In the end analysis, The Ladies' Fashionable Repository turned out to be one of the longest lived of the ladies' magazines, but it underwent several changes. From 1829-1834, the founder and publisher J. Raw added his name to the title. Then, from 1837, the magazine became Pawsey's Ladies' Fashionable Repository and continued in publication for the next sixty-eight years.
Its contents were varied. It particularly emphasized puzzles, charades, conundrums, rebuses and riddles--the activities much enjoyed by a pre-TV, pre-computer game society. I think I will devote another post to those items of recreation!
The magazine accepted new poetry by both known and unknown authors. Walter Scott contributed "The Violet" in about 1814:
"The violet, in her green-wood bower,Not his greatest work perhaps--it continues for two more stanzas--but charming.
Where birchen boughs with hazles mingle,
May boast itself the fairest flower
In glen or copse or forest dingle."
Intermingled with such poetic gems were solidly useful items.
Here is an excerpt from the tables of the new window tax:
Likewise, below is a excerpt from an entry on the house duty and taxes on servants:
It continues for two pages, politically incorrect for our times, but otherwise remarkably timely.
In another issue, a poem disguised as a letter purporting to be true fact, about Bath and its assemblies includes these lines:
Every issue of the journal held a plate of a stately home and a description of the property and its owner. These were not always the huge palaces of the nobility but the smaller houses of the lesser aristocracy, many of which no longer exist. Here is Helmingham Hall, Suffolk, seat of Lord Dysart, from 1809:
"In Bath, dear Eliza, what pleasures abound!
Where we skip all the night to the violin's sound;
Where beauties unnumber'd hold absolute sway,
Whose charms shed a lustre that rivals the day."
In the introductory issue, J. Raw used a technique that is still often employed to draw in customers and reward faithful readers. He held a contest, and the prize was future issues of The Ladies' Fashionable Repository. And he sees fit to thank his patrons for their purchase of his product:
We can only thank him for publishing a magazine that has survived these two hundred years and brings us a view of Regency life that is at once different yet very familiar to us.
'Til next time,