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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Popular Romanticism (http://poprom.streetprint.org/) is an open access online resource for the study of print and reading in the Romantic period. The following questions are of central importance: What did people read? How did people read? … Continue reading →
This paper resituates Samuel Rogers’s influential work Italy within the wider context of Britain’s post-Waterloo visual–verbal culture. Rogers’s illustrated multi-generic travel book made the Italian peninsula accessible to its upwardly mobile middle-class audience through its miscellaneous nature, its poems, tales, travelogues, treatment of art, antiquarian asides and translation of key Italian authors. It was one of the nineteenth century’s best-selling texts, but it did not start out that way. Indeed, it would take Rogers over a decade in order to produce a profitable object. This article examines this process and the ways in which Rogers responded to key developments in the commercial print market, especially the growing popularity for keepsakes and annuals, in order to register the publishing market’s dependency on word-image constellations, Britain’s changing relationship with Italy, and, ultimately, the growing purchasing power of a middle-class, female audience. Continue reading →
Proposals are invited for the 2015 British Association for Romantic Studies international conference which will be held at Cardiff University, Wales (UK) on 16–19 July 2015. The theme of the interdisciplinary conference is Romantic Imprints, … Continue reading →
Did Ireland experience Romanticism? Certainly not in the uncomplicated way that scholarship assumes England, Germany and other countries did. In Romanticism in National Context (1988), Tom Dunne’s contribution eschews the standard chapter title form—‘Romanticism in … Continue reading →
Our modern conception of authorship founded on the Romantic ideal of individualism finds purchase and root in the figure of William Wordsworth. Using Wordsworth as a case study, Jacqueline Rhodes draws attention to ‘the critical abnormality’ of Wordsworth’s ‘Preface’ to his two-volume Poems by William Wordsworth (1815). Rhodes explains how ‘the culmination of the century-long development of the radical textual individual: the professional writer’ sees a change in the cultural meaning, and legal definition, of authorship in the eighteenth century, with the move towards author-centric rather than publisher-centric copyright laws. Rhodes demonstrates how authorship and copyright came to be applicable and how ideas of individual creativity, original genius and the solitary author in the context of the European Enlightenment sees plagiarism demonised and individuality valorised. Discussing the emergence of professional writers, and their payment as concurrently respectable, Rhodes charts how authorship is constructed and how the move towards a 42-year copyright period (1842) was based not only on ‘[t]he increased industrialisation of products in the eighteenth century [that] led to an increased commodification of culture, including textual culture’ but the ‘Romantic idea of ‘inspiration’’ which Rhodes argues contributes directly ‘to the idea of textual ownership’ and ‘text-as-capital and author-as-owner’. Continue reading →
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