By Jennie Batchelor, Cora Kaplan (eds.)

ISBN-10: 0230595979

ISBN-13: 9780230595972

ISBN-10: 1349525561

ISBN-13: 9781349525560

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Betty Rizzo (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996), p. 47. 38. Critical Review, 21 (1766), 281. 39. Critical Review, 14 (1763), 463. 40. Monthly Review, 27 (1762), 390. 41. Clifford Siskin, The Work of Writing: Literature and Social Change in Britain, 1700 –1830 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), pp. 210–27. 2 Anna Seward: Swan, Duckling or Goose? Norma Clarke Anna Seward was widely known in her lifetime and after as ‘the Swan of Lichfield’, a sobriquet we might consider belittling, but which she thought apt and appropriate: it placed her in the tradition of Pope, the ‘sweet swan of Twickenham’, and Shakespeare, ‘the swan of Avon’.

Her father read Milton and Shakespeare to her when she was three and she had memorised whole books of Paradise Lost by the age of nine. A precocious child, she grew up with a strength of belief in her own genius that never wavered. She would recite her own verses with ‘a fiery vivacity’. Her speaking and reading voice was particularly good; at social gatherings she was in demand for reading aloud and declaiming verse. Her stature and general presence, as well as her powers in this activity, led people to compare her to the actress Sarah Siddons (a comparison she took as her due).

13 Recognising, as Burney did, that the identification of literary and manual labour could underscore as well as devalue authorial credibility, these novels offer a more subtle and complex account of the relationship between labour, gender and authorship. Typically charting a woman’s fall into, and successful negotiation of, the labour market, these novels ask us to read the heroine’s work as a metaphoric valorisation of authorial endeavour. 15 Scott’s novels challenge both of these widely held critical commonplaces.

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British Women’s Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century: Authorship, Politics and History by Jennie Batchelor, Cora Kaplan (eds.)


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