|Ladies' Treasury, The;
an illustrated magazine of entertaining literature, education, fine art, domestic economy, needlework, and fashion.
|vol 1, 1858 (Apr 1857?) - vol 20, Dec 1895//.
London, Middlesex. Ed: Eliza Warren Francis. Pub: Bemrose and Sons Ltd; Houlston and Wright (1865); Ward and Lock (1857). Printer: Bemrose and Sons Ltd; Judd and Glass (1865); Petter and Galpin (1857). Contributors: S.H. Hayes; Yorick (Mrs.) Smythies (Harriette Maria Smythies, née Gordon, 1813 - 1883). Names: Harriette Maria Gordon. Size: 56-72pp; 26cm, 32pp (1857); 25cm (1889). Price: 7d. Frequency: monthly. Illustration: engravings, music scores, diagrams, sketches.
Indexing: T of C/vol, index of illustrations/vol. Departments: Treasury of Literature (supplement), the French language, the German language, letters to a lady on things she ought to know, facts and caprices of the month, notes on dressmaking, literary notices, household management, cookery, notes on millinery, needle work, Parisian gossip, fashions, tales, narratives, brief biographies, on conduct and carriage, poetry, aunt Deborah's receipt-book, fancy work for ladies, flower drawing, paper flower making, music and the drama, notices of new books, notices to correspondents, inquiries, advertisements.
Sources: COPAC; Nowell-Smith, Simon. The House of Cassell 1848-1958. London: Cassell & Co Ltd., 1958.; Ridder, Jolein and Marianne Van Remoortel. "Not 'Simply Mrs. Warren': Eliza Warren Francis (1810-1900) and the Ladies Treasury." VPR 44:4, pp.307-326.; Sutherland Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction.; Tye, J.R. Periodicals of the Nineties': a checklist of library periodicals published in the British Isles at longer than fortnightly intervals, 1890-99. Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1974.; White, Cynthia. Women's Magazines 1693-1968. London: Michael Joseph Ltd, 1970
Histories: Beetham, Domesticity and Desire.; Boardman, “Ideology of Domesticity”.; Ofek, Galia. Representations of Hair in Victorian Literature and Culture. Farnham: Ashgate, 2009.; Pigeon, "Scissors and Paste Journalism in the Ladies Treasury".; Prince, Kathryn. Shakespeare in the Victorian Periodicals. Routledge, 2008, p.1-149.; Ridder, Jolein De. “What? How? Why? Broadening the Mind with the Treasury of Literature (1868-1875), Supplement to the Ladies Treasury (1857-1895).” Victorian Periodicals Review. 43:1. Baltimore: John Hopkins Univ Press, 2010. pp.174-195.; Thompson, Nicola Diane. "Reviewing Sex: Gender and the Reception of Victorian Novels." New York: New York University Press, 1996.; Ward, Megan. "'A Charm in those Fingers': Patterns, Taste, and the Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine." VPR. 41.3 (Fall 2008): 248-269.
|Comments: "In offering to our countrywomen the first annual volume of a work undertaken for their benefit, consecrated to their service, and dignified by the name of The Ladies' Treasury, we feel called upon to say a few words...We consider that Poetry was intended to ennoble and strengthen, not to enervate and bewilder the mind; and we admit no poetry that is not pure thought and high feeling set to the music of melodious verse. Our progressive Lessons in French and German will be continued. They have been much approved, and found very useful, not merely as teachers, but refreshers. Napoleon, at Moscow, was stopped by 'the elements;' but our progressive lessons will enable the young to conquer, and older readers to reconquer them. We shall carry on our practical directions for Flower and Landscape Painting, and for every elegant variety of Fancy Work; full directions for Wax and Paper Flowers being a prominent feature in our magazine, and an occupation at once fascinating and à la mode. Contributions like these will be even added to, for we feel that employment is the safeguard of the young female mind....Our Fashions will be of the newest and most elegant, for the days are past when Wisdom was a dowdy. The good and gifted do not now disdain the Graces" (Preface vol 1, iii).
"Several publications which preferred the usual mixture of fiction, fashion, and needlework, were immediately successful and embarked upon long runs of between twenty-five and thirty years. The Ladies' Treasury was one such magazine, expressly intended to 'illustrate and uphold "each dear domestic virtue, child of home."' It offered a bland collection, including lessons in French and German, practical direction for flower and landscape painting, instructions for fancy work of all kinds and for the making of wax and paper flowers, all of which were intended to provide innocent and amusing occupations to fill the interminable leisure hours of young Victorian women. The Editor rigorously excluded everything which might tend to 'enervate or bewilder' the pure female mind. Hence the poetry was compounded of 'pure thought and high feeling', and the fiction never failed to display the triumph of 'Principle over Passion.' The success of this magazine, which ran until 1895, provides some measure of popular tastes and the daily routine of young women in the leisured ranks of society. The values it projected indicate the strengthening hold of Victorian morality which demanded from women the utmost in purity and piety" (White, Cynthia; p.47).
"Cassell's had never had a success with women, as distinct from families, as a constituency. The Ladies' Treasury in the sixties had languished for a year or two over the Belle Sauvage imprint before flourishing for thirty over another" (Nowell-Smith, p.180).
"The Ladies' Treasury provided an interesting range of fiction, from racy tales of adventure from America to rather didactic homilies on the virtues of hearth and home. ‘Our Mothers: A Tale of Working-Day Life' provides a good illustration of the fictionalised representation of the domestic ideal typically found in this type of magazine...Mrs. Warren published ‘How I Managed my House on 200 a Year’ in 1864...which was also serialised in The Ladies' Treasury…[This book] followed the dialogue format popular with evangelical discourse...Mrs Warren borrowed this style from 'Aunt Deborah's Receipt Book' " (Boardman).
Smythies wrote articles on female etiquette.
Published an account of a visit to a hair workshop in 1868 which condemned the practice of wearing decorative hairpieces because the hair came from "...the poverty, the sickness, the sorrow, the ignorance, and the vice..." (Ofek, p.9).
It borrowed liberally from other sources through scissors and paste journalism: "For the editor of the Ladies’ Treasury, scissors-and-paste journalism was a three-step process of cut, revise, and paste the results without full acknowledgement or permission. To put the practice plainly: steal it, change it, and print it. Uncovering the complexities of this editorial practice reveals that the apparently seamless anglophone middle-class domestic ideology with its ‘cult of true womanhood’ is implicated in international networks, cultural relations including borrowing and disguise, and opportunistic commercial practices" (Pigeon 26).
Location: partial runs: OX/U-1 A, LO/N-1 A (Apr 1857-Dec 1889, wanting several volumes, Dec 1889 imp); see Fulton; N. America: ULS 2&3; The full text is available on CENGAGE from Gale.
Reproduced by permission, Bodleian Library