NINETEENTH-CENTURY GENDER STUDIES ISSUE 6.2 (SUMMER 2010) Nineteenth Century Feminisms: Press and Platform

Susan Hamilton, Elizabeth Banks, Frances Cobbe, Harriet Martineau, Margaret Oliphant, Eliza Linton
(1) <1>Historian Barbara Caine has suggested that women's political writing-from speeches and platform addresses to essays, newspaper editorials, and broadsheets-tends to be assessed primarily as part of specific political campaigns rather than approached as specific forms of writing. Recent scholarship on women's political work as journalists, including writers such as has begun to address this oversight, paving the way for new contributions to this field. At the same time, broadly-based
more » ... broadly-based research on women and the literary politics of anonymity and signature, women's work as editors of both large and small-scale publications, and accounts of individual periodicals and the production of "women's space," suggests the need for more investigations into the gendered culture of nineteenth-century print journalism. The articles in this special issue address the relations between nineteenth-century feminisms (broadly defined) and the press, including the public culture of speaking, clubbing and organizing which often turned to the press as a critical tool. <2>In "Thinking Back Through Our Mothers' Magazines," Margaret Beetham reads the work of seriality and the relation to readers through time in the mid-century magazines aimed at mothers. Taking up Jane Rendall's exploration of the relations between modern feminism and evangelicism, Beetham sees an alternative female authority, based in mothering, for women's participation in the world of public print that gave women a powerful voice in defining motherhood and themselves. In these magazines, motherhood is presented as a shared, collective activity that transcended the bounds of time and place, and presented Christian motherhood as normative femininity. Examining the work of letters to the editor, the practice of reprinting both within and across national boundaries, and the reports from local Maternal Associations, Beetham demonstrates how these magazines both recognised and created a community of readers, whilst allowing a space for readers to become writers of public print. <3>Like Beetham, Michelle Tusan's "Gleaners in the Holy Land," explores the evangelical journalistic landscape through a focus on the flagship journal of the Church Missionary Society, the Gleaner. Asking what the missionary press can offer historians of gender, Tusan explores both the expected and unexpected ways in which the Gleaner offered women's voices a space to be heard, bringing news of women's travel and activities in the missionary field of the near-East. Of particular interest to Tusan is the place of the Christian Missionary Society and its periodical