Three years ago, lamenting over the politicization of fashion magazines, Sally Pipes and I tried our hand as fashion editors and featured the Men of PRI in all their finery for PRI’s September Issue blog.
Little did we know then of the origins of women’s magazines, “style” sections, or recipe columns until our conversation with Next Round podcast guest Melanie Kirkpatrick, former deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal.
In Lady Editor: The Making of a Modern American Woman, Kirkpatrick brings to life Sarah Josepha Hale, the most successful editor of a women’s magazine in the 19th century. Hale published some of America’s most revered writers, including Edgar Allen Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. She was responsible for the popularity of white wedding gowns, the polka, and was the first to offer recipes in her magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book. Hale championed a woman’s right to an education, to work, and to manage her own money. A poet and writer of children’s books, she penned the most well-known verse in America – Mary Had a Little Lamb. Sarah Josepha Hale, Kirkpatrick writes, was the “leading cultural arbiter for the growing nation.”
So, in fashion magazine style, we took the opportunity to highlight in this September Issue blog lady writers and editors, then and now.
|Sarah Josepha Hale||Clare Booth Luce||Martha Stewart||Anna Wintour|
|What to Wear Now||Black lace-up boots||Vintage stole||Anything in robin’s egg blue||A bob|
|Book by Your Nightstand||House of the Seven Gables||The Women||Entertaining||Pride and Prejudice|
|Cause to Champion||College for every woman||Women in STEM||Saving Thanksgiving||Climate change|
|Best Holiday||Thanksgiving Day||New Year’s Eve||All of them||Christmas|
|Vacation Hot Spot||Martha’s Vineyard||Majorca||Skylands, Maine||Home|
|Latest Obsession||Polka||Vanity Fair||Macy’s Martha Stewart Collection||Avocados|
|Best Place to Be Seen||Bunker Hill Monument||European theater, World War II||HGTV||Met Gala|
|Famous Line||Mary loves the lamb you know.||No good deed goes unpunished.||It’s a good thing.||Imperfection is fine.|
|I Never . . .||Wear anything but black.||Say never.||Use Splenda||Drink|
Rowena Itchon is senior vice president of the Pacific Research Institute.