The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America. In addition to extensive fashion descriptions and plates, the early issues included biographical sketches, articles about mineralogy, handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health & hygiene, recipes & remedies, etc. Each issue also contained two pages of sheet music, written essentially for the piano forte. Gradually the periodical matured into an important literary magazine and contained extensive book reviews and works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and many other celebrated 19th century authors who regularly furnished the magazine with essays, poetry and short stories. The Lady's Book was also a vast reservoir of handsome illustrations, which included hand-colored fashion plates, mezzotints, engravings, woodcuts, and ultimately chromolithographs.