This book begins with Margherita Arlina Hamm and her “Among the Newspaper Women,” the first newspaper column ever devoted to newspaper women as a group. Chronicling the work of women newspaper writers around the country, but especially in New York, Hamm conjured up a world of public sociability. “There were some four or five newspaper women met accidentally Thursday evening at a restaurant on Broadway,” she began her first column; “they all became confidential in a short while, as is the habit of newspaper women. Not confidential about their inner lives, but about their business I mean.” On the face of it this was a casual statement about a casual meeting of women in public, but it also deliberately laid claim to a public community of independent women in one of the most famous public spaces of New York.
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