Key Popular Women Writers
General Editors: Dr. Janine Hatter and Dr. Helena Ifill
This innovative new series will deliver original and transformative feminist research into the work of leading women writers who were widely read in their time, but who have been under-represented in the canon.
The series will offer critical, historical and aesthetic contributions to current literary and theoretical work. Each volume will concentrate on one writer. The first titles will be on Mrs. Henry Wood, Geraldine Jewsbury, Florence Marryat, Frances Trollope and Margaret Oliphant.
Each volume in this series will explore the careers, writing practices and work of popular women writers, through a lens informed by contemporaneous and contemporary feminist thought. It will interrogate the ways in which women writers, their creative processes and published material can be considered feminist, and explore how recent developments in feminist theory can enrich our understanding of popular women’s lives and literature.
This series will both rethink established popular writers and their works, and rediscover and re-evaluate authors who have been largely neglected, often since their initial burst of success in their own historical period. This neglect is often due to the exclusivity and insular nature of the canon which has its roots in the Victorian critical drive to perpetuate a division between high and low culture.
In response, our definition of the “popular” is broadly interpreted to encompass women writers who were read by large sections of the public, and who wrote for the mass publishing market. The series therefore challenges this arbitrary divide, creating a new and dynamic dialogue regarding the canon’s expansion by introducing readers to previously under-researched women writers who were nevertheless prolific, known and influential.
Studying the work of these authors can tell us much about women’s writing, creativity and publishing practice, and about how popular fiction intervened in pressing political, social and cultural issues surrounding gender, history and women’s role in society.
This is an important and timely series that is inspired by, interrogates, and speaks to a new wave of feminism, new definitions of sex and gender, and new considerations of intersectionality.
It also reflects growing interest in popular fiction, and a feminist desire to broaden and diversify the literary canon.
Ultimately the series seeks to shed light on women writers whose work deserves greater recognition, to facilitate and inspire further research, and to pave the way for introducing these key women writers into the canon and the modern-day classroom.
Publisher: Edward Everett Root Publishers