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‘The first impression, you, yourself, will buy’: The Gunninghiad, Virginius and Virginia and the Art of Scandal at the Minerva Press

Author:

Kurt Edward Milberger

Michigan State University, US
About Kurt

Coordinating Editor, College of Arts & Letters



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Abstract

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.
How to Cite: Milberger, K.E., 2020. ‘The first impression, you, yourself, will buy’: The Gunninghiad, Virginius and Virginia and the Art of Scandal at the Minerva Press. Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780–1840, (23), pp.39–59. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/romtext.71
Published on 30 Aug 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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