Was 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.