For my Front of Book analysis, I decided to read Town and Country magazine. The February 2017 issue’s cover features Prince Harry, one of the “Bachelors of the Year.” After a few ads in the beginning, the first piece of content (titled “From the Archive”) is a photo of a page from a past issue of the magazine, back to September 1975, with a blurb about the focus of the magazine at the time. There’s nothing particularly relevant about the date of the magazine that they chose, but it was about a tradition of politically indifferent D.C. ambassadors. It compares this with the “socially savvy, politically active arrivals” of more contemporary ambassadors, which has ever since disrupted the political indifference of earlier times. I think this was chosen because of the relevance of politics at this point in time, and the higher levels of involvement and activism that this past election has cultivated.
After this comes the Table of Contents and the Contributors sections, followed by a promotional piece called “The Insider” that features “Statement Jewels” and a vacation destination, with small blurbs to describe each. It seems that these companies pay the magazine to have their items featured and written about in the voice of the magazine to its readers, thus making the products relevant to the audience.
The next section is titled “Social Network: People, Places, and Parties,” and consists of 4 pages. The first one-page story is called “Noblesse Oblique,” a silly piece about acronyms for upper class snobs to use, such as “GYG” (Good Yacht Guest). The next story, “Saving Grace,” is about the preservation of Princess Grace’s childhood home in Philadelphia, with a sidebar about other up-and-coming royalty throughout the world. Next, a piece about Biden becoming ordained to marry a gay couple, with a sidebar of other celebrities who have performed marriages. The final page of the “Social Network” section features a wide array of things to do in February—from “Arts & Culture,” to “Movable Feasts,” to “Sports” (the only item under “Sports” being Super Bowl LI, with a blurb about how a celebrity will be throwing a party in Houston for it—clearly the Town and Country audience is not generally a sports crowd).
The final part of the FOB is a six-page series of one-page articles titled “Out & About” which discusses “Culture, Leisure, and Other Pursuits,” from Miami property values, to a philanthropic princess, to a paradise Antigua destination. The FOB for Town and Country definitely espouses the magazine’s values and voice: lighthearted, luxurious, tasteful, and refined. Royalty and socialites dominate most of FOB stories, providing light and easy reading content for the audience to enjoy.