A Lament

I still miss my dear Victoria magazine.  I guess I think about it especially this time of year because the Valentine’s issue was always so delectable.  And perhaps because the first one I ever picked up in the grocery store was February 1989.  I could scarcely believe my eyes as I started flipping through, and closed it with an instinctive gesture.  This was no ordinary periodical to peruse aimlessly in a check-out line.  This was a literal infusion of beauty that made something glow deep down inside of me.  I carried it home with a secret delight, and sprawled across my bed in my pink and blue room I fell under the spell of a magazine that impacted me as no other publication ever has–or ever will. 

It sounds trite to say it, but Victoria was truly a friend to me throughout my teenage years, a companion that offered me a lovely alternative to the ungainly and downright ugly trends I saw all around. Into my twenties I started picking up decorating ideas for my someday coming ‘house o’ dreams’.  And when I was planning my wedding, I knew exactly which issues to take to the florist and to spread before the cateress.  At last I would have my own version of the flower coronet from June 1990 and the afternoon tea reception all silver and lace and roses that was a composite of many nuptiuals covered in those grace-laden pages.

I found the inspiration for my dear kitchen in January 2000.  We had been talking about tackling the project for months, but the moment my eyes lighted on those white cabinets with inset doors and glass panes I knew where to start.  "This is it," I told Philip.  And he believed me enough to start ripping up the floor and pulling off the cabinet facings! 

When the old editor stepped down and a new one emerged I began to feel nervous.  My friends and I would discuss it with furrowed brows–"Have you seen the new Victoria?"  "Yes, it looks like Good Housekeeping or Elle Decor."  We were worried.  The cover lost its sloping script.  The by-line tellingly went from A Return to Loveliness to Celebrating the Achievements of Women.  The only achievements that I was interested in celebrating–at least in the pages of that old-fashioned publication–were the time-honored ones of true beauty, home-keeping, literature, gardening, fine arts.  I wanted to read about the tender, nostalgic things that first drew me in the first place, that spoke to my feminine heart and told me I was not alone in my passions.  

I cancelled my subcription after an almost tearful deliberation.  I just couldn’t watch the demise.  It was like seeing an old and dear friend slowly distance themselves.  But then I thought better of it.  I would rather go down fighting, for surely Victoria was worth fighting for.  So I wrote a letter.  (I can hear Jo March–"A letter?  That’ll show them…")

For those who are interested you will find find it below:

Dear Ms. —-,

I have never been very good about writing letters of praise or complaint. To be honest, I have composed far more in my head than have ever been set down on paper. But this situation, owing to its nearness to my heart, compells me to voice my opinions as vehemently as possible.

I have been a ‘Victoria’ subscriber since almost the very beginning. (April 1989) From the first moment that I opened your beautiful magazine I was transported to a sweet, romantic time that I have always felt akin to. Your writers have possessed the artful ability to captivate and charm, to make one feel as if the world really was a place where loveliness thrived and gentle thoughts and manners held an honored place. And your photographs are works of art! It has always been calming to me merely to flip through the pages and lose myself in the sheer prettiness of them–the verdant English landscapes and tumbling gardens, dainty dressing tables and gowns fit for princesses.

I buy your decorating books and your cookbooks (and I have never known a ‘Victoria’ recipe to fail!). As teenagers, my friends and I would attempt to re-create scenes from your magazine, coming up with outfits and events inspired right out of your pages. I was even published in your ‘Reader-to-Reader’ newsletter, an honor which I hold very dear. I have saved each and every issue in pristine condition, pulling out old ones seasonally to glance over and gain fresh ideas from.

I share all of this to give weight to my complaint. As you can see, I have been a faithful ‘Victoria’ reader for twelve years, and have awaited its monthly arrival with eagerness. What a disappointment, then, to witness the change that has apparently swept over it in recent months. 

What has become of my beautiful magazine, with its elegant fonts and sweeping title and its timeless, edifying articles? I don’t want to read about facial peels in ‘Victoria’; I want to read about rosewater and glycerin, and gardenias in the hair, and all of the other pretty things that set it apart from every other magazine. I don’t know this new Victoria; it’s a stranger to me.

I understand that nothing can remain changeless with stagnation. That variety and progress are necessary to keep your readers becoming bored. But I felt that you had always done a good job at that without compromising that intangible charm that makes ‘Victoria’ so special. I hate to say this, but I find much in the last few issues to be trite and unappealingly up-to-date, with glaring block letters stamped across the front and pictures all layered on top of each other. I flipped through the entire January issue without seeing one thing that made me want to stop and savor.

I dislike coming across so critically. This is just to important to me to let it slip by. I cannot bear to see my favorite magazine reduced to something I don’t want to spend money on anymore. Please consider these thoughts and feelings from a loyal subscriber. They represent those of many others I have talked with.

Have the last five issues been merely an experiment? Have the vision and purpose of ‘Victoria’ changed altogether? Can I expect to see a ‘return to loveliness’ in the pages of my magazine?

In just a few weeks I had a very kind, handwritten note from the editor herself.  She explained away the changes as an attempt to attract advertisers, and cordially invited me to view Victoria as a ‘old friend in new clothes’. And she promised that I would never see another article on facial peeling in my magazine (emphasis hers). 

She was right–I didn’t see that again, or much of anything else.  For soon after that Victoria died. My friends and I started receiving Self and Cooking Light to fill out the remainder of our subscriptions. And my dear friend was no more.

Please don’t think me overly-sentimental. (Okay maybe I am, but that’s beside the point…) There’s just never been anything like it, and I have reason to think there never will. I am not a person that gets excited over magazines–I hate to admit it, but my Living will lie untouched for weeks after its arrival. (Actually, I’ve cancelled that one, too, now…) But I have all of my old Victorias, carefully sorted and filed and ready for easy access whenever I need them. And in this frantic modern world, that’s more often than not.

Who will join me in lifting a tea cup to the lost, lamented Victoria?

44 Responses to “A Lament”

  1. Heather says:

    Hmmm…I didn’t know about this. Well, I’m glad you heard back from the editor; that was thoughtful of her to write you back personally. I wonder what went on behind the scenes. I’m also thinking perhaps God may speak to you to fill in this dearth of romantic beauty with your own magazine of some sort. There will soon be a new generation of young women who have never heard of Victoria!

  2. Jessica says:

    I agree…Lanier, you should start a magazine like the old “Victoria”…a REAL return to loveliness…though this one wil be even better better because it can only be TRUE beauty if it is centered on Jesus. Seriously…I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but you should talk to your husband and consider it…I’d love to subscribe to a magazine like that! Have a beautiful day!

  3. Jessica says:

    Oh, I was going to ask this…but forgot until now….what do the words in your large icon (surrounding the girl with the long hair) read? I can never seem to quite make out the specific words….

  4. Elizabeth J. says:

    In my packing for my new home here in Alaska, I very carefully chose which books I needed to bring with me, and which I must sadly leave behind. Victoria was among the things I brought. Not every issue, for they would have filled a suitcase alone… but I brought my favorites, to take me through the winter. As long as I can remember, there has been a Victoria on my mother’s coffee table… and I knew that I could not set up house keeping, without Victoria on my coffee table…

  5. Laura says:

    I was drinking tea as I read your lament — and so I raise my cup. To the lost Victoria! It’s such a joy, though, to break out the old ones. Emma and Maggie and I hosted a Valentine’s breakfast for some of their school friends and their mothers last weekend, and I don’t know what was better, the actual event or the rainy afternoon we spent in front of the fire pouring over February Victoria issues gathering recipes and decorating ideas.

  6. Emily says:

    I knew I wasn’t the only one!

    When the magazine disappeared, I was transferred to a subscription for HEALTH. Very disappointing to receive a magazine okay-ing cosmetic surgery for ‘improved physical appearance’ in place of receiving beloved Victoria. I’m still in shock, I think. I’ve spent the last few years (well, longer than that when you do think of how the magazine began to change with Nancy Lindemeyer’s moving along) looking for a magazine that would inspire me like Victoria did. I’ve tried everything from Southern Living, Coastal Living, Cooking Light, Country decorating magazines, Martha Stewart’s publications, and even a few Christian women’s magazines that all disappointed me. I still stand in front of magazine racks desperately searching, even hoping still, that a publication like Victoria will magically appear before my eyes! No kidding. I was just doing this two days ago at the grocery store.

    I began reading Victoria when I was in high school, borrowing my younger, more elegant sister’s copies to read while I soaked in bubble bath. I always put them back in her special Victoria magazine boxes, but there were a few times that the issues accidentally came into contact with a bit of water while I was soaking in the tub. . . Needless to say, she treasured them as much as I did, and this didn’t go over so well. Mishandling her Victoria issues was a serious offense! To this day, she has all of her issues. She’s mentioned auctioning them off at eBay, but I won’t let her do it!

    When I went to college to study architectural design, I didn’t fit in with the postmodernist and deconstructivist students receiving the glossy high-tech magazines in the post. I was subscribing to Victoria and designing quaint but updated galleries, banks, and residences with a different sensibility as influenced by my interests in Victoria and traditional design.

    Getting Victoria in my dorm mailbox indeed added some much needed beauty to my life. I continued with my subscriptions until the late 90’s when things at the magazine began to change. I told my husband (yes, Victoria also followed me into my newlywed life and influenced my own wedding plans) that I was disappointed in the new direction. I sadly quit subscribing. Occasionally, I would purchase an odd issue from the newsstand. Time went by and I had two little boys. After the second was born, I was desperately seeking a ‘pet’ magazine again to read while I spent copious amounts of time sitting and breastfeeding. I re-subscribed. And within a couple of months. . . I was notified of the magazine being discontinued.

    I did get rid of my copies while trying to make room for babies in our little house. I wish I had not. Every once in a while, I now treat myself to bidding on an older issue of Victoria on eBay. I recently paid way too much money for a March 1990 issue. Each issue I do have, I read over and over. I believe I have memorized just about every issue from July 1990 until December 1996. I looked at the issues that often.

    My favorite issues were the ones in which they focused on England. Those were typically during March if I recall correctly. I never paid as much attention to the gardening/herb gardening articles while I was in high school and college, but now that I am a gardener myself, I love discovering these articles anew when I do get an eBay copy of Victoria. Currently, I have an old Emelie Tolley book on my wishlist.

    I miss Victoria. When I reach for something to read right before I drift off to sleep, I am reminded. You won’t believe that just last night, I thought about how Victoria was “for women” but not in that bluntly feminist way. It nurtured women and their interests by taking into account that women were created differently than men. . . I do not know if Nancy Lindemeyer intended that, but the magazine was supportive of women in a way that spoke to our God-created souls.

    I guess I’ll be standing in front of the magazine rack at the bookstore scanning for something, anything like Victoria. . . I now know that I’m not the only one.

  7. sparrow says:

    Oh yes…many, many hours on my teenage bed reading and rereading Victoria…I loved the models with the pale skin and little makeup, right in the middle of the garish eighties. All those photos with the soft white light….ahhh.

    Thanks for the memories.

  8. Elisabeth says:

    I miss Victoria, too!

    It was a special treat when I found an old issue secondhand, and on the rare occassions when I got my own brand new copy. I would savor every page. I noticed that the same photographer did most of the pictures, and they were beautiful enough to turn into cards, if I could bear to cut the magazine up, that is.

  9. Claudia says:

    I remember when three copies of Victoria would arrive at our home! Granddaddy I believe subscribed for one or both of you and I had my own subscription. If i remember correctly the rule was to wait till the first day of the month to even open the latest edition. I too seasonally review these treasured magazines and not only do I get new encouragement or ideas but lovely little reminders of tea parties and my kitchen being the center of activity for “Farewell to Summer” or “Welcome Spring” picnics and most specially wedding planning! I am so glad that our dear “friend” Jan Karon still provides us with some of her lovely and precious thoughts. Mitford is not Victoria but I am sure that Cynthia was a subscriber and Father Tim an admirer of said magazine!! I am sure he loves the recipes too!!

  10. Nancy says:

    Have you seen “Southern Lady” magazine”? I’ve not seen it on newssstands- I discovered it in the little tea shop in town where I buy tea . The website is http://www.southernladymagazine.com. Perhaps the editors could send you a sample copy.

  11. Deb says:

    I, too, was a faithful “Victoria” lover. I have about seven years’ worth, arranged by month, so I can refer to them when I need my fix. I never threw one away, nor cut one up because they were all so beautiful. I, too, stopped subscribing once they changed. They lost their uniqueness, lost their faithful subscribers, and ultimately their magazine! I always loved the exquisite photographs; truly works of art! The fashions, the gardens, the decorating, the literary quotes, the gorgeous table settings, the genteel life,… I could go on and on. Thank you, Lanier, for reminding us of the good years of “Victoria,” and for gathering all of us Victoria lovers together for a cyber tea party!

  12. Thank you, ladies, all of you, for sharing your ‘Victoria’ reminiscences…how sweet to think of all of the dear kindred spirits out there still cherishing that magazine! I really appreciate your lovely thoughts…it was like to the pleasure of a new ‘Victoria’ in the mailbox! 🙂

    Jessica, the words around the painting are lines from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’…Ophelia’s a rather tragic heroine, to be sure, but I was so taken by this picture of her…
    There is a willow grows aslant the brook,
    That shows his hoary leaves in the glassy stream,
    Therewith fantastic garlands did she make
    Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
    There on the pendant boughs her crownet weeds
    Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,
    When down her weedy trophies and herself
    Fell in the weeping brook

  13. Jessica says:

    Oh…okay, thank you!

  14. Karen says:

    Yes I too miss Victoria Magazine. I remember looking forward to every issue that came out until I think the last year of publication (this would have been the time when the Victoria logo changed). I did keep 3 of my older issues but ended up throwing out my collection when we moved. I really kick myself for that now. It was such a comforting magazine. I felt transported into each page and loved to read each issue over and over – it gave me such a cozy feeling. I still pull out the three magazines that I still do have and bury myself in the articles and the photographs over and over.

    Regarding the comment about Southern Living, it may be a substitute but not for us Canadians (I’m not even sure it’s available in Canada). Sigh – it’s would not be the same for me I think….

  15. Dawn says:

    Here’s to my dear old friend, Victoria. How I miss thee…!

  16. Melissa M. says:

    I liked the older Victoria magazines, too. But there were things to like about the more modern style–there were still the pretty flowers, rooms, books, etc. I liked both styles quite well, but I did miss the distinctly Victorian clothing of the earlier magazines.

  17. Melissa M. says:

    To be more precise, Victoria was my favorite magazine, both before and after the changes. It was like inviting inspiration when I opened the pages. I think I did prefer the older version in some ways, but I was still very sad when they stopped publishing their magazine.

  18. Prisca says:

    I too lament Victoria’s demise….
    Southern Lady(as mentioned previously)hints of Victoria’s gentle,flowery side but does not have her elegance. Even so, I think it a fine publication to edify the feminine hearts longing for beauty.
    (I found it at Wal- Mart of all places!)

  19. I, too, have most all the issues. The February 1989 issue is the first one in my collecion as well. Your letter is the one I wrote in my head many, many times. Her response doesn’t surprise me in the least, although a handwritten reply is interesting!

    DH offered me quite a sum to get rid of them, I told him I’d think about it, but just couldn’t do it because I couldn’t find a replacement either. I don’t think there is one! I’m so glad I didn’t get rid of my collection. My almost 3yo daughter and I curl up in bed on Sunday morning & sigh over the pretty dresses, flowers and hats. THAT is worth more than anything.

    I think there’s a lot of us out there. And the lot of us who canceled our subscriptions was probably the reason it isn’t still in publication…

  20. NANCY LINDEMEYER says:

    On a very dreary early Spring day, I’ve come across your comments. You have warmed my heart because you are exactly the reader we were trying to reach with Victoria. For a dedicated staff of wonderful people, it was a labor of love under my direction. Thank you so very much for understanding and being so perfectly in tune with our hopes and dreams. For Victoria to survive as long as it did is a miracle of sorts. With all good wishes, Nancy

  21. ashleysue says:

    Wow…reading your letter was like reading my own thoughts. I have EVERY single issue of Victoria magazine, even all the newer ones. My husband bought me the ones on ebay that I was missing. I also created my wedding (down to the white fondant cake with blue bows down the side) from all my wedding issues! In addition, Nancy Lindemeyer corresponded with me through email in early Spring 2006 and her comments were similar to above. Too bad no one could bring this magazine back…life will never be the same, in my opinion. I’m always secretly, hopefully searching for the possibility online that perhaps someone has the delicious idea to bring it back. Blessings! Ashley

  22. kblonde59 says:

    I knew there were women like me out there that were so very sad about what has happened to our Victoria mag. I too owned almost all the issues. And I knew when Nancy Lindemeyer left Victoria it would never be the same. I wish Nancy had mentioned what she’s doing now, it would be great to know. My aunt told me a few years ago that some things you need for your soul. And to me Victoria feeds my soul. So I wish everyone who treasures Victoria and great read on a cold blustery night. Peace, Kim

  23. fathersgrace says:

    I know this is an older article, but I couldn’t resist commenting. I’m an Australian “Victoria” fan. They were a constant companion of my single days & yes, I still have a few stored in a briefcase along with my Above Rubies collection. I have 2 little girls 5 & 3 yrs old who love to look at them- they call them “Mummy’s specials”. I found your website via YCLF & have been enjoying reading your archives. I’m a Christian booklover as well.
    God Bless
    Claire

  24. Joyce McCune says:

    After the holidays, I pulled out several winter issues of Victoria magazine for studying! After coming up for air–I am so glad to find others out there still mourning the passing of this lovely magazine! Never found another to replace it! After reading all the comments posted–I feel we need a tea party for those of us who are still holding on to past years of issues! Maybe Nancy would attend! Any one feel the same? God bless you all…Joyce

  25. teenaflanner says:

    Victoria was the most beautiful magazine I have ever seen.
    Teena Flanner

  26. Sarah B-D says:

    Over the last few years I’ve searched the internet hoping to find kindred spirits who, like myself, still lamented the loss of VICTORIA magazine – and now I have! It seems silly to mourn its absence after all of these years, but as many of you have said – nothing has ever come close to replacing it on the magazine stands! A once dear friend of mine bought me my first copy in 1996 after her trip to America from our home in Australia. I started subscribing soon after and literally cried when I got the notification that it was ceasing publication (incidentally I demanded and received my money back from Hearst, as the substitutes offered were an insult). Receiving the international envelope each month never ceased to thrill me! Every page was a masterpiece, and I read it so slowly as to savour every detail that sometimes a month wasn’t long enough! The same friend who introduced me to Victoria, bought me 12 back-issues for a wedding present. My husband was somewhat mystified when I declared it to be the best wedding gift ever! I was thrilled when my parents-in-law took my advice and built a ‘garden shed’ in the fabulous style of the VICTORIA backyard cabins. We now have pictures of my children sitting on its flower-strewn porch. I too always loved the February issues; but nothing beat the Christmas issues -which provided and still do total inspiration on how to celebrate the season. VICTORIA’s strength was that it went beyond the surface of just showcasing beautiful objects and things (something no other magazine seems to understand); it acknowledged and celebrated the realisation that true fulfilment and enrichment comes from less tangible things (like personal relationships and self-worth and in using your gifts and in sharing happiness with others). I really miss the dear friend who showed me VICTORIA years ago – and I’ll always miss VICTORIA magazine for celebrating so many things that are beautiful and good in this world. If you’re reading this Nancy, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful contribution over so many years!

  27. Sarah B-D says:

    Oh and I meant to say (sorry, having 3 children under 4years really muddles my brain at times!), thank you so much Lanier for sharing your wonderful thoughts and insights on Victoria and so many other subjects. Your site is exquisite and I find your writing breathtakingly beautiful. I have so enjoyed reading through your family stories and other life experiences. Please keep it up. It really makes my day!

  28. Kristin says:

    Many thanks to Lanier for this entry and also to Nancy Lindemeyer for her kind comments. Victoria is my all-time favorite magazine, and I subscribed from its inception until it changed editorship and became too modern. My wedding cake was designed after one I saw in Victoria! I still have all my old issues and will never get rid of them! There is now another place to get in touch with other kindred spirits at the Yahoo! group called “Missing Bliss.” We chat about recipes, decorating, gardens and other lovely things that make us think of the old Victoria magazine. Join our Yahoo! group if you like. We have self-published several issues of an Internet magazine called Victorianne that you can read online.

  29. vickilborg says:

    A lovely thing that I share in common with my 92 year old mother-in-law is Victoria magazine. I introduced Virginia to Victoria when it was just a new publication. She spent her summers in Idaho and her winters in Arizona. The winter issues came to her in sunny Arizona and the summer ones to her Idaho home. All of the copies were treasured as old friends that she would revist at the changing of the seasons. The beautiful Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s issues resided in Arizona. The lovely spring and summer were at home in Idaho. This past year when she returned to Arizona she discovered to her horror that the cleaning lady who prepared the house for her coming had thrown out all of her old Victorias. She was so sad (and pretty mad, too!) That is when we discovered that you could buy old copies on E-Bay and that there was an on-line following of others who missed Victoria like we did. I still have many of mine, though I didn’t have the space to keep all of them. I gave many of the issues to a local thrift store several years ago, only to learn that a friend purchased the ones I donated. Virginia is looking forward to visiting her spring and summer issues in Idaho when she returns in April.

  30. garden_antqs says:

    I too couldn’t wait for the next issue of Victoria Magazine to arrive. I really wish someone would publish another Victoria Magazine as great as it was. I buy all the old issues that I find and sell them at the Antique Shows I set up at. The ladies that buy them tell me how much they miss Victoria. There ARE STILL a lot of fans that continue buying the old issues and would still buy it if it were still around.

  31. Michelle says:

    I couldn’t believe it the day my husband called to say that Victoria was being cancelled! How could they? Even though I noticed a decline in the old Victoria I had grown to love, but I was just buying my first house? How could it be no more? I needed that magazine to help decorate my first home. I have every issue, and I re-read them all the time (I am flipping though the September 1999 issue right now). I am so glad that I found this site – there are so many of us that reminisce of a time when Vicotira arrived in our mailboxes each month. Maybe one day, a magazine will come along that will recapture the grace and style Victoria gave us throughout the years.

  32. lilyoake says:

    Dear Lamenters, lament no more! I just read an article describing the return of Victoria magazine as Hearst teams with another specialty publisher to bring the magazine back, in all it’s glory.
    VICTORIA IS COMING BACK!!
    THE FIRST ISSUE WILL BE A NOV/DEC ISSUE ON THE SHELVES IN OCTOBER 2007!!!
    I remember the moment I discovered the magazine too….while on vacation, on a shelf in a Fred Meyer’s store in The Dalles, OR. I couldn’t believe such a magazine existed and wondered why I had never seen it before, until I saw “Premiere Issue” written across the top of it. I have every issue made ever since and I too cherish them. As a designer, they have been an inspiration to me when I felt my own ideas had all dried up. I could open an older issue and feast my eyes on a million things that would inspire more art in me to come out.
    I never wavered with my loyalty. I liked the changes it made over the years. Like an old friend, you have to roll with the punches and grow and excpet and try not to become stagnant. My tastes changed over the years and so did Victoria magazine’s. Change isn’t always bad…sometimes it is sideways.
    But when it ceased to come, I was so broken-hearted. I did not want to except it and have spent many a year searching for an alternative.
    When, a few days ago, an old coworker emailed a link to a business news website with a story about Victoria magazine coming back, I was giddy and immediately punched out on my lunch break (even though it was 8:30 am) just so I could immediately search the net for more info. I found it, called Hearst and got it all confirmed. I left a message asking when/how I could resubscribe but have yet to hear back.
    The coworker who sent the email left our company on less than cordial terms and stated she wished never to see me again so for her to break her silence and send me that email proves just how deeply I loved that one publication, let it influence my life and art, and wished for it’s return!
    VICTORIA RETURNS!!
    As I turn in my desk chair, i can see all the issues secure in their magazine boxes on the shelves behind me and I feel happy that I can add to their numbers in just a few short months.
    😉

  33. Ana Maria says:

    I arrived home, sorted through my mail, and couldn’t believe my eyes: a card inviting me to receive the first issue of the soon to be re-released, Victoria Magazine!
    Along with the rest of you, I too had a long friendship with Victoria. On a beautiful day in March, 1987, my wonderful secretary Trish, came back from lunch with a present for me. She said, “I saw this in a newstand and as I flipped through the pages, it reminded me of you and your home”. When I saw the pictures and read through the articles of the magazine, I realized how blessed I was to have this lovely woman working with me!
    I have kept and treasured most of the old issues and since Victoria was “timeless”, I often turn to them while I sip a cup of tea.
    About the new Victoria: I’m a bit worried. Will Nancy Lindemeyer be involved with it? I truly believe she was the soul of the magazine. When she left, Victoria began a steady decline that culminated in its sad ending.
    Don’t worry about finding it. The new publishers will find us!

  34. Debra says:

    I too am a devoted reader of Victoria Magazine…I have every issue from it’s first in 1987 and I love going thru them – they never look dated and they truly were the lovliest magazine I have ever subscribed to – with the exception of SEVENTEEN Magazine – the ones that were published in the 60’s and 70’s. They were beautilful too and I still have my copies carefully packed away. It’s fun to pull those out once in awhile and see a teen age Cybil Shephard in a Cover Girl ad or those Bonne Bell cosmetic ads and their articles and photographs were top notch just like Victoria’s were. I just received my subscription card today from Hoffman Media asking me if I’d like to reserve a subscription for the newly revived Victoria and I immediately responded YES and THANK YOU! I am confident that Phyllis Hoffman will maintain the integrity of the original Victoria while adding her distinct flair that she’s become so well known for with her other publications. My favorites are Southern Lady, Tea Time and of course, Paula Deen. Thank you Phyllis for giving us back a beautiful magazine that we can escape into again!

  35. Mimi says:

    Lovely blog this! I’ve just stumbled upon it. Must explore a bit more.

    I’m wondering what you think of the Victoria Magazine of the last two years?

    To me, it lacks depth.

    Mimi, a magazine lover

  36. CJ says:

    Sadly, I must agree with Mimi that recent issues of this once-fine magazine leave something to be desired.
    In addition, as a writer, I’ve found typos, which would have been UNHEARD of in the publication’s earlier incarnation.

    As much as I loved the old Victoria, always hoarding February and December issues, I finally canceled my subscription
    because it was too “white.” Not white as in “Victoria at Home with White,” a 1996 Hearst publication that still graces my bookcase, but there were no people of color or of seemingly middle-class status. It all got to be too boring with pages of all the beautiful, perfectly coiffed and with straight, gleaming teeth (white) people…. despite the fact I’m white.

    So what killed Victoria? Passion. It’s obvious today’s publisher and all those involved are just producing a product without real love or passion for that product. As with much of print media these days, it’s about bean counters, shareholders and the bottom line. And without that passion, there is, as Mimi says, no depth.

    Fortunately, many of us still harbor back issues from Victoria’s hey-day. Which we now cherish all the more.

    cj freelance writer/editor

  37. Jackie says:

    I just received the Sept.Oct. 2010 issue of Victoria. I will not continue with the subscription. It is not the same and probably never will be. It lacks the passion. Too bad.

  38. Fiona says:

    You said it so well in your remarks, and voiced my feelings since the new publication was inaugurated. I might appreciate it more if I had never enjoyed the first Victoria, but there’s absolutely no comparison between the two. The current one has no “grace” and still conveys such a commercial message – everything they feature is “for sale” in some way and I’m sometimes almost left with the feeling of turning the pages of a catalog! There are no longer the beautiful features (and who could forget the magnificent photography of Toshi Otsuki?!) ranging from treasured collections, gardens and the gracious tradition of a girls’ school. Gone are tributes such as “A Star in Our Crown” and the like. I too am a “non-subscriber.”

  39. Terri says:

    Oh my gosh, I think you crawled into my brain and my heart, and extracted all my thoughts and feelings about the original Victoria, before you wrote that letter, and this post! I still mourn that wonderful publication. What a tremendous loss. I wish that Nancy Lindemeyer or someone — anyone — had the talent, vision, desire, and capital to resurrect it in it’s original splendor. I understand that Victoria has been resurrected, but I haven’t seen it. Anyone have any comments about it?

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      I’ve seen it, Terri, and subscribed for a while. But it’s just not nearly the same. I haven’t renewed.

  40. Clairmarie Kelly says:

    I, too, was so excited to see that Victoria was coming back! But, it hasn’t. Just not the same. Please, Nancy, can you come back or start your own “new” Victoria? Until this happens, I think we are all going to have to save our old copies and continue to read them for lovely inspiration for each month!

  41. Laura Anne says:

    I consider Victoria to be the best magazine ever published. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it until later in the original publication (1998) but I have since acquired a complete collection in excellent condition and a complete collection in very good condition. Now I can keep one perfect and enjoy and share the other. I do subscribe to the publication by Hoffman Media and although I can see it isn’t the same it still, for me, is more lovely than any other magazine on the market now. I have noticed with each passing year it is improving. Their Tea Time magazine is lovely as well. If Nancy would begin publishing any publication like the old Victoria I would subscribe without hesitation. I am delighted to have all the old issues to enjoy. The articles are truly timeless unlike any other magazine

  42. Sharon says:

    I was cleaning out my closet today. I looked at my Victoria collection, which goes back to 1991 and stops at 2000, all filed neatly in their magazine holders. That means I’ve owned them starting a quarter-century ago. Then I read the above comments and decided not to get rid of them. I’m happy to discover I’m not the only person who treasured this magazine from the start, as my husband has often hinted with a smile. I’m going to start looking through them again with the granddaughters this weekend.

  43. Lynne Luna says:

    I have just organized my many years of Victoria magazine (which I can never part with). I used to read them on my back patio and was always carried away to a beautiful place. The first issue I have is 1987/1988 Winter. After reading this article and the comments of many, I see that everyone feels the same. Once Nancy Lindemeyer left, the magazine did change and I was disappointed too. I told my daughter she can have them when I pass, but until then I will enjoy them once again. I’m so glad I found this article. The author expressed my feelings so beautifully.

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