Monday, August 31, 2015

Etiquette's Ruth Ashmore


The 19th Century Etiquette Advice Columnist for Young Women and Girls

"Ruth Ashmore,"was the brainchild of Edward Bok, of the Ladies Home Journal. It was also the "nom de plume" of writer, Isabel A. Mallon (1857 - 1898), who also wrote under that name. After Bok had taken over the Ladies Home Journal in 1889, he sought a motherly columnist who could provide useful advice to young girls. Unable to find one, he wrote a sample of "Side Talk with Girls" under the name "Ruth Ashmead" to demonstrate exactly what he was looking for in a column.

After he mislaid the draft copy, his staff read it and convinced him to run it in the magazine, as it was the "best stuff for girls they have ever read." After the first column appeared, Ashmead was soon changed to Ashmore, and in January 1890, hundreds of letters poured in to "Ruth Ashmore." Bok convinced Isabel Mallon to take over the popular column, and she later went on to write two books for girls and young women.



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