Though I am a great admirer of tradition and possess extraordinary respect for the way things have always been done, I am not above changing my ways when the time is right. A new year beckons, and a new format calls to me. I have, as they say, some personal news: I, Lady Whistledown, am taking my talents to Substack.
As the gossip’s gossip, I am apprised of all the trends. I know what’s going on amongst you all before you even know it yourselves. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that I am heeding the siren song of the subscription newsletter, where I can reach my audience directly, and you can support me in return. After all, most of you have more than enough disposable income for this purpose; your wealth would be much better spent on my writing than on, say, gambling on a boxing match you’ve pathetically attempted to rig in your favor as a last-ditch effort to save your family from ruin.
It pains me to confess this, but it’s true: it has become an ever-greater challenge to get my reporting to my dear readers in a timely fashion. The rumor mill grinds faster than the printing press can print. Additionally, I’ve heard those little newsies who’ve been passing out my pamphlets are planning to unionize. And, most disconcertingly, I was recently made aware of a serious security breach (fashion pun!) at the publisher upon which I previously relied. Someone wanted to silence me, but like so many other valiant writers who post before they fact-check, I refuse to be canceled.
What does this all mean for you? If you sign up for the free edition of my letter, you will get a weekly gossip dispatch: births and deaths, engagements and marriages, breakups and makeups, mergers and acquisitions, so on and so forth. It’s the perfect entry-level newsletter for someone who isn’t already up to speed on the various entanglements and family dramas of society, the young lady who wants to skim the scandals so they can make informed, delicious small talk with friends and potential suitors.
For those of you who crave a deeper dive — which I trust is any woman who has had her hem lowered and any man who has already done his European tour — you’ll find the stream-of-consciousness, voicey, unedited musings your craving for a mere five shillings a month (or 50 shillings a year, an absolute steal). Paid subscribers will be apprised of the comings and goings of the more salacious variety. Such as: Which high society couple throws their doors, marriage, and legs open for delightful orgies in their lavish, art-filled home? What maiden is relying upon the very trendy empire waist to hide a certain telltale swell of her stomach? What young man is so smitten by a conniving minx who doesn’t even really know the REAL him that he is ignoring the true love that is obviously right in front of his face, the love-match that has been here all this time??
Paid subscribers will also receive a portrait of the week’s finest flower arrangements, exclusive tips on how to get those tight curls in your hair no matter what your natural texture, and playlists from the all latest balls so you can stop asking yourself in the middle of a dance and/or kissing scene, Wait, is that the instrumental version of an Ariana Grande song? I feel like it is… but WHICH Ariana Grande song? and just let yourself enjoy the moment. Not to mention you will all make up a sort of miniature society (I believe the term of art these days is a “community”) where you can chatter amongst yourselves. You can even write to me directly, sending along tips that I will verify and publish as I see fit. Reading me here will be like traveling back to the 1450s, when everything was still loose and fun — you know, before print got so corporate.
And, most excitingly, if you are one of the first ten people to sign up for the yearly subscription, I will tell you EXACTLY where babies come from. With diagrams and everything. I hear that on Substack I can use these sort of moving pictures — gifs? Or is it pronounced jifs? It’s unclear — to leave zero confusion as to these intimate matters.
So go ahead: take off your gloves and let the bare skin of your index finger ever so slowly reach for that subscribe button. Linger there for some almost interminable length of time before you finally, gently but firmly, press it down.