History of Printing and Publishing 1700-
This paper will cover certain themes in women's magazines from the late 1600s to World War II. Though it would be worthwhile to focus on a particular decade or era in women's magazines, I want to look at the full course of their existence, to get a sense of their history and the role they play in women's history. "Women's magazines" is in itself a vast term which would include such obvious titles as Vogue and Good Housekeeping, but would also include Soap Opera Digest and the subgenres of the small pocket horoscopes and True Romance-type publications, not to mention Ms and many lesser know feminist publications. For the purpose of this study I intend to focus on only the most general and popular women's magazines.
These publications have been much maligned by feminist writers, and justifiably so. Even critics who praise the popular women's press deplore the often patronizing and vapid writing that has always characterized popular magazines for women. Marjorie Ferguson argues in Forever Feminine: Women's Magazines and the Cult of Femininity that women's magazines promote a 'cult'; that they socialize women according to certain doctrines and are, in a sense, oppressive. She writes:
In promoting a cult of femininity these journals are not merely reflecting the female role in society; they are also supplying one source of definitions of, and socialization into, that role. - In maintaining the desire of adherents new and old to perfect and display their femininity, these journal can be seen to fulfill another of their most enduring purposes - the creation of profits for their owners in a market where the few organizations own the many titles. 
While I agree with some of Ferguson's points, I feel that her approach is one-sided. The source of my disagreement may stem from the fact that she focuses on current magazines, while my perspective is more historical, though I doubt that she would find much to admire in Godey's Lady's Book either.
I would argue that women's magazines play a variety of roles: they are forms of entertainment, sources of education and trade journals. I would also argue that, historically, women's magazines are the precursors to today's "Virtual Communities". That is, magazines allow for two-way communication between readers and writers, rather than the one-way communication of books. These different roles are interrelated; for instance, 'entertainment' is often the medium through which these other roles are played out.
For the following study, I will look at three above-mentioned roles of women's magazines: as virtual communities, as sources of education, and as trade journals. In doing so, I will provide examples from the earliest women's magazines of the 1600s up to World War II.
In The Virtual Community, Howard Rheingold sets forth the requirements of a virtual community. This is created, Rheingold says, when "enough people carry on public discussions long enough, and with enough human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships"  This necessitates both two-way communication, and that this communication has effects outside the confines of the 'community'. This is a characteristic which is absent from Ferguson's interpretation of the role of women's magazines. She concerns herself only with the influence of magazines upon women, and does not examine the alternative. In its simplest sense, this influence is strictly financial, particularly in the early days when most or all of a magazine's income came directly from subscriptions, an arrangement which did not really change until the 20th century. Publishers had to respond to readers' tastes and demands or lose their livelihood. Frank Mott writes of the woman's suffrage question as it was 'debated' in the general monthlies of the late 1800s:
General magazines, such as The Nation were greatly influenced by 'the preponderance of female names on the subscription lists'. - In view of this state of affairs, the suffragists would doubtless have had virtually all the magazines on their side if the women themselves had favored the reform with any degree of unanimity. 
More importantly, one of the unique features of magazines, as mentioned above, is that they allow for two-way communication between readers and writers. Oftentimes, the distinction between reader and writer was blurred, as when readers sent in contributions, or when frequent contributors became editors. The reoccurring nature of magazines may have something to do with the emergence of this two-way communication. Readers could expect to see their letters printed and responded to. It is not enough, however, to account for the full evolution of this communication. Newspapers re-occur, but they fall much more in the realm of broadcast communication. They may print letters, but they will not usually print a response; these letters are more of a forum than a dialog. They may print advice columns, but they do not foster the sort of reader-identification that Godey's, for instance, achieved. One distinction here is that newspapers are geographically based while magazines, like the 'communities' of the internet's BBS system, are based on the common interests of the participants.
I ascribe this quality to all sorts of magazines and journals; doctors may contribute articles to medical journals. But this quality is more pronounced in women's magazines - at times greatly exaggerated, because women have traditionally been associated with the 'private' realm of life. The doctor, for instance, is not likely to write to the editor of the medical journal to seek advice for curing a broken heart. Women DO write to women's magazines with an almost limitless array of questions both personal and otherwise. Women's magazines have from the start included a very personal level of correspondence with readers.
This personal correspondence was actually the origin of magazines for women. In Women and Print Culture, Kathryn Shevelow focuses on the differentiation of women's magazines from the earliest general magazines such as the Athenian Mercury (1691-?), The Tatler (1709-?) and The Spectator (1711-?). In most cases, the origins are simple; all of these titles generated 'sister' publications for women. All of these early publications were an eclectic mix of articles concerning science, medicine, personal concerns, and literature, but they also focused on reader-identification and participation. Shevelow writes:
From its inception and throughout its run, the Athenian Mercury published self-revelatory quasi-narrative letter far exceeding the simpler discursive act suggested by the term 'query'. Accounts of personal life at least purporting to be written by the periodical's readers joined memoirs and letter collections in appealing to the popular fascination with private details. To read the Athenian Mercury was to confront the potential of writing to it, the possibility of recounting in print the details of private situations. To write to the periodical was to be read not only by the Athenian Society, but by the periodical's entire audience. 
The range of questions submitted appears to be utterly random. Vol. III no 20-21 of the Athenian includes queries as to whether angels can be said to move like people, whether modern ladies dresses are a sign that they are destined to go to hell, and whether there is a difference between thinking and dreaming. Some of the questions are, indeed, letters, providing intimate glimpses of people's lives.
That the reader was expected to identify with the periodical is oddly evidenced by The Tatler. Edited by Richard Steele, (also the editor of The Spectator), this publication was less 'interactive' than the others. Steele created personas for his correspondence columns, both as the questioner and advice-giver. Not all of The Tatler's letters were faked, but many were. Steele wrote his advice columns as Isaac Bickerstaff and later as Isaac's half-sister, Jenny Distaff, concocting family histories and personalities for both characters.
The real significance of the Tatler's 'correspondence', however, is that the periodical represented its letters as the work of its readers, sustaining the illusion, whatever its basis in fact, of epistolary exchange between Isaac Bickerstaff and his audience. Through the establishment of au 'epistolary pact' with its readers, the Tatler created a degree of 'familiarity' between Bickerstaff and his audience. 
This same tactic was employed again in the late 1800s by Edward Bok, one of the earliest editors of Ladies Home Journal.
To stimulate reader response, Bok, immediately on assuming the Journal editorship, turned to what is now called the 'survey technique', offering a series of prizes for the best answers to questions he put to his readers. What in the magazine did they like least? Why? What did they like best? What new features would they like to see started? Thousands of answers were returned, and the editor acted on the reader advice thus obtained. Bok had, he says, 'divined the fact that in thousands of cases the American mother was not the confidante of her daughter, and reasoned if any inviting human personality could be created on the printed page that would supply this lamentable lack of family life, girls would flock to such a figure.' Implementing this belief, he wrote under the pseudonym of 'Ruth Ashmore', and printed in the January 1889 issue of the Ladies Home Journal, the first of his 'Side Talk to Girls'. 
In other publications, there was no need for the pretense of women editors as the editors were indeed women. In either case, these magazines did achieve a sense of familiarity with readers. Women's magazines grew into communities of readers and writers, and gained the ability to effect the world around them through print.
While I will address the evolution of the content of these magazines later, it should be noted that the early 'sister' publications of the Spectator or the Athenian Mercury did not contain the full array of topics we associate with women's magazines, such as household hints and fashion. These were yet to come. What distinguished the Female Spectator as a ladies magazine was a focus on questions of personal virtue and matters of family relations.
The first American example of a popular women's magazine was Godey's Ladies Book (1830-1898) which emerged 86 years after the Female Spectator. While there had been American publications for women, Godey's was the first successful one, and the first to approach the now standard format. Until Godey's, general magazines included contributions from and appeals to their female readers. In the 1790s, the Massachusetts Magazine declared that
The fair sex merits our highest attention. If their taste has not been hitherto consulted, or the delicacy of their fancy gratified, we flatter ourselves that the succeeding numbers will make compensation for the former negligence. 
One reason for the delay in the appearance of American women's magazines was the incredible distribution problem face in the early history of the states. Because of the more sparse and scattered population, the only way to distribute magazines effectively was through the mail. However, until the Postal Act of 1784, each postmaster was given the authority to decide if magazines were permissible, which more often than not meant that they weren't. By the time Louis A. Godey began Godey's Ladies Book, distribution problems had been more or less resolved, and illustrated monthlies had appeared, so it was possible for magazines to have some measure of longevity and success. Magazines still relied on subscriptions for their income, and what is more precarious, they had not yet instituted the pay-in-advance rule, so it is still a testament to the appeal of Godey's that it survived. Other women's magazines existed, but most lasted two to four years before they folded.
Early on in Godey's history, a smaller magazine from Boston, the Ladies Magazine, was acquired by Godey, and its editor, Sarah J. Hale, was brought in as an editor for Godey's. From that point on, Godey generally handled the business while Sarah Hale handled the content. An exceptional women, who is reputed to have written "Mary Had a Little Lamb", and whose efforts made Thanksgiving a National Holiday, Sarah Hale made Godey's a success. She gained her education from her brother and husband. When her husband died, leaving her with five children to support, she began selling her writing to magazines. Within five years of his death, she was earning her living as the editor of Godey's.
Godey's generally included a variety of items, for the most part short stories and poetry. Much of the writing was submitted by readers or written by Hale, though Godey's included pieced by popular writers of the day, such as Edgar Allen Poe. Pages often included stray 'interesting facts', usually as filler. If a story ends part way down the column, it might be followed by an informative note about mollusks. Other features included sheet music in every issue, hand painted fashion plates, travel stories and essays.
Godey's had many of the elements that made the Tatler and the Athenian Mercury exceptional as forms of two-way communication. Readers could become involved in the course and nature of the publication. The magazine also addressed personal issues, causing the reader to identify with the magazine on an intimate level. Mott writes:
The relation between the editor of the Lady's Book and its readers was singularly intimate. 
But Godey's represents added and more subtle dimensions to the 'virtual culture' of women's magazines. Godey's creates a "we", a sense that readers, editors, and writers are like-minded and are working toward the same purpose. This sense is firstly created because more than half of its editors were women, as were its writers. Readers could feel as sense of unity with the editors. Godey's also promoted activity beyond making good on subscription payments. Sarah Hale made Godey's the means of communication for women's clubs, charitable projects and included job advertisements. She organized the first women's craft fair, in order to raise money for charity. While the early feminists understood the potential of working together, Godey's was geared toward more ordinary, less well educated and certainly less politically motivated women. Suffrage was rarely mentioned in Godey's. Even the Civil War was not mentioned here. Still, Godey's provided the opportunity for ordinary women to organize and achieve noteworthy projects without alienating conservative or apolitical women. These charitable efforts were excellent lessons for women in their ability to organize and create a sense of unity among women.
Helen Woodward, who has nothing but praise for Sarah Hale, suggests that women's magazines foster a "matriarchal power", and that Hale intentionally began this process with Godey's. Woodward says of Hale: "She was a feminist, but a feminist in veil, silk and kid gloves"  At first glance, the sweet and very virtuous prose of Godey's makes Woodward's statement seem a bit far fetched. But the following passage lends credibility to Wooward's argument. Form the Feb. 1838 issue, in an article entitles "Why Women Were Made Lovely", the editor writes of the temptation of Eve, and subsequent downfall of man. The author goes on to say:
Now the deduction I am about to draw from these premises will startle my fair readers, and I trust, provoke indignation of the males. My hypothesis is, that the scheme of creation has been misunderstood as regards the relative position of the two sexes, and that although the superior strength of man has helped him hitherto to maintain his self-created dignity of 'Lord of All Creation', yet the intent of nature always was that, ultimately, the other should be the predominant sex. The conclusion is irresistible, that the time is not very far distant when male and female intellect will be generally on a par, and further, that in certain departments of mind, the latter will shoot ahead. When, however, the omnipotent fascination of beauty is added to this intellectual equality, or superiority, what on earth is to prevent the fair from being the dominant sex? 
This passage creates a "we/they" distinction along gender lines of a very different nature common to popular magazines up to that point. It is yet another form of creating reader identification with a culture of women, mediated through a magazine. Ladies Home Journal (1883-) and Good Housekeeping (1885-) later elaborated on reader involvement and identification with their questionnaires and guarantees of quality, becoming consumer advocates in addition to friends and advisors.
The most extreme example of magazines as communities is evidenced by the English magazines of World War II. By this time, women's magazines had fully evolved into trade papers. The content of these publications had evolved along similar lines in England and the U.S.; the English women's press of the 1840s was much like Godey's. While I will discuss the emergence of the trade paper aspect of these magazines later, it is important to note that this trend tended to enhance reader-identification.
At the outset of World War II, the largest selling women's magazine was Woman, a weekly whose "primary function was to render the woman reader intimate personal service, with a secondary emphasis on entertainment"  This magazine was targeted to the middle class and survived the war intact. White writes of the effect of World War II:
The Second World War profoundly affected the magazine industry. It struck at its capacity to print by rationing paper and the number of copies that could be produced. Many titles ceased publication early on and never reappeared. The Government, realizing the importance of women's magazines as channels of communication through which instructions and announcements could be broadcast to women all over the country, maintained a close liaison with their editorial staffs. Because of the restrictions on printing, magazines inevitably became a scarce commodity for which there was an insatiable demand. Every available copy enjoyed multiple readership. As a result, these magazines established themselves more firmly than ever before both as all-purpose household manuals and as valued friends, ready with a listening ear and sympathetic, sound advice. Close ties of friendship, not to say dependence, were forged during the war - between the women's magazines and their readers, most of whom were discovering for the first time what it meant to be fully responsible for their families in the absence of their menfolk. 
To read these magazines is to get a more disturbing view of the war than most history books can provide. The perspective of Woman and Home on 76 consecutive nights of bombing is rather peculiar. These magazines focused on cheerful practicality. Women were urged to maintain their appearance and to remain good wives and mothers. Women were warned not to repeat the mistakes of WWI by abandoning their womanly tasks in favor of contributions to the war effort. A woman's best contribution was to remain unchanged when the soldier's came home. This was not to be.
Mass evacuations from the cities played havoc on families and class distinctions. People who would never otherwise have crossed paths were now living together, and mothers could hardly continue as though nothing had changed when their children were gone. As the war took its toll on London, women were faced with challenges they had never imagined. All of these issues are aired through the women's press
We have three evacuated children with us; their accents and manners are very bad. I feel sorry for them, but I don't want my children to be made rough and rude. Could I exchange these children for some others? - Woman's Own, 14th Oct, 1939. 
My little girl, who is two years old, is terrified of her gas mask and screams when she see us in ours. I just cannot make her put it on. Can you suggest any way of making her wear it? - Woman's Own, 10th May, 1941 
Advice throughout the war included how to make your blackout curtains more attractive, how to keep your nerve, bomb shelter decoration hints, how to put out incendiary bombs, and how to work with electrical wiring. All of the elements that cause readers to identify with magazines 'as friends' were exaggerated during the war. Readers needed to know that they weren't suffering alone, and they needed practical advice and instruction. Women's magazines have always held their audiences by addressing intimate matters; this too, is exaggerated by the war. Many of these letters demonstrate an unprecedented frankness.
That magazines represented a virtual community is evidenced by the role they played for women during the war. As Woman and Beauty announced:
If you are lost and bewildered in this strange new existence, take you bearings from us, and we will chart your course. 
Viewed as archives of a virtual culture, women's magazines demonstrate the complexity involved in such a culture. These publications do, as Ferguson suggests, attempt to dictate the behavior of women. The act of writing to an editor to seek advice on personal matters is public acknowledgement of this fact. But the role of these publications is not strictly limiting. Kathryn Shevelow describes this complexity:
As the periodical developed, it was constantly engaged in negotiating a relationship to its audience, a relationship variously composed of consumer-oriented solicitousness, dependence on audience complicity in textual production, and assumption of authority to prescribe readers' behavior. 
Another role women's magazines have played from the start is as a source of education, as well as an arena for debate and promotion of education for women. This is true from the time of the Athenian Mercury. The attitude of the editors towards women's education often inspired women to keep reading. One querist wrote to the Athenian to ask if education for women is appropriate. The respondent criticized the view that educated women are susceptible to mental distress and ill-temper, saying
For if we have seen one lady gone mad with learning, there are a hundred men cou'd be named, whom the same cause has renderd fit for Bedlam. 
One of the things that makes the Athenian so interesting to read today is its lack of specialization. People from all walks of life, many barely literate, were sending in their questions. Kathryn Shevelow discusses the education of Athenian Mercury readers and contributors:
The popular periodical developed in the late seventeenth century partly as a consequence - and itself became partly a cause - of significant transformations in literacy and the public's reading habits. By the final decades of the seventeenth century, the reading public had expanded beyond the traditional ranks of the aristocracy, gentry and upper levels of professional classes, to encompass readers drawn from other walks of life [including] domestic servants and even laborers. According women a highly visible role in the periodical as readers, contributors and correspondents became an important part of the periodical's pioneering appeal to an extended and therefore less sophisticated readership 
The Athenian Mercury does indeed include questions from Cambridge scholars and chambermaids. It provided a way people who were partially educated to pursue and resolve their questions. It provided a reason to keep wondering about topics that their brief education had introduced them to. The magazine's accessibility to a variety of classes was not just an aspect of its content; it was also an aspect of its distribution. The Athenian was delivered to homes, sold at coffee houses, and hawked in the street. It was not confined to booksellers and was within reach of ordinary people. This remained a characteristic of magazines generally.
Good Housekeeping from 1910 shows a remarkable number of articles centered on particular states of the Union. Even this late in U.S. history, women's magazines were fostering a national consciousness by educating their readers about different regions in the country.
Jean Gordon and Jan McArthur discuss magazines as social educators by examining interior decorating hints of the late 1800s:
Many Americans whose new wealth permitted them to live fashionably came from rural or small town backgrounds and thus had little experience with matters of taste. 
Beyond being social educators, women have long turned to magazines as general educators. As mentioned earlier, women subscribed to general monthlies in large numbers. The Women's press also included informative articles that went beyond the entertainment quality of fiction.
Men's magazines are aimed at particular groups of males and cater for parts of a man's life - his business, hobby or sporting interests - not for the totality of his masculinity, nor his male role as such. This difference in audience approaches seems to rest on an implicit assumption shared between editors and publishers that a female sex which is at best unconfidant and at worst incompetent 'needs' or 'wants' to be instructed - on the arts and skills of femininity, while a more powerful and confidant male sex already 'knows' everything there is to know about the business of being masculine. 
In the very early women's press, the contents were predominantly literature, with a lesser amount of personal advice. What distinguished women's magazines was the personal nature of the material. When general magazines such as the Athenian diversified into women's magazines, they merely moved all of the personal or private queries into the Lady's section, while questions of science and philosophy remained in the general publication. Women continued to submit scientific and philosophical questions to the general issue, while personal questions submitted by men were printed in the ladies edition.
Kathryn Shevelow's examination of early periodicals centers on the emergence of this distinction between masculine and feminine concerns.
Increasingly, throughout the 18th century, the interrelated categories of masculine and feminine, public and private, home and the 'world', assumed the shape of binary oppositions in which the meaning of each category was produced in terms of its opposite. Women were represented as naturally possessing qualities that rendered them unfit for the masculine public realm, but endowed them with considerable authority with in the private context of home. 
By the time Godey's Lady's Book appears, the emphasis is still the same. While Godey's had fashion plates, they were more for the showpiece value of having color illustrations than for practical instruction. When women were advised what to wear, it was more a form of moral instruction rather than a fashion tip. It is not until Ebenezer Butterick began publishing the Delineator (1863-1937) that fashion magazines really came into existence. Until that time, fashion appeared very frequently as an abstract moral debate, though a heated one. Aside from the frequent editorials about the imporance of appearing chaste and clean, there were also entire periodicals (with a small readership) dedicated to 'dress reform'. These would contain articles about the dangers of corsets and hoops, and were more about fashion than of fashion. Butterick's unique contribution was to have invented the tissue paper dress pattern; before that, only wealthy women could afford to consider fashions. In the U.S., women had to have casts made of their bodies and sent to dressmakers, usually abroad. Dressmakers would then send out dolls wearing miniature versions of their new designs.
The Delineator included a pattern in every issue, which made the magazine cumbersome, but very popular. McCalls and Vogue appeared during the same era. All included articles, short stories and correspondence as well as fashion. In the 20th century, as clothing became mass produced, and women could afford to buy dresses 'off the rack', fashion magazines became what they are today, guides to the goods available on the market. With the advent of the fashion industry, and its immediate entrance into the women's press, being 'in style' became a feminine trait, part of the 'trade' and a central part of women's magazines.
Another feature of the feminine trade is 'domestic science'. Cynthia White discussed the emergence of 'household hints' in women's magazines. By the late 1800s, many families accustomed to having servants could no longer afford them. England's education acts and industry served to give lower class women a wider array of job choices than domestic servitude.
Many thousands of women found their chief difficulties arising from the growing shortage of servants, and few issues of the magazines of the time lacked some reference to the 'servant problem'. As paid help grew scarcer and more expensive, women had to assume more of these responsibilities. - Considerable concern was voiced in the women's press over the numerous young women, educated at fashionable boarding schools to shine in the pretty accomplishments suited to the drawing room, who were totally unfitted to assume the management of a household. The servant shortage having exposed this serious deficiency in female education, the women's magazines began to try and fill the gap. A few introduced items on home management ranging from 'handy hints' to detailed recipes. 
In her article "The Industrial Revolution in the Home", Ruth Schwartz Cowen demonstrates the same trend in the U.S.:
The significant change in the structure of the household labor force was the disappearance of paid and unpaid servants (unmarried daughters, maiden aunts, and grandparents fell in the latter category). Before World War I, when illustrators in the women's magazines depicted women doing housework, the women were very often servants. By the end of the 1920s, the servants had disappeared from those illustrations; all those jobs were being done by housewives. 
Cowan also examines the impact of improved technology on the domestic workforce as evidenced by Ladies Home Journal. She concludes that time saving devices like the electric iron and the washing machine did not decrease a housewife's workload, but expanded the realm of tasks she was to take on. This led to a change in the content of women's magazines. Articles on child psychology and interior decorating only begin to appear in abundance around the 1920s.
As stated earlier, all of these roles of women's magazines, as educators, as virtual communities and as trade papers, are interrelated. The areas that magazines choose to educate their readers in, and the elements that define the trade of housewife are aspects of the community created and represented by magazines. While magazines have long been profit-making ventures, they would not have been possible without the complicity of the reader. They do not serve as clear examples of an ideology imposed upon women by an outside source. They also do not serve as a clear or simple indicator of women's ideas or history. Women did have other reading material, and these magazines cannot be said to represent every aspect of women's interests, however popular. Also, many of these magazines have had very indluential editors, such as Sarah Hale or Edward Bok, and can also be viewed in part as the work of those individuals. These publications do, however, serve as a wonderful window onto the culture of their times.
Ferguson, Marjorie. Forever Feminine; Women's Magazines and the Cult of Femininity. London, Heinemann, 1983.
Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. "The 'Industrial Revolution' in the Home: Household Technology and Social Change in the 20th Century." Technology and Culture. Vol 17 No. 1., 1976. p. 1-23.
Gordon, Jean and Jan McArthur. "Interior Decorating Advice as Popular Culture: Women's Views Concerning Wall and Window Treatments, 1870-1920. Journal of American Culture. Vol 9. no. 3., 1986. p. 15-23.
Grant, Alice. Fashion Magazines from the 1890s to the 1980s; An Account Based on the Holdings of the National Art Library. London, National Art Library
Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines 1741-1905. 4 Vols. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press. 1957.
Rheingold, Howard. The Virtual Community; Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. New York, Addison-Wesley, 1993.
Shevelow, Cathryn. Women and Print Culture; The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London, Routledge, 1989.
Waller, Jane and Micheal Vaughan-Rees. Women in Wartime; The Role of Women's Magazines 1939-1945. London, Optima, 1987
White, Cynthia. Women's Magazines 1693-1968. London, Michael Joseph, 1970.
Wood, James Playted. Magazines in the United States; Their Social and Economic Influence. New York, The Ronald Press, 1949.
Woodward, Helen. The Lady Persuaders. New York, Ivan Oblensky, Inc., 1960
Addison, Joseph and Richard Steele. The Spectator. Selected, edited and introduced by Robert Halsband. London, Limited Edition Club. 1970.
Arthur's Magazine. Philadelphia. Vol. 1.(1844)-vol. 4(1845).
The Athenian Gazette, or, Caustical Mercury; Resolving all the Most Nice and Curious Questions Proposed by the Ingenious of Either Sex. Reprinted for John Dunton. London. Vol.1:1(Mar, 1991)-Vol 5:30(Jan, 1692).
The Delineator. Vol. 74. No.3. Sep., 1909.
The Female Spectator. Edited by Eliza Fowler Haywood. London, T. Gardner. 1748.
Godey's Lady's Book. New York, Godey Co. Vol 16. 1838.
Good Housekeeping. Chicago, Phelps Publishing Co. Vol 50, 1910.
The Ladies Garland. Philadelphia, J. Van Court. Vol 7(1843)-Vol. 8(1845).
The Ladies' Magazine. Boston. Putnam and Hunt. Edited by Sarah J. Hale. 1834.
Social Life. Metropolitan Culture Series. New York. Butterick Publishing Co. 1889. (Excerpts from letters and advice columns in the Delineator.)
The Tatler. London. Rivington, Marshall and Bye. 1789.
Ferguson, Marjorie. Forever Feminine: Women's Magazines and the Cult of Femininity. London, Heinemann, 1983. p. 184-185.
 Rheingold, Howard. The Virtual Community; Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. New York, Addison-Wesley, 1993. p.5.
 Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines. Vol. III, 1865-1885. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1957. p.90.
 Shevelow, Kathryn. Women and Print Culture; The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London, Routledge, 1989. p. 66-68
Athenian Mercury Vol III no.s 20-21. (no date provided)
 Shevelow, Kathryn. Women and Print Culture; The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London, Routledge, 1989. p. 102.
 Wood, James Playsted. Magazines in the United States; Their Social and Economic Influence. New York, The Ronald Press, 1949. p. 109.
 Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines. Vol I, 1741-1850. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press. 1957. p. 65.
 Ibid. p. 580.
Woodward, Helen. The Lady Persuaders. New York, Ivan Oblensky, 1960. p.23.
Godey's Ladies Book Vol 16. Feb, 1838. p.93
 White, Cynthia. Women's Magazines 1693-1968. London, Micheal Joseph, 1970. p. 96.
 Ibid. p. 123-24.
Waller, Jane and Micheal Vaughan-Rees. Women in Wartime; the Role of Women's Magazines 1939-1945. London, Optima, 1987. p. 19.
 Ibid. p. 41.
Ibid. p. 1.
Shevelow, Kathryn. Women and Print Culture: The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London, Routledge, 1989. p. 15.
Athenian Mercury vol I no. 18. Sat. May 23, 1691.
 Shevelow, Kathryn. Women and Print Culture; The Construction of Femininity and the Early Periodical. London, Routledge, 1989. p. 27-28.
 Gordon, Jean and Jan McArthur. "Interior Decorating Advice as Popular Culture; Women's Views Concerning Wall and Window Treatments, 1870-1920". Journal of American Culture. p. 15.
 Ferguson, Marjorie. Forever Feminine; Women's Magazines and the Cult of Femininity. London, Heinemann, 1983. p. 2.
 Shevelow, Kathryn. Women and Print Culture; The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London, Routledge, 1989. p. 10.
 White, Cynthia. Women's Magazines 1693-1968. London, Michael Joseph, 1970. p. 54.
 Cowen, Ruth Schwartz. "The Industrial Revolution in the Home"