The Female Tatler was a periodical sprung from the Tatler in 1709. It only ran from July 1709 to March 1710, but was still the most successful of the predecessors to the Tatler. The purpose of this essay is to find out who wrote it and who read it.
To figure out who read the Female Tatler is simple enough, it was mostly educated upper-middle-class women. They were the ones who could afford it and it was naturally aimed to women, even though there probably were men who read it. The female literacy at the time was about twenty-five percent so the readership was very small. The Female Tatler and other periodicals had a really hard battle on the literary market and as today people passed the periodicals to next person when they were done with it. So there's no wonder the Female Tatler didn't run for that long with an already slim audience.
When I say periodical it was not as they are today. The Female Tatler was simply a sheet measuring eighteen and thirty-three centimetres with two columns on each side, and the only illustration on it was a picture of a female face. The face probably belonged to the original author, Mrs Crackenthorpe.
Mrs Crackenthorpe was the author of the first fifty-one issues and is believed to be the pseudonym of Delarivier Manley, a playwritght and novelist. Mrs Manley was famous for her apetite for scandals and her radical views of her time, today she is regarded as a proto-feminist. Mrs Manley was arrested in November 1709 for her ”seditious libel”. In her novel Rivella she wrote; ”politics is not the business of a woman” and thereafter she supposedly just kept writing love stories.
When Delarivier Manley was arrested the authorship of the Female Tatler changed and it became quite clear she was the woman behind Mrs Crackenthorpe.
In November when number fifty-two of the Female Tatler the new authors were the sisters Lucinda and Artesia. But also...