The Girls' Own Paper, Vol 1-4 (1880-1883), Victorian Periodicals for Boys and Girls Series 1
Victorian Periodicals for Boys and Girls Series 1
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This facsimile reprint of the leading Victorian weekly for girls from the first to the 196th issue covering 1880 to 1883 is a complete reproduction of the original periodicals containing many illustrations (some in colour) in the original size. The texts contain a mixture of factual articles concerning history, science, religion, famous figures, and topical social changes affecting the daily lives of girls and women, as well as short stories, serialised novels, and poetry. Regular features also included fashion patterns, needlework designs, and information about or examples of recently published sheet music.
From Kimberley Reynolds’s Preface:
Sigmund Freud once asked, ‘What does a woman want?’. If he had read The Girl’s Own Paper (and he could have done since Freud briefly lived in London from 1938 until his death the following year), he would have discovered a great deal about the desires, restrictions, discourses and routines of females from the late-Victorian era through the first decades of the twentieth century. As these facsimile volumes reveal, the magazine format incorporated many voices, including those of the GOP’s numerous and varied readers, who show themselves to have been travellers, artists, scholars, and domestically minded girls and women on the one hand, and hardworking members of the servant class and newly emerging career women on the other. There are articles by readers following visits to ancient sites such as the cell in Rome where St. Paul was held, and others by contributors extolling the delights of the new sport of lawn tennis. Practical information such as advice on cooking for the poor jostles for position with beauty tips, medical information, profiles of careers for women, and literary competitions. As the following pages show, the tone of the articles ranges from the sentimental and conservative to the radical—a poem about the importance of girls’ preserving their ‘spotless innocence’ may sit alongside a forceful (though never strident) appeal for women’s capabilities and rights to be recognised and valued.