Sin and Sensation
By the 1860s, publishing opportunities for women were
expanding as never before. Much of this expansion arose from the growing
dominance of the novel. In 1825, only around 25 new novels were published
in Great Britain; by 1850, the total was about 100; by 1864, it was more
than 300; and in 1874, 644 new novels appeared.
Thanks to new developments in publishingsuch as
publication in parts, cheap one-volume reprints, and subscription circulating
librariesa successful novelist might now command a huge audience.
And since novels lacked the high-cultural status that would have made
entrée into the field difficult for them, an increasing number
of women were encouraged to try their hands at writing a best seller.
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