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The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women's Writing

$98.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Linda H. Peterson, Alexis Easley, Joanne Shattock, Beth Palmer, Alison Chapman, Linda K. Hughes, Ella Dzelzainis, Deirdre d'Albertis, Lyn Pykett, Katherine Newey, Carol Hanberry Mackay, Tamara S. Wagner, Mary Ellis Gibson, Jason R. Rudy, Deborah A. Logan, Margaret Beetham, Joanne Wilkes, Claudia Nelson
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  • Date Published: November 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107064843

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About the Authors
  • The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women's Writing brings together chapters by leading scholars to provide innovative and comprehensive coverage of Victorian women writers' careers and literary achievements. While incorporating the scholarly insights of modern feminist criticism, it also reflects new approaches to women authors that have emerged with the rise of book history; periodical studies; performance studies; postcolonial studies; and scholarship on authorship, readership, and publishing. It traces the Victorian woman writer's career - from making her debut to working with publishers and editors to achieving literary fame - and challenges previous thinking about genres in which women contributed with success. Chapters on poetry, including a discussion of poetry in colonial and imperial contexts, reveal women's engagements with each other and male writers. Discussions on drama, life writing, reviewing, history, travel writing, and children's literature uncover the remarkable achievement of women in fields relatively unknown.

    • Traces the stages of the Victorian woman writer's career and reveals the crucial roles that editors, publishers, and reviewers played in its success (or failure)
    • Reveals the achievements of Victorian women in multiple genres, including essays, reviews, history, drama, travel writing and children's literature
    • Features women writing in and about their experiences throughout the British Empire, setting them within colonial and imperial contexts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Harmonizing, conflicting, and overlapping in compelling ways, [these scholars'] essays mirror precisely what their work seeks to document - the variegated and sometimes contradictory discourses about Victorian women writers, both in the nineteenth century and today."
    Kimberly J. Stern, Review 19 (

    'A valuable teaching tool and a relevant contribution to the study of gender and literary history. With its impressively wide range of examples of Victorian women writers and their works it reminds us of the immense work still to be done in order to gain a more complex understanding of nineteenth century literature and its institutions.' Nineteenth Century Gender Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107064843
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Victorian women writers and modern literary criticism Linda H. Peterson
    Part I. Victorian Women Writers' Careers:
    1. Making a debut Alexis Easley
    2. Becoming a professional writer Joanne Shattock
    3. Working with publishers Linda H. Peterson
    4. Assuming the role of editor Beth Palmer
    5. Achieving fame and canonicity Alison Chapman
    Part II. Victorian Women Writers' Achievements: Genres and Modes:
    6. Poetry Linda K. Hughes
    7. Silver-fork, industrial, and Gothic fiction Ella Dzelzainis
    8. The Realist novel Deirdre d'Albertis
    9. Sensation and New Woman fiction Lyn Pykett
    10. Drama and theater Katherine Newey
    11. Life writing Carol Hanberry Mackay
    12. Travel writing Tamara S. Wagner
    13. Colonial and imperial writing Mary Ellis Gibson and Jason R. Rudy
    14. History writing Deborah A. Logan
    15. Periodical writing Margaret Beetham
    16. Reviewing Joanne Wilkes
    17. Children's writing Claudia Nelson.

  • Editor

    Linda H. Peterson, Yale University, Connecticut
    Linda H. Peterson (1948–2015) was Niel Gray, Jr Professor of English at Yale University. She was the author of Traditions of Victorian Women's Autobiography: The Poetics and Politics of Life Writing (1999) and Becoming a Woman of Letters: Myths of Authorship, Facts of the Victorian Market (2009).


    Linda H. Peterson, Alexis Easley, Joanne Shattock, Beth Palmer, Alison Chapman, Linda K. Hughes, Ella Dzelzainis, Deirdre d'Albertis, Lyn Pykett, Katherine Newey, Carol Hanberry Mackay, Tamara S. Wagner, Mary Ellis Gibson, Jason R. Rudy, Deborah A. Logan, Margaret Beetham, Joanne Wilkes, Claudia Nelson

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