Women in the Literary Market 1800-1900

Early Influences
horizontal rule
Women who nurtured literary ambitions in the early nineteenth century lacked female mentors and models, and took their inspiration from the culture at large.

The immense fame and glamour of Lord Byron (1788-1824), whose poetry represented defiance and freedom, fed the daydreams of a generation of aspiring young writers–men and women alike.

Walter Scott (1771-1832) was one of the most read and celebrated authors of the early nineteenth century. His poems and novels played a role in the developing imaginations of the young Brontës, and he was George Eliot’s favorite novelist. Scott’s great popular success as a novelist provided an example of a successful writing career in a literary genre accessible to women.

horizontal rule
[top] George Gordon Byron. Farewell to England … London: J. Johnston, 1816. [bottom] Sir Walter Scott. Waverley: or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since… Edinburgh: Printed by J. Ballantyne for A. Constable, 1814.
horizontal rule

view image 1
view image 2

continue tour

early role models
entering the literary market
learned poets
getting into print
charlotte bronte and george eliot
sin and sensation
new women
L.T. Meade
the three volume format
Cornell University Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections Cornell University Library

Copyright 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853
Phone Number: (607) 255-3530. Fax Number: (607) 255-9524

For reference questions, send mail to: rareref@cornell.edu
If you have questions or comments about the site, send mail to: webmaster.