Bluestocking Salon

Editing Jane West: A Conversation with the Editors of A Gossip’s Story (1796)

The three of us (Devoney Looser, Caitlin Kelly, and Melinda O’Connell) worked together to co-edit Jane West’s A Gossip’s Story, and A Legendary Tale (1796), a novel that has been described as a starting point, if not the inspiration, for Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1811). West’s novel, like Austen’s, centers on two sisters, one…

Romantic Outlaws (Chapters 21-30): Motherhood, Literature, and Rebellion

Chapters 21-30 of Charlotte Gordon’s Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her Daughter, Mary Shelley examine the relationship between authors’ biographies and their fiction, their romances, and their partnerships. While this segment of the book includes deeply intriguing criticism regarding the writing process and the ideal romantic partnership, Gordon has several disconcerting…

Romantic Outlaws (Chapters 11-20): Motherhood, Literature, and Rebellion

Chapters 11-20 of Charlotte Gordon’s Romantic Outlaws follows Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley as they begin to publish their most influential literary texts. Though Wollstonecraft would later write several fictional works, her political and philosophical writings have been her most successful. A Vindication of the Rights of Man (1790) and A Vindication of the Rights…

Romantic Outlaws (chapters 1-10): Motherhood, Literature, and Rebellion

Last week, I began to read Charlotte Gordon’s recent text, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her Daughter Mary Shelley. While these two women are unarguably two of the most fascinating figures in literary history, I nonetheless expected their biographies to be somewhat dry, likely due to my limited, stereotypical understanding of…

Betsy Austin and Hannah Lewis: Female Entrepreneurs in Jane Austen’s Transatlantic World

Rachel Pringle of Barbadoes (1796) By Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

In our recent article in Modern Philology, “Jane Austen’s Afterlife,” Devoney Looser and I discuss Jane Austen’s literary legacy and its connection through her naval brother with two Barbadian freewomen: Betsy Austin (d. 1848) and Hannah Lewis (c. 1792), two women who ran successful hotels in Bridgetown, Barbados. We describe two newly published letters by…

The Eighteenth Century in Popular Culture

Outlander Recap: Season Three, Episodes 7-8

Today’s re-cap covers Episodes 7 and 8 of Season Three of Outlander, “Crème de Menthe” and “First Wife.” These episodes complicate some of the narrative’s confidence in Jamie and Claire’s relationship that we saw in Episodes 6 and 7, where, as Jessica Cook pointed out in our last review, Claire doesn’t hesitate to assure Jamie…

Public and Digital Pedagogy

Maria Edgeworth’s (Deleted) Thoughts on Frances Burney’s Evelina

I spent the month of June 2016 at the Huntington Library, combing through its archives for items related to my book project on revision and the eighteenth-century novel. Some of these items were the work of Maria Edgeworth, an important late eighteenth-century novelist and education writer. The Huntington has 77 letters by Edgeworth, almost all…

Folger Transcribathon at VCU: Creating and Empowering a Community of New Paleographers

A few weeks ago, the Virginia Commonwealth University English Department, the VCU Humanities Research Center and VCU Libraries held the university’s first transcribathon in conjunction with the Folger Shakespeare Library’s ongoing crowdsourced transcription project, Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO for short). The event was a chance for students and interested members of the public to…

The Lady’s Magazine (1770-1818): Understanding the Emergence of a Genre

The project “The Lady’s Magazine (1770-1818): Understanding the Emergence of a Genre” is a two-year Leverhulme Trust project run out of the University of Kent by Jennie Batchelor, Koenraad Claes and Jenny DiPlacidi. Its aims are to make this enduringly popular, influential but neglected periodical accessible to students, scholars and readers interested in the history…

To make maccarons of valentia Almonds: a guest post by Cooking in the Archives collaborators Marissa Nicosia and Alyssa Connell

ABOPublic is excited to welcome Marissa Nicosia and Alyssa Connell of Cooking in the Archives, who’ve prepared a special holiday joint post for our readers. You can also see the recipe here along with all of their other updated early modern recipes. Be sure to check out their site! What do ladies bake? Ladies bake macaroons,…

Colloquia

Assignment: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature

Final Project Assignment Sheet Working in groups of two or three, write an imaginary dialogue among two or more eighteenth-century characters or authors.  You may select from any author we have read or any character in the plays, poems, essays, or novels we have read.  Each student will research biographical, cultural, and critical background information…

Syllabus: Novel Heroines and the Performance of Femininity in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century British Fiction

ENGL 2921H Topics in Literature: Novel Heroines and the Performance of Femininity in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century British Fiction Course Description: This course asks how heroines in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British fiction comment on contemporary debates about women’s nature and roles.  Throughout the semester, we will focus on the ways our subjects reinforce, question, reject or…

Syllabus: The Courtship Novel in England

EN 2348 Spring 2008 Course Description: This course examines the courtship novel – a specific type of novel that treats the time between a young woman’s entrance into society and her marriage as the most important time in her life.  One could argue that courtship novels are still being written today; however, we’re going to…

Assignment: The Courtship Novel in England

EN 2348 Spring 2008: The Courtship Novel in England The Research Assignment Early in the semester I will arbitrarily divide you into groups. Each group will be assigned a particular topic and a particular novel.  Each person in the group will be responsible for writing a summary of a text I assign that pertains to the topic.  As a…

Syllabus: Reinventing Literary History: Women and Culture

First-Year Seminar/Spring 2011 Course Description: Students in First-Year Seminars will develop their skills in critical reading and analysis, writing, and effective speaking.  They will assess and use textual evidence in support of oral and written arguments.  Finally, they will explore important issues through significant texts ranging across genres, disciplines, and historical periods.  The object of “Reinventing…

Blue Room

Announcing: The Catherine de Vivonne Undergraduate Essay Prize

Seeking engaging literary conversation and more wit than the seventeenth-century French courts could yield, Catherine de Vivonne, the Marquise de Rambouillet, established the Hôtel de Rambouille’s Blue Room, thereby setting the intellectual standard for salons. ABOPublic’s own Blue Room invites submissions of outstanding undergraduate papers on all topics of interests to our mission. We ask…