Recipe vid: https://youtu.be/u_8vkfJF_UI
Transcript: Welcome to the Endnotes, where I put all the fun facts I can’t fit into the main videos! Today, an extra bit of information from my video about what is a Recipe—& if you haven’t seen that yet, click on the card. We ended that video by talking about the development of women’s magazines, & mentioned some of the earliest examples of the genre. So here’s a little more info about them, starting with the word magazine itself. It comes originally from the Arabic word makhazin, plural of makhzan meaning “storehouse”. The word came into English through Italian & French in the 16th century with originally the same meaning, particularly a storehouse for military ammunitions. That’s why in modern English the word magazine can still be used to refer to the cartridge containing bullets in a gun. It wasn’t until the 1731 publication of The Gentleman’s Magazine that the word was used to refer to a periodical, basically as a metaphor for a storehouse of information. So this is a nice parallel for apothecary & boutique coming from Greek apothece also meaning “storehouse”. In any case, the original periodicals & magazines were written by men, for men, & even when such material expanded to be aimed at a female audience, the publishers & writers were generally men. The original mansplaining you might say. The first women’s magazine, though being first published in 1693 it predates the term magazine, was The Lady’s Mercury, a spin-off from The Athenian Mercury, which had been aimed at both men & women. It was essentially an advice column to which women could send in questions about love, marriage, behaviour, clothing, & so forth, & have them answered by what seems to have been be an all-male panel, the Athenian Society, run by London author John Dunton & his friends. The Lady’s Mercury ran for only four issues, but it was a start. Several other periodicals aimed at women followed, & by 1770 we come to The Lady’s Magazine. Though still conceived of & published by men, it included female writers & contributers. Indeed the readership was encouraged to send in their own stories & poems for publication. The content also included society news (but not “hard” news, which was thought only appropriate for men), fashion, & music. It also included a medical column written by a male doctor, but covering such topics as breastfeeding & menstrual pains. Though earlier magazines were more targeted to upper-class readers, as we come to the 19th century there were such publications as The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, aimed more at the middle-class wife & mother, with topics such as cookery & fashion including sewing patterns to replicate the latest looks. But in the 19th century women’s magazines were also becoming more explicitly political. The English Women’s Journal which started publication in 1858 discussed & promoted issues such as employment & equality for women. Furthermore, it was founded by & employed women. Today, perhaps the quintessential example of the woman’s magazine, for better or for worse, is Cosmopolitan — mostly known as Cosmo now — which has an interesting history. It went from a general interest family magazine from its inception in 1886, to basically a literary magazine in the early 20th century, to a magazine catering to the modern single career woman in 1965 under the direction of editor Helen Gurley Brown, who promoted liberated women’s issues. It was in its day a very progressive publication, even if that’s hard to imagine now. Along with a number of other magazines that were seen as vehicles of female empowerment & published many important feminist voices in the 60’s & 70’s, like Chatelaine here in Canada, over the last couple of decades it has retreated from any overtly political stance & focussed on telling women what’s wrong with them & how consumerism can fix it—a different kind of recipe for a better life, perhaps.