Women in the Literary Market 1800-1900


Augusta Webster, 1837-1894
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Augusta Davies was born in Dorset in 1837, the daughter of a naval officer. She pursued an unusually progressive course of education for a young girl, studying Greek–ostensibly to help a younger brother–and taking a particular interest in Greek drama. During her long career as a writer, she published more than a dozen volumes of verse, as well as many social and political essays concern-ing women's rights and responsibilities.

In 1863 Augusta married Thomas Webster, a fellow (and later law lecturer) at Trinity College, Cambridge. They had one daughter. Much of her work published thereafter concerns the difficulties and complexities of forming a happy marital union.

Webster was the first female writer to hold elective office. She worked tirelessly for women’s suffrage, and in 1879 and 1885 was elected to the London School Board.

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Yu-Pe-Ya's Lute; a Chinese Tale in English Verse. London: Macmillan, 1874. Presentation copy inscribed by the author.
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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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