Women in the Literary Market 1800-1900

Charlotte Elizabeth Riddell, 1832–1906
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This letter concerns Riddell’s work, A Bid for Fortune; or, Michael Gargrave's Harvest, which is listed in the Bentley Private Catalogue for 1898 but was never issued. The publishing agreement for the work was signed in 1894, but not until December 1897 does Mrs. Riddell write that she is ready to "go on" with it. Before she does, she wishes to know if Bentley still wants to publish the novel, whether she should change the hero's name, and how long the book should be. She is aware of the major changes in the publishing world (negotiations were being made with Smith Elder for the sale of Richard Bentley and Son at that time, but it was sold to Macmillan in 1898) and realizes that this may affect the publication of her novel. She feels it is her fault for not getting the manuscript to Bentley earlier, and does not want him to feel anxious about breaking their agreement. A pencilled note from the publisher comments: "A very honourable letter from a writer dependent upon her pen."

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[top] Charlotte Elizabeth Riddell. Phemie Keller. A novel. By F.G. Trafford [pseud.] ... London, Tinsley brothers, 1866. [bottom] Charlotte Elizabeth Riddell. Autograph letter to Richard Bentley, December, 1897.
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continue to Charlotte Brontë & George Eliot

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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