Elizabeth Neiman is an Associate Professor of English and also Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maine. Her monograph, Minerva’s Gothics: The Politics and Poetics of Romantic Exchange, 1780–1820 (UWP, 2019) shows that popular literary conventions connect now canonical male poets to their lesser-known female colleagues, drawing them into a dynamic if unequal set of exchanges that influences all of their work. A second book project explores what Minerva and other popular women’s novels reveal when read for glimpses of the personal. Deathbed scenes are a convention in women’s Romantic-era novels, but does this make the heroine’s expression of grief impersonal, generic—her lamentations the language of cliché? Neiman is also currently writing a memoir that explores grief, love and loss, though from the distance of sister.
This collection of nine essays, several by well-seasoned scholars of Minerva or its novels, exemplifies how crucial collaboration is and will be for continued understanding of the popular novel in the Romantic literary marketplace. The essays in ‘The Minerva Press and the Literary Marketplace’ converse with each other in multiple and overlapping ways, and have been divided into three sections that illuminate exciting new inroads to scholarship on the Minerva Press. ‘Minerva Genres’ illustrates the generic diversity of Lane’s publications; this is followed by ‘Minerva Readers and Writers’, which nuances the customary profiling of Lane’s authors and his target audience; while ‘Reading Minerva with New Methods’ reassesses Minerva’s reading communities, both contemporary and more modern-day. Continue reading →
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