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“Expanding Responsibility: Women Editors of Annuals and Periodicals”

Palmer, BL (2015) “Expanding Responsibility: Women Editors of Annuals and Periodicals” In: The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women's Writing. Cambridge Companions to Literature (4). Cambridge University Press, pp. 59-72. ISBN 9781107064843

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Editing was in many ways well suited to the careers of women of letters in the Victorian period. Editing a magazine, unlike practicing a traditional profession—for instance, law and medicine, from which women were still chiefly excluded—could be carried out in domestic spaces or alongside familial duties. Rachel Beer (1858-1927), for example, often edited the Sunday Times (1821-) newspaper from her home in Mayfair in the mid 1890s, and Ellen Wood (1814-87) edited and wrote much of the Argosy (1865-1901) confined to her invalid setting. Editing could also be combined with other jobs, and working methods could be tailored to an individual woman’s needs. One contributor was surprised at being summoned to see Charlotte Riddell (1832-1906) at her husband’s shop where she was “engaged in making out invoices” for his business while simultaneously conducting her editorial work for St James’s Magazine (1861-1900). Some female editors adopted more professional spaces for their work. Henrietta Stannard (1856-1911) produced Golden Gates (1892-5, renamed Winter’s Weekly) from her office in Fleet Street, and the Langham Place Group had their own lively central London offices, which included a reading room and meeting spaces. Thinking about female editorship requires a relatively fluid understanding of professionalism in which the commercial and the social are interwoven.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of English and Languages
Authors :
Date : 15 October 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords : women's writing, editorship, victorian literature
Additional Information : Copyright 2015 Cambridge University Press.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 08 Dec 2015 18:47
Last Modified : 15 Apr 2016 01:08

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