In anticipation of our forthcoming special issue on ‘The Minerva Press and the Literary Marketplace’, this post is the first in a series by Colette Davies reflecting on the role played by the firm during the Romantic era and its somewhat tarnished reputation in the following centuries—a challenge that the essays in our new issue seek to address. Continue reading →
Travels into Print, co-written by three researchers interested in travel books yet specialising in different disciplines, promises to be, to say the least, impressively broad in its scope. Indeed, as the authors themselves point out … Continue reading →
In the 1805 version of The Prelude, William Wordsworth emphatically addresses Samuel Taylor Coleridge as ‘Friend!’ several times (Carlson, p. 226). As Julia S. Carlson notes in Romantic Marks and Measures: Wordsworth’s Poetry in Fields of … Continue reading →
This article argues that that during the political upheaval of the 1790s, the discourse of rights was mobilised to discuss the social, legal and political status of animals and humans. Notions of animal rights were just beginning to take shape towards the end of the eighteenth century. Changing beliefs about animal sentience, rationality and feelings, and social and moral concerns about animal cruelty, slowly brought the issue of animal welfare before the public. Historians have been inclined to view animal rights as the logical conclusion of the extension of the ‘rights of man’ down the social scale. This article contends that in print culture, animals were used as cyphers for their human owners. By giving voices to animals and characterising them as politically active and informed, a variety of literary productions demonstrated the methods of social, legal and political resistance available to their readers. Continue reading →
This essay examines the false and dubious attributions of select Minerva novels to both Ann Radcliffe and her lesser known contemporary Mary Ann Radcliffe, arguing that the constellations of texts and authors that signified under the Radcliffe aegis point to the existence of a corporate Radcliffe whose influence on Romantic print culture has yet to be fully documented. In sales catalogues and later scholarly studies and encyclopedias, this corporate Radcliffe blended work initially published anonymously by the Minerva Press with the known output of Ann Radcliffe and Mary Ann Radcliffe. These texts include the Minerva novels The Fate of Velina de Guidova (1790), Radzivil, a Romance (1790), Mary Ann Radcliffe’s The Memoirs of Mrs Mary Ann Radcliffe (1810) and The Female Advocate; or an Attempt to Recover the Rights of Women from Male Usurpation (1799), in addition to the gothic novels of Ann Radcliffe. A composite created by the print market-place and later scholars’ own compulsion to fix or challenge questionable attributions, this corporate Radcliffe elevates the popular Romantic practices of imitation and translation and provides an alternative to narratives of Romantic authorship that rely on singular genius and originality. Continue reading →
This essay examines the rich and hitherto unexplored rivalries and connections between the Romantic periodical and the Minerva Press through the lens of the hugely popular Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1700–1832). Close attention to the points of contact outlined in this essay is multiply illuminating, I argue, not least because it forces us to challenge enduring but misleading associations about popular literary forms, professional authorship and women’s writing in the Romantic era. The Lady’s Magazine and the Minerva Press presented aspiring authors with competing, but complementary, mass-media outlets that were eagerly exploited by hundreds of Romantic-era writers, many of whom published energetically with both. These writers’ negotiations of the literary culture of the day—their movements between publishers at key moments in their lives and turn to different modes of publication as and when it suited them—were signs of their precarity, but also of their professionalism and persistence. Uncovering these writers’ stories enables us to uncover alternative, yet ubiquitous, stories of authorship in the Romantic period that merit the telling precisely because they recalibrate our sense of how Romantic authorship was experienced by some of the most popular writers of the era. Continue reading →
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 →
Papers will be published in a special issue of Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780–1840 (Spring 2019), guest edited by Elizabeth Neiman and Tina Morin. This special issue of Romantic Textualities focuses on a … Continue reading →
In April 2016, a research network dedicated to Authorship and Appropriation was inaugurated during an international conference on the subject at the University of Dundee, where not coincidentally this present volume was also launched. Cook … Continue reading →
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