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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

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

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

(p.178) 12 The ‘Most-Talked-Of Creature in the World’: The ‘American Girl’ in Victorian Print Culture
Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s

Bob Nicholson

Edinburgh University Press

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 Bob Nicholson suggests was reflective of a growing fetishisation of America in British print culture, as well as of a broader cultural anxiety about the effects of the same. If Eliza Lynn 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 demonstrates the potency of the girl as a symbolic force in Victorian Britain, as well as the crucial role of the periodical in shaping the various, often competing cultural forms that she assumed.

Keywords:   American girl, Review of Reviews, W.T. Stead, ‘Girl of the Period’, Transatlantic, Modern girlhood, Periodical press

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