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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Promoting a Do-It-Yourself Spirit: Samuel Beeton’s Young Englishwoman

Promoting a Do-It-Yourself Spirit: Samuel Beeton’s Young Englishwoman

(p.103) 7 Promoting a Do-It-Yourself Spirit: Samuel Beeton’s Young Englishwoman
Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s

Jennifer Phegley

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter 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 (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’ (108).

Keywords:   Young Englishwoman, Samuel Beeton, fashion, domestic magazines, domestic management, Isabella Beeton

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