Cordelia, 1881–1942 Profilo storico di una rivista per ragazze
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this dissertation is to conduct a study of the history of the girls’ magazine Cordelia (1881–1942), founded in Florence by Angelo De Gubernatis. The analysis mainly focuses on the years 1881–1917; however, the latter period is also briefly treated. The theoretical framework consists of sociology of literature and gender history; the dissertation belongs to the field of history of publishing, which is integrated with a gender historical perspective. The methodological challenges faced when dealing with periodicals as research objects are also considered. In order to achieve bibliographic control and examine Cordelia’s contents and contributors, all issues of the magazine’s first 36 years were indexed. The study examines the commercial strategies of the magazine’s publishers, as well as the contributions of the chief editors and writers involved in the making of the magazine. Attention is drawn to the personal relationships between the individuals in these groups. As is shown, the magazine was not very successful in its first three years of publication, during the editorship of De Gubernatis. The two editors who followed, Ida Baccini and Jolanda (pseudonym for Maria Maiocchi Plattis), did succeed, however, in creating a familiar and attractive product for the young female public and to involve them in their magazine. Quantitative surveys of the contributors and contents have shown, for instance, that Baccini and Jolanda relied on regular contributions from relatively few writers and also published serial fiction to arouse the readers’ interest. Their comprehension of the potential of the periodical and the importance of their gender in addressing their readers, together with the capacity of long-time publisher Cappelli to develop commercial strategies to boost sales, seem to have been the reason for the longevity and success of Cordelia.
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