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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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Victorian Women Wood Engravers: The Case of Clemence Housman

Victorian Women Wood Engravers: The Case of Clemence Housman

Chapter:
(p.277) 17 Victorian Women Wood Engravers: The Case of Clemence Housman
Source:
Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s
Author(s):

Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433907.003.0018

In this essay, Lorraine Janzen Kooistra explores the career of an important yet neglected artist whose work in the illustrated press deserves more concentrated attention. From 1885 to 1895, Clemence Housman (1861–1955) worked as an engraver for the Graphic (1869–1932), but by the mid-1890s there was little work in the trade since most papers were converting to systems of photomechanical reproduction. She then transitioned to fine-art wood engraving in the book trade, producing several exquisite titles in collaboration with her brother Laurence Housman, including The Were-Wolf (1896). She continued working the field until the 1920s, eventually producing her masterpiece, an engraving of James Guthrie’s ‘Evening Star.’ The trajectory of her career not only demonstrates how new reproductive technologies altered women’s work in the periodical press over the course of the nineteenth century but also reminds us of the thousands of other women who contributed to this industry but have been largely overlooked in press history. Indeed, as Janzen Kooistra’s essay makes clear, women were not just the subject matter or intended audience for periodical advertisements and illustrations; they were actively engaged in the production of the images that proliferated throughout the Victorian illustrated press.

Keywords:   Clemence Housman, Wood engraving, Illustrated press, Victorian women artists, The Graphic, Book design, Pre-Raphaelite

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