Gypsy Creams

At Last: A Problem Page!

Woman / 9th December 1967

Let’s face it, most of us like a good gossip, and there’s nothing like a magazine problem page to really reveal how a nation ticks. Woman‘s agony aunt was Evelyn Home (of whom nothing on the internet appears to have been written), although the famous Marje Proops also puts in a few appearances in Woman in 1967 (which isn’t covered by any obituaries I can find).

Evelyn gives level-headed, if unremarkable, advice, but this page is notable for her reply to the unprinted letter of Mr C.S.G. (Lancs.), which gave me a bit of a start. I’m far more used to it being discussed in the modern-day Scarlet (still, for some reason, causing feathers to ruffle in some areas of the Press), than in the 1967 Woman, and it’s interesting that (according to Wikipedia at least) Evelyn’s quite right to state that he’s actually committing an illegal act, as anal sex between heterosexual couples wasn’t legal until 1996.

Also, I hope everything turned out OK for Worried Girl (Lancs.). There’s a depressingly high number of these letters, and it’s almost criminal that over 40 years on, the UK still hasn’t really properly sorted out its sex education and support in this area.

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John Hoare on 4 October 2009 @ 3pm

I find the reply to that first letter one of the most depressing things in the entire world. Even more so because she probably had a point.

Gerry on 5 October 2009 @ 8am

Done a bit of googling and found that Evelyn Home was the pen name of Peggy Makins. From a Times Online article “Evelyn Home, of Woman magazine. The pseudonym (Eve, for seductive womanliness, Home being what all women want) concealed Mrs Peggy Makins, who was still addressed as “Miss Carn”, as she had been when she took over the magazine’s problem page at the age of 20, in 1937. She’d been orphaned, left with a country pub to run and a brother to bring up. Her kind, humorous eyes bespoke compassion. Addressing readers as “My dear”, she’d dealt with bestiality, incest, impotence, frigidity, the lot. But most of her 500 letters a week were about marital infidelity, money and the gullibility of young girls about men. She was a Quaker, and the only conclusion she’d reached was that: “Whatever the purpose of life is, it is not just one sea of pleasure.” “

She apparently is still alive but retired in the 1970s and has written an autobiography called “Dear Evelyn Home (A Profile of Peggy Makins)”

Tanya Jones on 5 October 2009 @ 9am

Thanks for the comment and research, Gerry! I’ve approved and put your name in this comment.

Tanya Jones on 5 October 2009 @ 8pm

Gerry also gave me the link to his research, which is worth reading:

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