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(s): Jeffrey A. Auerbach Source: Victorian Periodicals Review, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Summer, 1997), pp. 121-140 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press on behalf of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20082979 . Accessed: 06/12/2013 06:29
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What They Read: Mid-Nineteenth Century English
Women's and the Emergence Magazines Culture of a Consumer
JEFFREY A. AUERBACH
a magazine for upper-middle Jin February 1852, The Ladies' Cabinet, to its readers that it in existence for thirty years, announced class women in the following months present would be changing its format, and would a number of "improvements." of the editors of the By way explanation, in and an obli the "a cited of literary world, progress" magazine rapidity see that they were "well supported." The Feb to to sex" "the fair gation features on ones, included new monthly ruary issue, and all subsequent a page of a and of section household and the literature arts, tips, practical next the edi The month editorial with letters from its readers responses. tors noted "the increasing circulation of our long-established Journal of see that in Fashion." But if one lifted up the veil of "progress," one would to in its format order fact The Ladies' Cabinet compete with two changed
other more successful and popular upper-middle class women's maga
and The Ladies' Companion. Belle Assembl?e zines, The New Monthly in The Cabinet made Ladies' the modifications Moreover, represent only one of a series of changes that culminated in the merger of the three mag under azines into what would be, after 1852, one magazine published
three separate names. The consolidation of these three magazines reveals
sold and what
at a critical moment the transformation in women's
of the 1830s magazines magazines to the more practical and political magazines of the 1860s and 1870s.1 In the early nineteenth tended to provide inno century, women's magazines cent and amusing reading material as an alternative to the daily newspa too tainted for women who were supposed pers, which were considered an to provide husbands.2 Edenic sanctuary for their corrupted working common fictional By the 1840s, there had been a gradual change in the to the from the Romantic story type from the gothic to the domestic, from the Romantic fiction-dominated
This content downloaded from 184.108.40.206 on Fri, 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
tastes. mingled with Mrs. Women's until well this magazines during prevalent were also devoid of what be considered might generally period political During material. contained designed industry. and weekly gardening. readership and sales determined wealthy tent.5 The three magazines under consideration here occupy a "middle posi women's tion" in the history of English nineteenth-century magazines. revealing a gender and class in flux. usefulness. fashion. there was indeed a bot tom line based on the pursuit of profits and pleasing the readership. example. and domestic management. The magazine was clearly oriented painfully woman in the home and as consumer. This transformation mirrors certain changes in mid-nine teenth century English society. prostitution. For than the actual changes in content important as these which such did not rely on a magazines commercially-viable con patron for their support. It was during this time that the movement women's rights put down its roots and began to catch the public eye.3 women's the mid-1850s became at once both more magazines more and The Domestic Magazine practical political. edited by Bessie Raynor Parkes and Mary Hays. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .000 per month. The Victorian Periodicals Review 30:2 Summer 1997 frequency of secular literature aimed at instruction and moral had also increased during the 1830s. The merger reveals an a formula to meet the demands and desires of its industry searching for as consumers were having an increasingly loud voice in the readership.139. dress patterns. Beeton's hygiene. were "hints on how to destroy bedbugs" and "how to nurse the now prevalent origins and typhoid fever. emigration schemes. content content of the magazines in read. of the earlier decades. away from the Romantic moving sentimentality to not yet fully focused on household manners. But more is their origin. pets. In this magazine. Publishers had to attract readers (or buyers). but did not become improvement into the 1840s. The they magazine changes This content downloaded from 14. Englishwoman's for which circulation of achieved 50.82 on Fri. recipes."4 Many of the stories made their middle-class servants and silver-fork designs to produce well-mannered bourgeoisie toward the middle clear. and only just beginning that would issues of female emancipation. for the extension of riage Bill. women wanted to read. characteristics emerge promote in the i86os. and was crammed with on cooking.227. (1852-77). The to environment forced magazines pressures of readership in a competitive can be argued that the it in existence after and thus 1852 product adapt. which in turn says represented what middle-class something about their values. poverty Sister's Mar and the benefits of the Deceased Wife's relief. class But The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine and others like itwere also increasingly influenced by more as The such Woman's Journal journals English politically-oriented (1858-64).122 Realist. and desires. was to promote information geared toward thrift. which openly notes discussed the evils of the late-hour system.
6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . production. between producer author/editor and relationship consumer. probably tainly catered class: many articles included words in foreign languages and phrases an entire article in French (French. editors.7 Rather. AUERBACH I23 about and fueled the therefore emergence shed of light on the process society. the latter of which.82 on Fri. itwas amother and edited by Margaret and Beatrice de Courcy.6 that brought a consumer is That the readership at least in part determined what was published not to say that authors. German. Latin). and poetry. mountains. Begun in 1832. The subjects of these steel engravings were usually romantically picturesque scenes of castles. by or whether were driven and unsuspecting female readership. top down. This content downloaded from 14. it makes sense to view the changes in content in these three over a span of several decades as the product of a symbiotic magazines between and reader. consumer demand. according to one historian. Authors and editors created women consumers. Music. class identity at the moment but some of the on women to advice how be which middle class."8 The magazine also contained black and white steel engravings. with articles on science appeared. Charting the elements of this merger cannot defini answer the whether these changes occurred from the of tively question and/or that foisted authors editors upon an unwilling is. and the ways by sought nature of that advice. Rather. and occasionally an educational function. As Neil McKendrick out. but it vein. at is per month. which were generally of a very high quality. daughter team. therefore. and the arts. and Romance was by 1851 the most archaic and traditional of the three magazines. "was in the sad. appealing to read ers. entrepreneurs have a number of strategies they can employ to create. Regular features in the 1830s in London and published included a serial installment.JEFFREY A. An analysis readership. This study. and then cash in on. and publishers were not also determinants has so brilliantly pointed of what was published. and women readers in turn helped shape what it was they consumed. this article suggests that at some point consumer demand. examines the dynamics of the formation of a consumer society by exploring the interaction between taste. of changes in content over time will reveal not just the selling of middle of that class' emergence. I The Ladies' Cabinet of Fashion. in this case the interests of the female was became vitally important in what published. they by an was was not and indication what and hence of sales. short stories. It also fulfilled in the magazine. instructive articles. and consumption.227. Often cer these would illustrate stories By 1851 the magazine a to to well-educated the upper-middle audience.139. and ravines. detrimen tal bittersweet carried crude fashion plates.
Assuming the fickleness and have been taught? Generosity. of hus bands losing their lives at sea or becoming blind and crippled. devoted almost fifteen percent of its space to Ladies' Cabinet consistently articles about fashion and dress. of separate spheres for women the notion gave support one story.139. scarcely interacting. but Deceptive Woman:" called "On a Fascinating A Woman But with with a beaming untrue face a heart is valueless beautiful. of gothic castles or unsurpassable mountains.227." gambling ruins lives. The Ladies' Cabinet fairly typical domestic In to and men. and charac helpless characterized unquestionably ideology. single women claims "the comparative discussed - This content downloaded from 14. but just the right amount. example. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . majestic "irrevocably couple." his for weal "noble." for read the moral of the ". that "contentment the importance of not saying too much or too little. Though As diamonds dew. There were tales of adventure.but the first story. everything a moment. by they now woman must where she the of the of Fashion." "resolved She cared for him. in For their hair.. Most often also stories which women were purported as to describe women's innocent.. however.10 on the subject of fashion. "Affection may be wanted. devastating thoughts. devoting his attentions one of Byron's heroes. sentimental days of Byron how papers to act." man move to the is the seized "restless and ambition. One example is the story "Affections about a Reward." Suddenly." But whereas many would have given up. and their lessons heeded."9 bids bud bloom of confidence every returning zephyr in fact permeated both the fiction and the non-fic Moralistic messages tion. of travels a into dark woods by thieves and bands of vagabonds.12 There were ter. gave him in and the he succeeded. changeability and is the talisman of happiness. blighted anew.124 The Victorian fiction Periodicals Review 30:2 Summer 1997 in the Roman Cabinet was unquestioningly in the mold. Hardly prowled an "odd" or on month passed without based either sudden mis marriage. his wife to win him from his delusion. happy. city Lady crafty play the world. taken identity. he is to a fair Italian and "personating cold and distant. end.82 on Fri. There were articles and stories which told women what to do and in The Ladies' tic. since women a cap were or not to appear in with taught public hair was Women natural preferred. four elderly. pure. much more akin to what had been popular than in the 1850s of Dickens and Thackeray. The sent mixed messages were.11 formed of these parts of the magazine were read. They flit from one event to another." or she woe. and yet there also appeared poems such as the following. what would women nature of evil how the of fashion.
but it is you who know how to love constantly. piece we assert that marriage woman will be likely to is dispute with us.. it is true we can love ardently.17 The author England in this case was trying to impress upon the reader a certain point of view. your mates."14 In contrast. her educa upon the character and disposition consequently tion. and but without loving. is an anomaly in the universe. of the appropriate of husband and wife to precedence.21 Another earlier contained what might article a few months This content downloaded from 14. a clear instance of moralizing. when her destiny.139." Women in the middle." his The author. logicians. The Ladies' Tonna's Christian Lady's Magazine to improving little attention Cabinet devoted the status of women."18 A same month lines men's that included about how love disappears poem were when "Women's dull/ And her cheek eye grows paleth."19 Women on love.16 This many women ion. men were defined by their ability to love and their dependence defined by an absence of it. which was based on the premise that since "the happiness of human life ismainly dependent of woman.15 a similar dichotomy regarding love. continued. a life.. and the best thing to do was to stress health and physical education. and of their separate and several provinces." The author wrote that "extremes and mutually should be somewhere unpleasant. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1851 ing September an episode in a man's cannot it existence. occupy are to too "We hard be hearted man.82 on Fri. portrayals spheres on Matrimony" "no that A "Hints asserted short titled marriage. people bereavement. The author of one arti fill up some sort of an existence cle suggested that "a man may possibly a woman with care for. that certain behavior was socially unacceptable. nothing to love. cherish. a June 1851 article extolled the advantages of a in much more pragmatic for men terms. an existence without an for there were is. not to mention other women's magazines such as Charlotte Elizabeth or Eliza Cook's Journal. must be ever an object of the deepest solicitude. first of all. although practiced none more is But different role love is depicted as play the theless."13 This and division of the sexes. not in mid-century who did marry.227.." but that on the other hand. children." The author claimed that women who were fine scholars. and caring. AUERBACH I25 or rather. incompatible. love.. mathematicians. to and poets were often "incompetent the common duties of perform should not "addict themselves to life.20 Unlike The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e and The Ladies' Compan object. sphere for the reign of each. women in either branch are domestic duties. both in terms of their innate characteristics was bolstered by the magazine's of and love of action. The came to delving into the world of closest the magazine through politics out 1851 was an article in June on female education. There was minister to. age.JEFFREY A. important A in men's article mentioned that "Love is only lives. in that it provided marriage to in him and loneliness in cheer friends old home.
"prescriptive incorporated devoted fiction. thirteen to fiction. romantic dramas. and biographies. there was little practical advice about how to run a steered clear of political issues house. the editorship of Mrs.227. Wives and Widows' Penny Magazine. it printed a mixture of fiction. appear to have been best-sellers.1^ took over the magazine. nor was to letters from correspondents. on the average seventy-six percent of the pages were or history. II The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e and The Ladies' Companion were the standards by which The Ladies' Cabinet was judged. along the model of what The Ladies' had been printing for and The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e Companion years. though it July 1833 changed Weekly raised the also went under the title of The Penny Belle Assembl?e. She was thirty-six when she became editor of the maga under zine. A quantitative analysis of a similar conclusion.126 be a veiled about men Victorian reference Periodicals Review 30:2 Summer 1997 serve on juries: The author wrote to having women to "an manifest their power and cruelty having opportunity an to without themselves exposing impartial tribunal. who was the wife of a wealthy and prominent London solicitor. the limit of The Ladies' Cabinet's involve political ment in the early 1850s. and for the most part the magazine such as labor legislation and the Irish Question.22 to she The Belle the title Assembl?e. to this qualitative analysis of content is that The Ladies' The conclusion as Cabinet of 1851 was still very much along the lines that magazines had been fifteen years before.139. Wives.82 on Fri. and published weekly which sold for id under the title The Maids. now Baron Wilson. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . known about the editor. and Widows' Penny and Gazette of Fashion. was shortened to The Maids. the content of The Ladies' Cabinet provides Throughout 1851. eight percent to general knowledge to fashion included four of percent (which pages plates). All of these features space devoted would be added in February of 1852. the author of many poems. nov none of which In els. two percent to was Most of the literature" into the poetry. There were no articles on household management or the arts. however. The New Monthly in quarto issues Belle Assembl?e was begun in 1832. to It size 2d and the reduced weekly. which we [women] insist should consist of an equal number of the two sexes. slowly was in 1834 that it to octavo. (Margaret Harries) Cornwell in London and still printed as a weekly Little is by Joseph Rogerson. The fiction was characterized Romanticism by and sentimentality. This content downloaded from 14. comic interludes. price a under the title of The New became shilling-a-month publication Monthly When Wilson Belle Assembl?e." These state ments are. From January until June 1833 the title Magazine.
more than any other in its magazine price range. ^ was created Belle Assembl?e. whose bestselling Sketches by Boz had been fiction."24 Clearly Wilson was doing some on the for III she printed excerpts thing right. Soon after she took over. This in itself sug Belle Assembl?e gests that the formula developed by The New Monthly was more successful than that employed The Ladies' Cabinet." and ends with Theresa "clasped. also known as was The Ladies' Companion and Monthly Magazine begun in 1849.2* One year after she began the maga could This content downloaded from 14. typical story of the 1830s. many short (i.. A Romantic. changes that The Ladies' Cabinet did not make." and the Berkshire Chronicle wrote that "the high reputation of the editress endures a better supply of mental food for the in this class of magazines. running magazine being shops and "by all Booksellers in Town and Country." finally specific tips for a was the in sold several London house." the magazine the highest periodicals of the present enlightened "compete with And the by early 1840s this meant writers of Realist. writers a few years earlier. was "The Ladder of Love. the fifteen years leading up to 1851Wilson made several modi During fications in her magazine.JEFFREY A. a statement of purpose." a story about a beautiful eighteen that begins "On a sultry evening in the month of year-old girl Theresa even in death. preface page to Volume from praise accorded to her magazine the by "public press. dotes. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . AUERBACH 127 poetry." fair sex than we have observed The magazine to content in include advertisements the of which 1836." The Nor most entertaining it "one Review called of the and rington cheapest publi cations of the day. much like what The Ladies' Cabinet printed in the 1850s. but that itwas oriented predominantly towards the middle or upper-middle class. for in Jan uary ers. began February suggest not only that the magazine was a commercial enterprise. The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e moved away from the sentimental fiction that it too had printed in its early years. The by a Ladies' Companion the under of well Loudon. Jane began editorship at the time she and successful author who was forty-two published began work on The Ladies' Companion.."26 like Dickens. in her lover's July." each issue contained four black and white and two color fashion plates. In addition."27 (listed in the magazine) at Home When The Ladies' Companion and Abroad.82 on Fri. When reviewed by the magazine in 1851 the magazine a section added titled which contained "Work. which was "to render this Wilson Maga printed zine equally suitable for the Library-Table of the literary or the Boudoir of the Woman of Taste and Fashion. In particular. riddles. literature reviews.."25 This kind of fiction must not have been too appealing.139. and along the lines of The New Monthly resembled it far more than it did The Ladies' Cabinet.227. "public amusements. not Romantic age. 1843 "some trie of editor the most announced popular that writers she had of the just secured so some that new writ day. arms.e. half-page) stories or anec and the latest fashions.
and in the daily. that the heart must either be satisfied or not. was clear that the content of The Ladies' Companion was appealing to its readership. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . however. editor music. well. Fothergill Chorley." wrote eral morals in sugar they may not choice among them. prescriptive the author of one story. were the of for deco class. dear reader. Chorley was forty a variety of books." himself. that "the more and than their intellects own. and I am his long journey."31 Mrs. "My compliments as well was to to He "It then said much her. he replied. "Take your in this little tale.' for 'very well' would have destroyed the interest In another story the magazine felt in me. When doctor about who young story just sent a servant to inquire about his health following female acquaintance to Mrs. Belle Assembl?e Monthly in 1851 directed toward the middle and Cabinet."34 Women we rest.29 But it was not the editors that in late 1851. upper from class the had financially that class. below with tradesman's and affluent respectable want the head of the gentry. The Ladies' Companion printed a a in had arrived London. course of life. pretty obliged to say only 'pretty well. well-known of critic the Athenaeum. nothing They of each other and the pride keeps together about of middle-class the common competition on for the part impenetrable and that family of each them other apart. none two at the time." Women were and told that they needed the support of men. Both The New like The Ladies' and The Ladies' Companion. any faithfully. "In every trouble that befalls us stories ended with Other readers would have read that "it is round our there is an angel.227. They importance example. to separate it is indicative themselves. by age thirty enlarged need pause and ask her own nature fatherless. "There are sev was in the moralizing.128 Victorian Periodicals Review 30:2 Summer 1997 to Henry control she relinquished zine."33 prove lines such as.139.30 stressed.32 classes working more in contact psychologically in this them. they must be useful. and although he had written seemed to have sold particularly well. who had stronger minds. hourly inter where roof the under very hearth. Munton.82 on Fri. Munton evidently affirmed the significance of class boundaries: The rich are much to there more easily class the brought immediately in contact beneath with them. the poor What than with an those belonging barrier of - the middle is between the class coming under them brings nothing is not only This passage aristocracy. single woman This content downloaded from 14. being wrapped at if taken distasteful: rate. and the case than asserting the middle area in which The New Monthly and The Belle Assembl?e Another from The Ladies' Cabinet did not differ too much Ladies' Companion nature of their fiction. it itwas the content. the lower class attempts as well as by of the old the place of the middle class socially. and by the time of the merger mattered. upper-middle a rum that was suitable to one's station. brotherless.
but in The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e and The Ladies' Companion they were not nearly as sentimental. Both magazines. if it have Women enough also of the old the oak proper in itself way still to stand as well as alone. Belle Assembl?e. Most prominent among these was the treatment of domestic servants.227.." which meant herself available that they married for beauty and youth not was one of work. a like The biography of Ruskin. In the July issue of The New Monthly zines as in The Ladies' Cabinet. biggest Belle Assembl?e. AUERBACH I29 still. and a history of the Incas. amounting accompany Belle space. but how different ilar they were from The they were Ladies' submitting taking care of the house in The those expressed understood by women. this in contrast to The Ladies' Cabinet. and which echo prudently. Monthly which occupied nearly twice as much space in these maga Companion).36 All of these writings. most prevalent story-type. or lost husbands returning home just in the nick of time to save their wives from imminent Next in terms to be about danger. also included articles on the latest fashions and plates to in both cases to just under ten percent of them. This content downloaded from 14. rather than rebelling against their parents' wishes.82 on Fri.139. con to him even In both The New Monthly and The Cabinet?7 Belle Assembl?e Ladies' Companion. there were articles on the history of shoes."35 "How to were taught Manage making him. stories about Byronic heroes sweeping isolated widows off their feet. tendered. reveals not only how sim and The Ladies' Companion to each other. men not that could be Ladies' Cabinet. less than half the space in the maga fiction occupied in which fiction occupied zine. of percentage of space was nonfiction (fourteen percent sixteen percent in The Ladies' Assembl?e. children and proper courtship. They tended could "real-life" situations with which the middle-class readership identify. Ladies' Cabinet.. love. in The New The between difference The Ladies' The New Cabinet. to walk. and that his "sphere" to him. while hers was one of nurturing. the certain servants For certain surely services exist of mutual obligation. however.JEFFREY A. amusing him. There were stories about love between the classes. over seventy-five The love story was still the percent of the magazine. of Belle Assembl?e: women's] Between recognized rewards domestic the head bond are life of very fami servants. vincing him that she could not do without when she knew she was right. Wilson The greatly lies and comfort depends their or argued discomfort on the zeal for The New Monthly of and our good there duly [middle-class faith should rendered. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . A careful survey of the content of The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e in 1851. for example. and The Ladies' Companion was that the latter Monthly two were attentive to societal issues which were of particular importance for women. suggest a Husband.
and allowed middle-class and intellectual activity. treating it similarly in two lengthy articles in 1851.e.." Imprisonment physical. "It is certainly a painful thing to be one that we see so many women beating against their bars wishing thing or other. that any great advance women's can be made. enjoyed by the product can be broadly defined as a shift from Romanticism This reading public. when politics so quickly becomes his a tory.38 These magazines education. psy This content downloaded from 14. but also the limitations never to receive the same treatment of those oppor as men. was Wilson's for education. glamor ized villains and recklessly brave heroes. Wilson posited the in one the class houses. She believed that employers true to "order and planning. but only to as that of that the nature the man. women] than are at present by any means abundant. The author was for women studying both: "It is only by the aid of race of teachers and governesses more and largely-informed thoughtful [i. for women they were in all classes. especially a of fictional.139. to Realism. who are rude and dirty? She argued that there was a mutual good mistresses affinity and attraction between of servants had to go and good servants. whereas there are always different servants.. and asked why in the other door is answered by the same good smiling face." and blind obedience" beyond "industry values. attended "It is cruel to wish for women: a more her upon equal cultivation. and education will solve the bad habits of "haughti against Ignorance. The Romantic fiction of the first half of the nineteenth century contained "wildly improbable plots."4? sphere unless you by 'equal' nothing measuring of the woman should be as carefully article in October. the author her a wider In another lashed out against the many people who thought itwas fine for a woman to study history but not politics."41 magazines of Both the 1850s articles spoke reveal not only out in favor of the ways opening up in which oppor tunities tunities.227. The Ladies' Companion also friends. rather than what they are. Servants should be treated like humans.42 did English women's magazines begin to Ill It is only with this in-depth analysis of content that the failure of The can be understood.82 on Fri. Not until the latter half of the century advocate full equality." ness and exaction.." As a solution the author urged education bestow identical. exaggerated social contrasts. to sensibility. took up this issue. from the gothic to the from sentimentality domestic. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .130 And Victorian Periodicals Review 30:2 Summer 1997 case of two identical middle to make her point. affections. each with two or three servants."39 One author wrote. for its failure is both evidence of and Ladies' Cabinet a shift in the content. also provided solution "the Crusade to of commentary the mistreatment the Nineteenth on the issue of women's of domestic servants is a crusade Century.
as in writers turned their collective classes fiction. and the culti against social convention. Monthly that is an expression of this transformation Ladies' Cabinet. "Amusements of the Month" monthly They events at of available and the concerts. not a novel about factory workers its novelty of setting in its sub country mansion."46 then it should not be surprising that with the rise of the middle class in Victorian England. so too did its geographical range: a had to be set in an industrial town.82 on Fri.227. the exaltation of physical passion. passages to slightly more than ten percent of the content. and The Ladies' Cabinet did not print it. vation of emotion and sensation for their own sakes. lay in a period from twenty to sixty such asMiddlemarch. This early fiction was a revolt characterized individualism. (descriptions plays.45 in printing stories set in the eighteenth Belle century. into But changes in society division industrialization. The New Monthly to changes in the desires and The Ladies' Companion. As Emerson with the dirty issues of life and death without wrote in i860. Assembl?e adapting of their readership. analyses of writers' and from dramas. "Let us replace sentimentalism by realism. and dare to uncover those laws be and terrible which. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." which meant dealing Sybil. the arts works.43 reverence for nature.139."44 As the social range of fiction expanded to accommo date the changing structure of society. Mary Barton announced as Kathleen Tillotson Life. and and Vanity Fair exemplify the desire to avoid the specific associations sense and the of moral constraints of strictly contemporary novels. many setting began prefer pointed but which torical nor contemporary." Moreover. concerts and reviews of past concerts). printed stories in the more recent past. per simple vade and govern. brought about changes attention to the condition of the people inworks such asHard Times and was a movement toward "life as it is. One amounted example contained features called This content downloaded from 14. has title. is the impor tance the former placed on entertainment and household management. A new style of fiction had emerged by the 1850s. Haymarket). in contrast to The and Belle Assembl?e The Ladies' Companion.was by a a central metaphor. of While The Ladies' Cabinet persisted the present as the soon-to-be-past. Novels Eyre.Jane years earlier. AUERBACH HI chological. flux.JEFFREY A. urbanization. Combined. "A Tale of Manchester a was to writers which his neither out. The emergence of realist fiction was directly related to the process by which the middle class sought to define itself and stabilize its place in society. they seen or unseen. often spiritual . the emergence of the middle class was the appearance Accompanying One of a consumer culture and a professional feature of The New society. middle-class women's magazines would begin to print realist fiction. art If George Lukacs is correct that the realist novel is "the predominant form of modern bourgeois culture. There idealization. Wuthering Heights. "Music" (previews of upcoming and various sections on literature which included book reviews.
" Also unlike The Ladies' Cabinet. away merely entertaining quite clearly and towards instilling in them a desire to consume. while The Ladies' Cabinet Belle Assem The Ladies' Companion printed four and The New Monthly bl?e five. more writers acceptable use their names with less fear of appearing declasse. content. to about five percent of the and usually amounted "The Work-Table. and of the magazines then. only with named authors. that was tended to exercise rigid control over the content magazines in After editors their however.227. which flocked to the Crystal Palace "to see and be seen. sewing patterns and ideas for knick-knacks. There was a great variety of articles and subjects. and theater tickets. Lewes It "Literature has become a profession. no longer could magazines support of a given political position. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . printed be counted on for their relaxed their controls.82 on Fri."47 Throughout net appeared all of 1851. clearly oriented toward middle-class care for and of the children the household taking running responsible a servant or maid. In The Ladies' Companion this section was called stories for children. Belle Assembl?e in the first six months of 1851 only half of the articles had named whereas This content downloaded from 14. of concert themselves.139. In addition. many mid-century.132 Victorian Periodicals Review 30:2 Summer 1997 is their coverage of the between the three magazines ran one article on the event. professionalization In the early part of the century. There was. As market forces began to dominate to make amark for it became imperative for writers the English economy. the editors of for the press in particular. Cabi almost contrast a issue of The New Monthly eighty percent of the articles in monthly had named authors. could write for Fraser's Magazine. G. and they could not do this without themselves. By 1847. both The New Monthly Belle Assem included articles on household manage bl?e and The Ladies' Companion and one or two short ment." space in each issue. is a means of subsistence almost as certain as the bar or the church. need to be treated not just as products. but as producers of an therefore. to garner a following. in the earlier part of the century using their names. H. journals. by mid-century as it became more not only respectable And but profitable. and of the differences Exhibition: Great women in the home. ethic of consumption. whereas was not it had for considered money writing respectable. These magazines. Another product of the transformations taking place during the second the content was quarter of the nineteenth century was the appearance of articles with is indicative of a growing The use of authors' names not but of writing the of acceptance only of writing. As for The Ladies' Companion. The content was also ori from with occasional help as consumers: of household ented towards these women goods. become to make a living by writing could for the press. a handful In of articles to this. named authors. a in shift from women. Clearly The Ladies' Cabinet was not reaching out to middle class society. in The Ladies' on average.
49 One of the basic components of professionalization is an ideology about how the work is to be done. of landowners. in a monthly issue had named authors. by the 1850s this ideology was Realism.139. and and wrote often for a variety a number of works. were edu boarding school. and well-educated. Most of the writers were socially involved. and it This content downloaded from 14.50 In the case of the fictional writer. forty-eight three to per one. which. quarter of the nineteenth century. from These changes within the writing industry paralleled changes through to Harold Perkin. AUERBACH ?33 authors. and the women at least tended to be activists on were the children women's issues. manuals. and consequently an older age. time they wrote but most lived there for substantial portions of their professional lives. for women. and for at on at least ten percent women who were a not. Most. as and thus label themselves would professionals. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .51 professionals. Cabinet did not. in The New Monthly use their names. in which their the women's suggests at an either earlier that age as a point to use tended careers magazines the women tended to write stepping stone to some other job. It printed out-of-date fiction by unknown authors who could not develop a following. merchants. in the second half of the year over seventy percent of the articles." consumer-oriented magazine. often at a no means all. There were sixty-two men names which appeared cent as by-lines are in the two magazines traceable. saw the rise of a out British society. at least Of once by those the married. on average. of which outnumbered Most or businessmen.48 Women during 1851. The inclusion of by The Ladies' Companion lines is an indication of modernization: adapted to the standard set by The New Monthly The Ladies' Belle Assembl?e.227. frequently by parents or friends. of the women. more than half the women writers were married.JEFFREY A. according ideal" the last and. On the whole. would It should now be clear why The Ladies' Cabinet did not survive. able or to get that to thirty-eight a certain the men for men. It was not a "professional. whereas the women's magazines for a longer period of time.82 on Fri. whereas the writers of Romantic fiction for The Ladies' Cabinet. and thus it should come as no surprise that the writers of the realist fic Belle Assembl?e and The Ladies' Companion tion. The average age of authors in 1851 was forty-three: forty-five men than were women. quarter for a third had been there widowed is no mention. and the men at least tended to have received good educations. not yet avoid the practice. the men and women who wrote for The New Monthly were comfortably middle and The Ladies' Companion Belle Assembl?e class. Very few of the authors were born in London. wealthy. Most poetry were quite to how-to popular. though by cated more locally. do not include information Although many biographers marital status. of different ranging magazines. by "professional had indeed become a professional society. in 1851.
134 did not Victorian Periodicals Review 30:2 Summer 1997 information supply the dose of practical regarding women's life that the female readership so clearly demanded. And so. Several his causality and intentionality. This case study. this line of argument deprives women. has important history.139. And so sales. This content downloaded from 14. of agency. it accurate to think of the dynamic and readers as a complex symbiotic Yale University relationship. Rather.56 Perhaps most impor what women tantly. who ers.55 The problem with this approach is that it is difficult. The bottom to print columns that did not sell. as consumers." reputation" provide The new editors announced that future issues would contain the kinds of New Belle and articles The The Ladies' Companion Assembl?e Monthly domestic had been printing for years. the and writers on the read editors imposed by That them. to mid-Victorian women by historians.53 This obvious response to consumer demand sug gests that at least in part. in learned that their mag 1851 the readers of The Ladies' Cabinet February azine had fallen "under the control of a newly appointed of editorship would established which "artists of known talent. that women wanted to read it more. it was the readers. and it is the failure of those that did not adapt that enables historians to make assertions about what it was that middle-class women line for all three of these magazines was did and did not read. publishers. prevalent that literary texts not only ary scholars but also among many historians. for the study and the among linkage liter of women's between a consumer assumption. That magazines printing one kind of material sold better than a magazine another kind indi printing cates that the former was more popular. realist fiction and house published. then.82 on Fri. to demonstrate if not impossible. but were written power over women. The readership had spoken. they would not continue it becomes clear that what the readership wanted was the kind of material Belle Assembl?e and The Ladies' Companion. determined what hold tips were not merely the readers wanted was is. torians have demonstrated that there is frequently no connection between read and the way they live their lives. the two. more authors. adapted and others did not. There is no shape the values of their are totally of independent for their goods.227. The analysis of the merger offered here restores some of the agency that has been denied them to doubt that editors and authors attempted readers.54 the emergence has been of There an ramifications culture. found in The New Monthly not that contained in The Ladies' Cabinet. This paper does not argue that tastes to create a market the attempts by merchants demonstrates between that it is much editors. in the interest of exercising affected how women lived. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . not the editors and writers.52 By March the circulation of the magazine had already increased. some magazines In the competitive world of mass markets.
227. pers See Adburgham. or "mainstream" This and public consumer is not to 271. White. 2. The Birth of a Consumer Society (London: Europa." Journal of British Studies 35 (1996): 58-83." 1982): (Oxford: 6. pp. and the Construction in Late don. Louis versity 4. Journal. Plumb.Thomas Richards. Oxford many More generally. The English Com mon Reader (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 67-8. AUERBACH 13 5 ENDNOTES i. 1990). from Consumer 1988) 1550 to and 1800. Lorna Weatherill. that women only that there to cover to avoid the domestic tax. State 5. imply which covered the news also magazines In order and manners. Women in Print (Lon don: George Allen and Unwin. they news. 46.Neil McKendrick. to focus on dress." 1660-1760 (London: Consumption pp. White. 46-7. "The Feminine Forum Publishing: Image in The 71-5. Ball Behnken. Fiction 1963)." "A New Departure University inWomen's 19 (1968): The Journal and The Victoria Magazine. antidote for. p. and theworship of men. of Joan a consumer Thirsk. White. Neil McKendrick. More 156. Press.. Women's Magazines 1693-1968 (London: Michael Joseph. John Brewer. M. Dancyger. of "'The Halls the Department consumption of Temptation': Store 177-205. Routledge. "Introduction: the birth of a consumer society: the com This content downloaded from 14.139.82 on Fri. 3. pp. of female purity as the See The Ladies' Cabi David see Leonore the corruption p. (London: of Chicago Oxford Uni 57. and J. society Economic in see Barbara among mid-nineteenth if not Policy and Projects: The Development of a Consumer Society in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press. James. 38-40. tics. Stanford and Material in English and in English Erika University Culture. English Pauline Woman's A. 18.White. 1847. pp. Richard D. Victorian Feminists 1992). Shammas. 1987). The stamp tax on newspapers a disincentive for provided and so-called and periodicals women's affairs. p. tended pp. 7. Family Fortunes (Chicago: The University Press. Woman's Nestor. of the glorification of womanhood antithesis net. for the presence long before. 1972). did not read newspa is abundant evidence literary periodicals.JEFFREY A. off and Catherine Hall. from 1550-1800. the Working 112. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." Gender. Carole and Anglo-American the World of Goods. and 138. 93-106. 1830-1850 51-5. Altick. Press. 1970). The Commodity Culture of Victorian England (Stanford: Behavior "Changes Consumption "Changes ibid. University books century that Britain. Victorian Poli Lon and Anglo-American Rappaport. English Man. A World of Women: An Illustrated History ofWomen's Magazines (Dublin: Gill andMacmillan.H. for p. foreign politics. 1978). see Irene Dancyger. 1978). generally. E. Press. argue Victorian Periodicals Review XV (Fall Caine. goods.Alison Adburgham. 206-27. 1957). 1982). Cynthia L. Dancyger. On English women's magazines in general in the period. Dancyger. of. See. pp.
" 100-45. 20. the author "must only wrote be held and although belong however. pp.82 on Fri.. of The called her "a large lady. and Wales by age see Martha Women. but a small authoress. 107. "Josiah On and pp. ibid. thirty-five is not subjects was the magazine that to wholly consistent. 10. the rarer part the author attributes continued. 1851. effects 8. rather other suggests vice that versa. (271.. 1851.227. March Ibid. 47. in 1851. 1851. 1850-1920 Women: Virago Press. p. She displayed m?nagerie] rather protuberantly. p. some say In another that unmarried sisterhood. 130-5. The Henry were written a these magazines by an editorial often unscreened and free of different board. p. below the waist of her black [at a literary dress. forty-five. 1852. that Adburgham. 14. ibid. 26. 289. articles Ladies' Cabinet. they they wished. p. England. and In 1852. Ibid. for Single one out of eight women could Independent (London: expect not to 13." the better are at least and in piece women this. pp. pp. Victorian Periodicals Review 30:2 Summer in McKendrick. May Ibid. 266. 86-9.. ion of duced" 9. June pp. and commercialization fashion. 126. 292-3. 297). generality. 1851.. On of these 1851. 11. 18.. 17.139. 16. by a seem to indicate But more whatever revealing. "The consumer "The England. unflatteringly Fothergill Chorley. editor pp. p. October March 1851. Adburgham calling the magazine." revolution of of eighteenth-century ibid. August 1851. pp. 15. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . June 1851. Ladies' Companion. Ibid.. which details the devastating demand had it "a on can have the whole publication" on an economy. in none than than position underpinning John Meynard Keynes' Theory of Employment. pp. April Ibid. The 19. 157.. 22. neither in April over 169.. authors. Cabinet. a tawdry This content downloaded from 14." 35-99. 73. March England have married Work 1985).. 21. 9-33. 12. Jan de Vries. Ibid. a vague sweeping. 155. The Ibid. Maid These for but to the hopeless a mistaken having opinions Indeed. p. p. the other hand. Cabinet. unsure what its morality unclear about what should be.. 1997 Brewer. September 1851. current in flux. changes This in demand has General its in changes production. of her to the fact sex" that "an Old (153).. of eighteenth-century 1-8. 279-80. a quite and opin deprecating "not pro elegantly a lack of consumer p." Wedgwood the commercialization of the potteries. 229. in The Dutch Rural Economy in the Golden Age (New resulted theoretical Haven: Yale University in Press. Vicinus. is a being different attributable number to write society practice. 1851. Ibid. 126.. pp. 1851. Ladies' p. Interest and Money. 208. 1974). June 1851.136 mercialization Plumb. prudish Ladies' January February p. Community p..
(London: Geoffrey Cumberlege. 1851. to Vol. Press. Belle Assembl?e articles shilling-a-month languages. cook-book. 1824-1900. publications and printed Ladies' 31 May in foreign 1 February 195. an successful and copies to or. Ibid. Biography 1949-50). 239-40.. 36. 26. p. Ibid. 1970). p. January 35. landscape went nine through books gardening and The Ladies' Country Enjoy a Country Life Rationally (1845) "did for the outdoor activities of the what Taylor. data of the magazine: She asserted that itwas 24. Beeton's Nineteenth et al. September were minor There differences between the two magazines. 1892-1908). Anne Crawford. 1851. 1851. The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e. 33. p. of National Press. p. Mrs. 262). 39. 27. How she shared her husband.. 19. p. 37. and Dorothy Deering (Waterloo. May 34. The 32. Bentley. preface page to Vol. The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e. pp. Ibid. Ibid. 25. Mr. and a number a well-known of books on gardening. were l7%-9'>li: 6 30. Loudon's XII: 61. Chorley.White in her book was incor rect about the "launched publication in 1847" (42). 23. The Dictionary 1917. 3. AUERBACH I 37 medal. p. gardener.. John S. University (London: Boase. only a feature called Hints "Household Companion monthly printed a Eliza of the author with short Acton. The Waterloo Directory of Victorian Periodicals. Like The Ladies' Cabinet. 1851. XVIII 384. 1951). cial Delia Letters. 97.82 on Fri. Leslie [London: Europa Publica English Stephens Biography and Sidney (Truro: Lee. 89-90.139. See his Autobiography.. I: 69-95. 614.. 148. 1 1 March 1851. Netherton 1983]. by popular The Ladies' and Recipes" on pieces This content downloaded from 14.." vol. 6y. p. I24~6> Oriel p.. 1851. Ibid. I (London: Richard Memoirs.North. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . p. eds. a Tale of the Twenty-Second interest Century with One editions. Henry society. Ibid. which had been awarded her by some provin and PP Cruscan ed. February preface June 1836. 1August 1-3." Geoffrey Century Gardeners (Skeffinton. 93.000 Companion. literary G. II (January-June 1835). 1976). p. Europa Biographical Dictionary tions. eds. Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 1873). The great Some mistress of the Victorian household inexperienced book See did for her indoor economy. She had previously edited The Ladies' Magazine of Gardening (1842). of her if only partially sold over 20. DNB. Modern II: 499. including The Mummy. 337. 1851. Oxford London 29. Michael Wolff. 2. pp. Hewlett. Phase I. of British Women ed. 28. ed. 659.227.. 1851. (1827). Joan Gloag. (January-June 1843).JEFFREY A.. Ibid. and The New and used words Companion.. p. Boase. and was the author of nineteen books. pp. Frederic and Worth. half the size of a saucer. p. both The Ladies' Companion Monthly from 31.
1985). acter' now voices pains pp. 2. 601-2. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . use of realist fiction which of mothers to describe 2-6)." Feminist 43.82 on Fri. An example is "Mr.227. The Ladies' Companion also included a on gardening flowers The advice. 88-99.. 60. pp. of the Eighteen Forties (Oxford: Oxford Univer I07 Condition of Authors 35 (March 1847): in England. pp. Michael Wheeler. France. pp. in European esp. (London: trans. p. 42. and The Ladies' Companion contained essentially the same mate 38. was in continued their treatment of of domestic November their in a fictional domestic Belle respective Monthly two housewives about and piece servants November (1 1851. "the great 1851. though. 47. A. Novel 1974). of Edith the Mac loan Williams. 44. millan. George Studies 1950). which consisted to tend plant certain as well. p." 1956). ed. focuses on 11. pp. p. pp. Showalter. in Victorian "Dinah Female of Sentiment: 2 (1975): 20. Ladies' Companion. (London: increased Companion. 41. 122-4. Williams. James. Lukacs. 10. A Dictionary Dancyger.139." in minute a point to read maids. The 1977). Cuddin. Harrison's everyday their people Confessions" and events: for bed. 137. [G. Longman. playing the author books. ( 1November to describe a selection the piano pausing 18 51. Kathleen Tillotson. 6. Keywords. every 178). 41-2. Lewes]. 1851. A Case Authorship. and how not information only to the but on more garden. in England Realism. and Magazine 285. Lukacs. was that The Ladies' Com than The New on domestic matters monthly on when aesthetic panion issues included significantly only other difference more letters from correspondents Monthly Belle Assembl?e did. Novels sity Press. English Fiction of the Victorian Period. 1October 1851. 76-9. Realist p. Fraser's "The pp. The New 40. five percent in The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e). in Raymond Press. 1 April pp.138 "Truffles addition Victorian and of this their Periodicals use. Assembl?e. See also John rev. Quoted versity Terms 97-113. Elaine Study 76-9. 1830-1890 pp. section gingerettes for cooking the higher proportion Belle Assembl?e section to in The Ladies' Companion than in The New Monthly (fifteen percent in The Ladies' Companion. The New Monthly the ary treatment 1851. The New Monthly Belle Assembl?e rial. 45. The of articles puddings. of Literary pp. This content downloaded from 14. Bone Hillway Publishing. pp. Germany. H. 259. Mulock Craik and the Tactics Studies February 1851." Review and accounts 30:2 Summer (a new 1997 beverage). 178-80). (New York: Oxford (London: Uni 1983). The detail in The Ladies' life. In another dusting. (London: 167-8. 39. and certainly when compared with the content of The Ladies' Cabinet. 46. 5. debate see also Ladies' The The in The 1851. Andr? Deutsch. The Ibid. took urban author calling children in the home story made the characters story arranging (1 February the char activities and then. February servants. On thewhole. on the issue of Ladies' Companion 1 Febru Companion. p. Belle Assembl?e.
139. The ton. a Fox and T. Encyclopedia Johnson. to British pseudonymously). pp. Victorian pp.Magali S. J. equivalent 1852. Joan Jacobs Brum A Research (1982). 1850 Ladies' February to the editor. in the 1850s and pp. Saur. This The (New Haven: Yale University Tomes. Richard 1983). 31. Amanda in England. Terrence Professions Macmillan. Mass-Market The Culture of Agenda for History in the Professions: Historians. esp.Dulcie This content downloaded from 14. p. a period roughly Cabinet. Berlant. of Paradox: Newsletter The Age A Biography of England 1841-1851 (New York: Rinehart. 1984). 116.82 on Fri. Profession and Monopoly (Berkeley: University of California Press. Williams. c. though it should be noted that this is not Flint's argument. 650. Publishers. 1982). p. 1975). 1989). Larsen. 205-48. Edging Women Out: Victorian Novelists." Victorian Studies 21 (1977): 29-45. 252-70 and The Rise of Professional Society (London: Rout ledge. and Nina Social Change berg and Nancy American 51. Wilson. Consumer (1986): cashire World Behavior 131-56. 1970). Kegan 1990). Jackson argument regarding 1880. pp. made in American (43). 1985). The Origins ofModern English Society (London: Ark Paper backs. Bibliographical Archive. 5. Gaye Tuchman and E. 1987). and 25 consideration Own: of British Women Studies Journal "Women A Lan and the World of Goods: Vickery. edition. (New York: 1880-1920. 1969). pp. Pantheon. For many an author's authors in one name wrote of the to be considered either following anonymously sources: his or her or real name (at a time when it had Crawford. 1977). Nancy Armstrong. Microfiche G. DNB. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Hale. 55. but see esp. "Women Reviews in "The of in American Rhetoric the Gentle in American Lears Press.JEFFREY A. magazines. Rosalind H. 1993). "A Possession 54. 50. Periodicals Dancyger. "Sentiment and Suffering: Women's Recreational Reading in the i86os. I. (Boston: and Routledge Power p." the Demise Critical Essays 1880-1980. Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History versity Press. Wadding and (London: "Professions. Dream Worlds (Berkeley: University of California Press." pp. and Her and the Possessions. 1952). See also Eugenia Palmegiano. 5-8. AUERBACH I 39 48." Consumption 274-301. ed. There according or the other two Ladies' Cabinet magazines Lorna Weatherill. ed. Paul Sieveking (London: K. Adburgham. appear Boase. Sally Mitchell. 76-7. The Woman (New York: Oxford Uni Reader 183/-1914 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1751-81. 1660-1740. Richards. Consumer of Goods. 49. Harold Perkin. Christopher Magazines Consumption: Wrightman similar after 52. The Rise of Profession alism (Berkeley: University of California Press. 93-106.227. pp. 100-4. esp. Fortin. Women and British Peri odicals 1832-186: A Bibliography 1860s. The 53." Paul. 1972). especially to England for women. are no known circulation under of One's figures for either here. Dodds. Jeffrey L. literature on professionalization The Social Science is voluminous. History. Kate of theNovel Flint. and of Consumption: Reader. and "Feminist Propaganda 10 (November John W. 49-50." Nestor." P.
i." Journal of Social History What Was: Women's 9 (1975): 44. p. "Advice to Historians on Advice to Mothers.227. 1997 1972). Cornmarket White. Carl Degler.139. 56. p. Flint. Jay Mechling. p.140 M. in the Nineteenth "What Ought Century. 188. 49. This content downloaded from 14. Over Periodicals the Teacups Review (London: 30:2 Summer Press." to Be and Histor Sexuality American ical Review J9 (1974): 1478. 6 Dec 2013 06:29:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Victorian Ashdown.82 on Fri.
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