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Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900sThe Victorian Period$
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Alexis Easley, Clare Gill, and Beth Rodgers

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474433907

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433907.001.0001

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

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

(p.18) 1 The Rise and Rise of the Domestic Magazine: Femininity at Home in Popular Periodicals
Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s

Margaret Beetham

Edinburgh University Press

In this chapter, 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’ (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.

Keywords:   Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, family magazines, penny magazines, Samuel Beeton, women’s magazines, domestic magazines, mothers’ magazines

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