Secondary Source

Women’s Magazines in the 19th Century

Lee Jolliffe. "Women's magazines in the 19th century." Journal of Popular Culture 27, (4), 125-140, 1994.

Era: Post-Suffrage Era | Media: Academic Paper

Article abstract:

As women became key consumers of household goods in the 19th century and gradually expanded their roles into spheres outside the family, popular culture publications directed at this audience grew dramatically. Most of these publications took some stance on women’s suffrage, and a surprising number were pro-suffrage, since women’s magazines offered women their first socially accepted professional opportunities, so that working professional women formed the staffs and controlled the contents of many women’s magazines.

Eventually, the suffrage movement itself created magazines whose sole purpose was to carry the suffrage message to women. Part I of this article explores the growth of a new mass medium that gave women power as a cultural force, in magazines targeted toward women, while Part II examines how one specialized publication, Lucy Stone’s Woman’s Journal, popularized the suffrage message.

A preview of the article, as well as options for renting or buying the full text, is available from Wiley Online. Academic libraries are also likely to have a copy of the article; you can check WorldCat to see if there is one near you.

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