The Ladies’ Companion: At Home and Abroad, 1849 to 1850, edited by Jane Webb Loudon
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In October 1849, at the age of 42, Jane Webb Loudon was appointed editor of a new threepenny (4d stamped) weekly magazine for women - The Ladies’ Companion, At Home and Abroad.
During her six-month period as editor of the Ladies’ Companion, connections between ‘ladies’ and paid work were incorporated into the discourse of the journal and into its production practices.
The Ladies’ Companion provided an alternative to what was then available to different classes of women readers.
The Ladies’ Companion was a 16-page, large-format publication with full-page plates in almost every number, containing a mix of fiction and poetry, articles on the arts, the decorative arts and fashion, science and social questions, and reviews of books, concerts and exhibitions.
The focus on the difficulties faced by women who had to work for a living, though woven into private sphere discourse, pre-dates that of the English Women’s Journal, started in 1858, by almost a decade. The ambiguities of Jane Webb Loudon’s own position as employee and as a woman are played out during the six-month period of her tenure in a series of exchanges between her, her publisher, and the sub-editors.
The magazine was highly successful at first, but after a decline in her book sales, she was asked to resign as editor and died impoverished in 1858 at aged fifty-one
This is a bound volume (288 pages) containing the issues from December 1849 to April 1850. Many black and white drawing and illustrations. The volume is in good condition.