Title: One Woman's World: The Columns of Lenora Mattingly Weber
Author: Betsy Edgerton
Date: December 4, 2022
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Description of the book:
Lenora Mattingly Weber (1895-1971) was best known for her mid-20th century girls book series, especially those about independent girls such as Beany Malone and Katie Rose Belford. Weber was an industrious widow with six children, who also had a lesser-known career as a magazine columnist. From 1946 to 1967, Weber wrote "Mid Pleasures and Problems" for Extension, a monthly Catholic magazine in the mold of the Saturday Evening Post. In her columns, she commented on the social issues of a large swathe of the 20th Century. In the 1940s, she described post-World War II life; in the 1950s she ruminated on the pros and cons of working mothers; and in the 1960s, she addressed Catholicism after Vatican II as well as racism and segregation. Her fans have brought her girls series books back into print, spurring a mini-Weber renaissance of her fiction. However, the 266 columns she wrote for Extension magazine have remained all but lost. Until now. This collection, curated and edited by Betsy Edgerton, contains 50 of Weber's best columns and showcases her most personal writing.
About the Author/Editor:
Betsy Edgerton is the editor of One Woman’s World: The Columns of Lenora Mattingly Weber. Weber (1895–1971) was best known for her girls-series fiction, but she was also a prolific magazine columnist. From 1946 to 1967, Weber wrote “Mid Pleasures and Problems” for Extension: The National Catholic Monthly, a magazine in the mold of the Saturday Evening Post. She used the column to comment on the social issues of the day. One Woman’s World, which contains 50 of Weber’s best columns from Catholic Extension, is published by Image Cascade Publishing.
Betsy is an associate professor of journalism in the Communication Department at Columbia College Chicago, specializing in magazine writing and editing. Her journalism career has focused on business writing, and she has deep experience as a book editor as well. Her research focuses on the mid-century genre of "housewife writers" (also called "domestic chaos" writers), a group of women fiction writers who paid the bills by writing about their hectic home lives for magazines. She contributed a chapter to Cultivating Culture: How Twentieth Century Magazines Influenced America on the topic, titled Getting the Last Laugh: Domestic Chaos Writers Outlasted Their Critics. She is also a regular contributor to the Journal of Magazine Media, writing about magazines and culture.