Would you like to share a little bit of what this lovely magazine has meant to you?
If you are interested in having your tribute to Victoria posted on this blog, please contact me

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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Victoria I Remember - Christi Bunn

Everyone who loves Victoria magazine has a story... for me, it began as a young bride -- making my way as a young wife -- newly married and so wanting to "get things right." I needed inspiration and desperately wanted to infuse beauty into my modern and very "80s" life. You must remember that this was the day of Punk Rock, massive shoulder pads, and even bigger hair. Always a very visual person, I looked for this inspiration amongst the pages of what would become a beloved friend, Victoria magazine. If it seems odd to you that a magazine could be a friend, then perhaps you have never had the pleasure of her company.

I was married in December of 1986, and a few months later my very first Victoria arrived in our mailbox. The discerning eye of my beautiful Southern Belle of a grandmother had spotted the lovely Premiere Issue on a magazine rack in my hometown and promptly ordered a subscription for me. She recognized then, as so many of us have along the way, that Victoria was the magazine we had always longed for but didn't realize it until we saw her. It was truly love at first sight, as we were treated to page after page of sheer delight to the senses, both visual and literary. A splash of poetry here, a gorgeous photo there, and a poignant quote in between gave us a richness of content that no other magazine has before or since.

Each month I looked forward to the articles and regular features, and I looked for ways that I could incorporate bits of that beauty into my life. This might have involved arranging a bouquet of freshly cut flowers by my bedside, having classical music playing as I cleaned, getting a lovely fragrance such as Nantucket Briar from Crabtree & Evelyn so that our home would instantly delight the senses, or putting on soft music and lighting candles as I drew a soothing bath after a hard day's work. It involved making choices in clothing that were classic -- the kind that do not quickly go in and out of style but get better by the year. It taught me new ways of taking tea or offered a new flavor and suggested that a silver service was not just something to put on display but something to be used and loved. She recommended fabulous books, timeless classics like The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women; classic authors like Isaak Denisen and Colette; or new classics such as Alexandra Stoddard's Living a Beautiful Life. Then there were her Writers and Artists in Residence, such luminaries as Tasha Tudor, Madeleine L'Engle, Jan Karon, and more. All of this and so much more I gleaned from the pages of this marvelous magazine.

I have learned recently that the magazine was not put together with the specific purpose of selling advertisements, although that surely was a part of her success. But according to those who worked on the original version of Victoria and contributed to her content month after month, it was truly a labor of love. It could not have been otherwise, for her pages fairly resonated with a beauty that can only come as a result of the most devoted skill, creativity, and care.

And as Victoria matured, she became more lovely and refined. Her pages continued to inspire and bring beauty into my life even as I was expecting my first baby and planning the nursery. My mind went instantly to the beloved images painted by Beatrix Potter, and I knew that my nursery would include those colors and themes from her stories. And indeed, it did.

Like a treasured friend she visited me month after month, her pages o'er brimmed with new literary delights, new places to discover, and fresh ways to bring loveliness into everyday life. And because I have kept every copy and carried them through six moves (to date), I can revisit these bits of loveliness as often as I wish. And amazingly enough, I still manage to find new bits of beauty among her pages.

I know that there are others of you who share my affinity for Victoria, and I would love for this blog to become an ongoing Victoria story. Would you be willing to share your story with me, so that I could post it here? If so, please contact me

- Christi Bunn


  1. What a lovely idea, Christi! As soon as I have time to write it I'd love to share a "Victoria" story!

  2. This is a wonderful idea, and one I could come to look forward to. :) I remember the first copy of Victoria I got at a newsstand, and yes, I still have it. Saw Phyllis Hoffman at a local book signing a year or so ago, and am grateful she's keeping the old Victoria's flavor.

    Will think about your goal here. Not sure I have a story, but will enjoy reading others experiences.

  3. I just left a message on your other site. I'm so excited about your new blog. I LOVE Victoria and I still have every treasured copy (some issues, I have even more than one copy).

    I'd love to share a Victoria story with your readers. There is such a kindred-ness with fellow Victoria followers.

    I'm glad you're following this dream.... there will be many of us who will enjoy traveling with you down memory's lane.

  4. I truly enjoyed this post, Christi, and I share many similar happy memories of this special magazine. I just sent my story to you...thanks for asking!

  5. PS. Here's the link to my posting about your new venture.......


  6. What a lovely idea, Christi. Thank you for sharing your love of Victoria. I have stories, too, but they are going to have to wait for a few months until we get settled.
    Our home is beginning to look decidedly UN-Victoria with packing boxes and study books chumming up all over the place.


  7. Christi,thanks so much for the visit,nice meeting you,hope you have good luck in this venture.I will be back to catch all the good stuff they post.~~~Becky

  8. I am also a big fan of Victoria magazine. I think I have almost every issue. They are all lined up on a shelf in the closet of our guest room. Most of them are. The latest editions are still laying around in our family room. I read about your new blog on Cherdecor's blog. I will put it on my sidebar as I want to be sure to come back here.

  9. Yes, I loved the original Victoria. Eventhough I receive the new one, it just isn't the same. I even wrote to Hoffmann Publishing and complained with no reply sent. I told them the paper quality and the photography particularly were lacking. I guess they probably didn't like hearing that. I read Nancy's blog regularly and it is her heart that was a part of the original magazine. That is lacking now, the heart.

  10. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments. This is very new, so I need stories from those willing to write one and let me post. The story doesn't have to be grandiose, but merely what Victoria meant to you. It can be as short or as long as you like. Please pass the word to any you know who might be interested in sharing.


  11. what a lovely idea! don't really have a story just remember
    always thumbing through my mom's copies, because
    she was an avid collector of anything old and english.


  12. I really enjoyed this post too and it reminded me of the reasons I have kept my issues of Victoria. It is like visiting with an old friend when I pull one out for a leaf through.


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