Nineteenth-century British periodicals for girls and women offer a wealth of material to understand how girls and women fit into their social and cultural worlds, of which music making was an important part. The Girl's Own Paper, first published in 1880, stands out because of its rich musical content. Keeping practical usefulness as a research tool and as a guide to further reading in mind, Judith Barger has catalogued the musical content found in the weekly and later monthly issues during the magazine's first thirty years, in music scores, instalments of serialized fiction about musicians, music-related nonfiction, poetry with a musical title or theme, illustrations depicting music making and replies to musical correspondents. The book's introductory chapter reveals how content in The Girl's Own Paper changed over time to reflect a shift in women's music making from a female accomplishment to an increasingly professional role within the discipline, using 'the piano girl' as a case study. A comparison with musical content found in The Boy's Own Paper over the same time span offers additional insight into musical content chosen for the girls' magazine. A user's guide precedes the chronological annotated catalogue; the indexes that follow reveal the magazine's diversity of approach to the subject of music.
Table of Contents
List of Figures Acknowledgements Music Lessons in The Girl’s Own Paper User Guide to the Annotated Catalogue Catalogue of Musical Content in The Girl's Own Paper Indexes by Topic Works Cited
Judith Barger is an independent scholar who holds PhDs in musicology (Indiana University) and nursing (The University of Texas at Austin). After a career as a United States Air Force nurse, she turned her attention to music, concentrating on music history and the organ. She is the author of Elizabeth Stirling and the Musical Life of Female Organists in Nineteenth-Century England (Ashgate 2007) and Beyond the Call of Duty: Army Flight Nursing in World War II (2013). Dr Barger lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.
Runner-up prize for a reference work for the 2017 Pauline Alderman Awards for Outstanding Scholarship on Women in Music.
The adjudicator praised the originality of this work, which is "extensively and thoughtfully researched, with clear and methodical structure," and describes the work as "an outstanding achievement. … The book gives an insightful look into what British women from that period were reading, and, by the sheer depth of the catalogue, shows that music was an integral part of the lives of 19th-century women."