Beetham, Margaret and Kay Boardman. Victorian Women’s Magazines: An Anthology. New York: Manchester University Press, 2001. Print.
This anthology compiles both illustrations and texts from a variety of Victorian women’s magazines. It is divided into two components; the different genres of magazines available to Victorian women, and the content that recurs within these magazines. Examples within the anthology consist of scanned prints and illustrations, and portions of text (articles, advice columns, short stories, etc.) transcribed in their original wording. The main objective of the anthology is to allow the reader to draw their own comparisons from the examples, which are organized chronologically within their respective categories. The anthology also provides a full list of magazines that can be assed for more details.
Beaujot, Ariel. Victorian Fashion Accessories. New York: Berg, 2012. Print.
Beaujot examines the significant roles that fashion accessories played in both creating and perpetuating ideas about femininity during the Victorian age. Beaujot argues that fashion accessories were used to help women assert, maintain, and – in some cases – fake middle-class identities, as belonging to the “economic classification and…imaginary social category” that was the middle class was considered to be “an ongoing accomplishment” during this time (4). This book examines four accessories – gloves, fans, parasols, and vanity sets – as “symbols originally associated with the aristocracy and modified [by women]…to help make their class position real through consumption” (4). Beaujot believes that women used these accessories to demonstrate their beauty, wealth, and leisurely lifestyles, and to hide any undesired physical appearances. Beaujot’s research also discusses the use of fashion accessories as flirtation devices.
Boardman, Kay. ‘”A material girl in a material world’: the fashionable female body in Victorian women’s
magazines.” Journal of Victorian Culture 3(1) (1998): 93-110. Print.
This article discusses the commonality of fashion as a unifying form of consumerism in Victorian’s women’s magazines. Boardman proposes that “connections between Victorian culture as a culture of commodity, of spectacle, and ultimately of modernity…[can be traced] through fashion and representation of the fashionable female body” (93). Boardman also promotes the notion that fashion is a “complex sign system” in that culture “legitimizes the relationship” between clothing and its wearer (96).
Cardinal, Roger. “Painting, Still-Life.” Encyclopedia of American Folk Art. Ed. Gerard C. Wertkin. New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.
This encyclopedia compiles descriptions of various types of American folk artists and their artworks. The book recognizes the difficulties of documenting folk art, as the genre is typically considered to be “‘non-academic’… ‘naïve’… ‘self-taught’… ‘visionary’…[and] ‘vernacular’” despite being a “vital element in the cultural history of the United States” (xxxii). Entries for each subject typically consist of 1-3 pages, and comment on the emergence, popularity, and implications of the work or artist, besides providing a brief description of the subject itself. A bibliography accompanies each entry. Most entries also provide illustrations.
Collard, Eileen. The Cut of Women’s 19th Century Dress Part 4: ‘The Rise and Fall of the Bustle’ circa 1867-98. Burlington: 1979. Print.
This self-published book details the evolution of the bustle trend that consumed women’s fashion during the 1870s. Collard provides in-depth technical descriptions of dress patterns and cuts, and discusses the types of fabrics, colors, and embellishments that were included in various dress designs. This book also includes diagrams of dress bodices, skirts, and sleeves, most of which are hand-drawn based on common examples from fashion plates. Quotations describing the appearance of various fashions, and their general public receptions, are taken from contemporary magazines and periodicals are compiled into different sections throughout the book. The sections on “The Crinolette and the Early Bustle, Circa 1867-1873” and “The Fall of the Bustle and the Introduction of the Princess Line, Circa 1874-1882” are particularly relevant to the content that appears within the YLJ collection fashion plates. While the majority of Collard’s research focuses on women’s clothing as it originated in England, a small portion relates to how these trends translated into Canadian fashions.
Cumming, Valerie. The Dictionary of Fashion History. New York: Berg, 2010. eBook.
This book is a collection of definitions of clothing articles, which are presented to the reader in a dictionary format. Each entry includes the name of the clothing article, the gender with which the wearer of the item is typically associated, the general time period that it was introduced and/or most popularly worn, and a brief description of the clothing item itself. The Dictionary of Fashion History is a “revised and updated version” of A Dictionary of English Costume 900-1900 by C. Willett and Phillis Cunnington, and borrows heavily from its content (“Introduction”). Note that pages are not provided in the eBook version.
Cunnington, Phillis. Costumes of the Nineteenth Century. 1st American ed. Boston: Plays, Inc.,1970. Print.
This short, illustrated book provides basic descriptions of the types of clothing worn throughout the Victorian era. While a section each is allotted to men and children’s fashions, the majority of the book focuses on women’s clothes. Cunnington breaks down women’s fashions into phases by decade; the Classical period (1800-1820); the Romantic period (1820s-1830s); the Demure period (1840s); the Extravagant period (1850s-1860s); the Bustle period (1870s-1880s); and the Practical period (1890s). Within each phase, Cunnington describes the particular dress styles and garments that were most popular for day and evening wear, as well as trends for hair, make-up, and accessories. This book is useful for introducing the origins and evolution of Victorian fashion, and is an excellent source for identifying Victorian clothing items.
Curtis, Oswald and Herbert Norris. Costume and Fashion. Vol. 6. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1998. Print.
This book describes the progression of men’s and women’s fashions throughout the nineteenth century (precisely from the years 1800 to 1900). Curtis and Norris divide the century into periods based on the reigns of King George III, King William, and Queen Victoria. Each chapter begins with a brief historical introduction describing the roles of royalty and government at the given time, before providing paragraph-form entries of types of fashion and clothing articles. The book includes several illustrations taken from colour plates, as well as black and white drawings and diagrams.
De Ridder, Jolein and Marianne Van Remoortel. “From Fashion Colours to Spectrum Analysis:
negotiating femininities in mid-Victorian women’s magazines.” Women’s History Review 21(1) (2012):21-36. Online.
This article presents supplements to women’s magazines and periodicals as an imperative contextualizing source for Victorian cultural values. Ridder and Remoortel argue that both the Ladies’ Treasury (1857-1895) and its supplement, the Treasury of Literature (1868-1875), prove that supplements provide insight to domestic consumer patterns, as well as examples of “literary, cultural, and political addenda” (22). They believe that because the Victorian middle class was so widespread and varied in terms of both functionality and influence, supplements play a key role in identifying common cultural interests.
Korte, Barbara. “Between Fashion and Feminism: History in Victorian Women’s Magazines.” English Studies, Vol. 96, No.4 (2015):
This article provides a brief overview of how Victorians chose to discuss the topic of women’s history through the medium women’s magazines. Korte argues that the emergence of the middle class as a marketable literary audience contributed to a rising cultural interest in both women’s history and historiography. Using examples from The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, The Ladies’ Treasury, the Queen, and the English Woman’s Journal, Korte asserts that “the tensions between conservative ideals and progressive alternatives that marked the debate about the ‘woman question’ [between the 1850s and 1880s] also characterized Victorian approaches to women’s history” (424). The article attempts to pinpoint which “areas of history…the magazines take up as…particularly interesting and significant for their female readers…[and how they] utilize these areas to negotiate for the social position of women” (425).
Kortsch, Christine Bayles. Dress Culture in Late Victorian Women’s Fiction: Literacy, Textiles, and Activism. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2009. Print.
This book discusses the evolution of fashion and sewing culture in Victorian society. Kortsch establishes the existence of “dress culture…[as] any activity that includes not only the wearing, producing, purchasing, or embellishing of clothing and textiles, but also the regulating and interpreting of both women’s and men’s garments” (Kortsch 4). Kortsch then argues that knowledge of dress culture was a form of “dual literacy…specifically gendered as a type of feminine knowledge in Victorian social practice” as women were expected to understand dressmaking literature both as a literal text and as a representation of Victorian feminine ideals (4). Fashion and sewing became subjects of exclusively feminine knowledge; this created a sense of empowerment among women, as women were both allowed and expected to buy into dress culture as members of the middle class consumer market.
Ledbetter, Kathryn. “Victorian Needlework.” Santa Barbara, Praeger: 2012. Print.
This book is about the practice of needlework in the Victorian era. Ledbetter discusses the various accomplishments that needlework allowed for girls across different classes. In lower-middle and lower classes, learning needlework provided girls with both practical (working or trade) and educational skills; in middle-to-upper classes girls learned needlework as a way of entertaining themselves while reflecting their security in wealth and leisure, and while also contributing to their households. This book also discusses different types of needlework that can be done, as well as provides examples of guidebooks and periodicals where they can be found.
Loeb, Lori Anne. Consuming Angels: Advertising and Victorian Women. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Print.
This book contains an in-depth analysis of Victorian advertising culture as relevant to its middle-class, female demographic. Loeb defines the middle class as those who enjoyed “a moderately affluent income (150 to 1000 pounds per annum), freedom from manual labour outside and inside the home, and the employment of domestic servants” (3-4). Loeb argues that this particular demographic became the “targets of abundant advertising in [their] pursuit of pleasure and especially…satisfaction gained through material objects” (4). Loeb divides her research into Victorian consumer culture, commercial interpretations of domestic ideology, progress in the Victorian advertisement, Victorian advertising heroes (models), anxiety in evangelical forms and material deliverers, and mass consumption.
Schaffer, Talia. “Novel Craft: Victorian Domestic Handicraft and Nineteenth Century Fiction.” New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2011. Print.
This book details the history of Victorian domestic crafts. Schaffer’s research is focused into two efforts; determining what historical and social contexts influenced the inspiration and development of domestic crafts, and how these crafts influence feminine ideology in literary fiction. The former half of her research was particularly useful in that it provided grounding for several of the observations that can be made from first-hand viewing of the YLJ supplements.
Thieme, Otto Charles et al. With Grace & Favour: Victorian & Edwardian Fashion in America. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Art Museum, 1993. Print.
With Grace & Favour was published in conjunction with a Cincinnati Art Museum exhibition of the same name. The exhibition contained American dresses collected from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and explored both the artistry of the dresses themselves and the historical context behind the major fashion trends that these dresses exemplified. The main objective of the exhibit was to demonstrate the emergence of an American feminine identity from the inspiration of French and English fashions. This book contains photographs of the exhibition items along with detailed descriptions of each item’s appearance and historical relevance. Essays such as “Acquiring a French Wardrobe” by Elizabeth Ann Coleman and “Healthful, Artistic and Correct Dresses” by Patricia Cunningham lend additional useful context to the exhibition items.
VanArsdel, Rosemary T., and Don J. Vann. Victorian Periodicals and Victorian Society. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995. Print.
Victorian Periodicals and Victorian Society describes the relationship between Victorian periodicals and the literate public. The anthology establishes that nineteenth-century Britain “is uniquely the age of the periodical…[as] periodicals also came to constitute as a literature in their own right” (7). Due in particular to the professionalism of the sciences, the advancement of ‘railway mania’ and its effects on pricing and distribution, as well as improvements in widespread literacy, periodicals served as a graphic documentation for cultural change (3-6). The essays compiled in VanArsdel and Vann’s anthology return to several themes that define Victorian periodicals, such as volume, practicality, and professional practice (3-6). Patricia Anderson’s chapter on the process of adding illustrations to periodicals is particularly helpful to understanding the basic visual components of the YLJ collection.
Wardle, Patricia. Victorian Lace. Revised 2nd ed. McMinnville: Robin & Russ, Handweavers, 1982. Print.
This book provides an in-depth analysis of Victorian lace. Wardle provides a brief overview of “fashions of lace in the nineteenth century”, followed by detailed accounts of lace patterns that emerged from France, Belgium, England, and Ireland (9). Wardle also explores machine-made lace in England and France. The appendix includes a four-page description of basic lace-making techniques. Wardle combines her research with black-and-white photographs of various lace designs.