"So oft to the movies they've been": British fan writing and female audiences in the silent cinema

  • Lisa Rose Stead University of Exeter
Keywords: 1910sā€“20s Britain, Fan culture, Fan magazine, Female stars, Nationality, Women's writing, Costume, Performance


This article aims to address the ways in which working-class and lower-middle-class British women used silent-era fan magazines as a space for articulating their role within the development of a female film culture. The article focuses on letter pages that formed a key site for female contribution to British fan magazines across the silent era. In contributing to these pages, women found a space to debate and discuss the appeal and significance of particular female representations within film culture. Using detailed archival research tracing the content of a specific magazine, Picturegoer, across a 15-year period (1913ā€“28), the article will show the dominance of particular types of female representation in both fan and "official" magazine discourses, analyzing the ways in which British women used these images to work through national tensions regarding modern femininity and traditional ideas of female propriety and restraint.

Author Biography

Lisa Rose Stead, University of Exeter
PhD Candidate, Department of English, School of Arts, Language and Literatures, University of Exeter