The Venture: An Annual of Art and Literature, a little magazine edited by Somerset Maugham and Laurence Housman, was published in 1903 by John Baillie in London and in 1905 by The Arden Press in Leamington. The magazine made its debut at a time when new sociopolitical ideas of femininity began to pervade literature and public discourse. Although its co-editors were both men, Maugham was a supporter of women’s suffrage and Housman was notable for his activism, acting as a central figure in the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage established in 1907.
The Venture presented Maugham and Housman with the opportunity to use their authority as editors to participate in broader social and political affairs. Expressed throughout the magazine is a special attention to feminism; the literary and art contents examine the varying experiences of modern women in Victorian society, and as a whole, the magazine works to promote and celebrate the achievements of New Women. The curation of feminist work in The Venture is unlikely a coincidence, and it would be a mistake to dismiss it as such. This analysis aims to demonstrate that Maugham and Housman edited The Venture with a primarily feminist agenda in order to promote women’s suffrage, and inspire curiosity, individuality, and activism in Victorian women.
Fraschetti, E. (2019, October) A new woman's venture: linking a little magazine to the suffrage atelier. Poster session presented at The Undergraduate Research Opportunities (URO) Program, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON