for 17 June 1896, for instance,

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Mrs Humphry advises her niece, who has been married for a year, that she needs to claim space for herself. She suggests a three-month break from her husband Syd, a ‘matrimonial holiday,’ not because of any marital drama but because she needs to ‘think her own thoughts’ independently (17 Jun 1896: 860). The topic of marriage and of new expectations for communication and companionship between spouses was very much in the air at the fin de siècle. Like her peers, Humphry’s column is not zealous, but it does make radical suggestions. This intimate and personal tone of Humphry’s column was interwoven with commercial messages, even more so than in the other Ingram weeklies. Display advertising was not limited to the extensive wrappers and the rear of the magazine but was interspersed through the editorial content. Women were thought to be the principal purchasers of goods, both for their families and for themselves and were therefore assumed to be drawn to advertisements (Beetham 1996: 125–6).11 Gibbons clearly understood the importance of advertising to the health of the Lady’s Pictorial; the only issues of the magazine that enforced a total separation between advertising and letterpress content were the Christmas numbers, which were known for their lavishly illustrated fiction.12 Much of the letterpress content of the Lady’s Pictorial covered domestic matters, including cooking and the care of the home. The magazine had, in fact, been an innovator in incorporating Jane Ellen Panton’s articles on household management (Panton 1909: 356).13 The images in the magazine, however, concentrated on women out in the world who were visible in a new way. They depicted women enjoying the London social season, attending charitable events, participating in sports, and engaging in amateur drama. The illustrations and advertisements also highlighted new female venues, such as department stores. The majority of the illustrations were of weddings, which were increasingly depicted as public events that were widely reported in the press (Figure 15.7). The ads, the wedding gowns, and the fashion illustrations were not photographic, on the whole. Rather they were detailed wash drawings that concentrated on the clothes that women wore to get married, participate in society, and move through the world. This representational system often showed women in groups, rather by themselves. Unlike the caricatures of urban ‘types’ and large photographic halftones of celebrities, politicians, and important events in other Ingram weeklies, the Lady’s Pictorial mainly incorporated line drawings of clothes and small photographs of middle- and upper-class women of little note. It is true that many of these images corresponded to Arnold Bennett’s criticism of fashion illustrations as a ‘universe peopled by women’ who were slimmer and taller than in real life, all with the same simpering expression (qtd in Beetham 1996: 182). However, by viewing this female ‘universe,’ readers were able to observe their peers, or at least a version of their peers, taking part in an extensive variety of activities. Moreover, unlike the other Ingram magazines, the hegemony of London as the metropolitan centre was not absolute. While London was clearly the centre for fashion, the court, and society, the Lady’s Pictorial regularly covered weddings in northern England, Ireland, and Scotland. The magazine’s illustrations and letterpress content together created a productive space where readers could negotiate the complexities of gender in a time of rapid change. They offered radical models of female independence alongside images of marriage and social advancement, calls to political action alongside images of pleasure-seeking.

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Figure 15.7 ‘Weddings,’ Lady’s Pictorial (1 Aug 1896: 184).

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The magazine addressed its readers in a personal, informal tone that was in keeping with the New Journalism. In her review of developments in the women’s press, published in the Newspaper Press Directory of 1896, Laura Alex Smith argued that the Lady’s Pictorial had been a pioneer in this regard. She writes, ‘The Lady’s Pictorial may be said to have been the feminine pioneer of the new journalism, introducing into its pages more personal detail, and attempting to bring into closer relationship those who were written of and those who read’ (13). Some columns adopted formal structures that directly inferred connection and intimacy. ‘Letters from a Woman of the World’ mimics a personal correspondence that the reader is somehow privy to, and other columns also adopt an epistolary tone, as answers to readers’ questions or as gossip. Periodicals in the Ingram group made the balls, receptions, and openings of the London season more widely visible than ever before. However, their coverage differed in its focus. While the Sporting and Dramatic News located the aristocracy firmly within their traditional arenas of landownership and field sports and ‘The Sportswoman’s Page’ covered fashions and society events linked closely to aristocratic leisure, the Lady’s Pictorial covered a wider range of parties and receptions, including illustrations and guest lists. The descriptions of the clothing worn by attendees are detailed and highly technical, often listing the colours and fabrics. A typical account from June 1899 includes this description: Her Grace of Devonshire was dressed in crinkled gauze in pale yellow and white, the design as though the petals of white and yellow roses had been welded together. Waved bands of inserted deep cream-coloured Cluny lace were round the back of the skirt, and in front the crossing tablier was deeply fringed with lace. The bodice was also trimmed with lace, and there was a yoke of pale mauve silk embroidered with a small fine design in white silk. The Duchess wore a bonnet mode of shaded mauve velvet petalled primula with a cluster of yellow roses and foliage on one side. Her Grace was looking very handsome and received her guests with that easy kindly welcome which is one of the secrets of her great success as a hostess. (17 June 1899: 876) The text was accompanied by large and highly detailed illustrations of the clothes worn by the aristocratic women at the event. Diana’s report of the same garden party in the Sporting and Dramatic News is far less detailed and is not illustrated: ‘The hostess who received on the terrace, was dressed in yellow and white crinkled silk gauze, with insertion of deep cream-coloured lace and a bonnet of shaded primulas, with an aigrette of yellow roses on one side. The Duke did not receive, but was near the Duchess, and had chats with various well-known men’ (17 June 1899: 631). Whereas the account in the Lady’s Pictorial concentrates on fashion and personality, Diana’s report gives space to the mores of the great world. The coverage of fashion in the Lady’s Pictorial extended outward from high society to the wedding dresses and going-away outfits of a wider cross-section of society. Unlike the Sporting and Dramatic News, these were not all society weddings: some focused on weddings in the families of respectable doctors, clergymen, and military men. In addition to including elaborate illustrations and descriptions of clothes, wedding reports described the ceremonies and included portraits of the brides and grooms (Figures 15.8 and 15.9).

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Figure 15.8 ‘Portraits of Brides and Bridegrooms,’ Lady’s Pictorial (1 Aug 1896: 185).

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Figure 15.9 ‘Miss Dorothea Baird’s Wedding and Travelling Dresses,’ Lady’s Pictorial (1 Aug 1896: 186).

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This reportage, which began in the 1880s, expanded greatly during the 1890s (Beetham 1996: 98–100). Evelyn March-Phillips was critical of this more democratic coverage, writing, ‘The weddings of well-known people, perhaps, have a certain general interest, but when Miss Smith marries Mr Jones, who, outside their personal acquaintance, can possibly wish to read a long list of their wedding gifts?’ (Fortnightly Review Nov 1894: 663). Such details might be of local interest, she acknowledged, but not in the wider world. The same went for social events: ‘Again, when a Drawing-room is held, what can be more unmeaning and monotonous than a long array of pictures of distorted dolls, decked in trains and plumes? Portrayed, moreover, for the delectation of persons, who, for the most part, will never be called upon to provide themselves with any such attire’ (663). Yet these multiple images of women, in their repetition and solidarity, were in fact meaningful. Readers may not have the opportunity to attend society events, but as Margaret Beetham has argued, the coverage of bazaars, balls, and marriages mapped a female sphere in which women became increasingly visible. The Lady’s Pictorial was able to deal with the changing role of women in ways that the other Ingram weeklies could not. The other periodicals confined women to gendered pages. The women’s pages in the Sketch and the Sporting and Dramatic News concentrated on leisure and consumption, in keeping with the wider magazines. In the Illustrated London News, Fenwick Miller encouraged her readers to be actively involved in society, rather than merely being consumers of entertainment. However, in the Illustrated London News these activist columns were safely contained within a female gendered space. The entire Lady’s Pictorial was directed exclusively to women, which enabled it to connect women throughout the British Isles in its range of depictions of female society. It was able to extend Fenwick Miller’s approach across a range of pages and venues. Its texts and images allowed readers to roam freely and widely, providing them with imaginary access. On the commercial front, the magazine enabled readers living anywhere in the country to experience London and its shops. March-Phillips recalled that for one woman reader of her acquaintance, the illustrated magazine was her ‘walk down Bond Street’ or a ‘species of perambulating shop’ (Fortnightly Review Nov 1894: 664). Indeed, these shops were able to perambulate by mailing patterns, fabrics, and goods throughout the country and the empire. However, these magazines, March-Phillips notes, were more than just commercial: ‘Perhaps few things give us an idea of the versatility of the average Englishwoman than a careful study of these papers’ (664). She mentions domestic skills such as dressmaking, cooking, and housekeeping but also notes women’s successes in professional and artistic fields. Indeed, almost all of the art and literature reviewed and featured in the Lady’s Pictorial was produced by women, in contrast to the arts coverage in the other Ingram weeklies. Political events organised by women were featured as well, thus alerting readers to issues they would otherwise overlook. The Lady’s Pictorial enabled women to conceptualise an imagined social identity, giving them a guide for how they might behave. The magazine was able to provide its readers with highly detailed visual and written information on the surface of fashion, a rapidly changing element in the performance of modern mobile womanhood. Yet it also covered a gamut of domestic, political, and artistic activities. The diversity of texts and advertisements, both conventional and radical, allowed readers to negotiate the tensions that were central to being a modern woman. At the same time, the Lady’s Pictorial connected them as women and as readers of the same publication.

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Notes 1. Beetham links fashion, the magazine, and the pleasure of developing consumer expertise (1996: 96). 2. Bailey suggests that this served to ‘sensationalize and contain sexual expression in a managable form’ (1991: 45). 3. For background on Fenwick Miller, see Onslow 2005: 88–102. 4. See Garb for a discussion of this intensity of vision and its relationship to gender in French culture during this period (1998: 108). 5. For discussion of the role of photography in the spectacularisation of the political in the illustrated magazine of the 1930s, see Kracauer 1995. 6. A humorous poem, ‘To A Lady Who Says That There is Nothing to Read in the Sketch,’ lists items that might interest a woman reader, including book reviews, cycling, theatrical reports, and city news (Sketch 3 Mar 1897: 234). 7. Reilly advertised in the Lady’s Pictorial. 8. For instance, the 27 February 1897 issue of the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News includes an illustrated discussion of dresses available at the Peter Robinson department store and cufflinks by Mappin & Webb (1001). 9. The business relationship between Gibbons and the Ingram Brothers changed over time. In November 1896, William Ingram launched a new publishing company combining the Lady’s Pictorial and the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, with Ingram and Gibbons as the major shareholders (Investor’s Review 2 Dec 1898: 758). 10. Florence Fenwick Miller acquired the Woman’s Signal in 1895 in order to promote women’s suffrage; Ada S. Ballin edited Womanhood; and Faithfull, one of the Langham Place group, published and edited Victoria Magazine. 11. For further discussion of gendered consumption in the periodical press, see Fraser et al. 2003. 12. In an article in Windsor Magazine, Gibbons limited advertising to the beginning and the end of Christmas issues, noting, ‘We are such sinners in this respect all the rest of the year that we endeavor to be virtuous at Christmas’ (Dec 1895: 707). The article also mentions Gibbons’s unusual office which featured art furniture, palms, and drapery, achieving an arts and crafts aesthetic. 13. Panton started her column in 1883 when such features were unusual in magazines, and she compiled her columns into a series of very successful books, including From Kitchen to Garrett (1887), Homes of Taste: Economical Hints (1890), and Suburban Residences and How to Circumvent Them (1896).

Works Cited Bailey, Peter. 1996. ‘“Naughty but Nice”: Musical Comedy and the Rhetoric of the Girl, 1892– 1914.’ The Edwardian Theatre. Ed. Michael R. Booth and Joel H. Kaplan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 36–60. Barstow, Susan Torrey. 2001. ‘Hedda Is All of Us: Late-Victorian Women at the Matinee.’ Victorian Studies 43.3: 387–411. Beetham, Margaret. 1996. A Magazine of Her Own?: Domesticity and Desire in the Woman’s Magazine, 1800–1914. London: Routledge. Bennett, Arnold. 1898. Journalism for Women: A Practical Guide. London: Bodley Head. Buckley, Cheryl and Hilary Fawcett. 2002. Fashioning the Feminine: Representation and Women’s Fashion from the Fin de Siècle to the Present. London: I. B. Tauris. Chalaby, Jean K. 1998. The Invention of Journalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Dixon, Ella Hepworth. 1930. As I Knew Them; Sketches of People I Have Met on the Way. London: Hutchinson. Fawcett, Hilary. 2004. ‘Romance, Glamour and the Exotic: Femininity and Fashion in Britain in the 1900s.’ New Woman Hybridities: Femininity, Feminism and Consumer Culture, 1880–1930. Ed. Ann Heilmann and Margaret Beetham. London: Routledge. 145–57. Fraser, Hilary, Stephanie Green, and Judith Johnston. 2003. Gender and the Victorian Periodical. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Garb, Tamar. 1998. Bodies of Modernity: Figure and Flesh in Fin-de-Siècle France. London: Thames and Hudson. Glover, J. M. 1913. Jimmy Glover and his Friends. London: Chatto & Windus. Green, Martin. 1980. Dreams of Adventure – Deeds of Empire. London: Routledge. Herbert, Robert L. 1988. Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society. New Haven: Yale University Press. Holcome, Lee. 1973. Victorian Ladies at Work: Middle-Class Working Women in England and Wales, 1850–1914. Hamden, CT: Archon Books. Huggins, Mike. 2000. Flat Racing and British Society, 1790–1914: A Social and Economic History. London: Frank Cass. Kaplan, Joel H. and Sheila Stowell. 1994. Theater and Fashion: Oscar Wilde to the Suffragettes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kracauer, Siegfried. 1995. ‘Photography.’ The Mass Ornament. Ed. and trans. Thomas Y. Levin. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 47–64. McCrone, Kathleen. 1988. Sport and the Physical Emancipation of English Women, 1870–1914. London: Routledge. Onslow, Barbara. 2000. Women of the Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain. New York: St. Martin’s Press. —. 2005. ‘Preaching to the Ladies.’ Encounters in the Victorian Press: Editors, Authors, Readers. Ed. Laurel Brake and Julie F. Codell. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 88–102. Panton, Jane Ellen. 1909. Fresh Leaves and Green Pastures. London: E. Nash. Rappaport, Erika. 2000. Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London’s West End. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Schneer, Jonathan. 1999. London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis. New Haven: Yale University Press. Shorter, Clement King. 1927. C.K.S. An Autobiography: A Fragment by Himself. Ed. J. M. Bullock. London: Privately Printed. Smith, Laura Alex. 1896. ‘Fifty Years of Women’s Papers and Magazines.’ Newspaper Press Directory. London: C. Mitchell. 13. Suleri, Sara. 1991. The Rhetoric of English India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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16 Rewriting Fairyland: Isabella Bird and the Spectacle of Nineteenth-Century Japan Andrea Kaston Tange

It is a doll’s street with small low houses, so finely matted, so exquisitely clean, so finically neat, so light and delicate, that even when I entered them without my boots I felt like a ‘bull in a china shop,’ as if my mere weight must smash through and destroy. The street is so painfully clean that I should no more think of walking over it in muddy boots than over a drawing-room carpet. (Bird 1880: 1.101)

I

sabella Bird, intrepid Victorian, was travel-weary and spattered with grime from trekking over the mountains when she arrived in Hachiishi on horseback in 1879.1 Emerging from the avenue of cryptomeria trees – long-lived Japanese cedars that can grow over 200 feet high – she proceeded into a town so small, delicate, and clean that it felt almost imaginary. Very much like a human interloper in fairyland, a trope that would have been deeply familiar to her contemporaries, Bird describes herself as being not just out of place but outsized on this ‘doll’s street.’ This passage is one of many in which Bird figures Japan as an ethereal realm inhabited by diminutive creatures amongst whom she feels as dirty, awkward, blundering, and large as any child who has been whisked to the fairy realm to be cured of her faults.2 At only four feet eleven inches tall, even in bulky Western woollens, Bird was hardly as outsized as this passage suggests. So why does fairyland serve as such a central metaphor in Bird’s Unbeaten Tracks in Japan? The answer to that question has to do in part with the sense of delightful mystery that Japan evoked during the second half of the nineteenth century. Japan had closed its borders in the late 1630s in an effort to prevent foreign interests in trade and religion from shaping Japanese life. Japanese citizens were not allowed to travel abroad, and foreigners were not allowed to enter; external commerce was limited to partnerships with specially chartered Chinese and Dutch ships. The ports remained effectively closed to the world until Commodore Matthew Perry arrived with warships, presented President Fillmore’s treaty demands, and ultimately negotiated the Treaty of Kanagawa, signed in March 1854.3 The treaty opened Shimoda and Hakodate to the United States, set an American consul in Japan, provided shelter to shipwrecked Americans, and granted ‘most favored nation’ status to the United States. In 1858, Townsend Harris negotiated a commercial treaty that opened five ports to the United States, regulated import/export duties, and held American citizens to US rather than Japanese law (Humphries 1995: 7).

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The Earl of Elgin negotiated parallel treaties on behalf of Britain following a similarly bellicose arrival of naval forces crossing into Japanese sovereign water. The Times reported that ‘Her Majesty’s ships Furious, Retribution, Lee (gunboat) and steam yacht Emperor destined as a present for His Majesty the Tycoon of Japan, entered the port of Nangasaki [sic] . . . [followed by] the Calcutta, having on board the Admiral, accompanied by the Inflexible’ – the names of the ships alone indicating the British determination that Japan must open its doors to the West (qtd in the Journal of Education for Upper Canada Jan 1859: 12). London’s premier daily newspaper tried to characterise the Japanese reaction as contrite, noting that the ‘arrival of the British squadron in water which the Japanese had sedulously represented as being too shallow to admit of the approach of large ships filled them with dismay and astonishment’; however, the Japanese ‘dismay and astonishment’ was in fact distress over what could only be described as an ‘act of unparalleled audacity’ (11). The British mission both emboldened the West and created a sense that Japan, once it had signed the treaties, was a country on display for all curious onlookers.4 Fascination with Japan was almost instantaneous upon its ‘opening.’ The public was mesmerised by the ‘remote antiquity of their institutions, manners, and customs, and the complete antithesis they present to the progress of other nations in civilization’ (John Bull and Britannia 19 Jan 1857: 43). A prodigious quantity of material was published in newspapers such as The Times and Illustrated London News, some of which was then reprinted in Canadian, Australian, and American papers, all catering to a public hungry for curiosities of the world. Press coverage in the early years largely followed in the veins one might expect: military actions, diplomatic events, and anthropological scenes. Significantly, when Bird travelled to Japan in 1879, coverage of Japanese culture in periodicals was undergoing transformation from matter-of-fact reportage on a half-understood culture to an appreciation of the aesthetic nature of Japan’s difference from the West and nostalgia for its pre-modernised state.5 As this essay will show, Bird’s constant use of diminutives – her insistence that Japan is some kind of ‘fairyland’ – highlights her painful consciousness as a cultural outsider as well as her pleasure in acknowledging that difference. Her oscillation between the pleasures and the difficulties of difference lies at the heart of her work and is a key factor in understanding Unbeaten Tracks in Japan as a cultural text. What Bird encountered on her visit to Japan she interpreted in part through the expectations she carried with her from reading periodicals. In 1879, a scant twenty-five years after Japan had been opened to the West, there were precious few books about Japan available in English, and tourism there was nascent.6 John Murray – publisher of the ubiquitous little red book series that had sustained the tourist industry since the 1830s – did not release his Handbook for Travellers in Japan until 1891.7 Moreover, until quite late in the century, travel to Japan was difficult for anyone who was not a sailor or diplomat. Thomas Cook’s agency seems to have been the first to include Japan on a tourist itinerary; as part of a world tour that lasted 222 days, the Japan visit included a prescribed itinerary that limited visitors largely to the capital city.8 Such an extravagant trip was unattainable for most people and thus was not a model that would create a booming tourist industry in Japan. Indeed, it took the construction of familiar infrastructure, like railways and hotels serving Western foods, for tourists to begin flocking to Japan in large numbers.9 In an 1872 letter to the editor of The Times, Thomas Cook observed, ‘We are glad to find ourselves in a land of extraordinary

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interest, natural, historical, political, and social. All that has been told us recently of Japan is abundantly confirmed by observation and experience. The land is one of great beauty and rich fertility. The inhabitants and the Government are rapidly transforming into enlightened, peaceful, and cordial citizens’ (5 Feb 1873: 4). The details he provides of the group’s time in Yedo (Tokyo) are as scant and generic as the claim that it was a ‘land of extraordinary interest’ that was ‘rapidly transforming’ through the good influences of Western culture and modern technology (4).10 Although Cook’s letter was only one of many profiles, illustrations, and articles about Japan in periodicals in the middle decades of the nineteenth century, it was representative in important ways. It was composed by one of the elite few who had access to Japan; it appeared in a large-circulation daily newspaper; and it assumed a high-handed tone that defined progress as Westernisation. Early understanding of Japan was limited to information provided by diplomats or others in residential service (a mere 119 people by 1872, according to Thomas Cook); by the Japanese delegation to England in 1862; and by a tiny fraction of tourists. However, the first-hand accounts drawn from London-based art collections, merchant reports, and diplomatic sources also provided material for articles in illustrated periodical publications – most notably the Illustrated London News, which ran scores of features on Japan beginning in 1853.11 The technology and editorial vision that enabled the quick rise of the illustrated paper was particularly vital for adding to public perceptions of Japan.12 Visual images were powerful for communicating details, both because their realism implied veracity and because there were few first-hand accounts that might offer counterpoints.13 In contrast to Western-centric claims about the ‘progress’ that was necessary in Japan, the Illustrated London News coverage tended to take an opposite (but often no more nuanced) position, fetishising Japan’s aesthetic fineness and celebrating its lack of assimilation to the West. This may be in part because the illustrated platform so easily lent itself to aesthetic concerns and because the weekly format lent itself to more reflective stories rather than breaking news.14 However, the Illustrated London News was hardly alone in reducing Japan to a species of oriental curio. One of the first and most widely influential portraits of Japan came from Laurence Oliphant’s 1859 account of Lord Elgin’s diplomatic journey. ‘It is a fairy land to look upon,’ he wrote of Japan when making his approach from Simoda harbour – a line repeatedly quoted in newspapers to convey a sense of Japan as exotic, picturesque, and aesthetic, all rolled into one (qtd in the Journal of Education for Upper Canada Jan 1859: 12). Indeed, the periodical press helped consolidate the fantasy of Japan as an oriental fairyland through the circulation of such images, the influence of which is shown in Bird’s Unbeaten Tracks. The letters Bird wrote home to her sister during her seven-month journey form the basis of the book, which includes lively anecdotes and describes the landscape and people, rather than providing a systematic account of the cities or architecture. Bird’s engagement with the trope of fairyland included both reiterating it and explicitly resisting it, based on the guiding principle of her work: Some of the Letters give a less pleasing picture of the condition of the peasantry than the one popularly presented, and it is possible that some readers may wish that it had been less realistically painted; but as the scenes are strictly representative, and I neither made them nor went in search of them, I offer them in the

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interests of truth, for they illustrate the nature of a large portion of the material with which the Japanese Government has to work in building up the New Civilisation. (1880: 1.ix) Bird’s focus on telling the ‘truth’ about Japan, even if it is ‘less pleasing’ than the image readers have constructed of it, is part of her effort to assert the authenticity of her observations. That her pictures ‘are strictly representative, and I neither made them nor went in search of them’ suggests that she will varnish nothing for the sake of popularity, seek out nothing simply for the sake of supporting or refuting assumptions about Japan, and sacrifice no realistic detail for the sake of promoting a ‘pleasing picture’ that is pure fantasy. Her commitment to ‘truth’ is particularly interesting in that the final clause of the paragraph indicates that the Japanese government is seeking a ‘New Civilization’ through modernisation – which suggests that Japan is not invested in prioritising its ‘authentic’ past at all costs. Thus, while Bird’s use of fairy tropes may seem predictably orientalist, I would argue that it is more than an unthinking repetition of cultural stereotypes. It is an effort to engage with readers and examine her own expectations of Japan in order to clarify where preconceptions are warranted and where they miss the mark. Investigating Bird’s writing process lays open the question of the degree to which Unbeaten Tracks contributes to or challenges orientalist perspectives on the East.15 In tackling this question, I consider her writing through the lens of the cultural conversations in popular periodicals that would have shaped her expectations when she travelled to Japan. I explore how Bird oscillates between reiterating the fantasies that periodicals cultivated and expressing a desire to represent her experiences accurately. Ultimately, she cannot choose between her competing interpretations of Japan and instead layers them – sometimes with contradictory effects. She thus produces a more nuanced account of Japan than was available in most British books and periodicals of her time. Previous studies of British travellers have often focused on assessing whether they supported or rejected imperial priorities, assuming that it was impossible to do both at the same time. As this essay will show, such a binary model is reductive and cannot adequately account for Bird’s efforts to reject cultural assumptions or influence incremental change.

Early Images of Japan In the years immediately following the opening of Japan, periodicals that sought to give readers a sense of this largely unknown place often compared it to more familiar countries and cultures. They most frequently contrasted Japan with China, which was habitually described with a casual racism that pronounced it physically and morally filthy. Japan, in contrast, was depicted as clean and well ordered. Published in The Times in 1858 and expanded into the Narrative of the Earl of Elgin’s Mission to China and Japan (1859), Laurence Oliphant’s reports on the diplomatic journey to negotiate trade treaties in Japan contained some of the earliest such comparisons: ‘We explored at pleasure the shops and the streets of [Nagaski] – not, as in China, an offensive and disgusting operation, but a charming and agreeable amusement’ (The Times 2 Nov 1858: 7). The report containing this observation was quoted at length in the Spectator (6 Nov 1858: 5), the Gentleman’s Magazine, or Monthly Intelligencer (Jan 1859: 78),

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and the Nautical Magazine and Naval Chronicle (Jan 1859: 41), among many others. While these periodicals were clearly aimed at an educated (often explicitly masculine) readership that supported imperial exploration, the broader readership of Englishspeaking presses picked up the story as well, reflecting a general interest that attended information about Japan. This particular article was reprinted throughout the Commonwealth, from the Courier, a daily newspaper published in Hobart, Tasmania (27 Jan 1859: 3), to the Journal of Education for Upper Canada (Jan 1859: 12). Such recirculation of the same passage throughout the British dominions surely contributed to consolidating the favourable impression that Japan possessed a ‘climate and a people in all respects the reverse’ of the ‘stifling’ and ‘disgusting’ condition of China (Lady’s Newspaper 28 Jan 1860: 70). Access to fuller information about Japan was inaugurated with the International Exhibition of 1862, also called the London Exposition, which sought to expand upon the astonishing success of the Crystal Palace Exhibition (1851) and Paris Exposition (1855). However, the 1862 exhibition faced a host of challenges that rendered it far less successful than its predecessors. These included the unexpected death of its primary champion, Prince Albert, in 1861; its confusing variety of ticket prices; and its tremendous scale, which led many sightseers to feel overwhelmed and frustrated by a quantity of exhibits that was incomprehensible in a single day. Once all the costs were met, it netted a profit of just £790 after seven months.16 For Westerners interested in Japan, however, the International Exhibition provided an unparalleled glimpse of Japanese arts and manufacture. The first British diplomatic ambassador to Japan, Rutherford Alcock, was appointed in January 1859; he offered to loan objects from his private collection to form a Japanese Pavilion at the exhibition, to which several other prominent diplomats and collectors added items. Thus, it is vital to note that the Japanese Pavilion at the International Exhibition was, unlike nearly all of the other international booths, neither sponsored nor arranged by the country it purported to represent.17 This fact was not lost on the Japanese diplomatic delegation, which arrived in London on 30 April 1862 and was part of a larger effort to renegotiate the details of opening Japanese ports with European treaty partners (England, France, Holland, Portugal, Prussia, and Russia). The delegation attended the opening ceremonies of the exhibition on 1 May 1862 and made multiple visits to the exhibits. Its members reportedly complained that ‘sadly everything that has been sent [from Japan] is very lowly’ and that the exhibit itself looked like a ‘miscellaneous heap of objects from an antique shop’ (qtd in Foxwell 2009: 40). The delegation was in part disappointed because they correctly perceived that such exhibitions had been conceived as a means of celebrating modern manufacture. The collections from which the Japanese pavilion drew had been assembled by those who preferred a vision of ‘authentic’ Japan untouched by the West; thus, they exhibited objects that predated the 1850s – particularly favouring those pieces that did not look like their ‘modern’ Western counterparts. In focusing on Japan’s cultural heritage, the exhibit at once confirmed Japan as exotic other and implicitly asserted that its greatness lay in the past rather than in any form of progress. The aesthetic difference that the English prized most about Japan baffled the Japanese delegation because it looked ‘lowly’ and ‘antique.’18 The delegation – whose mandate was not merely treaty negotiation but also to seek to understand Western technology and innovation – grumbled at how such choices seemed designed to highlight Japanese cultural inferiority.

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Figure 16.1 ‘The International Exhibition: The Japanese Court – From a Photograph by the London Stereoscopic Company,’ Illustrated London News (20 Sep 1862: 320).

By contrast, the London Times praised the Japanese pavilion in no uncertain terms, marvelling over its curiosities in great detail and reminding the public that these had ‘scarcely yet been properly explored’ (27 June 1862: 5). Multiple articles in this mainstream daily urged a broad readership to direct their attention not only to the objects on display but also to what was particularly fine about them.19 Such discussions commonly insisted on the aesthetic superiority of Japanese manufacture, particularly in porcelain, metalwork, and paper products. The Illustrated London News ran a halfpage engraving of the exhibit, which helps indicate what the English found so fascinating about it (see Figure 16.1). Given the immense size of the International Exhibition hall, the Japanese pavilion was, by comparison, quite small.20 Moreover, as the Illustrated London News image suggests, it contained an overwhelmingly miscellaneous display. Vases and other objects that were recognisably porcelain sat on a high shelf alongside larger items whose purposes are unclear – objects that might be lanterns, a platter, a large, incomprehensible fish. Lower shelves are crammed with bric-a-brac, presumably examples of lacquerware, porcelain, or metalwork, but nothing appears to be labelled as to its use, manufacture, artistic merit, or even age; consequently, it would have been impossible for viewers to assess the artistic value of anything on display. Maria Ng has argued that ‘in 1851, the exhibition of colonial goods and nonEuropean people and artifacts was a concretization of the imperial idea, which decontextualized other cultures and turned them into frozen tableaux’ (2001: 38). However,

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in the case of the Japanese pavilion, the presumed superiority of the West was rendered less legible by the fact that the ‘frozen tableaux’ of Japanese culture were presented more as a jumbled array than as a coherent image of the other. Indeed, The Times offers a short catalogue of the exhibit, mentioning everything from ‘wonderful eggshell porcelain’ to ‘massive quadrangular coins of the realm,’ ‘exquisite ivory carvings,’ and a ‘compass, a pedometer, a thermometer, and a telescope’ (29 Mar 1862: 7). The Japanese delegation might have noted what the Illustrated London News print makes clear: the dramatic contrast between the finely dressed English spectators at the exhibition and the shaggy Japanese cloaks that framed the Japanese booth. This peasant rainwear, which Bird would later document in Unbeaten Tracks, was the only clothing apparent in the exhibit (Figure 16.2). The inclusion of such ‘lowly’ aspects of Japanese culture was presumably what distressed members of the Japanese delegation. These strange straw cloaks were curious and interesting but, like everything else in the exhibit, were not explained in any way; thus, they left uneducated spectators guessing about a culture and people who prized antique lacquerware but also wore disposable clothing made of plants. In contrast, Bird’s illustration of the Japanese rainwear in Unbeaten Tracks gives it form: the cloak, rather than hanging from a peg in a shapeless and confusing mass, is worn in a manner that makes its use plain. Yet Bird’s insistence on the authenticity of her illustration is compromised by the fact that it is actually a cultural mash-up. Her footnote clarifies that the ‘cloak, hat, and figure are from a sketch of myself, but the face is a likeness of a young Japanese woman’ (1880: 1.337). Careful examination of the image reveals her Western boots and skirt peeping out from below the straw garment. Having noticed that, it is difficult to see the face under the rain hat as being Japanese, especially given how much it differs from the faces Bird draws elsewhere in the book. It is hard to be certain, then, whether this image depicts ‘typical’ peasant wear. And it is precisely in this layering of ideas of Japan, and in the confusions and questions that thus arise, that the greatest power of Bird’s text lies. For in the time between the 1862 International Exposition and Bird’s journey to Japan in 1879, myriad – sometimes contradictory – details about Japan circulated in popular periodicals. Bird’s own representations of the ‘truth’ of Japan as both ancient and modern, traditional and Western, along with her inconsistent assessments about which mode was best, thus enhance and complicate the process of defining Japan in British periodicals.

Isabella Bird Writes Japan In between the 1862 International Exhibition and Bird’s 1880 illustrated travelogue, hundreds of articles on Japan appeared in British periodicals. The Illustrated London News alone published scores of them featuring information on everything from packhorses to the 1868 restoration of the Meiji government.21 With time, information about Japan became more accurate in its scope and detail, and the curiosity that had fuelled aesthetic interest gave way to an emphasis in both daily and weekly papers on British superiority and influence, as well as the need for Japanese modernisation. Thus, by 1879 it was possible for a writer in The Times to note that the Japanese were ‘by no means the semi-barbarians we took them to be’ while nonetheless predicting that any Japanese schoolboy who studied English would immediately see that ‘vicious habits and ridiculous customs’ characterise his

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Figure 16.2 ‘Straw Rain-Cloak,’ from Isabella Bird, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (London: John Murray, 1880), 176.

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own people while an ‘immense superiority’ lies in the English (6 June 1879: 9). This self-important sense of Western moral influence in Japan is of a piece with the rhetoric of religious conversion and modernisation that characterised British colonial imperatives the world over. Yet one also finds the opposite sentiment, equally typical: a nostalgic appreciation for what the Illustrated London News calls a ‘genuine Japanese’ culture that predates Western influence. Within the context of these framing discussions, Isabella Bird’s Unbeaten Tracks was among the earliest book-length studies of Japan published in English. The journey Bird undertook in 1879 was extraordinary. Ultimately, she spent seven months in Japan, travelling on horseback through the interior and northern portions of the country, accompanied only by her eighteen-year-old translator and provisioned with what she boasted was a mere forty-five pounds of luggage, including an India-rubber bathtub and basic cooking utensils (1880: 2.21). In her preface, Bird makes it clear that she is not attempting to write a guidebook: ‘This is not a “Book on Japan,” but a narrative of travels in Japan, and an attempt to contribute something to the sum of knowledge of the present condition of the country’ (1.vii). Her focus on ‘narrative’ enabled her to eschew encyclopedic description of scenes, itineraries, or destinations and to focus instead on the process of the journey – an approach that gave her wide latitude to describe anything that would add to the ‘sum of knowledge’ of Japan, rather than limiting herself to things that could be identified as monuments. She clearly sought to capitalise on the adventure narrative format that had proven tremendously successful for A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains (1879) by engaging her reader in vicarious exploratory travel. Rather than quantify reproducible experiences for her readers, Bird sought to learn new things about Japan and its people, figuring herself as an explorer rather than a tourist. Organised tours, primarily in Yedo, Yokohama, and their immediate environs, had produced a series of ‘beaten tracks’ from which tourists rarely diverged, featuring good roads studded with reliable hotels and populated with English-speaking guides and cooks who prepared Western-style foods. Bird formed an ambitious plan to explore much of the country that remained unmapped by the travel industry or government survey. Indeed, Bird observes, ‘Little seems known by foreigners of northern Japan, and a Government department, on being applied to, returned an itinerary, leaving out 140 miles of the route that I dreamed of taking, on the ground of “insufficient information,” on which Sir Harry cheerily remarked, “You will have to get your information as you go along, and that will be all the more interesting”’ (1.52). This remarkable observation demonstrates both the difficulties Bird faced and the degree to which her reputation as an intrepid traveller preceded her. Her choice to explore the interior and north of Japan meant that she had to contend not merely with a lack of railway transportation, Western hotels, and well-established tourist paths, but with sometimes terrible or non-existent roads, lodgings routinely thick with fleas, deeply unfamiliar foods, and a formidable language barrier. By the 1890s, when Basil Hall Chamberlain and W. B. Mason published their Murray’s guide, there were already dramatic improvements to the infrastructure that would support tourism. In contrast, Bird depended on packhorses acquired in stages through a special permit granted by the Japanese government. And as a consequence, she presented a picture of Japan at a moment in time when she was the first Westerner that many of the people she encountered had ever seen.

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The advice Bird gave her readers, sparing though it was, focused primarily on how to pack for and what to expect on a journey through Japan. She included a portable cot and a mosquito net, regaled her reader with details of how to avoid fleas in roadside inns, and offered practical bits of advice about the adjustments required of a Western traveller. For example, she discusses food in detail early on during her journey: If I accepted much of the advice given to me, as to taking tinned meats and soups, claret, and a Japanese maid, I should need a train of at least six pack-horses! . . . The ‘Food Question’ is said to be the most important one for all travellers, and it is discussed continually with startling earnestness, not alone as regards my tour. . . . The fact is that, except at a few hotels in popular resorts which are got up for foreigners, bread, butter, milk, meat, poultry, coffee, wine, and beer, are unattainable, that fresh fish is rare, and that unless one can live on rice, tea, and eggs, with the addition now and then of some tasteless fresh vegetables, food must be taken, as the fishy and vegetable abominations known as ‘Japanese food’ can only be swallowed and digested by a few, and that after long practice. (1.50) Despite dire warnings, Bird quickly found that the lack of Western food was not a ‘question of life and death’ (as she notes others commonly represent it) but rather a matter of broadening one’s tastes (1.51). This passage carries a footnote, the first instance of what becomes Bird’s common practice of printing her letters to her sister in chronological order but using footnotes to offer correctives based on her completed journey. This mode of self-reflective commentary is important as a means of tracking her developing ideas, while simultaneously prioritising her later conclusions. It immediately counters Bird’s initial misconceptions rather than allowing the reader to labour under the same delusion she had for the length of time it takes to read months of letters and reach the point where Bird changed her mind. The footnote here reads, ‘After several months of travelling in some of the roughest parts of the interior, I should advise a person in average health – and none other should travel in Japan – not to encumber himself with tinned meats, soups, claret, or any eatables or drinkables, except Liebig’s extract of meat’ (1.51). Such a comment, coming in the fourth letter (of forty-four) in the book, suggests that Bird aims to disabuse readers of biased assumptions that run counter to ‘the truth’ that she has come to understand – here, that Japanese foods are inedible ‘abominations.’ She insists that successful Western travellers must necessarily adapt to eating what they encounter. Indeed, close to the end of the narrative, she positively gloats over her own success in comparison to the embarking French and Austrian Legation, which ‘are “well found” in food and claret, but take such a number of pack-ponies with them that I predict they will fail’ (2.21). Almost immediately after the publication of Unbeaten Tracks, Bird’s passage on the ‘Food Question’ began to circulate in a wide range of periodicals – from anthropological journals and popular, mainstream publications to those focused on Christian women’s charitable efforts. Indeed, some portion of the passage is quoted in nearly every review of the book. Although the audiences for these periodicals varied widely, they were apparently all perceived as having a potential interest in such useful advice for future travellers. Whether you are a scientist, tourist, or missionary, reviewers suggest, you will find in Unbeaten Tracks not only entertaining anecdotes but also pointedly useful information

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Figure 16.3 Advertisement for Liebig Company’s Extract of Meat from the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society 50 (1880: 6). to help you prepare for your own journey to Japan. For the idly curious armchair traveller, observations about the ‘long practice’ required to acclimate to Japanese food would at least be droll. Given the popular attention Bird’s book and her discussion of the ‘Food Question’ received, it is perhaps not surprising that her clarifying footnote was ultimately turned into an ad for the Liebig Company’s Extract of Meat (Figure 16.3). The ad not only commercialises her words, most likely without her approval, given common nineteenth-century practices, but also substantially revises her meaning. Whereas Bird was advocating a tolerance of foreign foods and a willingness to accommodate one’s palate to new experiences, the Liebig Company uses the footnote – highlighted in a small-caps font – to imply that Bird’s primary point was to endorse their product, ignoring the fact that she was merely recommending dry bullion as a lightweight and efficient food supplement for travellers. The placement of the ad in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society indicates Bird’s influence: her word is invoked as authoritative in a periodical aimed at readers who take both travel and cultural knowledge seriously. (In fact, by 1892, she was sufficiently well regarded as an explorer to become the first woman inducted into the Royal Geographical Society.)

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Bird’s prior success as an adventurous travel writer, in conjunction with the relative scarcity of books about Japan, set up Unbeaten Tracks to garner widespread attention.22 Details from the book were reprinted in everything from reviews to product advertisements to more general articles about Japan aimed at a curious reading public. In tracing the single example of her passage about the ‘Food Question,’ one can infer a widespread acknowledgment of the importance of Unbeaten Tracks as a source of both cultural information and travel advice, even as the appropriations of her text indicate how much a British audience was likely to be influenced by their own preconceptions about Japan. The passage shows up in a condensed form in publications ranging from Morning Post, a broadly circulating daily in London, to this iteration in the Friend of India & Statesman, an English-language newspaper in India: THE JAPANESE AND THEIR FOOD. – Miss Bird, the authoress of the interesting new book, ‘Unbeaten Tracks in Japan,’ remarks: – ‘The fact is that unless one can live on rice, tea, and eggs, food must be taken, as the fishy and vegetable abominations known as ‘Japanese Food’ can only be swallowed and digested by a few, and that after long practice. After several months’ travelling in some of the roughest parts in the interior I should advise a person in average health – and none others should travel in Japan – not to encumber himself with tinned meats, soups, claret, or any eatables or drinkables except Liebig’s Extract of Meat.’ (Friend of India & Statesman 11 June 1881: 587) This particular excerpt gestures toward Bird’s goal of giving advice but primarily highlights product placement by capitalising the Liebig brand name. The careful use of quotation marks implies that Bird is being quoted accurately; however, the choice to include the sentence denouncing much ‘Japanese Food’ as inedible in fact reverses Bird’s meaning. By erasing the footnote format, the journalist responsible for quoting Bird in fact erases Bird’s point that further experience in Japan led her to revise her opinion about the inedibility of the ‘abominations’ that pass for Japanese food. Thus, where Bird herself seeks nuance through the very form of her writing, those who quote her unsubtly reinforce stereotypes about Japan – that its arts are delicate wonders and that its food is fishy and nasty. This tendency to excerpt Unbeaten Tracks and thereby smooth over its complications seems to have been fairly widespread. Reviews, even long ones, were predictably singular in their focus: the Illustrated Missionary News excerpts her religious comments on the Japanese, and the Ladies’ Treasury quotes her observations on marriage and domestic life. Despite the range of audiences and editorial positions of these periodicals, a common tenor throughout is admiration for Bird and the intrepid nature of her journey. The proto-feminist Englishwoman’s Review is perhaps more explicit than most in its praise for her ‘unshaken courage and marvellous energy which enable her to overcome impossibilities and attain the unattainable, as well as the lively freshness of her graphic descriptions,’ but its admiration is hardly unique (15 Nov 1880: 499). Bird herself did not entirely eschew generalisations about Japan, which certainly contributed to the problem of reviewers using excerpts from her work to reinforce cultural stereotypes. Indeed, her opening pages describe an unfolding spectacle that fully supports orientalist preconceptions about Japan. As her ship sails into Yokohama harbour, she notes that the ‘air and water were alike motionless, the mist was still and

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Figure 16.4 ‘Fujisan,’ from Isabella Bird, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan (London: John Murray, 1880), 2.

pale, grey clouds lay restfully on a bluish sky, the reflections of the white sails of the fishing-boats scarcely quivered; it was all so pale, wan, and ghastly, that the turbulence of crumpled foam which we left behind us, and our noisy, throbbing progress, seemed a boisterous intrusion upon sleeping Asia’ (1.14). The pale, grey Japanese coastline is not merely ‘wan’ or ‘ghastly’ compared to the robust European frame; it also carries a kind of quiet modesty that renders the steamship a ‘boisterous intrusion’ into what is otherwise so still that it seems like a painting rather than a living harbour. Indeed, Bird emphasises the pictorial quality of the landscape, erasing commerce, harbour, and culture and replacing them with the grand magnificence of nature in the form of Mount Fuji (Figure 16.4). Despite the fact that she had just described having passed ‘thousands’ of fishing boats over the course of five hours as they skirted the coast, the mountain dominates the image, towering over a single ship of indeterminate origin (1.12). The ‘throbbing progress’ of the Western ship awakening ‘sleeping Asia’ highlights the contrast between the technological modernity of the British present and the perception

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that Japan was a kind of delicate fairyland of the past in which such modernity was out of place. Once Bird’s travels through the country begin, even the agricultural landscape seems redolent of the past – a picturesque scene she chooses to understand in terms of the English ideal: ‘Several of the farm-yards have handsome gateways like the ancient “lychgates” of some of our English churchyards much magnified,’ she notes (1.96). ‘As animals are not used for milk, draught, or food, and there are no pasture lands, both the country and the farm-yards have a singular silence and an inanimate look; a mean-looking dog and a few fowls being the only representatives of domestic animal life. I long for the lowing of cattle and the bleating of sheep’ (1.96). Bird here colonises Japan through images – rewriting it as continuous with the rural English landscapes whose farmyards represent such scenes of peaceful ‘silence,’ which is both an ‘ancient’ legacy and a holy one (like ‘English churchyards’). Yet the overall point of this passage is clearly not sameness but difference: Japan is on a trajectory like that of England but has apparently not yet advanced to the farming of animals for food.23 Given such colonising impulses, it may be surprising that at many points Bird rejects the notion that Westernisation will improve Japan. In fact, she often registers Japan’s lack of Westernisation as a vital marker of its authenticity, a past for which she is deeply nostalgic. For example, when she goes to the capital, she writes, ‘The Niigata of the Government, with its signs of progress in a western direction, is quite unattractive-looking as compared with the genuine Japanese Niigata, which is the neatest, cleanest, and most comfortable-looking town I have yet seen, and altogether free from the jostlement of a foreign settlement. . . . It is so beautifully clean that, as at Nikkô, I should feel reluctant to walk upon its well-swept streets in muddy boots’ (1.215). Just as she had earlier critiqued the ‘expensive and unbecoming innovations’ of the ‘dissipated-looking young men who [aspire] to represent “young Japan”’ through their adoption of Western clothing, here she decries as not ‘genuine Japanese’ the modern, ‘imposing’ facades of government buildings, hospital, schools, courthouse, and bank, all of which ‘have a go-ahead, Europeanised look, bold, staring, and tasteless’ (1.77, 215). The ‘tasteless’ adoption of Western style stands in stark contrast to the ‘good taste which everywhere presides of the adornment of the houses in purely Japanese style,’ identifying proper Japanese taste with what she perceives as fealty to an authentic Japanese past (1.77). Thus, far from advocating for Westernisation as progress within Japan, she rejects the idea that Japan should want to modernise – a rejection that is equal parts anti-imperialist and nostalgically orientalist. Framing questions of cultural purity through the lens of taste suggests hierarchies of class that would have been familiar to late Victorian readers. Indeed, class is central to Bird’s images of Japan as a fairyland. When staying at a magnificent house in Nikkô, home of the ‘chief man in the village,’ she describes the family thus: ‘His mother, a venerable old lady, and his sister, the sweetest and most graceful Japanese woman but one that I have seen, live with him. She moves about the house like a floating fairy, and her voice has music in its tones’ (1.106). Bird’s experience of Japan is not one in which the people are all equally graceful and musically voiced as this ‘floating fairy,’ however. Rather, her own class position shapes her impressions of each home and lodging she encounters, both in terms of the good taste of its decor and her own relationship to it. When, at the end of a ‘hard day’s journey,’ she finds herself in an ‘exquisite yadoya, beautiful within and without, and more fit for fairies than for travel-soiled mortals,’ Bird not only feels herself an oversized, ‘travel-soiled’ tourist in a world of delicate

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fairies but also validates the comforts of upper-middle-class Japanese life (1.124). The ‘exquisite’ lodgings of fairyland are in fact contrasted at multiple points throughout her text with the agonising nights she spends in flea-infested roadside inns and with her routine glimpses into squalid homes in the small towns through which she passes. Her ‘right’ to look into Japanese people’s houses may also be read as an extension of the prerogative of middle-class visitors to intrude into working-class homes on evangelical or charity visits (Ng 2001: 50). Indeed, Bird assumes a sense of privacy that is deeply hierarchical: she is profoundly respectful of Kanaya’s private family spaces, for example, while unabashedly intruding upon working-class homes with her gaze, her judgements, and her belief in the alignment of dirt with poverty of character. Bird’s observations are enabled in part by her sense that Japan, as a country, has invited the world to look in. Traditional Japanese houses are open to the air on some, if not all, sides during the day, and thus Bird suggests that their architecture codifies posing as a tableau, and their inhabitants can be observed like figures in a tourist exhibit. Her assumption, of course, is that accessibility is equivalent to invitation, that houses built with moveable walls must purposefully be constructed as a sort of peep show to enhance the pleasure of voyeurism. Certainly, this is precisely the assumption British periodicals frequently made about Japan as a whole: having been closed for centuries, the mere fact that it has opened to international trade, ambassadors, and visitors is taken as an invitation to treat Japan as a spectacle to be consumed for the viewer’s pleasure. Yet in Bird’s case, the prerogative of being an observer does not come without self-consciousness. In fact, while initially she positions herself primarily as a consumer of the spectacle of Japan, she quickly finds herself unable to retain the spectator’s detachment, which she had assumed upon her initial arrival into Yokohama harbour. Ng numbers Bird among those travel writers who were ‘recorders and eyewitnesses of encounters in which the cultural and power dynamics involved were always complex and layered,’ an assessment that credits Bird for her aggregate complexity rather than trying to reconcile her sometimes contradictory impulses (2001: 14). For example, Bird is reluctant to walk on the streets of Niigata in her dirty travel garb because it makes her feel large, out of place, unkempt, and foreign, yet she calls Niigata the ‘most comfortable-looking town I have yet seen,’ a claim that is only comprehensible if ‘comfortable’ means traditionally Japanese. Indeed, there are multiple occasions on which Bird finds herself the spectacle as hundreds of people turn out to see the ‘foreigner’ who has arrived. Her willingness to become a spectacle is part of what legitimates her moments of spectatorship; she positions herself as a tourist who is a minority, an oddity, and an object of fascination.24 Bird’s self-consciousness makes her an observer who recognises the constructedness of the images through which she understands Japan.25 When encountering the people of Yedo, she remarks, ‘I feel as if I had seen them all before, so like are they to their pictures on trays, fans, and tea-pots’ (1.29). In confirming that the people in Japan look exactly like representations on decorative objects, Bird implies that these images are accurate depictions of the ‘real’ Japan. By a circular logic, the people who look like the paintings on fans and trays in places like the International Exhibition are understood as authentically Japanese because the objects themselves have been authenticated by their collectors as fine specimens of Japanese art, and thus the scenes they depict must be understood as realistic. Clearly, Bird has not abandoned her Western biases, yet she recognises and

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tries to resist her own impulse to orientalise Japan. In the process of confirming that Western views of Japan are accurate, she does not merely gloss over elements that do not accord with the ‘walking fans and tea trays’ model of Japanese fairyland. Instead, she admits that she prefers the places that seem like fairyland, while acknowledging that such impressions are incomplete and biased. One of the ways in which she does this is to contrast the idea of Japan as fairyland with the dirt and discomfort of Japanese life: unlike larger cities or major towns, the interior of Japan is unaesthetic and povertystricken. The ‘real Japan,’ she demonstrates, lacks modern conveniences and features fleas and bad roads rather than shogun warriors and gorgeous silk kimonos. While the vistas Bird describes on her trek are occasionally breathtaking, she largely dispenses with the romantic fantasy of Japan as exotic other, even as she struggles with the fact that Japan’s realities do not always fit her preconceived constructs of the place or its people. In short, she insists that her reader join her in navigating those fantasies and in intermittently rejecting the concept of Japan as fairyland. Bird embraces the ways that Japan resists Western fantasies in part because she wants to position herself as the first Westerner who tells the whole ‘truth’ about Japan. This, of course, does not absolve her of charges of bias. She notes of one remote location, for example, that Few of the men wore anything but the maro, the women were unclothed to their waists, and such clothing as they had was very dirty, and held together by mere force of habit. . . . Their houses were dirty, and, as they squatted on their heels, or lay face downwards, they looked little better than savages. Their appearance and the want of delicacy of their habits are simply abominable, and in the latter respect they contrast to great disadvantage with several savage peoples I have been among. If I had kept to Nikkô, Hakone, Miyanoshita, and similar places visited by foreigners with less time, I should have formed a very different impression. (1.187) The fantasy of the Japanese fairyland is undercut by the ‘abominable’ habits of the people she encounters in small, unnamed villages along the road west of Kurumatogé. The language that denigrates and consigns them to a sub-civilised status forecloses any possibility of sympathy or understanding either between the rural and urban Japanese or between Bird and these village inhabitants. They become, in her language, much like the trolls of fairyland – rudely formed, unsophisticated, dirty residents unfit to associate with the finer fairies who retain the ‘delicacy’ she so prizes. A current reader cannot countenance a description of people who ‘looked little better than savages.’ And it is difficult to accept Bird’s claim that she aims to tell the truth about Japan when that ‘truth’ is based at least in part on a series of orientalising stereotypes. However, it is worth noting that Bird uses the word ‘dirt’ as an implicit pejorative in a way that is very much like middle-class judgements of the working classes in England. ‘Lack of delicacy’ is a classist rather than a racist epithet, and the term ‘savage’ is tied to the domestic habits of Japanese peasants rather than to their religion or race. Bird’s final sentence in this passage – ‘If I had kept to Nikkô, Hakone, Miyanoshita, and similar places visited by foreigners with less time, I should have formed a very different impression’ – not only reminds us that Bird is the only tourist who has seen anything close to all of Japan but also that she is committed to recounting her impressions regardless of whether they tally with the expectations of her

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readers or other tourists. Modern readers, I would argue, should examine not just select quotations from Unbeaten Tracks but the entirety of Bird’s project. Even while dipping into the language of savagery in describing poverty, for example, she simultaneously tries to avoid presenting what might be perceived as merely salacious. A footnote to letter twelve notes that ‘many unpleasant details have necessarily been omitted. If the reader requires any apology for those which are given here and elsewhere, it must be found in my desire to give such a faithful picture of peasant life, as I saw it’ (1.169). A reader, then, must decide how to balance Bird’s biases against her care to avoid gratuitous ‘unpleasant details’ in order to determine the value of her account. Elsewhere in the text, Bird offers surprisingly frank observations of ways the Japanese are superior to Europeans in terms of their aesthetic sense, hospitality, and appreciation of their own cultural heritage. Perhaps her most important reflections, however, have to do with personal safety. Often staying in places where the walls are traditional (movable) shoji screens, Bird describes more than once how keenly she feels vulnerable to intrusion at any moment, day or night. But on revising for publication, she appends an important corrective: ‘My fears, though quite natural for a lady alone, had really no justification. I have since travelled 1,200 miles in the interior, and in Yezo, with perfect safety and freedom from alarm, and I believe that there is no country in the world in which a lady can travel with such absolute security from danger and rudeness as in Japan’ (1.91). A Victorian reader would have no trouble discerning that ‘danger and rudeness’ here means personal assault. Moreover, Bird makes clear that her fears partly stem from what her experiences at home have shown her: ‘In many European countries, and certainly in some parts of our own, a solitary lady-traveler in a foreign dress would be exposed to rudeness, insult, and extortion, if not to actual danger; but I have not met with a single instance’ (1.180). Indeed, the only instance of ‘actual danger’ to which she gestures in Japan is the threat tourists pose to local girls; at the very least, ‘everybody brings them tales of how rude foreigners are to girls and they are awful scared’ (1.58). Taken together, these comments make clear how far superior the Japanese are to Europeans in their treatment of both working-class women and middle-class lady travellers. In fact, Bird pointedly differentiates the tea house from the brothel (as would the first Murray’s handbook a decade later) in clear response to Western misconceptions that gracious attendants in elegant Japanese tea houses were synonymous with prostitutes. The European presumption that working-class women’s bodies the world over were accessible for the taking had already, by 1879, contributed to this misconception, in addition to generating the stereotype that foreign tourists were ‘rude . . . to girls’ in Japan. This example alone might be enough to counter the reading of Bird as a ‘mainstream representative of Victorian imperial culture’ – which Ng and others have asserted, despite Bird’s acknowledged complexities (2001: 28). While it is incontrovertible that in her book Bird shows her reader both ‘fairies’ and the filthy peasantry who are ‘little better than savages’ – both tropes that would seem to support a reading of her as little more than a mouthpiece of British privilege and orientalising tendencies – she also demonstrates that the rural people of Japan resist as many stereotypes as they seem to confirm. Furthermore, she is highly conscious of her position as a ‘lady traveler,’ a gendered position that makes her dissimilar from the mainstream voices in tourist writing of her time.26 Importantly, Bird turns the tourist position of spectator on its head throughout

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the text, rendering scene after scene in which she becomes a spectacle for the citizens of Japan. She was, in most of the places she visited, the first non-Japanese person anyone had ever seen and hence served as a dramatic representative of the foreign – a spectacle in her own right rather than simply the spectator she had assumed she would be. And because she was in Japan at an early stage of the tourist industry, she was in a position to help reframe the conversation about Japan in precise terms. The mere fact that she challenged the image of fairyland more often than she endorsed it demands that readers view the ‘fairy’ trope as both constructed and insufficient. Ultimately, I would argue, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan is far more nuanced than the texts to which Bird was clearly responding. Periodicals circulated images of Japan that tended to draw more heavily on tropes that depicted a country that was artistically very fine in part because it was simultaneously woefully behind in modern technologies. Bird’s efforts to depict a ‘real’ Japan necessarily draws on those images that helped set her expectations of Japan. However, her use of diminutives to describe Japan reveals more than simply a fairyland come to life. In highlighting her own discomfort at the physical differences between herself and the people with whom she is surrounded, Bird acknowledges that she is herself an awkward spectacle. Although she loves the ‘light and delicate’ Japanese lifestyle, decor, homes, and people, a reader cannot help but infer that she admires them in part precisely because they make her self-conscious. They help to make her into a different kind of traveller, one who is more perceptive and self-reflective. If her muddy boots are a daily reminder to her that she is in a foreign place, a mere mortal traversing fairyland, they also remind the reader how very few mortals are admitted into this secret inner circle. And thus they become a marker of Bird’s unique position and her authority to convey to readers precisely the truths about Japan that they do not already know. The image of fairyland in Unbeaten Tracks works in a series of layered registers, a palimpsest of meaning. It captures accurately Bird’s position as both an insider and an outsider – as a witness, interloper, and paradoxically, an expert in a land that cannot ever be wholly knowable.

Notes 1. Isabella Lucy Bird was born in 1831 and by all accounts was never a particularly healthy child. On the advice of her doctor, she began travelling in her early twenties, visiting family in the United States. She seems to have continued her travels in large part because they took her mind off her chronic back pain. For a good short biography of her illnesses and voyages, as well as her writing career, see Bach 1995. In contrast to most of Bird’s biographers, Bach does not claim that Bird undertook travel to cure psychosomatic illness or to contend with boredom. 2. The transportation of a child into a magical fairy realm was a common device in children’s stories. See, for example, Jean Ingelow’s ‘Mopsa the Fairy,’ George Macdonald’s Princess and Curdie novels, Christina Rossetti’s ‘Speaking Likenesses,’ and Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies. 3. See Humphries 1995 for a useful overview of the treaty negotiations. 4. Although Japan capitulated to nearly all the treaty demands, it did limit Western access by distributing it across multiple ports. 5. See Chelsea Foxwell 2009 for analysis of how this nostalgia became internalised within Japan and led to the creation of Western-style museums to preserve Japanese culture.

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6. Bayard Taylor’s A Visit to India, China, and Japan (1855), for example, covers Japan in a mere thirty-five pages (out of nearly 600), focusing on the presentation of the treaty to the Japanese, the use of Dutch intermediary translators, and efforts to survey and map the Bay of Yedo in 1853. His observations on the Japanese and on the countryside are both superficial and stereotypical. Other early books include Samuel Mossman’s New Japan: Land of the Rising Sun (1873) and Laurence Oliphant’s Narrative of the Earl of Elgin’s Mission to China and Japan (1859). Today the most frequently referenced Victorian works on Japan are those that post-date Bird, works by three Victorian men who lived for decades in Japan: Basil Hall Chamberlain (ten books published between 1880 and 1912, including collections of poetry and folk tales, Japanese language-study books, and essays, plus Murray’s guide to Japan, which went through seven editions from 1891 to 1913); Lafcadio Hearn (fifteen books published between 1894 and 1915, on subjects ranging from Japanese culture and religion to translations of Japanese fairy tales, lyrics, and stories); and Earnest Satow (four books on diplomatic and policy experience published between 1881 and 1925, plus an early handbook for travellers first published in Japan and China in 1881 and later as a supplemental Murray’s book (1884). His embassy papers, which were not published in his lifetime, are an important historical archive). 7. This book, confusingly, is identified as the third edition; however, the first two editions were not published by Murray, and thus the third edition of the guide was the first edition that Murray released. 8. Cook’s agency got its humble start in 1841, harnessing the technology of railway transport with the economics of group ticket sales to plan one-day excursion trips to temperance meetings. By the time he launched the world tour including Japan, his tourism business was booming. See Withey 1997 for comprehensive history. 9. For a good overview of the development of tourism in Japan, and the infrastructure that enabled it, see Withey 1997. 10. Cook’s letter was published in The Times on 5 February 1873 but carried a composition date of 28 November 1872. 11. See Tate 1990 for a large collection of these articles. 12. See Mason Jackson’s The Pictorial Press (1885) for a particularly thorough history of the early days of illustrated periodicals. He was art editor of the Illustrated London News from 1860 to 1890. 13. See also my article on the images of India (Tange 2013). 14. See Sinnema 1998 for discussion of the history of the Illustrated London News and its representations of Britain. Most studies focusing on the paper are article-length and consider illustrations of a single topic, such as the British railway or a specific military conflict. 15. See Ozawa 2008 on Bird’s Orientalism. 16. There is no recent comprehensive study of this exhibition. However, contemporary reviews in periodicals and the 1862 photographic catalogue of the London Stereoscopic Company provide useful details. 17. The first exhibition for which Japan chose and sent its own items was in Vienna in 1873 (see Foxwell 2009: 41). 18. See Foxwell 2009 for a thorough discussion of this phenomenon. 19. All three articles were entitled ‘The International Exhibition’ (see The Times 29 Mar, 15 May, and 27 June 1862). They do not simply report overlapping information. 20. The online picture library of London’s Museum of Science and Industry notes that ‘this building was designed by Captain Fowke and built by Lucas and Kelk on 23 acres of land purchased in South Kensington from the profits of the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was 1,152 feet long with two crystal domes, each of which measured 260 feet high, and cost £300,000 to construct. This building later became the site of the South Kensington Museum.’

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21. For a sense of the range of Japanese topics covered by the Illustrated London News, see Tate 1990. 22. The Englishwoman in America (1856) had launched her career as a travel writer and her publishing relationship with the firm John Murray. Her bestselling work for Murray was A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains (1879), which chronicled her months-long journey on horseback over some 800 miles between Colorado and California. 23. Ozawa reads Bird’s desire ‘to emphasize Japan’s cultural distinctiveness’ as an extension of her religiosity, arguing that Bird toned down the missionary zeal in later editions of Unbeaten Tracks because the ‘influences of Christianity are regarded as incompatible with an exotic Japan that the popular edition seeks to dramatise’ (2008: 96). 24. Engber registers this to a degree, noting that Bird ‘explores the technologies of identity construction through scenes that register recognition of how a woman is seen by those she has come to see and how she is transformed in other people’s eyes’ (2010: 244). However, she is more interested in thinking about Japan as the ‘discursive setting for self-invention that takes place through a deliberate negotiation of what Stephen Greenblatt calls “wonder”’ (224). I would argue that Bird’s process is less about self-invention than it is a recognition that true cultural insight requires a two-way gaze. 25. Ozawa acknowledges that ‘it is her capacity for such self-reflection that differentiates Bird from many of her contemporary travel writers’ (2008: 95). Ozawa goes on to argue that differences between the two-volume first edition and the later one-volume popular edition undercut such nuance in favour of painting a picture of a traveller who has authority, mobility, and a ‘certain sense of cultural aloofness’ (94). 26. Much scholarship on Bird focuses on her gendered identity. See Reviron 2009 on Bird’s selfconscious imperative to represent herself as a lady. Bach makes important points about how Bird is torn ‘between the voice of masculine authority and the figure of feminine propriety’ (1995: 599). Jihang Park, like many other critics, argues that Bird ‘attempts to overcome the limitations caused by gender by using the assumed racial superiority’ – a conclusion that I believe oversimplifies Bird’s complex position (2002: 528).

Works Cited Bach, Evelyn. 1995. ‘A Traveller in Skirts: Quest and Conquest in the Travel Narratives of Isabella Bird.’ Canadian Review of Comparative Literature/Revue Canadienne de Litterature Comparee 22.3–4: 587–600. Bird, Isabella Lucy. 1880. Unbeaten Tracks in Japan. 2 vols. London: John Murray. Chamberlain, Basil Hall. 1880. The Classical Poetry of the Japanese. London: Trubnor & Co. —. 1888. Aino Folk-Tales. London: Folk-lore Society. —. 1890. Things Japanese Being Notes on Various Subjects Connected with Japan. London: Kegan, Paul. Chamberlain, Basil Hall and W. B. Mason. 1891. A Handbook for Travellers in Japan. London: John Murray. Engber, Kimberly. 2010. ‘At Home, in Japan: The New World Literature of Isabella Bird and Winnifred Eaton.’ The Literary Utopias of Cultural Communities, 1790–1910. Ed. Marguérite Corporaal, Evert Jan van Leeuwen, and Peter Liebregts. New York: Rodopi. 223–42. Foxwell, Chelsea. 2009. ‘Japan as Museum?: Encapsulating Change and Loss in NineteenthCentury Japan.’ Getty Research Journal 1: 39–52. Hearn, Lafcadio. 1894. Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan. 2 vols. London: Osgood, McIlvaine & Co. —. 1898. Japanese Fairy-Tales. 5 vols. Tokyo: Hasegawa. Humphries, Jeff. 1995. ‘The Harris and Perry Treaties and the “Invention” of Modern Japan.’ Tamkang Review: A Quarterly of Comparative Studies between Chinese and Foreign Literatures 25.3–4: 1–48.

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Jackson, Mason. 1885. The Pictorial Press: Its Origins and Progress. London: Hurst and Blackwell. Mossman, Samuel. 1873. New Japan: Land of the Rising Sun. London: John Murray. Ng, Maria Noëlle. 2001. Three Exotic Views of Southeast Asia: The Travel Narratives of Isabella Bird, Max Dauthendey, and Ai Wu, 1850–1930. White Plains, NY: EastBridge. Oliphant, Laurence. 1859. Narrative of the Earl of Elgin’s Mission to China and Japan in the Years 1857, ’58, ’59. Edinburgh: William Blackwood. Ozawa, Shizen. 2008. ‘Erasing Footsteps: On Some Differences between the First and Popular Editions of Isabella Bird’s Unbeaten Tracks in Japan.’ Asian Crossings: Travel Writing on China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Ed. Steve Clark and Paul Smethurst. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. 87–97. Park, Jihang. 2002. ‘Land of the Morning Calm, Land of the Rising Sun: The East Asia Travel Writings of Isabella Bird and George Curzon.’ Modern Asian Studies 36.3: 513–34. Reviron, Floriane. 2009. ‘Isabella Bird’s in Japan: Unbeaten Tracks in Travel Literature.’ In Between Two Worlds: Narratives by Female Explorers and Travellers 1850–1945. Ed. Béatrice Bijon and Gérard Gâcon. New York: Peter Lang. 67–80. Satow, Ernest. 1881. A Handbook for Travellers in Central and Northern Japan. Yokohama: Kelly. —. 1917. A Guide to Diplomatic Practice. London: Longmans, Green. Sinnema, Peter. 1998. Dynamics of the Pictured Page: Representing the Nation in the Illustrated London News. Aldershot: Ashgate. Tange, Andrea Kaston. 2013. ‘Maternity Betrayed: Circulating Images of English Motherhood in India, 1857–1858.’ Nineteenth-Century Contexts 35.2: 187–215. Tate, D. J. M, ed. 1990. The Mikado’s Japan: Being Glimpses of Nineteenth Century Japan from Commodore Perry’s Visit (1853) until the Promulgation of the Meiji Constitution (1889) as Seen and Reported by the ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS and Other Contemporary Sources. Hong Kong: John Nicholson. Taylor, Bayard. 1855. A Visit to India, China, and Japan, in the Year 1853. New York: G. P. Putnam. Withey, Lynne. 1997. Grand Tours and Cook’s Tours: A History of Leisure Travel, 1750–1915. New York: William Morrow.

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17 Victorian Women Wood Engravers: The Case of Clemence Housman Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

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wentieth-century printmaker Leonard Baskin produced a limited edition of Icones Librorum Artifices: Being Actual, Putative, Fugitive & Fantastical Portraits of Engravers, Illustrators & Binders at his Gehenna Press in 1988. In this tribute to book artists across the centuries, Baskin celebrates Clemence Housman (1861–1955) as a ‘professional reproductive wood engraver’ (1988). Baskin’s ‘fantastical’ portrait of Housman shows an upturned face in profile, marked by strong features and wild auburn hair (Figure 17.1). Rather than aiming at mimetic likeness, the symbolic colour etching pays homage to Housman’s Pre-Raphaelite roots and her feminist activism: the fierce smile emerging from the tousled locks seems to reify Hélène Cixous’s ‘laugh of the Medusa’ (1976). Under the head, the lines forming the biographical note create a chalice shape, illuminating Baskin’s praise of Housman’s ‘engravings . . . [as] marvels of clarity and beauty’ (1988). The textual container seems a deliberate reference to the ‘crystal goblet’ theory of twentieth-century printers, which held that readers should be able to drink in the revealed message by seeing through ‘transparent’ printed marks (Gutjahr and Benton 2001: 2). The crystal goblet theory of modern typography rests on the same premise as the Victorian concept of facsimile wood engraving, where the lines cut into the block were to serve the image invisibly, ostensibly revealing only the artist’s drawing. What made Clemence Housman one of the most skilled engravers of her day has also worked to make her virtually invisible in the history of print. ‘Her self-effacement,’ as printer James Guthrie remarked with approbation, ‘is complete’ (1924: 192). Victorian wood engravers continue to be largely invisible in current scholarship, including research focused on women and the press. In Unseen Hands: Women Printers, Binders, and Book Designers, a Princeton exhibition catalogue that includes Baskin’s tribute to Housman, curator Rebecca W. Davidson observes, ‘Each woman featured in . . . [the] exhibition stands in for thousands of her sisters, known and unknown, who have loved books and printing, and gotten on with the work’ (2003). This chapter aims to shine a light on the unseen labour of Victorian women wood engravers. I take Clemence Housman as my case study in the hope that she may stand in for her wood-engraving sisters, known and unknown.

Victorian Women Wood Engravers In order to provide context for Clemence Housman’s achievement as one of the most outstanding wood engravers of her day, I want to give a brief overview of some of

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Figure 17.1 Leonard Baskin, ‘Portrait of Clemence Housman,’ colour etching, Icones librorum artifices … (Leeds: Gehenna Press, 1988). Graphic Arts Collection, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

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the women who worked in the reproductive wood-engraving trade before her. Such a history is desperately needed. Even in the relatively recent Princeton exhibition, wood engraving is not identified as one of the categories for women’s contributions to the book arts. Ironically, Housman appears in the ‘Artists and Illustrators’ section – a move that effectively erases her actual work. While many artists at the turn of the twentieth century experimented with illustrative print making as an art form, Clemence Housman and countless other Victorian wood engravers were not illustrators. Virtually all illustrations for magazines and newspapers between the 1830s and 1890s were produced out of a division of labour between the artist, who drew the image, and the facsimile wood engraver, who reproduced it in relief for the press. The task of the reproductive wood engraver was to realise the artist’s design, drawn in reverse on the end grain of the woodblock, by cutting out the whites, or negative spaces, with fine engraving tools and carefully creating tonal effects through such techniques as ‘scrabble,’ close parallel lines, and cross-hatching. In the ‘Art of Scratch,’ as John Ruskin famously dubbed wood engraving, ‘you leave ridges, rub the tops of them with ink, and stamp them on your paper’ (Ariadne Florentina 1876: 25, 59). While men dominated the profession throughout the century, women were recognised almost immediately as suited to the emerging industry of facsimile wood engraving. As early as 1840, Henry Cole ‘advocated and promoted the employment of women to engrave on wood’ (1884: 102). After the 1851 census called attention to the need for single women to support themselves, wood engraving was frequently endorsed as appropriate work for them in the emerging print trade. The Pre-Raphaelites and those connected to the arts and crafts revival also supported wood engraving as a domestic art particularly suited to women. Ruskin, for example, praised Georgiana Burne-Jones’s wood engraving in particularly gendered terms: ‘I can’t imagine anything prettier or more wifely than cutting one’s husband’s drawings on the wood block – there is just the proper quality of echo in it and you may put the spirit and affection and fidelity into it which no other person could’ (Letters 1861: 36.393–4). Associated with concepts of fidelity and the invisible echo, the art of wood engraving mapped particularly well onto Victorian gender roles. Linked in a deferential relationship to the decorative art of illustration, engraving was conceptualised as fitting within the capacity of the ornamental sex and its ‘feminine fingers’ (Ruskin, Letters 1861: 36.394). Like sewing, wood engraving also offered the possibility of working unseen within the labour market, since women could take piecework into their homes. As the reviewer of Roxey Ann Caplin’s Women in the Reign of Queen Victoria remarked, ‘We like very much the [book’s] suggestions about wood engraving. Here again the material is not costly and it is art that gives value to the production. Such work also can be pursued by women at home; it is light and clean, and affords ample room for the exercise of taste’ (Liverpool Mercury 18 May 1876: 6). Within a few years of this review, one of the leading female journalists of the day, Margaret Oliphant, secured wood-engraving training for her niece Madge so that she could work ‘at home “with credit and profit”’ (qtd in Onslow 2000: 158). Oliphant aimed to give her young ward tools of self-support in a burgeoning illustrated-press industry. A writer herself, Caplin maintained that ‘authorship is the best employment for women’ in print media, but she also noted other avenues connected to the press and the decorative arts in which women might excel and derive income (Liverpool

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Mercury 18 May 1876: 6). Our own critical efforts in tracing the various contributions women made to Victorian periodicals have largely followed Caplin’s lead in focusing first on their authorial and editorial functions. In her pioneering Women of the Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Barbara Onslow called attention to the need for more research on the part women played in ‘back-room activities,’ particularly those in which they served ‘as handmaids and decorators’ (2000: 149). Marianne Van Remoortel’s Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press responds to Onslow’s call by recuperating the names of many of these ‘backroom workers and shedding light on their lives and work for the press’ (2015: 3). While Van Remoortel offers important insights into ‘women working in different sectors of the periodical industry,’ including illustration, the labour of Victorian wood engravers is not part of her study (6). This is not surprising, as we are only beginning to glimpse the lives of the hundreds of engravers, both men and women, who supplied the illustrated press with images for reproduction. Illustrations were a key selling feature of periodicals from mid-century on, but we still have much to learn about their conditions of production, including the networks of individuals, communities, and institutions that supported them and the technologies, materials, and knowledges they employed.1 Laurel Brake identifies wood engraving as a crucial node in the structure of the nineteenth-century press, as it literally embodies Friedrich Kittler’s definition of material networks as a ‘structure, the technic whereby cultural exchange takes place . . . subject to the historically specific media of transmission at any given period’ (Brake 2011: 116). Until the closing years of the nineteenth century, the pictorial press could not operate without the mediation of wood engraving. As illustrated periodicals became the first form of mass media, the small artisanal studios and family firms that characterised the first half of the century gave way to increasingly industrialised labour processes (Martin 2014: 132–3). The hierarchical division between hand and mind, engraver and artist, became even more subdivided among the hands of the engravers themselves. Within the new assembly-line modes of production, engravers were specialised, with one focusing on figures, one on faces, another on clouds, and so on (Crane 1907: 49). Anonymity therefore presents a significant problem for the study of Victorian workers engaged in reproductive wood engraving. If they signed their work at all, most engravers employed the firm’s signature – for example, DALZIEL – rather than using their own names or initials. For this reason, even when we know the periodical titles and publishers for which wood engravers worked, attributing images to individuals is difficult, if not impossible. Piecing together information about the life and work of women engravers and their networks of training and employment is even more challenging. Lacking access to the trade contacts built up over years of apprenticeship to a master engraver, women were often invisible workers in the industry, ‘isolated outworkers who undertook low level commissions’ (Beegan 2008: 51). Nevertheless, thanks to Rodney Engen’s Dictionary of Victorian Wood Engravers, it is possible to get a glimpse into the careers and networks of at least some of the women who preceded Clemence Housman in her chosen career.2 While much research remains to be done, Engen’s brief biographical entries show that over the course of the nineteenth century, the wood-engraving industry played a significant role in shaping women’s interests, activities, and identities and thus in reshaping public discourses of gender.

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Onslow notes that for women illustrators, ‘family connections and support, the availability of adequate instruction and the resolution of domestic and artistic commitments were important factors in determining a career’ (2000: 156). These conditions were also important for women working in facsimile reproduction. Before art schools became open to them, female wood engravers typically came from families of engravers, as their domestic situation gave them access to both training and employment. Mary Byfield Senior (1795–1871) is the earliest and most prominent of early artisans. Sister of the wood engravers Ebenezer and John Byfield, Mary engraved professionally alongside her brothers for at least forty years. Among her most influential (and invisible) contributions are the numerous textual ornaments that made the Chiswick Press the hallmark of Victorian fine printing (Engen 1985: 40). These headers, initials, and tailpieces were drawn on woodblocks by Charlotte and Elizabeth Whittingham, who were trained from childhood for this work by their father, Chiswick proprietor Charles Whittingham Junior (1795–1876) (Engen 1985: 283). Thus, these much-admired Victorian textual ornaments – small, anonymous, and decorative – were entirely the work of the so-called ornamental sex. The unseen labour of women helped establish what Jerome McGann describes as the Chiswick Press’s reputation as ‘one of the few fine printing houses then operating in England,’ whose page layouts contributed to William Morris’s concept of ‘The Ideal Book’ and to his own practice at the Kelmscott Press (McGann 1993: 47, 59). Mary Byfield made another significant but virtually invisible contribution to Victorian print culture by engraving John Ruskin’s examples for The Elements of Drawing in Three Letters to Beginners in 1857. Although the title page announces ‘With Illustrations Drawn by the Author,’ it was Byfield who actually copied Ruskin’s originals in reverse on the woodblock and then engraved them for the press. In a parenthesis under the list of woodcuts and diagrams, Ruskin briefly acknowledged that his examples were ‘(Drawn and Cut on the Wood by Miss Byfield from Drawings by the Author),’ but he seems to have been curiously untroubled by Byfield’s double mediation (1857: 7). In describing the tree branch in his figure 4, for example, Ruskin explains, ‘I have not endeavoured to represent the pencil shading within the outline, as I could not easily express it in a woodcut’ (41) (Figure 17.2). In his lectures on engraving in Ariadne Florentina, Ruskin holds forth on the moral impropriety of wood-engraved sketches, as they falsely convey the impression of a quick drawing when in fact their mediation requires the ‘most laborious and careful imitation of a sketch on paper’ (1876: 74). This is because, for every line drawn, two lines must be cut to form the ridge that will take the ink, and the rest of the block cleared away: the wood engraver can only achieve the effect of a pencil sketch by carving out the negative spaces around it. Although Ruskin decried facsimile engraving as evidence of meaningless work in an industrialised society, he did not seem to see Byfield’s exquisitely faithful copies as akin to mechanical slavery (61). In fact, he does not seem to have seen her labour at all. In contrast, engraver G. W. Marx praised Byfield’s engraving skill as ‘in all respects, equal to those of her [male] compeers’ (qtd in Engen 1985: 40). In The Art of Drawing and Engraving on Wood (1881), Marx observed that since wood engraving was now ‘one of the branches of art labour in which ladies may engage and practice with every probability of success and fair remuneration,’ the example of Mary Byfield should be followed (qtd in Engen 1985: 40).

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Figure 17.2 Mary Byfield, wood engraving after John Ruskin, Elements of Drawing 2nd edn (1877): 38. The Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, University of Toronto.

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Mary Byfield’s nieces, Anne Byfield (1830–?) and Mary Byfield Junior (1840–?), are two women of the next generation who followed her example (Engen 1985: 39). Trained in the trade by their aunt, the sisters lived and worked together in Islington in the 1860s, when wood-engraved illustrations were in high demand for the new shilling monthlies. Bethan Stevens’s research suggests that Mary’s career ended with her marriage later that decade, but as late as the 1881 census, Anne was still listed as ‘Engraver on Wood’ (2017: 18). In her study of the Dalziel Brothers’ proofs books in the British Museum’s Prints and Drawings Department, Stevens has discovered that Anne took in piecework from this firm until at least 1882 (18). Like countless unknown Victorian women wood engravers, Mary Junior and Anne Byfield provided invisible labour within the print industry, working on commissions in domestic spaces rather than factories and signing their woodblocks with the name of the firm that employed them. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the firm that dominated the wood-engraving industry and its workers was operated by the Dalziel Brothers. Although she worked for the family firm for forty years, little is known about the life and career of Margaret Dalziel (1819–94), sister to the famous brothers. In their Record of Work, 1840–1890, Edward and George Dalziel note that Margaret was highly skilled in the trade, working ‘very constantly upon the most highly finished engravings we produced’ (1901: 19–20). Nevertheless, her sex made her an invisible partner in the brothers’ firm. They praised her readiness ‘to render every assistance in her power,’ rather than acknowledging her contribution to the business as an equal sibling (20; my emphasis). Moreover, because engravers in the Dalziel Brothers’ firm signed under the house name, her individual contributions have largely been lost. Art critic Gleeson White appears to have had access to burnished proofs or published cuts attributed specifically to Margaret, as he praised her engravings as being particularly ‘distinguished for their minute elaboration and fine feeling’ (1897: 179). Within the Pre-Raphaelite community, women also gained training and employment through artistic networks of collaboration and support. After Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Co. was established in the 1860s, Charles Faulkner’s sisters Katherine (Kate) and Lucy both worked for ‘The Firm,’ as it was called. Lucy (1839–1910), a professional wood engraver, married W. J. Linton’s business partner, engraver Harvey Orrinsmith, in 1870. Her name change resulted in the loss from view of her pre-marriage oeuvre: we know her as Mrs Orrinsmith, author of The Drawing Room (1877), but not as Lucy Faulkner, professional engraver (Ferry 2008: 67). Consequently, later scholars have presumed that the ‘Miss Faulkner’ commissioned to repair the title-page vignette for the second edition of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market and Other Poems was Lucy’s unmarried younger sister Kate (Fredeman 1996: 16).3 Kate, however, was a designer and decorator, not a wood engraver. It was Lucy Faulkner who, at Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s urgent request, corrected W. J. Linton’s engraving of ‘Golden head by golden head’ so that the foremost woman had a face distinct from her columnar neck (Figures 17.3 and 17.4). Writing to publisher Alexander Macmillan in February 1865, Rossetti recommended Miss Faulkner for this delicate repair task and suggested she be paid £2 (Letters 1865: 3.252). This significant fee marks Rossetti’s high regard for Lucy Faulkner’s expertise, especially when one recalls that she was re-cutting a single jaw line and that payment for engraving the entire block would have been about £10.4 Given Rossetti’s hostility to the ‘cutting and maiming’

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Figure 17.3 W. J. Linton, wood engraving after Dante Gabriel Rossetti for Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862): title page. Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library.

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Figure 17.4 Lucy Faulkner, corrected wood engraving after Dante Gabriel Rossetti for Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market and Other Poems (1865): title page. Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library.

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of his designs by the Dalziels, his approval of Lucy Faulkner suggests she was a highly skilled and trusted facsimile wood engraver (Letters 1857: 2.170).

Clemence Housman and Wood Engraving As we have seen, women working as professional reproductive engravers in the nineteenth century produced work of distinction and influence, even though their contributions have remained largely invisible. Two things distinguish Clemence Housman from these sister-engravers: first, she was not raised in an artistic household, and second, she entered the profession during the media shift from wood engraving to photographic processes. When work in the field of reproductive wood engraving for the periodical press disappeared, Clemence Housman benefited from her younger brother Laurence’s book arts networks, as she was able to continue her career by engraving illustrations for fine press books and little magazines. Clemence had a close relationship with Laurence (1865–1959), a book designer, illustrator, and writer with whom she lived her entire life, collaborating on book projects and engaging in political activism with him. Neither sibling was close to their famed older brother, the poet A. E. Housman (1859–1936). To a great extent, it is thanks to Laurence Housman’s memoirs, unpublished correspondence, and manuscripts that the little we know about the elusive Clemence Housman survives. Yet his high estimation of Clemence’s engraving skill should not be regarded merely as evidence of a fond brother’s partiality. From her own time to the present day, Clemence Housman has been hailed as a remarkably gifted wood engraver by her fellow artisans. In Wood Engraving After 1900, Bernard Sleigh, himself a skilled engraver, identified Housman as one of a handful of engravers – and the only woman – who sustained wood-engraving careers after the 1890s. Praising her ‘perfection of craftsmanship’ over a career of thirty years, Sleigh writes, ‘I make my bow to her in infinite admiration . . . as the last representative of a great tradition’ (1932: 44). Printmaker James J. Guthrie, who employed Housman at his Pear Tree Press in the pre-war years, placed her work within ‘that tradition which runs through Blake and the Pre-Raphaelites,’ declaring that ‘in technical range, no engraver has carried the art further’ (1924: 192, 196). More than sixty years later, Leonard Baskin reinforced Guthrie’s assessment, noting ‘that the special and entrancing qualities of The Pear Tree Press illustrations are in large measure due to Clemence’s sensitive and capable hand transferring Guthrie’s designs into compelling works of fine art’ (1988). Recognising Housman’s achievement, the British Museum acquired a set of her proofs in the early years of the twentieth century; this collection is critically important to understanding the scope of her work. Because she rarely signed her blocks, we rely on provenance and contemporary witnesses to piece together her wood-engraving career and understand its significance to the history of women in print culture. How did Clemence Housman become such a skilled engraver? The Victorian wood-engraving industry was principally made up of a system of small workshops, known as ‘offices,’ which were staffed by apprentices and journeymen working alongside the master engraver. Freelance engravers worked from the office or from home (Beegan 2008: 51). A formal apprenticeship, which created professional networks within the industry, was unavailable to women. Lacking the familial connections of the Byfields, Margaret Dalziel, and Lucy Faulkner, Housman learned her craft at

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educational institutions: The City and Guilds South London Technical Art School at Kennington and the Millers’ Lane City and Guilds School in South Lambeth (Crawford 2004). Despite Housman’s evident ability and strong desire for independence, she was only able to go to London and access this training under the guise of being her younger brother’s housekeeper. According to Laurence, ‘Clemence was released from the Victorian bonds of home, for the sole reason that it was considered too risky for me to go alone without some one of more stable character to look after me’ (1937: 104–5). In 1883, the siblings went to London, where they lived together for over forty years before relocating in 1924 to spend their final decades in Somerset. Although segregated in a separate class for women, Housman learned wood engraving at the Lambeth School of Art at the same time as Charles Ricketts, Charles Shannon, and T. Sturge Moore (Engen 1985: 220–1). Their teacher was Charles Roberts (fl. 1870– 97), a highly regarded contemporary wood engraver who quickly discerned Housman’s talent. When she finished her training, she began to work in Roberts’s Chancery Lane office, cutting blocks for the Illustrated London News (1842–1989) and the Graphic (1869–1932) (Engen 1985: 127). ‘By industry and ability,’ Laurence recorded, ‘my sister was passed on to the engraving office as a proficient wood-engraver in extra quick time’ (Materials and Notes). Housman had a mere two years of training, whereas an apprenticeship was typically five to seven years. Moreover, as Charles Booth reported in Life and Labour of the People in London, ‘As a rule employers do not care to take apprentices. It is easy for a lad to spoil work, while he seldom becomes really useful within two years’ (1902: 4.113). The fact that Housman was able to secure commissions from Roberts for the Illustrated London News and the Graphic so soon after graduation is a testament to her exceptional ability. Clemence Housman seems to have entered her profession and her life-long activism on behalf of women’s rights at around the same time. In 1887, she contributed an essay titled ‘Wood Engraving’ to a five-page pamphlet, Occupations for Women, Other than Teaching, printed for the Association of Assistant-Mistresses. Formed in 1884 ‘to safeguard the interests of women teachers in secondary schools on matters such as salaries and conditions of service, and to provide a forum for the discussion of educational issues,’ the association was an early organisation that supported women’s right to education, employment, and fair treatment (Doughan and Gordon 2014: 17). Wood engraving had, of course, been touted as an eligible occupation for middle-class women since the 1840s. However, Housman insists that the ‘suitability of wood-engraving as an employment for women has not yet been fully recognised in England’ because the segregation of the sexes in training reinforces an uneven playing field in the workforce (1887: 3).5 ‘Men and boys, of course, learn under the eye of older engravers,’ Housman writes, ‘but as in England both sexes do not work together as is the case in Norway, women, unless they work with more experienced women, have a serious disadvantage to their progress’ (3).6 Given the length of time required to master the craft, Housman stresses that wood engraving is not appropriate ‘for a woman who wishes for some work and interest for a few active years; but one proposing to continue it for a lifetime, will find its value and pleasures increase year after year’ (5). In selecting wood engraving as her lifetime career and in recommending it to other women in 1887, Housman clearly did not foresee that the manual methods of reproductive wood engraving would soon be replaced by photomechanical processes in large, electrically lit factories turning out 60,000 blocks a year (Beegan 2008: 88).

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Housman wrote from her own experience that ‘any one whose heart is in her work will not find a day’s work of even eight or nine hours over long, especially if her work is paid by the hour’ (1887: 5). Housman’s heart was definitely in her work, but despite lobbying for change, she and other engravers were typically paid by piecework, rather than receiving an hourly wage. Remuneration was usually by the square inch or, depending on the type of work involved, by the block itself; an ordinary worker brought home only about thirty or forty shillings a week (Booth 1902: 4.112). Wood engraving was time consuming, and the pressures of periodical deadlines often meant the extension of the workday long into the night. Recalling his sister’s years working at Roberts’s office engraving woodblock illustrations for the weekly Graphic, Laurence writes, ‘The women engravers were excused [from night labour], and the rule for them was not to work later than their last train home. But Clemence, who was against all sex distinctions, very soon kicked against this limitation, and telegrams declaring “Not back till late” were fairly frequent, along with occasional telegrams noting “Not back till tomorrow”’ (Materials and Notes). For nearly a decade, Housman engraved illustrations for the Graphic, a paper noted for its high-quality images. As children, she and Laurence had pored over the illustrated weeklies delivered to their country home. When the Graphic first appeared in 1869, it quickly became their favourite: in its pages, the siblings gained their first ideas about the outside world – its people, places, and problems (L. Housman 1937: 50). By engraving woodblocks for the Graphic, Housman contributed to the title’s ongoing cultural exchange in late Victorian homes. However, because blocks from the Roberts office were signed under the name of the proprietor and master engraver, her individual engraving work for the mass press is not recoverable. As her brother lamented, ‘What she did for The Graphic disappeared, becoming part of a general whole’ (Materials and Notes). Although the precise nature of Housman’s contributions cannot be established, some of the work signed C. Roberts during her time at the firm included remarkably fine engravings for Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles and a cover after a special artist for ‘The Carnival at Nice – the Battle of Flowers.’7 Whether Housman contributed to these projects may never be known. All that can safely be asserted is that between 1885 and approximately 1895, she engraved pictures for the last of the illustrated papers to use wood engraving before photomechanical reproduction dominated the trade. Even the Graphic included occasional halftone images by 1888. A year later, Black and White (1889–1912) was launched, the first magazine that used photomechanically reproduced pictures exclusively (Beegan 2008: 44). By the mid-1890s, the lifetime career Clemence Housman had dedicated herself to with such passion was no longer a viable profession. New technologies of reproduction brought about a seismic media shift in Victorian print culture, affecting an entire group of highly skilled artisans. Sleigh laments that the replacement of wood engraving by machine resulted in ‘more than two million human souls out of work’ in the early twentieth century, but his statistics may be more rhetorical than scientific (1932: 10). While exact figures are difficult to obtain, given the number of homeworkers and the inexact methods of census-taking, which categorised some engravers as ‘artists undefined,’ there is no doubt that wood engravers were hard hit by the replacement of manual labour with machines (Booth 1902: 4.108). In Life and Labour of the People in London, Booth writes, ‘No other occupation has suffered more than engraving from the competition of new inventions and

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the change from ancient to modern methods. Every branch of the business has been affected in this way’ (1902: 4.112). With the coming of photomechanical processes of reproduction, the enormous Victorian wood-engraving trade disappeared virtually overnight. Large firms like the Dalziel Brothers went bankrupt, periodical publishers closed their engraving offices, and individual engravers had to seek other employment. Some moved into the large process-reproduction factories where they were able to adapt their existing trade to the new technologies. Retouching process blocks was one skilled trade that gave male engravers new employment, but women were more likely to be employed as unskilled workers (Beegan 2008: 182). As ‘halftone etchers’ or ‘developers,’ women might earn eighteen shillings a week, whereas a touch-up engraver could earn forty shillings (Booth 1902: 4.117). The real money went to the photographers, who could earn up to eighty shillings a week (117). Clemence Housman appears to have been one of the few women employed in the process industry as a skilled retoucher of line-block plates. For example, she retouched her brother’s illustration ‘The Luck of the Roses’ for his fairy-tale collection The House of Joy (1895). Laurence dedicated the story that accompanied this picture to Clemence, so there may have been a personal meaning for the siblings in the image she laboured to perfect. The illustration depicts an idyllic garden space that seems to embrace the graceful gardeners, whose lantern illuminates the guardian spirit who has blessed them and their flowers with a good life (Figure 17.5). A tender image of a couple’s shared green space, the picture seems to anticipate the Housmans’ future life at Longmeadow, where Clemence lay down her graver for a gardener’s trowel (1924–55).8 Writing about the ‘ever-deepening tragedy’ of the wood-engraving industry’s collapse, Laurence Housman captured something of the human experience of this media shift in mass print culture (Materials and Notes). As commissions declined, the employer, Roberts, got more and more into debt to his workers. The men gradually left for other employment; the women engravers stayed on. ‘My sister,’ he wrote, ‘was one of the last of them. When the office closed down, her employer owed her more than a hundred pounds in arrears of wage, and it was never paid’ (Materials and Notes; 1937: 110). For a household like theirs, which was on unstable financial ground until 1900, this loss of income must have been a crushing blow. Even more devastating to Clemence, however, would have been the loss of her ability to practise a skilled trade and earn an independent living. Thanks to her expertise and Laurence’s connections, Housman was not forced to work within the conditions of the large photographic processing factories that replaced wood-engraving offices. After relying for years on his sister’s financial support, by 1895 Laurence was beginning to make a name for himself as a gifted illustrator and book artist. His network of publishers and printers enabled Clemence to continue her highly accomplished wood engraving within the fine printing and private press movements. At first, her principal engraving commissions were for her brother’s illustrations, which he created for trade publishers such as John Lane at the Bodley Head, Kegan Paul, and John Murray. When Laurence stopped working as an illustrator due to his diminishing eyesight, Housman engraved for small presses, including Charles Robert Ashbee’s Essex House Press and James J. Guthrie’s Pear Tree Press. For nearly ten years (1896–1904), the siblings collaborated on a number of books illustrated and designed by Laurence. He managed to convince publishers that his fine pen-and-ink drawings required wood engraving, rather than photomechanical

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Figure 17.5 ‘The Luck of the Roses,’ re-touched line block by Clemence Housman, after Laurence Housman for Laurence Housman, The House of Joy (1895: 24).

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reproduction. Laurence wryly noted that this meant, on the one hand, that ‘publishers had to pay a good deal more than for process,’ and, on the other, that Clemence ‘had to accept under-payment’ for her hours and hours of painstaking labour (Materials and Notes). But what it chiefly meant was that Housman could continue earning her living as a wood engraver and that the siblings could maintain a productive working relationship. Their first collaborations in 1896 are particularly significant: Laurence’s self-illustrated collection of poetry, Green Arras, and Clemence’s gothic novella, The Were-Wolf. Both were published by John Lane at the Bodley Head, where Laurence was regularly engaged as a book designer. The origins of Clemence Housman’s first book – she was to publish two more, The Unknown Sea (1898) and The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis (1905) – are particularly interesting.9 Emulating the traditional artisanal practice of medieval women storytellers, Housman invented The Were-Wolf to entertain her fellow students in the woodengraving class at Kennington. The fantastic tale captivated her listeners, who were ‘thrilled by its horror’ (L. Housman, Materials and Notes; L. Housman 1937: 111). Housman subsequently found a wider audience in print culture when The Were-Wolf was published as the 1890 Christmas supplement to Atalanta, the monthly girls’ magazine. Its success there encouraged Lane to publish the tale in his belles-lettres series, with red ink on the decorated title page and six full-page illustrations, all engraved by Clemence after Laurence’s designs. Set in a northern land, the medieval tale depicts a small, self-reliant community of artisans and hunters whose lives are disrupted by an interloper, White Fell, whose feminine beauty by day masks her life as a werewolf by night. ‘The Race,’ one of the most compelling illustrations in the book, corresponds to the text’s description of the hero, Christian, as he pursues White Fell: ‘So they went running together, silent, towards the vast wastes of snow, where no living thing but they two moved under the stars of night’ (C. Housman 1896: 87) (Figure 17.6). Just as Christian’s strength matches White Fell’s, so too does Laurence’s eerie black-and-white image match Clemence’s uncanny, poetic prose. Often read as a fantastic exploration of the fin-de-siècle fear of powerful, autonomous women, The Were-Wolf participates in the contemporary appropriation of the fairy-tale form by feminist writers for political purposes.10 Laurence, who publicly counted himself as a feminist, followed his sister’s lead by publishing four books of self-illustrated fairy tales for adults, the last two of which she engraved. Laurence dedicated Green Arras to ‘My Dear Wood Engraver,’ and Clemence was also an acknowledged partner on his fairy-tale collections The Field of Clover (1898) and The Blue Moon (1904). In a review essay in the Magazine of Art, Gleeson White praised the ‘fastidiously delicate embroidery of [the] penwork’ in Laurence’s borders and designs (1899: 204), but even more remarkable is Clemence’s fastidiously delicate engraving of her brother’s web of lines. Her engraving of the title page for Field of Clover, for example, is a tour de force in the intricacy of the interlacing strap-work border, the clarity of the blacks and whites, the defined petals of the roses, and the grainy texture of the wooden beams (Figure 17.7). She deserves the title-page credit accorded to her for both collections. ‘As proof of the extraordinary minuteness and accuracy of her engraving,’ Laurence recorded in his memoirs, ‘I would instance her illustrations to my book of fairy-tales called The Blue Moon’ (Materials and Notes). To Clemence herself, he confided, ‘I think the public will regard this an advance on both our parts’ (1904b). The Blue Moon collection may have been both an aesthetic

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Figure 17.6 ‘The Race,’ wood engraving by Clemence Housman, after Laurence Housman for Clemence Housman, The Were-Wolf (1896: 80).

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Figure 17.7 Clemence Housman after Laurence Housman, The Field of Clover (1898): title page. Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library.

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and a political advance, given that the metaphoric title alludes to the naturalness and rarity of same-sex love. It was also the last major book project the siblings worked on together. After 1904, their collaborations in life and art were principally in the service of women’s suffrage. Notably, the title page for The Blue Moon, which beckons viewers across the threshold into a new beautiful world, also expresses a transition from book-arts to activism (Figure 17.8). The intricate border surrounding the image is dense with interwoven grapes, leaves, and vines, a motif the Housmans used later in a suffrage banner Laurence designed and Clemence embroidered to signify the rich communion of a just society.11 Although Laurence’s illustration career ended due to weakening eyesight in the early twentieth century, Clemence Housman continued to work as a wood engraver until the 1920s, mostly for private presses run by hand printers such as James Guthrie and Charles Ashbee. Inspired by both William Blake and William Morris to take production into his own hands, Guthrie founded the Pear Tree Press in 1899. Abandoning his work as an illustrator for magazines such as the Pall Mall Gazette and the Windmill, Guthrie became a private printer because, as he wrote in An Account of the Aims and Intentions of His Press, ‘My work in black and white had . . . developed out of all reasonable chance of being adapted to the requirements of the magazines for which I had previously drawn’ (1905: 3). His first move was to publish a magazine of his own, the Elf, where non-mainstream art could be produced and appreciated. The second series of this little magazine (only 100 copies were printed) included Housman’s stunning engraving of his ‘Evening Star’ (Figure 17.9). A dazzling display of her expertise in expressing the varying textures of foliage and the reflection of starlight on water under a night sky, ‘Evening Star’ is Clemence Housman’s masterpiece. Guthrie observed that she ‘must have laboured much to fret out from the density of the wood the evasive spirit of trees and water. To modern ideas, the adventure appears rather dangerously like trying the medium too far, by setting it to interpret a mixture of white on black and black on white’ (1924: 194). Over the years, Housman engraved numerous illustrations for Pear Tree Press books, transforming them, as Baskin claims, into ‘compelling works of art’ (Baskin 1988). Guthrie’s press also published another little magazine, the Venture, a joint project of Laurence Housman and Somerset Maugham (1903). Here Clemence Housman’s wood engraving after her brother’s title-page design for The Blue Moon appeared as artwork, prior to performing its bibliographic function in the 1904 volume. Guthrie observed many years later that Housman’s ‘graver release[d] from the wood whatever fine-spun, fantastic subject there may be set, apparently without effort’ (1924: 196). While the effort was actually great and long, Housman viewed engraving as artistic endeavour. ‘As an art,’ she wrote, ‘wood-engraving has peculiar beauties that steel and copper-plate do not possess, and masterly translation of beautiful works into black and white is a worthy employment of the talent or genius of an artist’ (1887: 4). Housman brought this masterly translation of pen-and-ink drawing into black-andwhite print to Ashbee’s Essex House Press, which was inspired, like Guthrie’s Pear Tree Press, by William Morris. Here, among other works, she engraved illustrations after William Strang for S. T. Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1903) and after Reginald Savage for Thomas Moore’s Miss Kilmansegg (1904). Housman started work on her last engravings, an architectural series of Chipping Campden drawings by Frederick Landseer Grigg, during the First World War, and continued with the series

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Figure 17.8 Clemence Housman after Laurence Housman, The Blue Moon (1904), proof. Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library.

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Figure 17.9 Clemence Housman after James Guthrie, ‘The Evening Star,’ The Elf: A Magazine of Drawings and Writings, new series, Book 2 (1905: 11). Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York. until 1923.12 James Guthrie included a reproduction of her engraving for ‘Market Hall, Chipping Campden’ in his article celebrating her career in the Print Collectors Quarterly. The last great effort of a great wood engraver, ‘The Chipping Campden’ prints show no diminishment of skill or craft (Sleigh 1932: 44). ‘The woodblock print,’ James Hamilton observes, has ‘always been a highly political medium’ (1994: 35). As a political activist, Housman may have been attracted by the relationship between wood engraving and social change as much as she was attracted to its material substance (both aesthetically and economically). It is no wonder, then, that when Clemence and Laurence Housman became involved in the suffrage campaign their shared home in Kensington quickly became the headquarters of the Suffrage Atelier, which was at the heart of the movement’s political creativity. Here artists and craftspeople were able to create the visual material – from postcards

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to banners – so crucial to conveying the message and aspirations of the suffragist cause. Although Housman does not seem to have done any wood engraving for the suffrage campaign, she devoted her sewing and textile skills to the making of magnificent banners. The most memorable of these is the famous banner Laurence designed for the Kensington Women’s Social and Political Union, ‘From Prison to Citizenship,’ featuring a white figure on a purple background decorated with green vines. First carried prominently on Women’s Sunday, 21 June 1908, and thereafter in numerous suffrage processions, the banner design was also incorporated into a postcard for wider distribution (Liddington 2014: 44–5). Clemence Housman literally enacted her commitment to this slogan, refusing to pay property taxes until she was granted full citizenship. She spent a week in Holloway Prison in autumn 1911 in consequence, becoming a hero to the cause (Liddington 2014: 205). To adapt Hamilton’s general comments to this particular instance: ‘The cutting of images on woodblocks may seem on the face of it to be a humble enough indicator of social change, but it was nevertheless an accurate and prescient one’ in the life and times of Clemence Housman (1994: 35). In a letter written in 1943, toward the end of her long life, Housman thanked her friend Reginald Reynolds for a book he had given her about craftsmanship. ‘It’s just the give and take between human ingenuity and reluctant material,’ she explained, ‘that makes craftsmanship so fascinating and satisfactory’ (qtd in Oakley 2009: 124). As a master craftswoman, Clemence Housman carved an independent living out of a reluctant and resisting patriarchal culture. Her engraving of the woodblock was so precise, so unrelenting, so visionary, that she created unforgettable lines of power and artistry that continue to enthral today. Although Victorian culture’s resistance to her gender and her craft rendered her work invisible, the resistance of her medium, wood, ensured her lines would endure to tell her story and to mark her indelible contribution to the art of the book and the art of life.

Notes 1. Simon Cooke’s Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s (2010) provides two excellent chapters on the networks of relationships, collaborations, technologies, and mediations connected to wood-engraved illustration. See also Eric de Maré, Victorian Woodblock Illustrators (1981); Rodney Engen, Dictionary of Victorian Wood Engravers (1985); and Michèlle Martin, ‘Nineteenth-Century Wood Engravers at Work: Mass Production of Illustrated Periodicals’ (2014). 2. Engen’s Dictionary of Victorian Wood Engravers (1985) records only twenty-six women engravers involved in the nineteenth-century print trade. Not surprisingly, some of the historical data, such as dates of birth and death, are unreliable. 3. As Emma Ferry notes, Fredeman’s error was repeated in subsequent scholarship, including my own Christina Rossetti and Illustration (Kooistra 2002: 84n60). 4. According to William Vaughan, Edward Moxon paid the Dalziel Brothers £10 per engraving for the fifty-four illustrations in Tennyson’s 1857 Poems (1988: 149). 5. On this point, see also Beegan 2008: 51–2 and 225n15, and Martin 2014: 145–6. 6. An informal system of women training women seems to have been in place. Mary Byfield, for instance, trained her two nieces, Anne and Mary Jr; Georgiana Burne-Jones trained Emma Du Maurier (Engen 1985: 37, 39).

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7. See Roberts’s engraving after Hubert Herkomer for Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Graphic 10 Oct 1891: 449) and his engraving after a sketch by Our Special Artist, ‘The Carnival at Nice – The Battle of Flowers’ (Graphic 28 Feb 1891: cover). 8. A proof of this retouched process engraving, exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1900, demonstrated the siblings’ artistic collaboration (Hodgkins 1975: 37). 9. Reginald Reynolds, Laurence’s literary executor and friend, considered Clemence the most gifted storyteller in the Housman family (1955: 208). 10. See du Coudray 2002: 6; Easley and Scott 2013: xiii; Liggins 2013: 37–38; Kooistra 1995: 184–5. 11. See the banner in the Museum of London collection, ‘The Glorious Liberty of the Children of God,’ created for the Hampstead Church League for Women’s Suffrage by the Housmans at their Suffrage Atelier, c. 1909. 12. Clemence engraved nine of the twenty-four drawings in this series, which was published by Shakespeare Head in 1940 (Oakley 2009: 116).

Works Cited Baskin, Leonard. 1988. ‘Portrait of Clemence Housman.’ Icones Liborum Artifices: Being Actual Putative Fugative & Fantastical Portraits of Engravers, Illustrators & Binders. Leeds: Gehenna Press. n.p. Beegan, Gerry. 2008. The Mass Image: A Social History of Photomechanical Reproduction in Victorian London. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. Booth, Charles. 1902–4. Life and Labour of the People in London. 2nd series. 5 vols. Reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1970. Brake, Laurel. 2011. ‘“Time’s Turbulence”: Mapping Journalism’s Networks.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 44.2: 115–27. Caplin, [Roxey Ann], assisted by Dr John Mill. 1876. Women in the Reign of Queen Victoria. London: Dean. Cixous, Hélène. 1976. ‘The Laugh of the Medusa.’ Trans. Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen. Signs 1.4: 875–93. Cole, Henry. 1884. Fifty Years of Public Work of Sir Henry Cole, K.C.B. 2 vols. London: George Bell. Cooke, Simon. 2010. Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s. New Castle: Oak Knoll Press. Crane, Walter. 1907. An Artist’s Reminiscences. 2nd edn. London: Methuen. Crawford, Elizabeth. 2004. ‘Clemence Annie Housman (1861–1955).’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press. (last accessed 30 Jan 2016). Dalziel, Edward and George Dalziel. 1901. The Brothers Dalziel: A Record of Work, 1840–1890. Repr. with a foreword by Graham Reynolds. London: B. T. Batsford, 1978. Davidson, Rebecca W. 2003. Unseen Hands: Women Printers, Binders, and Book Designers (online catalogue). Princeton: Princeton University Library. (last accessed 16 July 2015). de Maré, Eric. 1981. The Victorian Woodblock Illustrators. New York: Sandstone Press. Doughan, David and Peter Gordon. 2014. Dictionary of British Women’s Organizations, 1825–1960. London: Routledge. Du Coudray, Chantal Bourgault. 2002. ‘Upright Citizens on all Fours: Nineteenth-Century Identity and the Image of the Werewolf.’ Nineteenth-Century Contexts 24.1: 1–16. Easley, Alexis and Shannon Scott, eds. 2013. Terrifying Transformations: An Anthology of Victorian Werewolf Fiction. Kansas City: Valancourt Books. Engen, Rodney. 1985. Dictionary of Victorian Wood Engravers. Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey.

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Ferry, Emma. 2008. ‘Lucy Faulkner and “the ghastly grin”: Re-working the Title-page Illustration to Goblin Market.’ Journal of William Morris Studies 18.1: 65–84. Fredeman, W. E. 1996. ‘“Woodman, Spare That Block”: The Published, Unpublished, and Projected Illustrations and Book Designs of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.’ Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 5: 7–41. Guthrie, James J. 1905. An Account of the Aims and Intentions of his Press, with a List of Books, by James Guthrie. Harting: Pear Tree Press. —. 1924. ‘The Wood Engravings of Clemence Housman.’ Print Collectors’ Quarterly 11.2: 190–204. Gutjahr, Paul C. and Megan L. Benton, eds. 2001. Illuminating Letters: Typography and Literary Interpretation. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. Hamilton, James. 1994. Wood Engraving and the Woodcut in Britain, 1890–1990. London: Barrie & Jenkins. Hodgkins, E. Kenyur. 1975. The Housmans. London: National Book League. [Housman, Clemence]. 1887. ‘Wood Engraving.’ Occupations for Women, Other than Teaching. London: Association for Assistant-Mistresses. 3–5. —. 1890. The Were-Wolf. Illustrated by Everard Hopkins. Atalanta 4.39: 132–56. —. 1896. The Were-Wolf. Illustrated by Laurence Housman. Engraved by Clemence Housman. London: John Lane at the Bodley Head. —. 1898. The Unknown Sea. London: Duckworth. —. 1905. The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis. Reprint, London: Jonathan Cape, 1954. Housman, Laurence. Materials and Notes for Autobiographical Account, Box 13, Folder 6, Laurence Housman Papers in the Seymour Addleton Collection, Bryn Mawr College Library. —. 1895. The House of Joy. Illustrated by Laurence Housman. London: Kegan Paul Trench Trübner. —. 1896. Green Arras. Illustrated by Laurence Housman. Engraved by Clemence Housman. London: John Lane at the Bodley Head. —. 1898. The Field of Clover. Illustrated by Laurence Housman. Engraved by Clemence Housman. London: Kegan Paul Trench Trübner. —. 1903. Decorated title page for The Blue Moon. Engraved by Clemence Housman. Venture 1: 207. —. 1904. The Blue Moon. Illustrated by Laurence Housman. Engraved by Clemence Housman. London: John Murray. —. 1904b. MS letter to Clemence Housman. Housman Manuscripts, Street Library, Somerset. —. 1937. The Unexpected Years. London: Jonathan Cape. Kooistra, Lorraine Janzen. 1995. The Artist as Critic: Bitextuality and Fin-de-Siècle Illustrated Books. Aldershot: Scolar Press. —. 2002. Christina Rossetti and Illustration: A Publishing History. Athens: Ohio University Press. Liddington, Jill. 2014. Vanishing for the Vote: Suffrage, Citizenship, and the Battle for the Census. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Liggins, Emma. 2013. ‘Gendering the Spectral Encounter at the Fin de Siècle: Unspeakability in Vernon Lee’s Supernatural Stories.’ Gothic Studies 15.2: 37–52. McGann, Jerome. 1993. Black Riders: The Visible Language of Modernism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Martin, Michèlle. 2014. ‘Nineteenth-Century Wood Engravers at Work: Mass Production of Illustrated Periodicals (1840–1880).’ Journal of Historical Sociology 27.1: 132–50. Oakley, Elizabeth. 2009. Inseparable Siblings: A Portrait of Clemence & Laurence Housman. Studley: Brewin Books. Onslow, Barbara. 2000. Women of the Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Houndmills: Macmillan.

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Reynolds, Reginald. 1955. ‘The Third Housman.’ English 10.60: 208–14. Rossetti, Christina. 1862. Goblin Market and Other Poems. London: Macmillan. —. 1865. Goblin Market and Other Poems. 2nd edn. London: Macmillan. Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. 2002–6. The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. 6 vols. Ed. W. E. Fredeman. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. Ruskin, John. 1857. The Elements of Drawing: In Three Lessons for Beginners. With drawings by the author. London: Smith Elder. —. 1876. Ariadne Florentina: Six Lectures on Wood and Metal Engraving. Reprint, New York: John Wiley, 1885. —. 1904–12. The Letters of John Ruskin, 1827–1869. The Library Edition of the Works of John Ruskin. 39 vols. Ed. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. London: George Allen. Sleigh, Bernard. 1932. Wood Engraving since 1900. London: Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons. Stevens, Bethan. 2017. ‘Wood Engraving as Ghostwriting: The Dalziel Brothers, Losing One’s Name, and Other Hazards of the Trade.’ Textual Practice: 1–33. Van Remoortel, Marianne. 2015. Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Vaughan, William. 1988. ‘Incongruous Disciples: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Moxon Tennyson.’ Imagination on a Long Rein: English Literature Illustrated. Ed. Joachim Möller. Marburg: Jonas Verlag. 148–71. White, Gleeson. 1897. English Illustration: The Sixties, 1855–70. Reprint, Bath: Kingsmead Reprints, 1970. —. 1899. ‘The Work of Laurence Housman.’ Reprint, Rodney Engen, Laurence Housman 1983. Stroud: Catalpa Press. 127–38.

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Part IV Making Space for Women

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Making Space for Women: Introduction

I

n November 1886, Margaret Oliphant (1828–97) wrote to William Blackwood, the editor of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (1817–1980), with an idea for a new, regular feature. Oliphant, who had by that time been a mainstay at the magazine since the 1850s, proposed to write a ‘standing article upon literature, a review of all the books of the month worth reviewing, with admixture of speculation and general comment, as would be natural’ (1899: 338). The pitch, Oliphant made clear, was not for ‘an occasional paper’ but ‘a regular one, for which people would look’ (338). As the letter reveals, the series had been a long time in gestation; it was, she explains, ‘a plan which has been long in my mind, and which, if I had ever had a magazine in my own hands, as I once thought I should, I should certainly have adopted’ (338). Oliphant’s plan was to assume life in the shape of ‘The Old Saloon,’ a recurring, if irregular, feature which ran in Blackwood’s from January 1887 to December 1892. In this sense, Oliphant’s pitch to Blackwood can be read as a successful effort by a professional female journalist to negotiate copy, secure regular work, and further entrench her position in the male milieu of Blackwood’s. But if Oliphant’s letter documents her professional acumen, it also hints at the gender politics that occluded a more resounding rise through the ranks of the magazine. Having been denied the control over the means of production that an editorial position would have afforded her, Oliphant was thus bound by the limits established by her various male editors throughout her long career. This two-sided characterisation of the periodical as a space of both possibility and limitation for women is the keynote emerging from the five essays collected in this section. Fittingly, given the expansive stretch of her career in periodicals, this section is bookended by considerations of Oliphant’s use of the periodical space, beginning with her contributions to Blackwood’s in the 1850s and ending with an analysis of her columns in St James’s Gazette (1800–1905) and the Spectator (1828–) in the final decade of the century. Joanne Shattock, in ‘Women Journalists and Periodical Spaces,’ opens the section by considering Oliphant’s mid-century work at Blackwood’s alongside the work of two lesser-known journalists: Mary Howitt (1799–1888) and Eliza Meteyard (1816–79). All three contributed copy to ‘mainstream publications on a range of subjects far beyond those often assumed to be the preserve of women journalists in the period,’ with each woman also making her own distinctive contribution to Victorian journalism: Howitt as an editor, Meteyard as a pioneering figure in the nascent field of investigative journalism, and Oliphant as one of the most prolific reviewers of the period (p. 303). Shattock’s analysis of their careers demonstrates the productive and individuated ways in which female journalists carved out a space for their work and their voices in the masculine sphere of journalism. Katherine Malone’s essay, ‘Making Space for Women’s Work in the Leisure Hour: From Variety to “Verity,”’ moves the discussion away from the labour of female journalists to cast light on one periodical’s mode of representing the vexed topic of women’s

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work. Drawing upon Margaret Beetham’s influential formulation of the periodical as a space imbued with both ‘open’ and ‘closed’ qualities (1989), Malone examines the oftencompeting models of women’s work that emerge from the interplay of those features in the penny weekly magazine the Leisure Hour (1852–1905) in the 1850s. The ‘closed’ trait of the magazine’s consistent fidelity to the evangelical rhetoric of self-improvement facilitated the ‘open’ sounding of more progressive notes within its pages. As Malone explains, ‘individual articles about women’s work and education could be read by different types of readers and interpreted in a variety of ways without forcing the magazine to take a clear editorial position within divisive debates’ (p. 320). By contrasting this content with the treatment of women’s work in the magazine’s dedicated women’s column, Malone demonstrates how the conflicting rhetoric presented within this ‘closed’ women’s space introduced tensions between it and the magazine’s implied editorial agenda, leading to a paradoxical tapering of the Leisure Hour’s support for progressive women’s issues more generally. The gender politics of space within Victorian periodicals edited by men is also a central concern of Fionnuala Dillane’s analysis of the letters pages of the Pall Mall Gazette (1865–1923) in the 1860s. In ‘Avatars, Pseudonyms, and the Regulation of Affect: Performing and Occluding Gender in the Pall Mall Gazette,’ Dillane draws upon theories of affect to show how the affective space of the letters page functioned to reinforce ‘structures of feeling in nineteenth-century emotional economies,’ which had especial significance for women writers, who ‘could make their mark on public discourse more readily and more regularly than in other periodical publication formats’ (p. 337). One of the consequences of women’s intervention in the public space of the periodical was that male journalists attempted to regulate their contributions. As Dillane demonstrates, copy produced by male writers in ‘avatar mode’ to the letters page of the Pall Mall Gazette functioned not only to underpin the paper’s ‘clubby, homosocial’ atmosphere but also, more egregiously, to ‘censor and restrict women’s access to public spaces and public debate’ (p. 343). Moreover, the use of avatars and pseudonyms in a space more readily associated with signature calls our attention to the performative qualities of letters pages, which are ‘amongst the most fictive, manipulative spaces of the press, playing regularly on the feeling reader’ (p. 347). In ‘Gender, Anonymity, and Humour in Women’s Writing for Punch,’ Katy Birch also considers the gendered implications of women writing anonymously in the male spaces of the press. Where existing scholarship on anonymity tends to focus on its liberating effects for women who wrote on ‘serious’ (masculine) subject matter, Birch considers the transgressive possibilities that the obfuscation of identity created for female humourists. The female contributors to Punch (1841–2002) discussed in this essay are shown to have harnessed the practice of anonymity in order to circumvent the gendered dictates of comic journalism. In the contributions of May Kendall (1861–1943), for example, we see the deconstruction of the masculine triptych of science, humour, and brotherhood through the strategic deployment of anonymity, which accorded Kendall and other female humourists the authority to move beyond the social limitations imposed on them by their gender. Yet as Birch cautions, women writers’ use of the anonymous voice ultimately both imprisoned and emancipated them, not only in the sense that the practice ‘prevented these writers from receiving recognition for their work’ but also because anonymity did nothing ‘to combat the societal prejudice against female-authored comedy’ (p. 362). Paradoxically, then, the

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shield of anonymity may have enabled female humourists to carve out a space for their work in the press, but it also functioned to further entrench societal prejudices about women’s capacity for humour. The politics of female intervention in male periodical spaces is further probed by Deborah Mutch in her consideration of the women’s columns of two socialist periodicals in the 1890s: the Labour Leader (1894–1922), edited by Keir Hardie, and the Clarion (1891–1935), edited by Robert Blatchford. In spite of the progressive, ethical brand of socialism promoted by the two male editors, Mutch, in ‘Making Space for Women: The Labour Leader, the Clarion, and the Women’s Column,’ demonstrates that broader anxieties about the place of women within the socialist movement can be mapped spatially in their periodicals. What emerges from a spatial analysis of the women’s columns in both is a clear sense of the relationship between column inches and the gender politics that undergirds each periodical’s editorial agenda. Measuring the space allocated to women in both periodicals yields the conclusion that ‘women’s voices and women’s problems held only a fraction of the importance of men’s,’ which functions to further highlight the ‘marginal position’ that women occupied within British socialism at this time (p. 377). Valerie Sanders’s essay, ‘By the Fireside: Margaret Oliphant’s Armchair Commentaries,’ also considers the spatial limitations imposed on female writers by male editors, specifically in relation to the late journalism of Margaret Oliphant. Like Dillane, Sanders explores the gendered dynamics of women writers publishing work in the press without an accompanying, genuine signature. In the case of Oliphant, the ‘greyhaired woman by the fireside’ persona she assumed for her series in the St James’s Gazette and the Spectator served an emancipatory function in her final years as a journalist in the 1880s and 1890s (p. 391). Making the most of the ‘spatial freedom’ she earned after a long career writing for periodicals, Oliphant’s canny experiments with personae facilitate the expression of ‘idiosyncratic views in opinionated language,’ without danger of recrimination (p. 390). Yet Sanders is also careful to remind us that the professional perspicacity and freedom of voice demonstrated in these late columns come after five decades of writing for Blackwood’s without the security of a ‘formal and continuing contract for regular contributions’ (p. 379). For Oliphant, as for all of the female journalists discussed in this section, negotiating a space for their work in the masculine sphere of journalism was not without its difficulties, given that Victorian women rarely, if ever, had access to the press on the same terms as their male counterparts.

Works Cited Beetham, Margaret. 1989. ‘Open and Closed: The Periodical as a Publishing Genre.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 22.3: 96–100. Oliphant, Margaret. 1899. The Autobiography and Letters of Mrs. M. O. W. Oliphant. Ed. Mrs Harry Coghill. New York: Dodd, Mead.

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18 Women Journalists and Periodical Spaces Joanne Shattock

O

n the morning of her death on 16 February 1895, the journalist and novelist Camilla Crosland (1812–95) received an early copy of Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal for 23 February containing her essay on ‘politeness.’ It was her last contribution to the famous weekly, ending an association that had begun in 1841. According to her autobiography, Landmarks of a Literary Life 1820–1892 (1893), Crosland’s writing career, like that of many of her female contemporaries, began out of necessity. Born into the ‘cultivated middle classes,’ as she described them (Crosland 1893: 17), her education was cut short by her father’s sudden death, when she was required to find a means of supporting herself and her mother. Having tried ‘governessing,’ she then turned to writing. A poem she published in Bentley’s Miscellany caught the eye of Robert Chambers, of the Edinburgh publishing firm, and led to an invitation to write for the Journal and to a lifelong friendship with the Chambers brothers. The Countess of Blessington was another patron, offering her opportunities to write for the annual Book of Beauty and later to the Keepsake. Leitch Ritchie, editor of Friendship’s Offering, appointed her to the unofficial post of subeditor in the early 1840s, for which she was remunerated. Crosland was advantaged by having been born and based in London. Landmarks of a Literary Life recounts the literary parties and receptions to which she was invited, the most enjoyable of which were the ‘at homes’ of the novelist and editor Anna Maria Hall and her husband Samuel Carter Hall at their cottage ‘the Rosery’ in old Brompton, where writers, artists, and publishers crowded into the small rooms on Thursday afternoons. Writers’ knowledge of one another did not depend solely on these social occasions, as Crosland emphasised: ‘It must be remembered that literary people, of whatever grade, who know each other through the pen, never do meet as strangers’ (1893: 153). Her memoir illustrates the intimate world of literary London of the 1840s and 1850s, and the ease with which writers and artists of different backgrounds and degrees of seniority mingled. It also illustrates the ready acceptance of women writers in these circles. Crosland’s autobiography offers some shrewd insights into many of the prominent figures in the metropolitan literary world of the 1840s and 1850s. What her memoir frustratingly does not reveal, and what her husband Newton Crosland’s Rambles Round My Life (1898), which drew on her early diaries, does not fill in, are details of what she contributed to the weeklies, monthlies, and annuals for which she wrote for over fifty years. Crosland, also known by her maiden name of Toulmin, is remembered

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for a handful of novels, a collective biography of famous women of the past, a volume of poetry, and a translation of the dramatic works of Victor Hugo. Her journalism, in both range and content, is virtually unknown, including most of her work for Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal. Much of it was published before the 1860s, when anonymity was the norm. In this she is typical of many women journalists of the mid-nineteenth century whose work was recognised by a small circle of colleagues and friends, but, unless reprinted, was unacknowledged by a wider public. Landmarks of a Literary Life remains her most enduring achievement by virtue of its candid account of the life of a freelance Victorian woman journalist, reliant on influential editors, chance encounters, and sheer luck, as was the case with her introduction to the Chambers brothers. In this chapter, I will examine the careers of three other prolific women journalists who were Crosland’s near contemporaries, although she mentions only one of them in her memoir. Mary Howitt (1799–1888), Eliza Meteyard (1816–79), and Margaret Oliphant (1828–97) lived and worked in or near London for most of their writing lives, although their formative years were spent in the provinces. They wrote in order to earn a living: Howitt and Oliphant to support their families, Meteyard to support her siblings after the death of their father. All three wrote for mainstream publications on a range of subjects far beyond those often assumed to be the preserve of women journalists in the period. Howitt, like Crosland, found the annuals a useful source of income, although unlike Crosland, she deplored their literary quality. She and Eliza Meteyard contributed to a range of cheap weeklies and monthlies established in the 1840s aimed at newly literate artisans of the large towns, the so-called ‘journals of popular progress’ (Maidment 1984: 83). Margaret Oliphant, in contrast, wrote articles and book reviews for Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, the celebrated house magazine of William Blackwood and Sons, the long-established Edinburgh publishers. The careers of these three journalists illustrate the variety of periodical spaces inhabited by women writers in the nineteenth century.

Mary Howitt Mary Howitt and her husband William were part of a group of writers and intellectuals attracted to the Unitarian chapel at Finsbury, in east London, under its charismatic minister William Johnson Fox. The group, whose politics ranged from liberal to radical, were drawn together by a desire for political and social reform. They included the dramatist and journalist Douglas Jerrold, the poet R. H. Horne, the sanitary reformer Thomas Southwood Smith, the writer Samuel Smiles, and the Chartist and radical William Lovett. There were a number of women writers in the group: Harriet Martineau, Eliza Meteyard, who would become a close friend of the Howitts, the feminist writer Mary Leman Grimstone, later Gillies, and Sarah Flower Adams, the hymn writer. The group has been described by Kathryn Gleadle as ‘radical Unitarians,’ because of their progressive attitude to women’s rights, distinguishing them from the mainstream Unitarians whose view of women’s role in society and in the family was more conservative and traditional (1995: 4). The group attached to South Place Chapel, as it was known, advocated the improvement of working conditions including shorter working hours, sanitary reform, free trade, the widening of opportunities for education, the extension of women’s rights, and an extension of the suffrage. William Howitt was the more politically committed of the two, but both he and Mary agreed with the aims of the radical Unitarians.

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The Howitts were born into Midland Quaker families, but by the time of their move from Nottingham to London in the late 1830s they had begun to distance themselves from the Friends, a process that would culminate in a complete break in 1847. One of the attractions of the radical Unitarians was their close links with the Monthly Repository, a journal with an impressive list of contributors, including John Stuart Mill, Harriet Taylor, Thomas Noon Talford, and Robert Browning, which was edited by Fox from 1827 until 1836. Harriet Martineau, as Linda Peterson has noted, underwent a decade-long apprenticeship with the Monthly Repository under Fox, becoming one of its chief reviewers (Peterson 2009: 71). The journal published articles by both Howitts, and Mary became one of a number of women poets who contributed regularly (Mineka 1944: 361). Fox’s influence had waned by the time the Howitts attached themselves to the South Place group, but the contacts they made there were useful and energising to both of them. Before their move to London, Mary had written for a number of annuals, with the help and encouragement of their friends Alaric Watts, editor of the Literary Souvenir, and Anna Maria and Samuel Carter Hall, editors of the Juvenile Forget-Me-Not and the Amulet respectively (Howitt 1889: 2.215). Her contributions were mainly poems, from which she selected the best for republication in volumes, some published jointly with her husband. Her poems were also republished without acknowledgement by numerous North American periodicals so that, according to the Howitts’ biographer C. R. Woodring, her reputation in America in the 1830s and early 1840s was as high as it was in Britain (1952: 105). In 1838 she took over the editorship of Fisher’s Drawing-Room Scrapbook in succession to Laetitia Landon, a task to which she was resigned, but did not enjoy. ‘I was not proud of the work,’ she wrote in her Autobiography (1889: 2.22), but the £100 annual stipend was welcome. By the end of the 1830s she was also writing for Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal, as a result of meeting Robert Chambers during a visit to Edinburgh in 1836 (1889: 1.255, 284). The Howitts’ move to London changed their prospects dramatically. In the early 1840s they became involved in a number of cheap publications with an overtly humanitarian and reformist agenda, the ‘journals of popular progress’ which were aimed at a new mass family readership. Douglas Jerrold’s Shilling Magazine (1845– 8) and Douglas Jerrold’s Weekly Newspaper (1846–8) led the way, followed by the People’s Journal, a weekly founded and edited by John Saunders, a close associate of the Howitts. William Howitt held a financial share in the People’s Journal. After it had been running for a year he quarrelled with Saunders and took control of the weekly, renaming it Howitt’s Journal of Literature and Popular Progress. An illustrated paper selling for 1½ pence, it ran from January 1847 until June 1848. A large portion of the articles in its densely printed double-columned pages were signed; some contributors used pseudonyms. The first number began with ‘William and Mary Howitt’s address to their Friends and Readers’ in which the joint editors set out their agenda. The paper would give support to ‘all the onward and sound movements of the time . . . to the cause of Peace, of Temperance, of Sanatory reform, of Schools for every class – to all the efforts of Free Trade, free opinion; to abolition of obstructive Monopolies, and the recognition of those great rights which belong to every individual of the great British people’ (2 Jan 1847: 1–2). The first instalment of the ‘Weekly Record of Facts and Opinions connected with General Interests and Popular Progress’ further highlighted the extension of schools and libraries, the

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early closing of shops, the abolition of slavery, ‘the elevation of women in the scale of intelligence and comfort,’ ‘the defense, reform and rescue of the unhappy victims of seduction,’ and the abolition of capital punishment (15). The contributors to the Journal were drawn from the Howitts’ now enlarged circle, many of them connected to South Place Chapel and the Monthly Repository: Southwood Smith, Mary Leman Gillies, W. J. Fox, R. H. Horne, Samuel Smiles, Goodwyn Barmby, and William Bridges Adams. Others were encouraged to contribute by Mary Howitt: ‘Cotton Mather Mills,’ the newly minted pseudonym of Elizabeth Gaskell, who would shortly become famous as the author of Mary Barton (1848); the novelist and travel writer Julia Pardoe; the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, some of whose work she had translated; and poets Ebenezer Elliott and William Allingham. Eliza Meteyard, who had become a protégée, was a regular contributor of short stories and articles. As Alexis Easley has noted, Howitt’s Journal, like Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine and later Eliza Cook’s Journal, made a point of encouraging contributions from women writers (2015: 21). Mary Howitt’s contributions included numerous poems, some written for children, brief memoirs or biographical sketches, including one of Andersen, translations from German and Swedish works, and miscellaneous articles. ‘The Beginning and the End of Mrs Muggeridge’s Wedding Dinner,’ her only short story, published in the first number, underlined some of the Journal’s favourite themes: the harshness of the justice system toward the poor, the importance of thrift, the dangers of debt, the rewards of hard work, and the value of domestic economy. The extent of Mary’s involvement in the management of Howitt’s Journal is unclear. Both Howitts found the experience stressful, as her Autobiography records. They blamed most of their troubles on John Saunders’s earlier financial mismanagement of the People’s Journal. Whether or not this was true, Howitt’s Journal ceased production after only eighteen months, leaving them bankrupt and bruised. Saunders resumed control and renamed the weekly the People’s and Howitt’s Journal, which carried on until 1851. Their reputations suffered as well as their finances when prominent figures, including Harriet Martineau and Douglas Jerrold, sided with Saunders in what became a very public quarrel. Camilla Crosland made a point of registering her disapproval of William Howitt’s conduct of the Journal, alleging that he had ‘flooded it with his own and his wife’s contributions’ (Crosland 1893: 198), which in the case of Mary Howitt was patently untrue. Following the collapse of Howitt’s Journal Mary continued to write for the periodical press, but most of her energy went into book publication. Dickens issued a warm invitation to both the Howitts to contribute to his newly established Household Words in 1850. Mary’s contributions were limited to three articles and several poems. As Anne Lohrli demonstrated, the articles showed her skill in remediating alreadypublished work (1973: 315). Her friend H. F. Chorley became editor of Bradbury and Evans’s new Ladies’ Companion, to which she contributed, and she later wrote for the Leisure Hour and for Good Words. Mary Howitt’s most significant contribution to the expansion of opportunities for women in journalism in the middle decades of the nineteenth century was probably as a mentor to younger women writers rather than as a model practitioner. Her support and encouragement of Eliza Cook, Eliza Meteyard, and Elizabeth Gaskell bore tangible results. She actively recruited contributors to Eliza Cook’s Journal (1849–54),

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another of the journals of popular progress. She used her North American connections to recruit Gaskell, and also Harriet Martineau, to write for Sartain’s Union Magazine, an illustrated monthly published in Philadelphia. Mary and William Howitt had both been influential in encouraging Gaskell’s writing career, most notably in introducing her to the publishers Chapman and Hall, who published Mary Barton. She became a regular visitor to the Howitts’ home in Clapton. Meteyard’s career benefited from Mary Howitt’s active patronage, as will be shown in the next section. Mary was also responsible for introducing the Swedish novelist Fredrika Bremer to the British literary scene and for actively promoting her novels. In the 1850s she became an influential patron of a younger generation of women writers, among them Barbara Leigh Smith, a friend of her artist daughter Anna Maria, and Bessie Rayner Parkes, as well as their colleagues in the Langham Place group of early feminists who published the influential English Woman’s Journal (1858–64). William and Mary Howitt remained prominent figures in metropolitan literary society through the 1850s and 1860s. They were regular guests at the parties hosted by John Chapman at 142 Strand and by Anna Maria and Samuel Carter Hall at their new home near Addlestone in Surrey. For most women writers at mid-century, Mary Howitt was a representative of an older, pioneering generation. Margaret Oliphant, who recalled meeting the Howitts ‘everywhere in our small circle’ in the 1850s (1990: 41), liked Mary, although she had alarmed her with stories of the deaths of her children. Camilla Crosland, meeting her girlhood heroine for the first time in 1845, was more critical: She would have seemed the very type of person that younger women would have looked up to for guidance and advice, had there not been in her manner a certain something which failed to command. Perhaps it was the semblance of extreme amiability, added to the stamp of provincialism, which I do not think she ever quite lost. (Crosland 1893: 195) Whatever the individual responses to her, Mary Howitt was, as Crosland said, a ‘household word’ among women writers and readers, a ubiquitous presence in diaries and memoirs, and an indication of women’s increasing habitation of periodical spaces.

Eliza Meteyard Eliza Meteyard’s journalism, according to Gleadle, was a direct product of radical Unitarian thinking (1995: 33–70). She bought wholeheartedly into the reformist agenda of the Unitarian community attached to South Place Chapel, which she joined in the early 1840s, and tackled a wide range of the social issues they espoused in her writing. Little is known of her early years as a writer. According to her entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, she settled in London in 1842 after a childhood spent in Shropshire and Norfolk. Her friend William Lovett praised her as ‘a keen politician’ and ‘one of the most worthy, industrious and persevering women’ (qtd in Rogers 2000: 127). Her first known periodical contribution, ‘Scenes in the Life of an Authoress,’ based on her novel Struggles for Fame (1845), was published in Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine from December to April 1844 under the editorship of Christian Johnstone. Douglas Jerrold is credited with giving her the pseudonym ‘Silverpen,’ by

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which she signed her contributions to Douglas Jerrold’s Shilling Magazine and his Weekly Newspaper and also to Howitt’s Journal. Her stories and articles in Jerrold’s publications in 1846 reinforced many of Jerrold’s own views. ‘Protection to Women,’ a forthright piece in Douglas Jerrold’s Weekly Newspaper (8 Aug 1846), argued for the criminalisation of seducers, rather than punishment for the victims of seduction, tough action against brothel keepers and others who profited from prostitution, an end to delayed marriages among the middle and upper classes, and a sympathetic and active response by women to their unfortunate sisters. ‘The Gibbet – its Death and Burial’ in Douglas Jerrold’s Shilling Magazine lent support to one of Jerrold’s favourite campaigns, for the abolition of capital punishment. In what would become a recognisable mode for her most hard-hitting journalism, Meteyard combined sentiment, satire, and irony in a short story that was more a rhetorical essay than fiction. Beginning with a report of ‘my Lord Judge’ who left town with his black cap packed in anticipation of pronouncing a death sentence, the story centres on a silversmith falsely accused of murder, a former hangman who is humanised by the hero’s kindness, and an eleventh-hour reprieve as Parliament votes to end capital punishment. The jubilant populace tear down and burn the gibbet in celebration, crying, ‘Let man learn that crime is disease; that in his own hand lies volition to good or evil . . . Down with the gibbet, down! And raise up the laws of Christ’ (Sep 1846: 240). In another story, ‘Divinity from Rags,’ also published in Douglas Jerrold’s Shilling Magazine, Meteyard introduced a theme that would run through her journalism in the 1840s, the link between lack of education and crime. In this story, a youthful thief, operating from a thieves’ kitchen reminiscent of Fagin’s in Dickens’s Oliver Twist (1837–8), is befriended by an aged bookseller, learns to read at a ragged school, and is transformed into a useful member of society, founding his own school and publishing spelling books. ‘Evil is not a necessity to man,’ the conclusion runs, ‘but a contingent of ignorance’ (Dec 1846: 557). Another story, ‘The Market – Old and New’ (Douglas Jerrold’s Shilling Magazine June 1847), juxtaposed the horrors of the living and working conditions of the inhabitants of Smithfield meat market with the redemptive power of education, combined with the healing powers of nature. A sensitive youth is rescued from brutalisation by an enlightened surgeon, and a young girl of deficient mental powers finds a useful life in ministering to the inhabitants of a newly created school and an institution for the elderly, both located in a rural setting. In ‘The Whittington Club and the Ladies,’ published in Douglas Jerrold’s Weekly Newspaper, Meteyard endorsed one of Jerrold’s pet projects, the Whittington Club, which provided dining facilities, a library, meeting rooms, and lectures for metropolitan clerks and office workers, modelled on the Manchester Athenaeum. Women were given equal privileges with men in the club. ‘Silverpen’ in this instance feigned masculinity, arguing, ‘We are for womanly advance. We cannot sever the unity of her progress from our own, however modified it may be by sexual difference’ (24 Oct 1846: 343). A series of articles on the importance of public sanitation in Douglas Jerrold’s Weekly Newspaper (including ‘Baths and Washhouses’ on 15 August and ‘Sanatory Organism’ on 12 December 1846) demonstrated her familiarity with recent reports by official commissions and her acute criticism of the government’s reluctance to act on their recommendations. The fact that ‘Silverpen’ contributed to Jerrold’s magazine and newspaper as frequently as she did suggested that she had the confidence of the editor and proprietor.

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Camilla Crosland, coincidentally, provides an independent testimony to Jerrold’s encouragement of women writers, writing of meeting him in the mid-1840s: He had considerable faith in woman’s capacity for intellectual pursuits, while fully recognizing the difficulties under which they laboured when struggling in the battle of life. Speaking of his magazine he once said that he did not care how much ‘dimity’ there was in it provided the ‘dimity’ did not show. (1893: 154) She also benefited from the support and encouragement of William and Mary Howitt. Her writing for Howitt’s Journal reiterated the themes of her work for Jerrold’s publications, the importance of education, the link between ignorance and crime, and the brutalising effect of poverty and disease on human behaviour. ‘Earth’s Worst Tragedy’ (8 May 1847) addressed the widespread fear of educating the working classes and introduced a theme she would develop later: the latent artistic talent and aesthetic sensibility inherent in all classes. In this story, the clever hero, the son of a ploughman, is denied even the inadequate education provided by the village school because of his father’s illness and death. He becomes a self-taught poet and a gifted woodcarver who drowns while rescuing the crass son of the local squire. The ‘tragedy’ of the title is a double one, the inability of society to provide education for the working classes and the death of the hero before he could develop into a great artist. The sexual double standard and the evil of prostitution was a recurring theme of Meteyard’s writing for Howitt’s Journal, as in her story ‘The New Lord Burleigh’ (17 June, 25 July 1848), a sentimental tale of a cross-class marriage, based on a real-life example, and the ease with which an innocent young woman could lose her reputation. In ‘The Co-operative Band’ (13, 20 Mar 1847), she demonstrated her grasp of political economy and her enthusiasm for the principles of co-operation, the latter a subject enthusiastically embraced by the radical Unitarians and one which inspired several of her Utopian tales. In this story, a group of out-of-work labourers pool their scant resources to establish a co-operative farm, each contributing according to his means and his talents, including a criminal who is rehabilitated by the community and contributes his knowledge of scientific methods of agriculture. As more people join, they establish various trades and manufacturing on co-operative principles and create an industrial school to train the next generation. In what would become the pattern for Meteyard’s Utopian stories, the plot fast forwards into the future, when the original forty-acre site has increased to seven thousand, with a population of three thousand and its own form of local government. The community is self-sufficient. Crime, prostitution, poverty, and drunkenness are unknown. Co-operation, in Meteyard’s view, was not merely a material, but a spiritual power, and as the narrator of ‘The Co-operative Band’ reiterates, ‘profit was capital for all’ (20 Mar 1847: 157). As was the case with Camilla Crosland, much of Meteyard’s journalism was unknown to a wider public during her lifetime and has received little attention from literary historians until recent digitisation projects have made it more accessible.1 Despite her immense productivity in the 1840s her writing appears not to have earned enough to support herself and her dependents. She sought assistance from the Royal Literary Fund on several occasions. She was best known during her lifetime for her highly successful biography of Josiah Wedgwood, the Staffordshire potter, which she published in 1865 and which led in turn to several other books about the

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Wedgwoods. The biography gave her temporary financial security, but the pension she received from Gladstone’s government in 1869 for services to the Liberal party was welcome. Meteyard is an example of a productive and innovative woman journalist who challenged the boundaries within which women writers were expected to confine themselves in terms of subject matter. In her writing on contemporary social issues she was a precursor of modern investigative journalists, immersing herself in official reports and statistics, reading Hansard, and gleaning information from the metropolitan political circles in which she moved. Her career is a salutary reminder of how difficult it was to earn an adequate living as a journalist in the mid-nineteenth century without a portfolio that included some modestly selling novels and the occasional bestseller.

Margaret Oliphant Margaret Oliphant, born in 1828 in Wallyford, near Edinburgh, was among the new generation of women writers who emerged in the 1850s. She moved at a young age to Birkenhead, near Liverpool, where her father was a customs official. Shortly after her marriage in 1852 she and her husband, a stained-glass designer, relocated to London to further his career. She had already published several novels with Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, two metropolitan publishers who specialised in fiction. Her big breakthrough, as she saw it, was an introduction to William Blackwood and Sons, who serialised her novel Katie Stewart in Blackwood’s Magazine in 1852. Blackwood became her publisher of choice until the end of her career in 1897. Little is known of Oliphant’s education, formal or otherwise. Her posthumously published Autobiography (1899), revealing of many aspects of her writing life, provides no information about her schooling. Her mother, a voracious reader, encouraged her reading and with other family members became the first audience for her early stories. The Autobiography records her introduction to literary London in the mid-1850s, and her reluctant attendance at various parties, where she was a shy and uncomfortable observer. Oliphant and her young family lived in London until 1865, when she moved to Windsor so that her sons could go to Eton. Yet she never became a metropolitan figure. Following her husband’s death in 1859 she deliberately excluded herself from London circles, accepting invitations from a small group of friends but rarely venturing into a more public arena. Although she visited Scotland frequently she lived there for only a short period in 1860–1. But she remained emotionally attached to Edinburgh and to the firm of William Blackwood and Sons and its magazine for the rest of her life. As early as 1854 Oliphant asked John Blackwood for some regular reviewing in order to supplement the family income. Blackwood’s reply was significant. ‘I am greatly delighted with your power of reviewing,’ he wrote, [and] ‘look forward with much pleasure to your employing your pen in this way, both as being likely to supply a considerable source of income to you, & a long series of admirable articles for the Magazine.’ He went on: ‘Your mind will also be much refreshed by a release from the constant strain of writing original works of fiction.’2 The implication of his last comment was that her reviewing would be a secondary activity, requiring less mental exertion than her novel writing. In fact, she relished the regular rhythm of reading and reviewing, sometimes working up a topic into an article and expanding it later

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into a book project, as was the case with several of her biographies. She inaugurated a number of series so as to ensure an income and a presence beyond the current number. In 1855 she devised a series on ‘Modern Light Literature,’ focusing in turn on theology (July), science (August), history (October), books of travel (November), art (December), and poetry (February 1856), an early indication of the range of subjects she was prepared to tackle in addition to contemporary fiction. Following her review of popular history in this series, she proposed a review of the third and fourth volumes of Macaulay’s History of England which had just been published. Blackwood was encouraging, but also cautious, urging her to be critical of the Whig historian in his ultra-Tory magazine and giving her various issues to raise. Oliphant complied up to a point, but her August 1856 review concentrated on Macaulay’s narrative, and his ability to create a large historical canvas. He possessed ‘a pictorial power unparalleled – a representation of life more vivid and more impressive, perhaps, than anything of the same nature in our language.’ There was ‘perhaps no man in existence who could paint a crowd better’ (Aug 1856: 130, 132).3 His deficiencies, in her view, were not his Whig bias or his supposed inaccuracies as Blackwood saw them, but his inability to depict character. His carefully crafted introductory portraits were ‘always striking, effective and epigrammatic’ (131), but they did not convey the inner man or woman. Of the Duke of Marlborough, a central figure in the history, she wrote: ‘We hear of him but we do not see him . . . we never attain to a real glimpse of the man nor are able to form, for ourselves, a personal estimate of his qualities’ (132). Oliphant was, in effect, reviewing Macaulay’s History from a novelist’s perspective. It was the historian’s inability to probe beneath the surface of his characters, to depict conflicting emotions and passions, that prevented him from reaching ‘the highest rank of art’: It is to ‘society’ present that he expounds and presents the record of ‘society’ past. These splendid groups – these dramatic combinations – this brilliant surface and front of thing, is his true element. He knows his ground when it is parliaments and counsels, statesmen and princes, with whom he has to deal; but when he comes into a primitive condition of life, our artist, though he carries it bravely, cannot choose but show a little bewilderment. (133) The review of Macaulay’s History was proleptic in several respects. In focusing on the importance of understanding character she gave an early indication of her growing interest in biography. She would shortly confront the challenge of interpreting a complex and conflicted character herself in writing the biography of Edward Irving, the early nineteenth-century Scottish theologian and preacher. The Life of Edward Irving (1862), one of her most successful biographies, took her into new territory as well as honing her skills as a biographer. In tracing Irving’s troubled and controversial career she read widely on Scottish theologians and church history, two areas that would further broaden the focus of her reviewing.4 Writing the biography of Irving led her to propose that biographies should now feature in her reviewing for Blackwood’s. ‘I begin to think biography is my forte,’ she wrote to John Blackwood as its publication drew near (1862: MS 4163). She reviewed two recent biographies of Pugin and Turner in quick succession: ‘Augustus Welby Pugin’ (Dec 1861) and ‘J. W. M. Turner, R. A.’ (Jan 1862). Typical of her reviewing style was

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her discerning assessment of the ‘gentle lives’ of Mary Delany, a leading bluestocking, and of Hester Thrale Piozzi, best known for her friendship with Samuel Johnson, ‘bright non-productives, possessors of a celebrity which neither genius nor labour has purchased,’ as she saw them (Apr 1862: 423).5 The stratagem of pairing subjects based on their biographies or memoirs was one she adopted in her well-known article ‘Miss Austen and Miss Mitford’ (Mar 1870) and in ‘Two Ladies,’ on Anna Jameson and Fanny Kemble (Feb 1879). Biographies frequently provided her with an opening to discuss a writer’s work, so much so that it is not easy to separate her reviews of biographies from her literary criticism, as Valerie Sanders has observed (2011: xiv). Oliphant had begun to scrutinise current biographical practice in her June 1858 article on ‘Religious Memoirs.’6 She deplored the feebleness of the standard ‘lives and letters’ model beloved of Victorian biographers, which she regarded as an indiscriminate assemblage of the subject’s letters by a devoted relative, ‘the process of making dead husbands and wives or dead sons and daughters into books,’ as she put it (June 1858: 708). She had much to say in this article and elsewhere about the potency of letters. In the hands of an inexperienced family member an ill-judged selection of letters could totally obscure the writer, as was the case with the compiler of The Life and Letters of Dean Church (1895) who was so intent on presenting the public face of her father that the selection of letters revealed nothing of the man who had influenced theologians for a generation (Apr 1895: 631–2).7 By contrast, the letters of Madame Roland, one of the heroines of the French Revolution, were compelling in their immediacy: ‘The letters are wonderful at once in their frankness and restraint – some portions of them written as in lambent flame’ (Apr 1883: 504).8 Oliphant’s consciousness of the self-revelatory quality of letters was an extension of her fascination with diaries, revealed in her July 1854 review of the diaries of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. Pepys’s diary in particular delighted her: ‘the clearest picture ever displayed to the world of a mind and conscience in perfect undress, with not a thought concealed’ (July 1854: 47).9 She completed her immersion in life writing by a series of articles on ‘Autobiographies’ published intermittently in Blackwood’s between January 1881 and April 1883.10 The articles were written at speed and drew on previous rather than new reading, utilising to the full her enormous powers of assimilation and retention. The pieces were long, prodigal of quotation, and as the new editor of Blackwood’s, William Blackwood III, hinted more than once, could have benefited from some pruning. He nevertheless encouraged the series, placing her first article, on the Renaissance sculptor Benvenuto Cellini, at the head of the January 1881 issue as a sign of his confidence. The seven articles displayed the range of her reading and her competencies. She knew enough Italian to quote her sources liberally in the article on Cellini and that on the seventeenth-century Italian dramatist Carlo Goldoni (Oct 1881). She was an astute reader of autobiography, attuned to the subtle modulations in tone, and to the capacity for self-deception but also self-revelation of the autobiographers. She drew attention to the posturing, bravado, self-confidence, and also the self-doubts displayed in these ‘human documents.’ Four women biographers were included: Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, well known by the nineteenth century for the extravagance of her life if not for her life writing (May 1881); Lucy Hutchinson, like Margaret Cavendish, the biographer of her husband, but unlike Cavendish, a self-effacing autobiographer, and Alice Thornton, a member of

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a prominent Royalist family, less accomplished in writerly terms, but practised in the art of self-justification (July 1882); and Madame Roland, whose Mémoires went through multiple reprintings during the nineteenth century. The varying degrees of empowerment that the women achieved through writing their life stories is hinted at in the articles and forms a connecting thread between the four. Oliphant reviewed the works of the major historians of the Victorian period including Buckle, Froude, and J. R. Green in addition to Macaulay. Biography continued to be a staple commodity in her reviews, the subjects including artists, theologians, and scientists, as well as critics and writers. Her French was sufficiently proficient to enable her to review contemporary French literature. Italian literature, past and present, along with Italian cities, art, and travel writing featured in many reviews and articles. She struggled with German but included Goethe and Schiller in her series on ‘A Century of Great Poets, From 1750 Downwards,’ which ran in Blackwood’s in the early 1870s. Turgenev, whom she probably read in French, was the only contemporary Russian writer she reviewed, although she made passing references to Dostoevsky and to the works of travellers to Russia in other reviews.11 In Annals of a Publishing House (1897), her history of the Blackwood firm, Oliphant self-deprecatingly referred to herself as the magazine’s ‘general utility woman’ (2.475). The much-quoted epithet fails to convey both the range and quality of her reviewing and her position in the magazine’s inner circle from the mid1860s onward. William Blackwood’s generous obituary described her as ‘probably the most accomplished periodical writer of her day’ (July 1897: 162), drawing attention to her contributions to Blackwood’s Magazine and also to the position her journalism occupied in her total oeuvre. Her contributions to periodicals were written over a period of forty-three years, from 1854 until her death. She was instinctively a reviewer and writer of long articles, but she became conscious that the climate was changing and that readers and editors were attracted by shorter pieces. She experimented with regular columns in the St James’s Gazette in 1888, in the Spectator (1889–90), and in Atalanta (1893–4).12 She adopted different authorial personae and widened her range of subjects to include contemporary social issues, but she was not at ease with the new format. She reverted to review essays in her last two series for Blackwood’s, ‘The Old Saloon’ (1887–92) and ‘The LookerOn’ (1894–6). ‘’Tis Sixty Years Since’ (May 1897), her last article for Blackwood’s, was a highly personal retrospective on the events of the Queen’s reign, offering reflections on the changes she had witnessed during her lifetime. It proved to be her valedictory; she died the following month.

Conclusion The careers of these three highly productive and independent women journalists offer a unique insight into the world of Victorian journalism from the perspective of female practitioners. They were not advantaged by birth or connections; they made their own way in a male-dominated world, and collectively pushed at the boundaries of what was assumed to be a woman writer’s role in that world. Mary Howitt’s achievements were those of an editor and mentor to the women who followed her. Eliza Meteyard was a pioneer in the world of investigative journalism, tackling subjects that were usually the preserve of male writers. Margaret Oliphant, who steadfastly adhered to anonymity

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throughout her long career in journalism, made her mark by the sheer scale and range of her reviewing. Henry James’s tart remark in his obituary that ‘no woman had ever, for half a century, had her personal “say” so publicly and irresponsibly’ was in its way a compliment (1914: 360). There were few writers in the second half of the nineteenth century who had escaped the judgment of ‘Mrs Oliphant.’

Notes 1. See Brown 2015. Brown uses Meteyard as an example of a little-known writer, knowledge of whose works and literary networks has been transformed by recent digital innovations. 2. Blackwood to Oliphant, 26 Dec 1854, Blackwood MS 30357, National Library of Scotland. 3. Included in Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant Vol. 13 (Shattock 2013: 49–70). 4. See Broughton 2012. 5. Included in Selected Works Vol. 13. 95–124. 6. Included in Selected Works Vol. 13. 71–94. 7. See Selected Works Vol. 13. 407–44. 8. See Selected Works Vol. 13. 373–406. 9. Included in Selected Works Vol. 13. 1–26. 10. Included in Selected Works Vol. 13. 181–405. 11. See Sanders and Wilkes 2013 for a discussion of her reviews of European literature. 12. See Sanders, Shattock, and Wilkes 2012, Selected Works Vol. 5 for Oliphant’s journalism in her last decade.

Works Cited Blackwood Papers. National Library of Scotland. Broughton, Trev. 2012. Introduction to The Life of Edward Irving. Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant. Vol. 7. London: Pickering & Chatto. xiii–xviii. Brown, Susan. 2015. ‘Networking Feminist Literary History: Recovering Eliza Meteyard’s Web.’ Virtual Victorians. Networks, Connections, Technologies. Ed. Veronica Alfano and Andrew Stauffer. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 57–82. Crosland, Mrs Newton. 1893. Landmarks of a Literary Life 1820–1892. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company. Crosland, Newton. 1898. Rambles Round my Life. An Autobiography 1819–1896. London: W. C. Allen. Easley, Alexis. 2015. ‘Making a Debut.’ The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women’s Writing. Ed. Linda H. Peterson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 15–28. Gleadle, Kathryn. 1995. The Early Feminists. Radical Unitarians and the Emergence of the Women’s Rights Movement, 1831–51. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Howitt, Mary. 1889. Mary Howitt. An Autobiography. Ed. Margaret Howitt. 2 vols. London: Wm Isbister. Hunter, Fred. 2004. ‘Eliza Meteyard.’ Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (last accessed 5 Aug 2016). James, Henry. 1914. ‘London Notes, August 1897.’ Notes on Novelists. London: Charles Scribner. 357–60. Lohrli, Anne, compiler. 1973. Household Words: A Weekly Journal 1850–1859. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Maidment, Brian. 1984. ‘Magazines of Popular Progress and the Artisans.’ Victorian Periodicals Review 17.3: 83–94.

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Mineka, Francis. 1944. The Dissidence of Dissent: The Monthly Repository, 1806–1838. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Oliphant, Margaret. 1897. Annals of a Publishing House. William Blackwood and his Sons. Their Magazine and Friends. 2 vols. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons. —. [1899] 1990. The Autobiography of Margaret Oliphant. The Complete Text. Ed. Elisabeth Jay. Oxford: Oxford University Press. —. 2011–16. Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant. Ed. Joanne Shattock and Elisabeth Jay. The Pickering Masters. 25 vols. London: Pickering and Chatto and Routledge. Peterson, Linda H. 2009. Becoming a Woman of Letters. Myths of Authorship and the Facts of the Victorian Market. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Rogers, Helen. 2000. Women and the People: Authority, Authorship and the Radical Tradition in Nineteenth Century England. Aldershot: Ashgate. Sanders, Valerie. 2011. Introduction to Literary Criticism 1877–86. Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant. Vol. 3. London: Pickering and Chatto and Routledge. ix–xx. — and Joanne Wilkes. 2013. Introduction to Essays on European Literature and Culture. Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant. Vol. 14. London: Pickering & Chatto, Routledge. xiii–xxvi. —, Joanne Shattock and Joanne Wilkes. 2012. Introduction to Literary Criticism 1887–97. Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant. Vol. 5. London: Pickering & Chatto, Routledge. xxi–xxxii. Shattock, Joanne, 2013. Introduction to Essays on Life-Writing and History. Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant. Vol. 13. London: Pickering & Chatto. xiii–xxiii. Slater, Michael. 2002. Douglas Jerrold. London: Duckworth. Woodring, Carl Ray. 1952. Victorian Samplers: William and Mary Howitt. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.

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19 Making Space for Women’s Work in the LEISURE HOUR: From Variety to ‘Verity’ Katherine Malone

TOO TIGHT MAKES LOOSE Fizz went the beer through the hole from which it had driven the peg! The master hammered the peg in tight. Fizz–fizz–fizz went the beer through a seam in the cask! The master plastered the seam with pitch. Bang went the beer through the bunghole all over the cellar! ‘It’s a pity!’ said the old Barrel, standing nearly empty, ‘but, if he had but left it a little liberty and breathing room, it wouldn’t have taken the law into its own hands.’ (‘Original Fables,’ Leisure Hour 6 July 1867: 431)

T

he LEISURE HOUR was launched as a penny weekly family magazine by the Religious Tract Society in 1852 to compete with the flood of cheap and often sensational periodicals that were suddenly available to working-class readers. Because the society hoped to attract a wide working-class audience while also satisfying its middle-class, evangelical membership, early advertisements for the new magazine emphasised both the variety of its contents and its Christian tone: ‘Articles on the more prominent topics of the day will be mingled with interesting narratives, instructive sketches from history, visits to places of celebrity in distant parts of the world, popular dissertations on scientific questions, and the choicest effusions of poetry: the whole forming a miscellany aiming to be highly attractive in itself, and one which the Christian parent and employer may safely place in the hands of those who are under his influence’ (Publishers’ Circular 4 Dec 1851: 399). The notion that the Leisure Hour’s contents could be trusted as safe was reiterated in the inaugural issue. In ‘A Word with Our Readers,’ the Leisure Hour claimed it would ‘introduce to the reader only such views as all may unite in approving. . . . It is no part of our design to sound the gong of controversy, and there are many secular questions which divide the opinions of good men, with which we shall not choose to intermeddle’ (1 Jan 1852: 8). Yet, despite its promise to avoid controversial secular debates, from 1860 onward the Leisure Hour published a surprising number of articles advocating for women’s education, employment, and property rights. Indeed, articles signed by suffragists, education reformers, and Girton graduates – with titles like ‘Female Employment,’ ‘Training of Women,’ ‘Married Women’s Property,’ ‘On the Education of Girls of the Middle Classes,’ ‘University Examinations for Women,’ and ‘Work and Pay for Ladies’ – often ran alongside fiction, essays, and poems in praise of women’s private, domestic

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roles. To borrow an image from the original fable ‘Too Tight Makes Loose,’ in which a beer-master struggles to contain his wares, the Leisure Hour housed some potentially combustible material. Indeed, this homely lesson about leaving something open in order to keep it contained serves as an apt metaphor for the Leisure Hour’s handling – and later, mishandling – of the fraught topic of women’s work. From 1860 through the 1890s, the Leisure Hour was able to advocate for women’s rights in its regular contents without exploding into controversy because this space balanced what Margaret Beetham has described as the magazine’s open and closed qualities. Briefly put, open qualities multiply interpretations and refuse a dominant discourse, whereas closed qualities limit, define, or brand the magazine. As Beetham theorises, ‘The form is mixed and various, but each individual periodical has to maintain a certain consistency of mixture’ (1989: 98). The Leisure Hour was open in the sense that its heterogeneous contents included multiple and even contradictory voices (hence, the fizzing in our metaphor), but in order for the magazine to maintain a recognisable identity from issue to issue, these individual voices had to be balanced with certain closed qualities. Magazines typically achieved such closure through visual cues like a consistent masthead, layout, or recurring departments or columns. The Leisure Hour branded itself as a source of safe entertainment through closed, recurring traits including its subtitle, A Family Journal of Instruction and Recreation, and an epigraph from William Cowper, ‘Behold in these what leisure hours demand, – amusement and true knowledge hand in hand’ (Figure 19.1). But it also relied heavily on the pervasive evangelical rhetoric of hard work, self-dependence, and progress. This consistent rhetoric placed even secular articles about women’s labour within a loosely Christian framework and served to contain all of the Leisure Hour’s beer in one stable barrel. This dynamic is especially interesting because it reveals how the Leisure Hour’s closed qualities helped open it to progressive ideas. Enclosed by the Leisure Hour’s trademark evangelical rhetoric, individual articles about women’s work and education could be read by different types of readers and interpreted in a variety of ways without forcing the magazine to take a clear editorial position within divisive debates. It was only in 1899, when the Leisure Hour introduced a dedicated women’s column called ‘Wives, Mothers, and Maids,’ that the topic of women’s work became visibly controversial. Although the column initially invoked the same rhetoric that

Figure 19.1 Masthead, Leisure Hour 6 (July 1867: 417). Courtesy HathiTrust.

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had characterised the Leisure Hour as a whole for more than four decades, the closed space of this column endorsed a pointedly progressive stance on women’s issues. Whereas previously the magazine had functioned as a container for the fizzing of multiple voices, the women’s column closed itself from the magazine’s other contents, narrowed the audience, and tightened the possible interpretations, so that ‘the old Barrel’ itself seemed to speak. We can see how the magazine struggled to control this implied editorial voice and the competing images of womanhood it summoned up as, month after month, the column’s purpose shifted erratically from job advice to home advice and short sermons on moral subjects, until it finally dissolved into a list of household tips. These successive changes and tweaks call to mind the foolhardy beer-master sealing the cracks with pitch, hammering the peg in too tightly, until ultimately, of course, ‘bang went the beer through the bunghole.’ By comparing the Leisure Hour’s treatment of women’s work in both its regular contents and the women’s column, this essay explores how creating a dedicated space for women paradoxically narrowed this magazine’s discourse about women. Indeed, as ‘Too Tight Makes Loose’ suggests, the space in which feminist articles were presented mattered as much as, and perhaps even more than, the details of their arguments.

Fizz, Fizz: How Closed Rhetoric Opened the Magazine to Progressive Ideas What I call the Leisure Hour’s feminist work is constituted primarily by non-fiction articles that endorsed a version of femininity that was active rather than passive, emphasised women’s need for economic and intellectual independence, and rejected the gendered opposition of domestic and public spheres. This description may seem surprising, given the magazine’s rather staid reputation. Contemporary reviews of the Leisure Hour suggest that it was the least provocative magazine imaginable. While commentators in the 1850s made a habit of bemoaning the sorry state of penny literature, the British Quarterly Review’s survey of ‘Cheap Literature’ asserted, ‘It will be seen at once that the Leisure Hour forms an exception to the class to which we suppose it must be considered to belong. It is more solid, more in earnest in its work, and more trustworthy’ (Apr 1859: 344). Decades later, the Review of Reviews marked ‘The Jubilee of the Leisure Hour’ with measured praise: ‘More interesting and attractive than before, it remains not less instructive or valuable’ (Jan 1902: 72). As Samuel Green’s Story of the Religious Tract Society put it, the Leisure Hour ‘ministered to the intellectual improvement’ of its readers, ‘carrying out its principle of treating all subjects of human interest in the light of Christian truth’ (1899: 73). But this Christian framework allowed the magazine to become more activist than the reviews acknowledge. Indeed, the Leisure Hour was able to incorporate arguments in favour of expanding women’s roles in the public sphere precisely because the Religious Tract Society branded it from the start as a magazine for hard-working Christians committed to advancement. As Josef Altholz has demonstrated, ‘Competition with the respectable secular press often meant that the evangelicalism of [religious] journals would be diffuse or attenuated’; thus, the Leisure Hour’s Christian tone was defined more by the rhetoric of hard work, self-improvement, and social progress than by overt discussion of religious doctrine or salvation (1989: 48). This is clear in advertisements for the Leisure

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Hour, which explained, ‘While the work will be imbued with the religious spirit, it will comprise papers on every subject which can elevate, gratify, or instruct’ (Publishers’ Circular 4 Dec 1851: 399). Even though the Religious Tract Society had a religious agenda, it also knew that overtly religious content would be seen as didactic by its target audience of working-class readers. The Leisure Hour was even published without the Religious Tract Society’s imprint because, as Aileen Fyfe explains, ‘the name “RTS” would be more likely to suggest patronising middle-class interference than trustworthy information. In these circumstances, the uncertainty of an invisible editor/ publisher would be better than the certainty of a disliked editor/publisher’ (2004: 180). The magazine also tempered its corporate identity with its polyvocal contributors. The first issue assured readers, ‘We will frankly state the general nature of our aim. And, first, we are not one, but many. We aspire to utter on every topic, not merely the sentiment of an individual, but such as would find an echo in every section of the Christian church’ (1 Jan 1852: 8). United by common values, the many voices of the Leisure Hour promised ‘to point out with a friendly hand the obstacles to social advancement which lie in the bosoms of the people; and stimulate them to the attainment of every virtue which ought to elevate and gladden our English home’ (1 Jan 1852: 8–9). This helps to explain why a magazine whose title pointed toward leisure had so much to say about work. In its first year, we find a five-part historical series on ‘The Working Man in the Olden Time,’ a bit of moral advice outlining the differences between ‘The Intelligent and the Mechanical Worker,’ a report on ‘Workmen’s Cooperative Societies’ in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and practical advice on how to emigrate to Australia for new employment opportunities. Such articles often valorised workers and their contributions to the progress of civilisation and some even called for reform, but more often they carefully balanced progressive and conservative impulses. For example, ‘The Working Man in the Olden Time: His Domestic and Social Condition’ (part two of a series) exalts the social and political changes that have improved the lives of working people and even aligns those changes with God’s will: ‘The misery which his political degradation entailed upon the working man in the olden time, was not relieved by those social and domestic comforts with which Providence has blessed our own age’ (22 Jan 1852: 62). But even while celebrating these advancements, the article carefully avoids overt calls for reform that might hasten such progress, even chastising readers who might be ‘disposed to repine and murmur’ about their current lot (62). These rhetorical strategies dominated the Leisure Hour’s earliest discussions of women’s labour, too. An 1854 article on ‘Woman’s Industry’ speculates, ‘It will be very interesting to examine what are the occupations of women in this country, and how their industry is connected with many of the enjoyments and necessaries of life’ (23 Mar 1854: 180). The anonymous writer presents women’s employment not only as a means of self-improvement but also as a sign of national progress and prosperity. Indeed, the jobs discussed in the article – rolling the steel for pens, assembling books in printing offices, and folding paper bags – are a testimony to the era’s expanding goods and services. In this same vein, descriptions of female factory workers in ‘A Day at a Cotton Mill’ (16 Dec 1852: 805–8) and illustrations of women in the print industry in ‘How Macaulay’s History Was Bound’ (31 Jan 1856: 72–4) emphasise the speed and ef