The English Woman's Domestic Magazine


Woman's magazine


  • Intro

    In 1852 Samuel Beeton persuaded his wife, Isabella, to join him in a new publishing venture, a monthly paper called The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine. Initially priced at 2d, this was the first cheap magazine for young middle-class women, and it was an immediate commercial success, with an advertised circulation of 50,000 copies by 1856. Isabella contributed notes on cookery and fashion, but the contents also included a wide range of serial fiction, biographical sketches, gardening and medical tips (including some useful advice on birth control), and an irresistible correspondence page.


    Shelfmark: Cup.702.e.2

  • Audio

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  • Transcript

    The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, 1860

    The Fashions, summer


    This August, the Englishwoman’s Magazine will, doubtless, find many of its readers seeking health and pleasure by the seaside, making excursions into the country, or at least preparing for some enjoyment of the kind. As regards travelling apparel, the most indispensable article is the HAT, which may be of any coloured straw, crinoline, or a mixture of the two, and trimmed with bindings and bows of velvet and feathers; every description of the latter – ostrich, pheasant, and even bustard-plumes – being used for this purpose. For children’s hats, ribbon, and sometimes tulle, mixed with daisies or field-flowers, are much used as trimmings.


    Dresses of any soft, dust-colour, washing silk are very cool and pleasant to wear; also those of holland and linen, braided down the front and sides and round the sleeves. Any light material, a mixture of silk and wool, is also suitable, with a cloak of the same.


    The Fashions, winter


    We believe that our remarks on Fashions are now expected with some amount of anxiety, and will be turned to with more than usual interest this month by our readers. The shape and materials for dresses are now decided upon for the coming winter season; the style of bonnets, mantles and all articles of the toilet must be fixed upon; we will, therefore, give the best information in our power upon these little matters.


    To begin, then, the most approved of materials for morning dresses are poplin, rep, French merino, flannel and a very beautiful woollen material called velours Russe – that is Russian velvet. ...The rep dresses and all fancy materials are very generally striped of two colours, as we mentioned in our last article, or have a small pattern broché in silk of another shade; the merinos are mostly self-coloured, in all shades of grey and light brown, or else in very bright and pure violet or blue, these tints being now obtained – thanks to late important discoveries in chemistry – in the most splendid hues.

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