Central to Lola’s self-promotion was the dissemination of her image, primarily in the form of daguerreotypes and lithographs after daguerreotypes. Newspaper reviews and caricatures of her act circulated internationally, and her several sittings for daguerreotypes gave her a moderate sense of agency in constructing her portrait to counter her portrayal as lascivious in popular media. In these she demonstrated her oscillation between daring free-thinking associated with the frontier past of California and her understanding that she needed a façade of respectability to be tolerated by the reformers and civilizing forces increasing in 1853.
19th CenturyMaterial Culture
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In nineteenth century America, there was no denying that a democratization of reading was underway. Printing technology improved dramatically, literacy steadily increased, newspapers proliferated the landscape, and influential books were published and widely read. Out of this culture, a distinct form of literature emerged: the exciting, enticing tales printed on cheap paper and usually sold for five or ten cents to largely working class audiences.