Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Friday, May 13, 2022

The Longest Running Magazine in England

Before Nancy Mitford was a novelist, she worked for the magazine The Lady, which is the longest running magazine in England, and still publishes today. 

The magazine was founded in 1885 by her maternal grandfather, Thomas Bowles. He gave Nancy's father his first job as the general manager of the magazine as well, and her mother, owning a percentage of the magazine after his passing, collected a steady income from it.

Nancy was a regular contributor to articles on fashion, etiquette, society news etc... The magazine hosted famous writers, including Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland).

There is a quote on The Lady website from a 1945 article titled, Cosmetics in Prison, that says: "Now that the use of cosmetics is so general, a woman deprived of them may find their absence demoralising." I can't help but wonder who wrote this, and who it might have been intended for, considering Nancy's sister Diana was imprisoned during this time for her dangerous relationships to fascists. (You can read more about that in The Mayfair Bookshop!)

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