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Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690-1820sThe Long Eighteenth Century$
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Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474419659

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419659.001.0001

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Discontinuous Reading and Miscellaneous Instruction for British Ladies

Discontinuous Reading and Miscellaneous Instruction for British Ladies

(p.40) 2 Discontinuous Reading and Miscellaneous Instruction for British Ladies
Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690-1820s

Eve Tavor Bannet

Edinburgh University Press

Eve Tavor Bannet’s essay considers some of the ways in which ‘Ladies’ (and would-be ladies) were interpolated by features of periodicals that are frequently mentioned, but less often explored: their promise to educate as well as entertain their readers; their miscellaneous character; their co-optation of conversational forms; the discontinuous reading practices they fostered; and the interpretative and critical methods they modelled and taught. These issues are elucidated through Bannet’s detailed mining of the significant, but under-studied, group of eighteenth-century ‘women-championing’ periodicals that were male-authored but addressed primarily to ladies. Bannet rich analysis of publications including the Ladies Journal (1727), Free Thinker (1718–23), Lady’s Weekly (1747), Bee (1790–4) and Female Mentor (1793–6) reveals how the normative gender constructions traditionally associated with periodicals read by men and women were blunted and ultimately defeated by those fixed generic features that women-championing journals reoriented to British Ladies.

Keywords:   conversation, women’s education, Ladies Journal, Bee, Lady’s Weekly, Free Thinker, Female Mentor, discontinuous reading, gender constructions, conversation

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