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Miss Leslie's Magazine
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- University of Pennsylvania: Rare Book & Manuscript Library Print Collections
- Miss Leslie's Magazine
- Call Number:
- AP8 M6918.843m
- 1 book
- Miss Leslie?s Magazine was a monthly women?s magazine of literature and fashion published in Philadelphia from January of 1843 to July of 1846, when it was absorbed by Godey?s Lady?s Book. This book contains volumes 1 and 2 of Miss Leslie?s Magazine, dating from January 1843 to December 1843; each volume contains 6 issues. Eliza Leslie was a Philadelphia-born writer of popular cookbooks, children?s stories, and guides for women on domestic life and work. Miss Leslie?s Magazine incorporates Leslie?s recipes and instructions for maintaining a household with fashion plates, essays, and stories and poems from contributing writers such as N.P. Willis, Lydia H. Sigourney, T. S. Arthur, Park Benjamin, and Miss Leslie.
Cite as:Miss Leslie's Magazine, 1843, Rare Book & Manuscript Library Print Collections, University of Pennsylvania.
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Miss Leslie?s Magazine was a monthly women?s magazine of literature and fashion published in Philadelphia from January of 1843 to July of 1846. In 1844 the magazine?s name was changed to The Ladies? Magazine of Literature, Fashion, and the Fine Arts; in 1845 it was changed to Arthur?s Ladies? Magazine, and it was subsequently merged with the popular Godey?s Lady's Book in July of 1846 ( Oxford Companion to American Literature). Eliza Leslie was the original editor of the magazine, as well as a leading contributor, yet she retired by the end of the first year of publication. T.S. Arthur, a writer and contributor to Miss Leslie?s Magazine as well as to Godey?s, overtook the editorship until its eventual absorption by Godey?s (Mott 734).
Eliza Leslie was a Philadelphia-born writer of popular cookbooks, children?s stories, and guides for women on domestic life and work. She was born in 1787, the daughter of Robert Leslie, a watch-maker, and Lydia Baker. The family lived in Philadelphia excluding a 6 year stay in England in order for her father to export clocks to Philadelphia. Robert Leslie was a successful watch-maker and was friendly with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, and became an elected member of the American Philosophical Society on Jefferson?s recommendation. Eliza Leslie was educated in French and music by tutors in her home, and in sewing by her mother and in writing by her father. As a child Leslie?s ?chief delight was in reading and drawing?, and she read all that she could and began writing verse at a young age (Haven 348).
Leslie?s father died in 1803, and in order to support the family, Leslie and her mother opened a boardinghouse. Leslie then began attending the Philadelphia cooking school of Mrs. Goodfellow, during which time she formed her own collection of recipes based on her school notes. From this recipe collection grew Leslie?s first book, Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats, which was published in 1827 by Munroe & Francis and became one of the most popular early American cookbooks (Bartlett). Encouraged by her publisher, Leslie began writing juvenile fiction and went on to publish many books of children?s stories, such as The Mirror (1828), The Young Americans (1829), Stories for Emma (1829), and Atlantic Tales (1833). She began writing for adults when her story ?Mrs. Washington Potts? was published in and won a prize from Godey?s Lady's Book. Leslie was most financially successful with her cookbooks and domestic guides, such as The Domestic Cookery Book (1837), The House Book; or A Manual of Domestic Economy (1840), and The Lady?s Receipt Book: A Useful Companion for Large or Small Families (1846) (Haven 349). Leslie was able to support herself solely through her writing. She lived during her later years at the United States Hotel in Philadelphia and was buried at St. Peter's churchyard in Philadelphia in 1858 (Haven 350).
Miss Leslie?s Magazine incorporates Leslie?s recipes and instructions for maintaining a household with fashion plates, essays, and stories and poems from contributing writers such as N.P. Willis, Lydia H. Sigourney, T. S. Arthur, Park Benjamin, and Miss Leslie.
Scope and Contents
This book contains volumes 1 and 2 of Miss Leslie?s Magazine, dating from January 1843 to December 1843. The magazine was published monthly and each volume contains 6 issues. Each issue of Miss Leslie?s Magazine contains several illustrated plates, short stories, poems, and one or more regular items such as ?New Receipts, by Miss Leslie?, ?Female Health and Beauty?, or ?Things Worth Knowing, by Miss Leslie?. Several of the stories are serialized and continue in numerous issues throughout the year. Some issues contain sewing patterns or instructions for completing domestic tasks. Several issues contain essays on topics such as writing, critical reading, or equestrianism. The six issues of the first volume contain general editorial remarks and comments on the illustrations on the first page as well as a note from the publisher, called variously ?The Publisher to the Public? or ?Publisher?s Table?, on the final page. The issues of the second volume most often do not contain these items, although one issue has a comment on a plate and one issue has a ?Publisher?s Table.? The issues never include any advertisements.
Miss Leslie?s Magazine prided itself on displaying new methods of illustration and using original art, yet maintaining an affordable cost to the reader. The publisher?s comments on the plates in Miss Leslie?s Magazine often provide information about the illustration technique, such as mezzotint and lithotint, as well as information about the artists and engravers. The lithographer P.S. Duval and the engraver John Sartain were two of the prominent Philadelphia artists to show their work in Miss Leslie?s Magazine. Duval was the eminent lithographer in Philadelphia at the time, and he was one the first American lithographers to experiment with printing in color, rather than hand-coloring prints (Wainwright 61). The first color print appeared in the April 1843 issue of Miss Leslie?s Magazine, ?Grandpapa?s Pet?. This print was drawn and lithotinted by the artist John H. Richards and lithographed by Duval, and declared itself ?the first specimen of this art ever produced in the United States?. This first color print was printed with multiple colors on a single stone, which created color hues, but not bold colors; the prints were then hand-colored with brighter shades (Wainwright 61). The article ?The New Art of Lithotint? in the April issue accompanies the print and extols the importance of the new process of color lithotint (113).
Another notable set of plates, from the January 1843 issue, is comprised of a fashion plate of a woman in ?a dress of grey merino [with] a short cloak of purple velvet?, yet in place of her face is a round cut-out in the plate. The following fashion plate shows a woman in an ?evening dress of gros d?Afrique? and her face is aligned so as to appear as the face for both plates. The opening comment of this issue explains ?to show the effect of the colour and costume upon complexion, we have caused our fashion plates for the present month to be arranged in a novel and ingenious manner, such as has not before been attempted in this country; nor, so far as we know, in any other, except in costly books of which the edition is very limited? (6). The issues of Miss Leslie?s Magazine also contain brightly colored engravings by John Sartain, embossed plates, illustrated patterns, and every issue contains at least one fashion plate.
This collection is arranged into six series: ?Stories,? ?Poems,? ?Articles and Essays,? ?Patterns, Receipts, and Directions,? ?Columns,? and ?Plates.? The pieces are arranged in the order they appear in the issues and chronologically within each series.
This collection offers a view into Victorian America women?s domestic life and work, as well as displaying the literary, fashion, and artistic tastes of the day. The publisher?s comments and the illustrations offer insight into the publishing and printing trends and technologies active during that time. Miss Leslie?s Magazine, despite its brief success, played an important role in the publishing history of Philadelphia.
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Abby Lang
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project.
This collection is open for research use.
Controlled Access Headings
- Magazine illustration--19th century
- Mezzotints (prints)
- Arthur, T. S., (Timothy-Shay), 1809-1885
- Duval, Peter S., 1804 or 5-1886
- Leslie, Eliza, 1787-1858
- Sartain, John, 1808-1897
- American literature--19th century
- Women's clothing
- Women's periodicals, American
Haven, Alice B. ?Personal Reminisces of Miss Eliza Leslie.? Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine 56 (1858): 344-350. American Periodicals Series Online. Web. 7 June 2012.
?Miss Leslie's Magazine?. The Oxford Companion to American Literature. James D. Hart, ed., rev. Phillip W. Leininger. Oxford University Press 1995. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. University of Pennsylvania. Web. 6 June 2012.
Mott, Frank Luther. History of American Magazines: 1741-1850. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1930.
Virginia K. Bartlett. "Leslie, Eliza". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Ed. Gordon Campbell. Oxford University Press, 2003. University of Pennsylvania. Web. 6 June 2012.
Wainwright, Nicholas B. Philadelphia in the Romantic Age of Lithography. Philadelphia: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1958.