Victorian Literature and Culture

Research Article

DOMESTIC SERVANTS, MIDNIGHT MEETINGS, AND THE MAGDALEN'S FRIEND AND FEMALE HOMES’ INTELLIGENCER

Scott Rogersa1

a1 Weber State University

Published monthly from April 1860 until 1864, The Magdalen's Friend and Female Homes’ Intelligencer was a periodical with a very specific mission. Launched at the height of the mid-Victorian concern with prostitution – when institutions devoted to the reclamation of penitent prostitutes began to emerge across Britain – it only ceased publication after the sudden death of its editor, the Reverend William Tuckniss. In its opening issue, the editors describe their explicit purpose: “Christians and Philanthropists who are now labouring single-handed [in the cause of reclaiming prostitutes and fallen women] will here find a rallying point, where they may exchange words of encouragement and advice, and confer with others who are their Fellow-labourers in the same cause” (“Opening Address” 1.1 1–2). It was, then, a trade publication for a movement that had grown remarkably – seven years after its founding in 1853, the Society for the Rescue of Young Women and Children (commonly known as the “Rescue Society”) was operating twelve houses of reclamation in London.

(Online publication May 18 2011)

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