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Reading: UnRomantic Authorship: The Minerva Press and the Lady’s Magazine, 1770–1820

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UnRomantic Authorship: The Minerva Press and the Lady’s Magazine, 1770–1820

Author:

Jennie Batchelor

University of Kent, GB
About Jennie
Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies, School of English
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Abstract

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.
How to Cite: Batchelor, J., 2020. UnRomantic Authorship: The Minerva Press and the Lady’s Magazine, 1770–1820. Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780–1840, (23), pp.76–93. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/romtext.73
Published on 30 Aug 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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