Consuming Angels: Advertising and Victorian Women

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Oxford University Press, Oct 13, 1994 - History - 240 pages
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Timid and retiring, the Victorian housewife was an "angel in the house," or so says the stereotype. But when this angel picked up a popular magazine--The Lady, for instance--she saw in its advertisements images of Grecian goddesses, women warriors, queens, actresses, adventurers. These arrestingly sexual and surprisingly powerful images are the subject of Consuming Angels, a major examination of how Victorian ads shaped social values. Stylishly written and featuring 73 reproductions, this book shows how ads used the hedonistic aspects of Victorian culture to sell their wares, glorified consumerism, and mythologized the middle-class life. Images of aggressive women, Loeb shows, played well to both men and women. And ultimately, these ads helped usher in the twentieth century with the creation of a new community: the community of consumers.
 

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Contents

1 Victorian Consumer Culture
3
2 Commercial Interpretations of the Domestic Ideology
16
Productive Engines and Consuming Conflagrations
46
4 Heroes for Sale
72
Evangelical Forms and Material Deliverers
100
6 Community and the Individual
128
Elitism or Material Democratization?
158
8 Conclusion
180
Notes
185
Bibliography
203
Index
219
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About the author (1994)

Lori Anne Loeb is Assistant Professor of Modern British History at the University of South Carolina.

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