Victoria (and a giveaway)

by Jennifer on April 2, 2008

victoria-cover.gifWas anyone else as excited as I was (and my cousin B), to hear that Victoria Magazine had resumed publication last fall?

The first time I read Victoria, I was staying in my cousin’s bedroom at her parents’ house. I think she was away at college, and I don’t remember why I was at their house. But in a magazine rack near the door, I found a few issues of the magazine and started reading. And I fell in love.

At first, I bought the magazine in stores, then ordered my own subscription. I saved every copy. And by the time it ceased publication a few years ago, I had all but a few issues in my collection. My cousin, who shared my reverent but enthusiastic devotion for Victoria, also collected her copies. (I’ve moved my collection many times, each time thinking I must be crazy to keep moving boxes of magazines around the country. But I’m very glad to have them, and hope that Girl will like looking through them, too.)

If you’ve read the magazine, you know that the layouts were always lush and decorated with beautiful fonts. When I read the articles, I felt like my life could be prettier, gentler, more graceful. I could wear more romantic clothes, and wash my face with pretty French soaps. I loved the Favorite Things section, and the Calling Cards page, which featured beautiful business cards. (I wanted a beautiful business card, and still do, though it may take the form of a personal or calling card these days, since I haven’t gone down the commerce path.) And, oh, the recipes. Not to mention the stories about women entrepreneurs who followed their bliss and opened a shop or made things, centered around what they loved.

Once, Victoria even printed a short (short) essay I wrote about violets in their Reader to Reader section and paid me $100. (I nearly swooned when I found out.)

It was a long and abiding love affair, and I was broken-hearted when the magazine halted publication. I felt as though I had lost a friend, one who kept me company through cold, bleak winter evenings and long, hot baths. A bright spot in my life faded, and no other magazine could fill its place.

Then, last fall, I got a very excited phone call from B. “Have you heard?” I think she said. “Victoria is back!” There was high-pitched squealing, I am not embarrassed to say.

B ordered a subscription for me as a birthday gift (my birthday was in November), and she couldn’t have given me anything better. They are publishing just six issues a year, but I hope that they will go to a 12-month schedule in time. Still, I’m so happy it’s back.

It’s a sweet day when I see Victoria in my mailbox. I know that I have a long, lovely read ahead of me. The world slows down, and is tinged in a better light. There aren’t many magazines that can do that for me. Even mags like Real Simple imply that there’s work to be done (though I love that magazine, too). But Victoria just lets the reader sit with it and turn through the glossy pages, imagining a more elegant life, and it requires nothing.

So here’s the giveaway part. If you leave me a comment here between now and midnight Friday (Pacific Time), I will add your name to a random drawing to win a year’s subscription to Victoria Magazine.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn @ Juggling Life April 2, 2008 at 9:55 am

Simplicity and elegance? My life could use a little!

dragonfly April 2, 2008 at 9:59 am

My life seems like just the opposite of simplicity and elegance these days…I’m pretty sure I could use some of that. 🙂

Oh, and how cool that they published an essay you wrote!!

Lisa Milton April 2, 2008 at 10:29 am

I had forgotten about that magazine – so so pretty. I lose myself in it.

Daryl E April 2, 2008 at 10:47 am

Oh this is very special .. and I hope it helps disspell (sp?) that feeling of impending doom…

Mrs. Chili April 2, 2008 at 10:58 am

I’ve never read an issue of Victoria. I was in love, for a long time, with Living despite what I think about Martha Stewart as a human being. I currently subscribe to Real Simple, but that subscription is expiring soon, and I don’t think I’ll renew. I do love, though, the giddy excitement of a new magazine in the mailbox!

Coco April 2, 2008 at 11:11 am

Ooh! Ooh! Pick me!

I have a complete addiction to magazines about pretty things. Mary Englebreit and I are tight.

Crossing my fingers that I’m the lucky winner!

Mrs. G. April 2, 2008 at 11:18 am

I have not heard of this magazine. But it sounds much, err, the way I live my life. The life in my head. I’m in.

Madge April 2, 2008 at 11:22 am

random? random? does it have to be a random giveaway?

rima April 2, 2008 at 11:43 am

I had never heard of that magazine before reading this post, but it sounds wonderful. I am going to have to check it out, even if I don’t win your fantabulous giveaway!

ByJane April 2, 2008 at 11:54 am

They should definitely hire you to do PR for them. I’ve seen the magazine on the stands in the past, but I always thought it was for either blue-haired ladies or prissy prissy types. I know you’re neither–so now I’ll have a look at it. Especially if I’m randomly selected….

Lesha April 2, 2008 at 11:58 am

Sounds great!

JCK April 2, 2008 at 12:09 pm

I ADORE Victoria and YES I was thrilled to get a postcard in the mail a few months back announcing that Victoria is BACK!

Everything you said…

I do have a subscription, so you should really give it to someone who is intrigued, but hasn’t seen it!

we_be_toys April 2, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I think I remember this magazine, but I have to admit; I’ve never read it. I’ve always been a Smithsonian girl, myself. 🙂 It sounds like a beautiful magazine though – I”ll have to check it out!

TX Poppet April 2, 2008 at 12:33 pm

I lurve this magazine. The photos!

Anastasia April 2, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Wow, I’ve never read this magazine before, but now I’m intrigued! Thanks for the great contest 😀

suburbancorrespondent April 2, 2008 at 1:11 pm

So…like Martha Stewart Living? Or fancier?

sturdy girl April 2, 2008 at 1:37 pm

That magazine sounds GREAT. Kind of like reading simple abundance only with pictures and such.

Tootsie Farklepants April 2, 2008 at 1:43 pm

I had never heard of this magazine so I don’t think I deserve to be in the drawing 🙂 I just wanted to say how awesome it is that they published one of your stories!!!

Milena April 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm

I’d be leaving a comment here anyway Jennifer even if a Victoria subscription wasn’t a sweetener because, like you, I ADORED this magazine. I still have dozens and dozens of issues stored in boxes at my mother’s house. You couldn’t have described any better all the things Victoria made me feel and how it looked and all the great sections it had. I too loved the calling cards and all the beautiful models that looked like Gibson Girls dressed in laces and romance. So different in content and look from every other magazine out there at the time it published. I had not the FAINTEST IDEA that it had been brought back. Don’t even include me in the giveaway. I’ll order it myself and like you hope that they make it a monthly now that I know it only publishes only 6 per year. I hope someone who has never had the joy of laying eyes on Victoria will get your giveaway subscription. The more people who get hooked on it the better. From one lover of pretty French soaps to another, I can’t thank you enough for giving me the good news.

cce April 2, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I think I remember this one and though it’s not like the return of a good friend like it is for you, I’m still looking forward to checking it out.

liv April 2, 2008 at 3:16 pm

so, if you RANDOMLY (cough) pick me or madge, we’d really be sharing. and recycling. and that’s good for the planet. hint! hint!

Sandy (Momisodes) April 2, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Wow! Very cool they published something you wrote 🙂 Sounds like a lovely magazine. I’d love to imagine a more elegant life 😉

Minnesota Matron April 2, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Probably because I am married to a metrosexual male who does all things Design, I have never heard of this magazine! But he would love it. . ..

Suzanne April 2, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Oh my goodness gracious, I’ve just had a flashback! Yes, of course I remember Victoria magazine…it was all that I aspired to at one time, I loved the beautiful photos, the recipes, the gardens, the genteel lifestyle it promoted, so literary, so proper, so polite!

This magazine and the early Martha Stewart magazines inspired me to hold my first dinner parties, to contemplate tea sets, and old silver, to collect teddy bears, and to aspire to wear my hair like those women in the vintage Art Noueau posters by Mucha, you know hair up in a loose bun with tendrils hanging about the face….

Ah, I told you it was a flashback……


Treasia April 2, 2008 at 8:19 pm

I have never heard of it but will definitely be checking it out. Thanks for letting us know.

Jen M April 2, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I LOOOOOVE that magazine. Yay! They’re back!

TEOM? April 2, 2008 at 9:27 pm

How could I never heard of Victoria?

Meg April 3, 2008 at 5:57 am

OMGOSH!!! I use to LOVE that magazine! So glad you posted this!

andi April 3, 2008 at 7:35 am

This sounds lovely. I’ve never heard of it before.

Hatchet April 3, 2008 at 7:57 am

What is this Victoria thing? Does it involve tea parties and a doorman? I’m in!

Can it come to my house and rub my feet?

Jennifer Harvey April 3, 2008 at 8:04 am

GM–Thanks! It was in 1998, and all of those archives are gone now, online. But I still have my copy somewhere in a file.

leendaluu April 3, 2008 at 9:02 am

Oooh I remember this magazine. It inspired me to start searching out antique linens at local flea markets which I still have and treasure. Glad to hear it is back!

chrystal April 3, 2008 at 1:02 pm

ohhh…so cool. i remember that magazine 🙂 it was always such a pretty mag

HRH April 3, 2008 at 8:05 pm

The calling cards. How I love them. I haven’t thought of that magazine in a long time. I used to love it.

Jen April 3, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Victoria Magazine! I LOVE Victoria Magazine. What would be sweeter than winning a free year’s subscription of it?!?

Wa-hoo at the possibility! Thanks!

Carolyn April 4, 2008 at 12:23 am

Wow. You give away prizes around here??? Even to Canadians? It’s WAAAAY more expensive up here, so I will politely decline if I win. I just wanted to express my amazement that you give away prizes.

Brenda April 7, 2008 at 8:53 am

I’ve been gone a few days, and catching up with this blog, I haven’t read any comments, but I HAD TO with this post.

Probably too late for my comment to be read by anyone, but I still have to say a couple of things about this magazine.

I found the premiere issue when I was in college and have had every one since. A few have been lost with some unpleasant circumstances, but I have held every single one and read most.

I’m busy. I don’t have time for magazines. I don’t subscribe to them and don’t read them….. except Victoria. And I read THOSE cover to cover. I’m a generally happy person, but there are some things in life that make me blissfully happy. Reading “Victoria” is one of those things.

And the recipes. Yes, they’re fussy. Yes, they have more than 5 ingredients, but to this day some of my favorites are from that magazine, and every year for my birthday, I make a cake that was featured in the premiere issue.

This magazine is inspirational and uplifting. It’s about filling (and making) little corners of your life an ideal, and it can be reality! It’s about surrounding yourself with beauty, and therefore happiness.

I can’t tell you HOW happy I was when I got my little postcard in the mail announcing its return, and when that first issue arrived in the mail, there was no containing my exuberance!

And it’s a GREAT gift! I’ve given away two subscriptions already for birthdays and am thinking of others.

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