In the wake of a personal scandal that Horace Walpole dubbed ‘The Gunninghiad’, Susannah Gunning returned to literary writing after some years’ absence from the scene. The two works she published with William Lane’s Minerva Press in 1792, Anecdotes of the Delborough Family and Virginius and Virginia. A Poem, in Six Parts. From the Roman History, demonstrate both Gunning’s artistic range and Lane’s marketing genius. Together, Gunning and Lane capitalised on the Gunninghiad scandal in an attempt to rehabilitate Gunning’s reputation as a writer and fill the coffers of the press. This article re-examines Gunning’s undervalued literary career to argue that publishing with Lane afforded her opportunities to rewrite the scandal of which she’d been a part, experiment with literary genres she had yet to explore, and profit from what she lived and wrote. Continue reading
Kurt Edward Milberger
Kurt Edward Milberger serves as Coordinating Editor in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. His work has appeared in Jonathan Swift and Philosophy, edited by Janelle Pötzsch (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), and in From Enlightenment to Rebellion: Essays in Honor of Christopher Fox, edited by James G Buickerood (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018). With Margaret Doody, he has edited Susannah Gunning’s Barford Abbey, which is forthcoming from Broadview Press.