Illustrated periodicals: Women's interest
Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine
Date range: 1860-1878
First published: 1852
Content: Contained serial fiction, articles, essays, biographical sketches, fashions, domestic recipes, poetry, bills of fare for dinner, biography, domestic history of England, gardening, needlework designs. The first paper to be published for women of the middle classes, and particularly the lower-middle classes, and it was the first British women’s magazine to achieve anything approaching mass sales.
Illustration: Illustrated by engravings of dress patterns and diagrams (1859); coloured plates (1860); sketches (1864). Starting in January 1860, there were a series of coloured portraits/fashion plates published each month entitled ‘The Fashions Expressly Designed & Prepared for The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine’. Otherwise, the illustrations generally follow the stories and articles, sometimes even bearing the same name.
Date range: 1772; 1775-1776; 1783-1791; 1793-1795; 1800-1814
First published: 1770
Price: 6d in 1770, 2s 6d in 1832, when it amalgamated with Ladies’ Monthly Museum.
Content: Claimed to be written by ladies for ladies, and at the price, aimed at the upper classes. Short stories, serialised fiction, poetry, essays extolling feminine virtues, advice to wives and mothers, recipes (both culinary and medicinal), biographies of historical figures, world geography, domestic and foreign news reports, London and Paris fashions, alongside embroidery patterns for homemade garments.
Illustration: Embroidery patterns and copper engraved fashion plates, some coloured by the owner. Each issue had one fashion plate and one engraved frontispiece illustrating the lead feature.
Lady’s Monthly Museum
Date range: 1805-1806; 1810; 1813
First published: 1798
Price: 1s (1806); 1s 6d (1813); 2s 6d (1832)
Content: Aimed at upper class ladies, and featuring essays, anecdotes, reviews, correspondence, historical sketches, biographies, book reviews, fashion, poetry, serial fiction, celebrated British ladies, arts, and theatre. Merged with Lady’s Magazine in 1832.
Illustration: Fashion plates, portraits, both wood and copper engravings. There were two copper engraved plates of current fashions in each issue.
Date range: 1891
First published: 1880
Frequency: Monthly, then weekly after 6 months at the same price
Content: The Lady’s Pictorial was a periodical aimed squarely at middle class women, and a rival to The Queen. It regularly printed articles on the enlargement of women’s sphere, particularly in employment. A large number of women were employed on the staff.
Illustration: Engravings and early photographs. Marriage notices with portraits of the women, fashion plates, and illustrated short stories.
Date range: 1866-1868; 1876-1881
First published: 1857
Content: Aimed at filling the time of the leisured classes, it featured literature, languages (French and German), dressmaking, literary notices, household management, cookery, millinery, needlework, Parisian gossip, fashions, tales, narratives, brief biographies, poetry, flower drawing, paper flower making, music and drama, notices of new books, notices to correspondents, inquiries and advertisements.
Illustration: Engravings, music scores, diagrams, sketches.
The Queen, the Lady’s Magazine
Date range: 1890-1892
First published: 1885
Content: Aimed at a wealthy audience, featuring fashion, news and stories and weddings, announcements. Similar format and content to Lady’s Pictorial.
Illustration: Heavily illustrated with full length fashion illustrations, as well as lace patterns, children’s clothing, bonnets, hairstyles, and peoples from around the world.
See also: Ladies’ pages in The Sketch