Well, I have not seen this new publication, The Gentlewoman, coming out of England via a Dutch company. But I trust is will fulfill what it's editor wants it to do--a magazine that will show that women are interested in much more than just handbags.
I think Penny is a might hard on some of the current women's titles. They are interested in food, hair, beauty, home, and a variety of such topics. However, I think she hits the nail on the head with this observation:
Even in the 18th and 19th centuries, women were writing about travel and education and philosophy, and that's somehow disappeared. We have the opportunity to do these things...
Victoria magazine in my tenure did these things...but maybe not in the way Penny would do them. I often felt that there were canons to the right and left of us as we featured the beauty and dignity of women in all fields. If my memory serves me right, we even toyed with the idea of "Gentlewoman" as a title. But when we would use such a word...or heaven forbid, "lady like"...the earth shook. We were taking women back 50 years! I never thought so--I always thought it was taking women ahead to be as complete as they could be. One writer characterized Victoria as a needlepoint magazine. I was never against that beautiful art, but at the time, I don't think we'd ever done a story on it. But on women who were doing every art imaginable in new and creative ways, you bet.
Penny wants women to come away from The Gentlewoman saying that the women featured are great. That was always our goal--no matter what theater she chose to play in. Hurray for Penny beginning with her convictions. Penny is committed to redefining the term "gentlewoman" for the 21st century. However, I think she'll find that women of any time who are totally engaged in life are gentlewomen for all ages. Jane Austen, anyone? Ok, choir, sing if you like!