Women in the Literary Market 1800-1900


Fanny Burney, 1752-1840
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Frances Burney was one of the earliest women writers to appear consistently in literary histories and, along with Jane Austen, to enter the canon of the English literary tradition. Her many successful novels and plays, and her fame as a diarist and correspondent, did much to inscribe women's writing into the history of British literature.

Burney’s first and most famous novel, Evelina, was published secretly with the assistance of her brother Charles, who, in disguise, took the manuscript to the bookseller. Evelina appeared in January 1778 and quickly sold out four editions within the year, but its true author was not revealed until six months after the novel’s publication.

Burney and her female contemporaries were able to side-step some of the obstacles that barred them from literary endeavors by publishing in genres lacking in prestige, such as the increasingly popular but low-status novel.

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Evelina: or, A Young Lady's Entrance into the World. London: T. Lowndes, 1778.
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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
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