I am launching this blog–auspiciously, I hope– on the day that the first copies of my new book, Having it All in the Belle Epoque, landed on my doorstep. The book explores images of modern femininity promoted by the first two women’s photographic magazines in France, Femina and La Vie Heureuse. In the course of my … Continue reading Having It All in the Belle Epoque
Marguerite Durand, founder of the all-woman run newspaper La Fronde, was famous for having a pet lion, whom she cleverly named Tiger, “out of love for paradox.” In addition to accompanying her on long walks through the streets of Paris, Tiger apparently helped Durand’s diplomatic efforts (pictured here with a sultan of Grand Comora, an island … Continue reading WOMAN & BEAST
The media-saturated arrival of King George Alexander Louis seems like a good time to remember that the fascination with royal babies is as old as media culture itself. In the 1900s, royals were the most popular kind of celebrities, featured in issue after issue of Femina and La Vie Heureuse, alongside the most successful actors, writers, … Continue reading Royal Babies in the (Belle Epoque) News
Marie Curie, the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize (1903), discovered the element radium and identified, along with her husband, the phenomenon of radioactivity. She was also, the January 1, 1904 issue of Femina wants you to know, a model of work-life balance. Despite her newfound celebrity, adorable six-year-old daughter Irene “cares very … Continue reading Marie Curie Had it All
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