Becoming a Woman of Letters: Myths of Authorship and Facts of the Victorian Market

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9780691140179: Becoming a Woman of Letters: Myths of Authorship and Facts of the Victorian Market
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During the nineteenth century, women authors for the first time achieved professional status, secure income, and public fame. How did these women enter the literary profession; meet the demands of editors, publishers, booksellers, and reviewers; and achieve distinction as "women of letters"? Becoming a Woman of Letters examines the various ways women writers negotiated the market realities of authorship, and looks at the myths and models women writers constructed to elevate their place in the profession.

Drawing from letters, contracts, and other archival material, Linda Peterson details the careers of various women authors from the Victorian period. Some, like Harriet Martineau, adopted the practices of their male counterparts and wrote for periodicals before producing a best seller; others, like Mary Howitt and Alice Meynell, began in literary partnerships with their husbands and pursued independent careers later in life; and yet others, like Charlotte Brontë, and her successors Charlotte Riddell and Mary Cholmondeley, wrote from obscure parsonages or isolated villages, hoping an acclaimed novel might spark a meteoric rise to fame. Peterson considers these women authors' successes and failures--the critical esteem that led to financial rewards and lasting reputations, as well as the initial successes undermined by publishing trends and pressures.

Exploring the burgeoning print culture and the rise of new genres available to Victorian women authors, this book provides a comprehensive account of the flowering of literary professionalism in the nineteenth century.

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"Written in transparently lucid prose, this book offers a deeply informed, evenhanded assessment of the several models of female authorship that circulated from the 1830s to the 1890s. The book deftly shows how Victorian myths of female authorship both emerged and diverged from the professional biographies of these women of letters."--Rosemarie Bodenheimer, Boston College

"Becoming a Woman of Letters makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the nineteenth-century literary marketplace and of how women located themselves within the emerging profession of authorship. Elegant and engagingly written, this book will appeal to readers with an interest in the history of authorship, in the periodical press, and in women's writing."--Hilary Fraser, Birbeck College, University of London

About the Author:

Linda H. Peterson is the Niel Gray, Jr. Professor of English at Yale University. Her books include Victorian Women's Autobiography: The Poetics and Politics of Life Writing.

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. During the nineteenth century, women authors for the first time achieved professional status, secure income, and public fame. How did these women enter the literary profession; meet the demands of editors, publishers, booksellers, and reviewers; and achieve distinction as women of letters ? Becoming a Woman of Letters examines the various ways women writers negotiated the market realities of authorship, and looks at the myths and models women writers constructed to elevate their place in the profession. Drawing from letters, contracts, and other archival material, Linda Peterson details the careers of various women authors from the Victorian period. Some, like Harriet Martineau, adopted the practices of their male counterparts and wrote for periodicals before producing a best seller; others, like Mary Howitt and Alice Meynell, began in literary partnerships with their husbands and pursued independent careers later in life; and yet others, like Charlotte Bronte, and her successors Charlotte Riddell and Mary Cholmondeley, wrote from obscure parsonages or isolated villages, hoping an acclaimed novel might spark a meteoric rise to fame. Peterson considers these women authors successes and failures--the critical esteem that led to financial rewards and lasting reputations, as well as the initial successes undermined by publishing trends and pressures. Exploring the burgeoning print culture and the rise of new genres available to Victorian women authors, this book provides a comprehensive account of the flowering of literary professionalism in the nineteenth century. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691140179

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