Louis Godey published this monthly magazine in Philadelphia from 1830 - 1878, becoming famous for its fashion plates. What was it called?

HomeBlogsQuestion of the WeekLouis Godey published this monthly magazine in Philadelphia from 1830 - 1878, becoming famous for its fashion plates. What was it called?

Louis Godey published this monthly magazine in Philadelphia from 1830 - 1878, becoming famous for its fashion plates. What was it called?

2016-01-26 12:12

Answer: Godey's Lady's Book

Louis Antoine Godey was born in 1804 to parents who were survivors of the French Revolution. Largely self-educated, as a teenage he worked as a paperboy and in a book store in New York City. In the late 1820s, he moved to Philadelphia to work for the Daily Chronicle, a newspaper by Charles Alexander (the founder of Alexander’s Weekly Messenger) that ran from 1828 to 1834.

In 1830, Godey published his first Lady's Book, which was primarily composed of articles clipped from French publications. For many in the U. S., this magazine provided an introduction to French ideas and culture. The publication was eventually published under the title Godey's Lady's Book, and it included a wealth of information on everything from fashion and food to hygiene, literature, and crafts. Under the editorial watch of Sarah Josepha Hale, Godey's Lady's Book became quite popular, securing hundreds of thousands of subscribers in Philadelphia and from across the nation. It was one of the most prominent Philadelphia-based serials of the 19th century.

Godey went on to publish other works including The Young People’s Book (1841) and Lady’s Musical Library (1842). But nothing quite topped the enormous success of his original Lady's Book, which ceased publication in 1878, the same year in which Godey died in Philadelphia.

HSP has a significant but not complete run of Godey's Lady's Book (Dm .254) in its library. We also have number of different publications on the magazine, Louis Antoine Godey, and Sarah Josepha Hale, as well as items that document the history of Philadelphia publishing and publishers.

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