La Bouquet

La Bouquet, [title page], Vol. I, No. 1, 1848 (Libraries, Leisure and Culture Dundee, L266(2), Lamb Collection). Permission for the use of this image has kindly been granted by Libraries, Leisure and Culture Dundee.


The only surviving manuscript magazine from an all-female society in Dundee. The Editorial Preface pre-empts criticism by giving a very modest account of the work: “However much ladies in general, are disposed to self delusion, we can not imagine that our book or magazine, which has nothing to recommend it, can be recommended by the editor’s preface.”

The magazine evidently had an interested readership awaiting it, though, as indicated by the inside cover bearing a warning that readers who keep the volume longer than two days will be fined. The contributions are very much in keeping with what other societies were producing at a comparable time, including essays, poetry, and short reflections on topics including Literature and Slavery. Like several other magazines, the entries have all been written out by an editor so the handwriting is consistent.

Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine

Diagnostic Society? (Note: it is currently unclear if this is the group that produced this magazine) (Dundee)

Date of Existence


Date of Magazine

Vol. I, No. 1, 1848

Number of Issues


Manuscript/Published Magazine


Contents and Contributions

Articles (non-fiction); Editorial; Essays; Magazine Rules; Poems (original); Title page


Dundee District Central Library, The Wellgate


L266(2), Lamb Collection

Additional Notes

These magazines were collected in the 1860s by A.C. Lamb, a Dundee temperance hotelier. Many of the societies represented met on premises owned by either himself or, in earlier decades, in his father Thomas’ coffee house. Lamb was often involved in society life himself, and his collection of over 450 boxes covers a wide range of material relating to literature, poetry, culture and politics in Victorian Dundee. For more information on this material, please contact