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Godey's Lady's Book

GODEY'S LADY'S BOOK.

GODEY'S LADY'S BOOK. In 1830 in Philadelphia, Louis Godey first published Godey's Lady's Book as the Lady's Book. In 1837 Godey bought the Ladies Magazine of Boston and made its editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, the literary editor of his periodical. Despite her publicly active role as an author, Hale's writings preached the message of separate-gendered spheres. This combination of Godey and Hale gave the magazine its high standing. During the forty years of their association, Godey's became one of the most famous and influential periodicals in America. In matters of fashions, etiquette, home economics, and standards of propriety, Godey's was the supreme arbiter. As did all similar magazines of the time, Godey's included fashion plates featuring clothing designs from Paris, then the sole fashion center. Godey's also served as the model for later home magazines. Shortly before the Civil War, it enjoyed a monthly circulation of 150,000 copies. The growing American middle class found this publication most useful. Following the sale of Godey's interests and Hale's retirement in 1877, the magazine moved to New York, where it finally expired in 1892. In later years Godey's faced competition from other periodicals, such as Ladies' Home Journal, which still publishes today.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Okker, Patricia. Our Sister Editors: Sarah J. Hale and the Tradition of Nineteenth-Century American Women Editors. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995.

Tebbel, John William. The Magazine in America, 17411990. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Tonkovich, Nicole. Domesticity with a Difference: The Nonfiction of Catharine Beecher, Sarah J. Hale, Fanny Fern, and Margaret Fuller. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997.

E. H. O'Neill / a. e.

See also Clothing and Fashion ; Literature: Popular Literature ; Magazines, Women's .

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Godey, Louis Antoine

Louis Antoine Godey (gō´dē), 1804–78, American publisher, b. New York City. He was joint founder in 1830 of the Lady's Book (known after his partner's withdrawal as Godey's Lady's Book), the first successful women's magazine. The magazine, which featured articles by famous authors and colored plates of the latest fashions, attained a circulation of 150,000 by 1858 and was considered an arbiter of morals and taste. Godey also owned a publishing house that produced such works as The Young People's Book or Magazine of Useful or Entertaining Knowledge (1841) and the Lady's Musical Library (1842).

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