Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690-1820s: The Long Eighteenth Century 9781474419659

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Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690-1820s: The Long Eighteenth Century
 9781474419659

Table of contents :
List of Figures and Plates
Introduction: Women and the Birth of Periodical Culture
Part I Learning for the Ladies
Learning for the Ladies: Introduction
1 Periodicals and the Problem of Women’s Learning
2 Discontinuous Reading and Miscellaneous Instruction for British Ladies
3 Constructing Women’s History in the Lady’s Museum
4 Vindications and Reflections: The Lady’s Magazine during the Revolution Controversy (1789–1795)
Part II The Poetics of Periodicals
The Poetics of Periodicals: Introduction
5 Dunton and Singer after the Athenian Mercury: Two Plots of Platonic Love
6 Women’s Poetry in the Magazines
7 ‘A lasting wreath of various hue’: Hannah Cowley, the Della Cruscan Affair, and the Medium of the Periodical Poem
8 The Lady’s Poetical Magazine and the Fashioning of Women’s Literary Space
Part III Periodicals Nationally and Internationally
Periodicals Nationally and Internationally: Introduction
9 Protesting the Exclusivity of the Public Sphere: Delarivier Manley’s Examiner
10 ‘A moral paper! And how do you expect to get money by it?’: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Journalism
11 Eliza Haywood’s Periodicals in Wartime
12 German Women’s Writing in British Magazines, 1760–1820
13 Travel Writing and Mediation in the Lady’s Magazine: Charting ‘the meridian of female reading’
Part IV Print Media and Print Culture
Print Media and Print Culture: Introduction
14 ‘[L]et a girl read’: Periodicals and Women’s Literary Canon Formation
15 Reviewing Women: Women Reviewers on Women Novelists
16 Reviewing Femininity: Gender and Genre in the Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press
17 ‘Full of pretty stories’: Fiction in the Lady’s Magazine (1770–1832)
18 ‘This Lady is Descended from a Good Family’: Women and Biography in British Magazines, 1770–1798
19 Suitable Reading Material: Fandom and Female Pleasure in Women’s Engagement with Romantic Periodicals
Part V Theorising the Periodical in Text and Practice
Theorising the Periodical in Text and Practice: Introduction
20 The Ladies Mercury
21 John Dunton’s Ladies Mercury and the Eighteenth-Century Female Subject
22 Frances Brooke, Editor, and the Making of the Old Maid (1755–1756)
23 Eyes that Eagerly ‘Bear the Steady Ray of Reason’: Eidolon as Activist in Charlotte Lennox’s Lady’s Museum
24 ‘[T]o cherish Female ingenuity, and to conduce to Female improvement’: The Birth of the Woman’s Magazine
25 The Woman behind the Man behind the World: Mary Wells and the Feminisation of the Late Eighteenth-Century Newspaper
Part VI Fashion, Theatre, and Celebrity
Fashion, Theatre, and Celebrity: Introduction
26 Advertising Women: Gender and the Vendor in the Print Culture of the Medical Marketplace, 1660–1830
27 Theatrical, Periodical, Authorial: Frances Brooke’s Old Maid (1755–1756)
28 Fast Fashion: Style, Text, and Image in Late Eighteenth-Century Women’s Periodicals
29 Magazine Miniatures: Portraits of Actresses, Princesses, and Queens in Late Eighteenth-entury Periodicals
30 Fashioning Consumers: Ackermann’s Repository of Arts and the Cultivation of the Female Consumer
Appendix
Notes on Contributors
Index

Citation preview

Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690–1820s

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The Edinburgh History of Women’s Periodical Culture in Britain Series Editor: Jackie Jones Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690–1820s: The Long Eighteenth Century Edited by Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s–1900s: The Victorian Period Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1890s–1920s: The Modernist Period Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918–1939: The Interwar Period Edited by Catherine Clay, Maria DiCenzo, Barbara Green and Fiona Hackney Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1940s–2000s: The Contemporary Period Visit The Edinburgh History of Women’s Periodical Culture in Britain web page at www.edinburghuniversitypress.com/series/ehwpcb

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The Edinburgh History of Women’s Periodical Culture in Britain

Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690–1820s The Long Eighteenth Century

Edited by Jennie Batchelor, and Manushag N. Powell

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Edinburgh University Press is one of the leading university presses in the UK. We publish academic books and journals in our selected subject areas across the humanities and social sciences, combining cutting-edge scholarship with high editorial and production values to produce academic works of lasting importance. For more information visit our website: edinburghuniversitypress.com © editorial matter and organisation Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell, 2018 © the chapters their several authors, 2018 Edinburgh University Press Ltd The Tun – Holyrood Road, 12(2f) Jackson’s Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ Typeset in 10 / 12 Adobe Sabon by IDSUK (DataConnection) Ltd, and printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon CR0 4YY A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978 1 4744 1965 9 (hardback) ISBN 978 1 4744 1966 6 (webready PDF) ISBN 978 1 4744 1967 3 (epub)

The right of Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell to be identified as the editors of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (SI No. 2498).

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Contents

List of Figures and Plates Introduction: Women and the Birth of Periodical Culture Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell Part I: Learning for the Ladies Introduction

viii 1

23

1. Periodicals and the Problem of Women’s Learning James Robert Wood

25

2. Discontinuous Reading and Miscellaneous Instruction for British Ladies Eve Tavor Bannet

40

3. Constructing Women’s History in the Lady’s Museum Anna K. Sagal

53

4. Vindications and Reflections: The Lady’s Magazine during the Revolution Controversy (1789–1795) Koenraad Claes Part II: The Poetics of Periodicals Introduction 5. Dunton and Singer after the Athenian Mercury: Two Plots of Platonic Love Dustin D. Stewart 6. Women’s Poetry in the Magazines Jennifer Batt

67

85 87 101

7. ‘A lasting wreath of various hue’: Hannah Cowley, the Della Cruscan Affair, and the Medium of the Periodical Poem Tanya M. Caldwell

113

8. The Lady’s Poetical Magazine and the Fashioning of Women’s Literary Space Octavia Cox

129

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vi

contents

Part III: Periodicals Nationally and Internationally Introduction 9. Protesting the Exclusivity of the Public Sphere: Delarivier Manley’s Examiner Rachel Carnell 10. ‘A moral paper! And how do you expect to get money by it?’: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Journalism Isobel Grundy

151 153

165

11. Eliza Haywood’s Periodicals in Wartime Catherine Ingrassia

178

12. German Women’s Writing in British Magazines, 1760–1820 Alessa Johns

190

13. Travel Writing and Mediation in the Lady’s Magazine: Charting ‘the meridian of female reading’ JoEllen DeLucia Part IV: Print Media and Print Culture Introduction

205

219

14. ‘[L]et a girl read’: Periodicals and Women’s Literary Canon Formation Rachael Scarborough King

221

15. Reviewing Women: Women Reviewers on Women Novelists Megan Peiser

236

16. Reviewing Femininity: Gender and Genre in the Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press Pam Perkins 17. ‘Full of pretty stories’: Fiction in the Lady’s Magazine (1770–1832) Jenny DiPlacidi

250 263

18. ‘This Lady is Descended from a Good Family’: Women and Biography in British Magazines, 1770–1798 Hannah Doherty Hudson

278

19. Suitable Reading Material: Fandom and Female Pleasure in Women’s Engagement with Romantic Periodicals Evan Hayles Gledhill

294

Part V: Theorising the Periodical in Text and Practice Introduction

313

20. The Ladies Mercury Nicola Parsons

315

21. John Dunton’s Ladies Mercury and the Eighteenth-Century Female Subject Slaney Chadwick Ross

327

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contents 22. Frances Brooke, Editor, and the Making of the Old Maid (1755–1756) Kathryn R. King

vii 342

23. Eyes that Eagerly ‘Bear the Steady Ray of Reason’: Eidolon as Activist in Charlotte Lennox’s Lady’s Museum Susan Carlile

357

24. ‘[T]o cherish Female ingenuity and to conduce to Female improvement’: The Birth of the Woman’s Magazine Jennie Batchelor

377

25. The Woman behind the Man behind the World: Mary Wells and the Feminisation of the Late Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Claire Knowles

393

Part VI: Fashion, Theatre, and Celebrity Introduction 26. Advertising Women: Gender and the Vendor in the Print Culture of the Medical Marketplace, 1660–1830 Barbara M. Benedict 27. Theatrical, Periodical, Authorial: Frances Brooke’s Old Maid (1755–1756) Manushag N. Powell

409 411 426

28. Fast Fashion: Style, Text, and Image in Late Eighteenth-Century Women’s Periodicals Chloe Wigston Smith

440

29. Magazine Miniatures: Portraits of Actresses, Princesses, and Queens in Late Eighteenth-Century Periodicals Laura Engel

458

30. Fashioning Consumers: Ackermann’s Repository of Arts and the Cultivation of the Female Consumer Serena Dyer

474

Appendix Notes on Contributors Index

488 495 501

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List of Figures and Plates Figures Figure I.1 Figure I.2

Figure 22.1

Figure 22.2

Figure 24.1 Figure 26.1 Figure 28.1 Figure 28.2 Figure 28.3 Figure 28.4

Figure 29.1 Figure 29.2 Figure 29.3 Figure 29.4

Francis Hayman, ‘The Author and his Reader; a Frontispiece to The Tatler’ (1759). © Tate, London 2017. 4 Frontispiece to The Female Spectator (1744). Courtesy of the General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. 9 Annotations in Lord Orrery’s hand to first page of Frances Brooke’s Old Maid No. 2. Courtesy of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto. 347 Annotation in Lord Orrery’s hand to his reader-letter, signed S. P., in Frances Brooke’s Old Maid No. 18. Courtesy of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto. 350 Frontispiece to the Lady’s Magazine (1789). © Special Collections and Archives, Cardiff University. 389 Woodcut advertisement for Anne Leverenst. © British Library. 417 ‘New & Elegant Pattern for a half Handkerchief or Veil’. The Lady’s Magazine (Jan 1808). © University of York. 445 Figures 134 and 135. The Gallery of Fashion (Apr 1797). © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. 449 Figures 204, 205, 206. The Gallery of Fashion (Jan 1799). © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. 453 Advertisement, Urling’s Lace House. The Lady’s Magazine (Apr 1819). This copy of the Lady’s Magazine was originally in the collection of the fashion designer Hardy Amies. © University of York. 455 ‘The Moment of Imagination’ (13 Jan 1785). © The British Museum. 464 ‘Charlotte Augusta Princess Royal of England’. The Lady’s Magazine (May 1786). © The British Museum. 466 ‘Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Charlotte’. The Lady’s Magazine (Feb 1806). © The British Museum. 467 ‘Mrs. Siddons’. The Lady’s Magazine (Dec 1812). © The British Museum. 468

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list of figures and plates Figure 29.5 Figure 30.1

ix

Joseph Highmore. ‘Susanna Highmore’ (1740–5). © The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest. 470 ‘Repository of Arts, 101 The Strand’. After Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin. Repository of Arts 1 (Jan 1809). Private collection. 478

Plates Plates can be found between pages 406 and 407. Plate 1

Plate 2

Plate 3 Plate 4 Plate 5 Plate 6 Plate 7 Plate 8

James Gillray. ‘Hyde Park, Sunday, or both Hemispheres of the World in a Sweat’. 1789. Courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University. ‘Fashionable Morning & Evening Dresses’. The Lady’s Magazine (Jan 1813). © Special Collections and Archives, Cardiff University. Mary Linwood, Self Portrait (1787). Private collection. ‘Mrs. Inchbald. From an Original Painting’. The European Magazine (Jan 1788). © The British Museum. ‘Lady’s Book-Case’. Repository of Arts 11 (Oct 1814). Private collection. ‘Patterns of British Manufacture’. Repository of Arts 1 (Jan 1809). Private collection. ‘Patterns of British Manufacture’. Repository of Arts 9 (Mar 1813). Private collection. ‘Walking Dress’. Repository of Arts 1 (1809). Private collection.

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Introduction: Women and the Birth of Periodical Culture Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell

A

main premise of the essays gathered in this volume is that to study eighteenthcentury periodicals and to do feminist scholarly work in the eighteenth century are inseparable tasks. This may seem counter-intuitive, since even today scholarship tends to view the periodical as a predominantly masculine vehicle. And so to convey to our readers the importance of this new volume on women and periodicals in the long eighteenth century, we will open with a favourite metric: Jane Austen read periodicals. Indeed, she was a consumer not only of works contemporary to her lifetime, like the Lady’s Magazine: or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1770–1832), but also of the eighteenth-century classics, such as the more staid moral musings of the Rambler (Samuel Johnson: 1750–2) and Idler (Johnson: 1758–60): both are referenced in her novels.1 Her career is an example of a phenomenon this volume’s editors heartily wish to emphasise: that the power of the earlier essay periodical was quite current alongside the modern magazine – quite current, and of considerable interest to women. Notably, Austen’s posthumously published Northanger Abbey (1818), a novel profoundly interested in women’s reading habits, contains an oft-quoted defence of novels, especially novels penned by women. This elevation of novels takes place, tongue-incheek, at the expense of a very famous male-authored periodical. In the passage, a hypothetical young lady acts self-deprecatingly when caught reading a novel, but feels very differently about perusing the Spectator (1711–12; 1714) in public: ‘Oh! It is only a novel!’ replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. ‘It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda’; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed. . . . Now, had the same young lady been engaged with a volume of the Spectator, instead of such a work, how proudly would she have produced the book, and told its name; though the chances must be against her being occupied by any part of that voluminous publication . . . [which was] so frequently coarse as to give no very favourable idea of the age that could endure it. (Austen 2006: 31) The narrator dismisses Joseph Addison and Richard Steele’s monumental periodical, although – or because – it had set the standard for genteel, masculine essay writing for more than a century to come. Not only is the Spectator out of touch and out of date by

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1818, the narrator implies, but for all its many stylistic beauties it is certainly guilty of a strongly supercilious attitude regarding the capacities of women: its condescending ‘fairsexing’, a term we discuss in detail below, is a major raison d’être. That Northanger’s narrator feels the need to attack the Spectator a hundred and more years after its first run shows that the periodical form itself was something being pushed specifically toward women readers, and critiqued by them as well. Northanger’s narrator rejects the work of a long-dead male periodicalist in favour of current female prose productions, but Austen’s own reading habits made room for periodicals: it is fairsexing she would avoid, not the form. The periodical form – or rather, forms – is one of the textual phenomena that make the long eighteenth century continuingly important: the vast potential and flexibility of its modern shape was birthed in our period. This volume, the first sustained treatment of women’s print media in this crucial moment in its development, is envisioned as an anchor to the series as a whole, as well as a major contribution to the field of long eighteenth-century studies in its own right. Modern periodical culture belongs to the eighteenth century because of the concomitant rise of the coffee house, the penny-post, and the newspaper; the emergence of writing as a viable paid profession; and the faster communication between readers and writers that all these changes enabled. Walter Graham opined in 1930 that ‘the history of the English literary periodical during the last two centuries is the story of the English author’ because of the staggering number of canonical novelists, poets, and dramatists who engaged in periodical writing (Graham 1930: 13). Still being told, though, is the story of the major role that women played in the periodicals that shaped the tastes and habits of a nation. The thirty essays cultivated in this volume will move women to the fore of a stilldeveloping and increasingly indispensable field. In March 1690, John Dunton’s launch of the twice-weekly miscellany called the Athenian Mercury, which promised to use its reputed panel of experts to answer ‘the most nice and curious questions’ it received, ushered in a sea change in British periodical culture. It inspired competitors like Daniel Defoe (much to Dunton’s irritation: he had created a new form, but he could not keep it to himself), and later, indirectly, Addison and Steele in the decades that followed.2 Importantly, the Athenian Mercury answered questions from both men and women, and although it also launched the first periodical aimed exclusively at women (the Ladies Mercury, 1693), it never abandoned the ladies as a key component of its main audience. Its chief contributor of verse would become the major poet Elizabeth Singer Rowe; the Athenian launched her career even as she increased its circulation and literary appeal. As the symbiotic relationship between Rowe and Dunton’s periodical indicates, if British print media was dominated numerically in the eighteenth century by men, women were nonetheless active – even courted – as key players on both the content and consumption sides of the literary marketplace. As we will discuss further momentarily, for most of the period 1690–1820 covered by this volume, women did not compete with men in numbers as periodical authors, contributors, or editors, though as the century wore on they began to increase both in population and influence. But women were an essential presence in the periodical world from the very start, both as economic actors (as printers, distributors, and purchasers) and as objects. The men commonly credited, though we borrow the patriarchal terminology critically here, as the fathers of the genre – Dunton,

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introduction

3

Defoe, Steele, Addison – were pointed in their inclusion of women as their readers and subjects both. (Jonathan Swift would denounce this in the Spectator, but ironically was himself replaced as editor of the Examiner (1710–14) by a woman.) The traditional critical understanding of periodical culture in eighteenth-century Britain is still somewhat deceived by the paucity of women authors. Women-authored periodical works have proved interesting, of course, but as odd case studies that prove the rule, at least until the dominance of the magazine, at which point women’s influence moves to the fore of the discussion, at the expense of the presumption of literary and intellectual merit for the periodical. This collection, we believe, forcefully resets this misunderstanding: there is no periodical culture in the English tradition without women, full stop; nor is there any simple way to sum up women’s multifaceted importance to the genre or how they shaped its public power. What gave the periodical its surprising presence in our period? A few statements about the periodical world of long eighteenth-century Britain are non-controversial. Periodical culture was closely tied to urban London culture, but not exclusively so: the overwhelming majority of the most popular periodicals originated in London, but they circulated widely throughout the provinces where literacy was on the rise, as was a reliable, cheap mail service. In Ireland, Dublin was likewise the centre for periodical printing, particularly pre-1760; it pirated London periodicals liberally but also innovated with serial publications of its own such as the Hibernian Magazine (from 1786 Walker’s Hibernian Magazine), which ran from 1771 to 1811. Edinburgh similarly had a thriving culture of letters and local news-sheets alongside London imports, with increasingly dominant titles of its own appearing in the second half of the century from the publication of the Scots Magazine (1739–1826) through to the founding of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (1817–1980). For a long time, and following the influential, but not robustly qualified work of Jürgen Habermas, the stereotype of the periodical-reading public was of men collecting themselves to read and debate periodicals in male-dominated, English coffee houses (Habermas 1991: 43–53). In fact, however, periodicals also appeared at the tea- and breakfast tables (in homes, that is, as private family entertainment), and were mailed and circulated far outside their first urban environs: the Spectator famously estimated twenty readers per paper, urging families to take an ‘Hour in every Morning for Tea and Bread and Butter; and . . . for their Good to order this Paper to be punctually served up, and to be looked upon as a Part of the Tea Equipage’ (no. 10 (12 Mar 1711), vol. 1: 44–5). As this pairing of tea table with coffee house indicates, periodical readership was never envisioned by the authors or booksellers as a solely masculine affair: quite the opposite. Following Dunton, the most successful, and even some of the not-so-successful, male authors of periodicals never discounted the need to have women among their audience. As Manushag Powell has demonstrated, from the outset, ‘periodicals were frankly very interested in women as both subjects and readers’ (Powell 2012: 133). From their earliest beginnings, the Tatler and Spectator identified women as key constituencies of their audience. Indeed, the very title of the Tatler was presented by its eidolon, Isaac Bickerstaff, as (an admittedly backhanded) compliment to its imagined female readership (Steele, no. 1 (12 April 1709), vol. 1: 15). Addison, meanwhile, writing in Spectator 10, claimed that ‘there were none to whom this Paper will be more useful, than to the female World’ ((12 March 1711), vol. 1: 46). Both periodicals advocated for women’s rational capacity and cultural importance, and both promised

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Figure I.1 Francis Hayman, ‘The Author and his Reader; a Frontispiece to The Tatler’ (1759). © Tate, London 2017.

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introduction

5

to furnish talk for the feminised, domestic setting of the tea table as well as for the male preserve of the coffee house. Swift pejoratively labelled this self-conscious pandering to women readers ‘fair-sexing’ (Swift 1948; vol. 2: 482). Although Swift’s criticism was motivated, in part, by personal and political animosity, particularly toward Steele, it reflects also his hostile response to the implications of the ‘growing impact of popularising literature’, epitomised by the periodical’s courting a female audience (Shevelow 1989: 98). More recent criticism of fair-sexing in eighteenth-century periodicals has tended to focus not on the fact of the periodical’s appeal to a female audience, but on the questionable terms in which that appeal was made. For if, as has been frequently pointed out, periodicals such as the Tatler and Spectator presented the tea table and coffee house as counterparts, they were never presented as exact equivalents. Bickerstaff’s infamous assertion in Tatler 172 that there is ‘a Sort of Sex in Souls’ ((16 May 1710), vol. 2: 44) exemplifies the problem, as does Mr Spectator’s vow to provide content that will lead women ‘through all the becoming duties of Virginity, Marriage, and Widowhood’ (no. 4 (5 March 1711), vol. 1: 21). The identification of women as an important readership for periodicals was inextricably bound up with the sense that women’s lives, interests, and potential were fundamentally different from those of men. Thus, following Kathryn Shevelow, it has become a commonplace in much periodical scholarship that serial publications including and following Addison’s and Steele’s hinged upon a seeming paradox that had lasting consequences, not only for women’s participation in periodical print culture, but also in the world outside its pages. Women’s increased visibility as the subjects and consumers of periodicals was intimately bound up with a more restrictive and prescriptive model of femininity grounded in a growing consensus that women were essentially (that is, biologically and socially) other than men (Shevelow 1989: 1–2). The rise of what we would now call women’s magazines from the mid-century onwards traded successfully on this assumption of gender difference with many, such as the Lady’s Magazine; or Polite Companion for the Fair Sex (1759–63) and later long-running Lady’s Magazine; or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1770–1832) proudly co-opting the language of fair-sexing in their very titles. For Shevelow and others, this marketing strategy was little more than a sleight of hand by which mid- to late-century magazine editors’ accommodation of their contents to women readers’ alleged interests was marked by a change in the content deemed fit for female consumption, such as essays on conduct and morals, embroidery patterns, and fashion plates (Shevelow 1989: 188–9; Maurer 1998: 166). Yet as Harriet Guest has importantly argued of eighteenth-century literature more broadly, domesticity only ever presented ‘one of a set of contradictory demands on women’ and was ‘always a contested proposition’ (2000: 15). Periodicals and magazines register such contestation explicitly in the tone and content of individual essays, articles, fictions, and poems and their dialogic form. Innovations such as the fashion plate, advertisements, and embroidery patterns – considered in this volume by Serena Dyer and Chloe Wigston Smith – comprised only a percentage of all but the most high-end fashion magazines, and the majority of the pages of periodicals marketed directly at women continued to be filled with essays and polemics on female education or articles and series designed to improve their female readers’ knowledge of the world.

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Indeed, the periodical’s continued preoccupation with women’s mental accomplishments, as they were sometimes quaintly described, is arguably one of the most important legacies of ‘fair-sexing’. Many eighteenth-century commentators themselves pointed out that the seriousness with which periodicals such as the Spectator treated ‘women’s nature and place in society’ served a ‘proto-feminist agenda’ that, despite these publications’ self-professed didacticism and sometimes essentialist depictions of gender difference, nonetheless emphasised ‘women’s intellectual capabilities and encourage[d] female learning’ (Italia 2008: 333). Part I of this volume contains essays by James Robert Wood, Eve Tavor Bannet, Anna K. Sagal, and Koenraad Claes that explore the complex, subversive, and often unexpected ways in which the form and content of eighteenth-century periodicals served or qualified this agenda. Fair-sexing, then, in almost any form, is far from a weak-minded marketing tactic; it is a highly vital impulse. Yet it is important not to follow Swift’s rhetoric too far and assume that there really were separate modes and topics – let alone spheres – consistently dedicated to women and closed off to men, or vice versa. In a telling example, in the arena where one might least expect to find women addressed, women championed, or women writing, we find that women are positively everywhere: politics. Their frequent and vigorous engagement with political writing is one of the elements that does really set anglophone periodical writing apart in the eighteenth century. While English freedom of the press was incomplete – libel prosecutions were a very real threat and troubled authors who appear in these essays, such as Eliza Haywood – there was no institutional pre-publication censorship of journalistic or periodical work after 1695.3 The Statute of Anne (or Copyright Act of 1710, which remained basically in force until 1842), protected the rights of the stationers far more than the authors who sold their copyright for a lump sum without royalties, but it also enabled and encouraged both anonymity and writing to order because all it required was that someone, not necessarily and indeed not usually the author, register copyright. And so the ground was ripe for growing partisan hacks who often bore strange fruit: many and varied periodicals were launched as political vehicles, but they seldom stayed that way. Toni Bowers makes a useful distinction ‘between people’s ideological assumptions and their partisan affiliations’ that helps explain how authors, like many periodicalists, can be active political agents while claiming and perhaps even believing themselves to be non-partisan (2011: 5). The novelist writing a seduction fiction to work through the vexed conflict between authority and virtue is not unrelated to the periodicalist mixing meditations on opera with condemnations of Walpole: such variety is not random or meaningless.4 And likewise, while practically all the major periodicals of the long eighteenth century insist they are not political, this is very seldom true, as Kathryn King will show of Frances Brooke, Catherine Ingrassia of Eliza Haywood, and Koenraad Claes of the Lady’s Magazine. Fair-sexing, this volume contends, is a red herring. It distorts our sense of the form, its readers, and its contents. While it gives us purchase on the strategies of some of the genre’s most canonical examples, especially the Tatler and Spectator, it tells only one story of women’s relationship to the vast number of periodicals available to them across the long eighteenth century. As many eighteenth-century periodicals such as the Female Spectator (1744–6), the Lady’s Museum (1760–1) and the Lady’s Magazine did, so all of the essays in this volume speak critically to the ‘fair-sexing’ question and assess its implications both for women readers and for the development of the earliest periodicals and magazines explicitly marketed toward them. Each attests to

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the wide spectrum of appeals to their female audiences, the various modes of compliant and critical reading they encouraged and the hazards of generalising about such a diverse and often internally contradictory print form. Several contributors take up Bannet’s compelling alternative to ‘fair-sexing’ in Chapter 2 – ‘woman-championing’ periodicals – a term that she uses to describe ‘the middle ground between mainstream and woman-authored periodicals’ (40) in the first decades of the century, but which more broadly characterises the various forms of female advocacy serial publications advanced throughout the eighteenth century and Romantic period. As importantly, every essay in this volume reminds us that women were not passively constructed by eighteenth-century periodicals and magazines, which may or may not have wanted to delimit their agency; they played a key role in the trade’s and genre’s development. As Paula McDowell has shown, women participated in periodical and newspaper culture not just as consumers, but also as printers, publishers, hawkers or ‘mercuries’, and distributors (1998). Some, like Abigail Baldwin, undertook more than one of these roles, distributing various periodicals and newspapers, as well as publishing the Female Tatler (1709–10) after its unknown author left its original publisher, Benjamin Bragge (Powell 2012: 60). Women were also, of course, the authors of various periodical contributions to question-and-answer and essay periodicals in the first decades of the eighteenth century, even in publications not titularly directed at a female readership. Rowe’s poetry in Dunton’s Athenian Mercury has already been mentioned and is explored in more detail in Dustin Stewart’s essay for this volume. The fairsexing Addison, as Isobel Grundy discusses in Chapter 10, ran an essay by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in the Spectator in July 1714 (no. 573), some twenty years before she launched her own political periodical, the Nonsense of Common-Sense (1737–8). Samuel Johnson, who allowed few guest essays in his periodicals, published contributions by his bluestocking friends Elizabeth Carter, Catherine Talbot, and Hester Mulso in the mid-century Rambler. Although they were greatly outnumbered by their male counterparts, several women also acted as the editors of essay periodicals, miscellanies, and newspapers. The innovations and importance of each of these women – Delarivier Manley, Montagu, Eliza Haywood, Frances Brooke, Mary Wells, and especially Charlotte Lennox, who wrote and managed the extraordinary Lady’s Museum – are the subject of sustained attention in the chapters that follow. While women were active as readers, sellers, and sometimes writers from the very first, as the century wore on, their participation in periodical writing increasingly highlighted their presence as British authors. Professional women writers working in and across all genres from poetry to drama, translation, fiction, and non-fiction prose are well represented in periodicals, newspapers, and magazines from the mid-century onwards, sometimes under their legal names and often under pseudonyms. The likes of Mary Pilkington, Barbara Hofland, Amelia Opie, Susannah Stickland (later Moodie), and Mary Russell Mitford wrote regularly for one or more women’s magazines. As Megan Peiser and Pam Perkins take up in their essays, a notable few women writers including Anna Barbauld, Anne Grant, Mary Hays, Elizabeth Moody, and Mary Wollstonecraft became important critics for increasingly influential Reviews such as the Monthly (1749–1844), the Critical (1756–1817), and the Analytical (1788–99). The likes of Lennox, Pilkington (who was a staff writer and undertook unspecified editorial duties for the Lady’s Monthly Museum (1798–1828)), and Mary Robinson, who became poetry editor of the Morning Post in 1799, additionally played key

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administrative roles in the running of successful serial publications. Although their work for the periodical press was only one of many aspects of the varied careers by which they struggled to support themselves, these women surely can lay claim to being among the first professional women journalists. ‘Journalist’, however, is not the word they themselves would have used: in the eighteenth century it was a term reserved largely for political or governmental news reporting. Alternatively, the way the fair-sexing Addison employs the term, a ‘journalist’ is someone who, like the vapid Clarinda of Spectator 323, keeps a private journal of her daily activities (11 March 1712: 181). In contrast, the Female Spectator describes her composition process as beginning when she ‘commenc’d Author’ (Female Spectator book 1 (24 Apr 1744), vol. 2: 18). A note on another key term seems appropriate here: ‘periodical’ is a deeply difficult term to define in the eighteenth-century context; it can reasonably be argued to encompass everything from the news-sheet, to the advice column, to the essay periodical, to the magazine, and even pseudo-periodicals such as Eliza Haywood’s Invisible Spy (1755) or Lætitia Mathilda Hawkins’s Pharos (1787). ‘Periodical’ includes hundreds of titles, many short-lived and hard to trace; others stunningly voluminous and hard to summarise. Understandably, in order to give themselves some ground to stand on and something approaching coherent method, most studies of eighteenthcentury periodicals attempt to enforce sub-generic subdivisions: that newspapers are different from literary periodicals, or, very commonly, that the essay periodical and magazine are markedly divergent forms, the latter killing or devouring the former. This collection, in contrast, refuses the rigid enforcement of such boundaries, seeing periodical culture, like the women who contributed so crucially to its development, as a diverse but contiguous group. We use, then, ‘periodical’ to include question-and-answer vehicles like the Athenian and Ladies Mercuries; essay serials such as the Old Maid (1755–6), monthly miscellanies like the Female Spectator or Lady’s Museum; news collections like the Compendium that Haywood included with her Parrot (1746); and of course the ‘true’ magazines such as the Lady’s Magazine, which, as we have established above, were remarkable not only for variety of content but also for the variety of opportunities they proffered female authors. Not all women writers whose work was published in magazines were paid for their efforts, however; many found they had parts of their work excerpted without their knowledge or consent in popular miscellanies. Despite the absence of sufficient documentary evidence, it is reasonable to conclude that some of these writers might have viewed the periodical press’s widespread culture of reprinting extracts of already published texts in the form of excerpts or descriptive reviews as a means of promoting their work and enabling them to reach many more readers than they might otherwise have had access to through non-serial publication. If circulation estimates are to be believed, and admittedly the evidence is circumstantial in many cases, the extract of Austen’s Pride of Prejudice that appeared in Robinson’s Lady’s Magazine in 1813, the year of its publication, might have reached as many as ten times the number of readers than the 1,000–1,500 estimated print run of the first edition did, for instance. Others, such as literary critic and Gothic novelist Clara Reeve, however, remained unconvinced of the advantages and ethics of this practice. In the 1770s, she engaged in a public spat with George Robinson’s Lady’s Magazine about appropriating and misquoting her work, and declared the publication of her work without consent or payment a violation of decorum and a symptom of the trade’s lack of professionalism.5

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Figure I.2 Frontispiece to The Female Spectator (1744). General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

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Yet the culture of amateurism benefited at least some women writers. Magazines, in particular, were heavily reliant upon readers providing gratis content to fill pages not produced by staff writers or crammed with reprinted content. The Correspondents pages of ‘woman-championing periodicals’ are full of the names and pseudonyms of women and men, many of whom are entirely obscure to us today, but whose literary efforts were widely circulated and reprinted in the periodical press during their lifetimes. Although the culture of relying on unpaid content never quite died out, and indeed, is seeing a startling resurgence with the rise of online publications such as the Huffington Post today, this was a system that increasingly fell out of favour by the 1820s with the rise of the professional journalist. Whether amateurs or professionals, editors or writers, the subjects of periodicals or their imagined and actual audiences, women were vital to eighteenth-century periodical print culture. While we have lamentably few archives to work with except for odd publisher ledgers and the scattered correspondence of booksellers, editors, and periodical contributors, the thousands of pages of eighteenth-century periodicals, newspapers, and magazines printed between the 1690s and 1820s make clear that women’s involvement in the trade ran deep and wide. So deep and wide was it, in fact, that this volume cannot claim to be exhaustive, even if we declare our intention to offer in the essays that follow the newest and most comprehensive understanding to date of what these and many other women besides did in periodical culture, and what, it turn, that culture did for and with them.

The Digital Turn While we do, then, position this volume as a corrective, it is also true that it may not have been possible for many of the accounts here to exist in an earlier critical period. There is no doubt that without access to digital archives, our efforts to restore eighteenth-century women to their rightful place at the centre of periodical print culture would look quite different. The digital turn has revolutionised textual scholarship in the past two decades, and periodical studies is no exception to this rule. Many periodical scholars have made statements to the effect that ‘digitization has proven to be both a gift and a burden’, and rightly so (DiCenzo 2015: 25). Because of the possibilities that digital research opens up, including quantitative approaches, ‘methodological shifts are redefining what it means to “read” periodicals’, notes Maria DiCenzo – but while methods like distant reading and material enquiries are vital and exciting, ‘reading periodicals (closely or deeply) for their discursive and visual content – for how they may have generated meanings, for whom and why – remains central to research engaged in expanding historical and cultural fields’ (2015: 20). It is also true, though, that generally speaking, periodical studies in the eighteenth century is less theorised – or at least thus far less invested in purporting to be theorised – than in Victorian or modernist studies; as digital access continues to expand the research possibilities in our period, our scholars enjoy a special opportunity to make their own ways through the archive. A number of the methodological problems of working with serial publications – especially the unwieldy nature of the archive and difficulties of navigating its contents – are answered by the online archiving of rare surviving periodical issues and, in some cases, of complete runs of titles scattered across several copyright libraries on platforms such as Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (although

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periodicals are still under-represented in the database), Gale’s digitisation of the ‘17th and 18th Century Burney Collection of Newspapers’, Adam Matthew Digital’s Eighteenth Century Journals (I–V), Google Books, the HathiTrust Digital Library, and ProQuest. Digital surrogates make more historical periodicals available to more readers; they also promise easier analysis and synthesis of the contents of publications that can take weeks, months, or even years to read in research libraries. Keyword searching of digital surrogates aids topical navigation of single issues, volumes, or entire print runs. Additionally, digital texts present us with a rich, though as yet largely untapped, data corpus for various forms of text mining and data visualisation. Yale University Library’s ‘Robots Reading Vogue’ project, which has digitised and marked up the text and images of more than a century’s run of this iconic magazine, is yielding fascinating insights into the history, as well as the changing face, mood, and brand of the magazine over time. It is surely only a matter of time before similar projects begin to offer new insights into Vogue’s eighteenth-century predecessors (2017). But digitisation is no panacea for periodical scholarship and presents numerous methodological challenges of its own. The critical facts that many of the online archives and databases mentioned above carry hefty subscription fees that some institutions and almost all individuals cannot afford, and that OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is still not a wholly reliable technology, are only the two most obvious of these problems. Many titles remain only part-digitised, a reality that can encourage us to make generalisations about a particular periodical that might be undermined by the time-consuming and logistically challenging, if more enjoyable, process of reading though all successive issues. Similar problems can arise from keyword searching. A click of a search button might promise to reveal every instance of the word ‘dress’ or ‘politics’, ‘virtue’ or ‘education’ across the run of a particular title, but what do the resulting search lists really tell us? The short answer is very little unless we attentively read every article in which the search terms appear. A fuller answer would have to acknowledge that even this strategy is inadequate to the task in hand. How can we judge the status of an anti-fashion diatribe thrown up in a keyword search for ‘dress’ if we don’t know that it is immediately followed by an admiring and detailed report of the fashionable appearance of a famous actress in which the word ‘dress’ does not appear? How do we read an essay by an author wishing to circumscribe women’s education to domestic accomplishments if we have not been alerted to the fact that it appears next to the biography of a learned woman of antiquity? Perhaps the most insistent refrain of this volume is that few generalisations hold true for the entire run of a particular periodical or magazine; some fail to hold true even across a single part or issue. Digital texts can inadvertently conceal this important truth from us. Problems of a different kind, but no less pressing, stem from the digital text’s masking of key properties of its material original. For one thing, we read electronic texts differently from hard copies. When we are not hurrying through them via the expediency of keyword searches, we are all but forced to read digital texts sequentially. Essay-periodicals in their original condition may have lent themselves to this kind of reading, although once published in volume form individual essays could be read in any order their readers chose. Miscellanies, however, emphatically discourage sequential reading and even the most ambitious magazine editor surely never expected its readers to read from cover to cover. We can skim digital

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texts, of course, but it is very difficult to replicate the experience of reading a physical copy of a magazine in digital format, to recreate that peculiar pleasure of directing our own reading by flicking through pages to our favourite sections first, then following our eye to articles with the most arresting titles. There is also the conundrum that digitisation does not lend itself easily to widespread adoption of the texts in generalist or teaching contexts: as Desirée Henderson has observed, digitisation has meant a ‘staggering’ number of new archival opportunities, but it has not resulted in recovery in the sense of new ‘critical editions . . . widely adopted in college classes’ (2017: 2). And yet it is nonetheless true that ‘periodical studies is feminist recovery work’ – and, we contend, it is not only the authors whom we can recover (Henderson 2017: 4). If the reading experience is obscured by digitisation then so too are periodical readers. Several essays in this collection allude to the difficulty of establishing the readerships of eighteenth-century periodicals given the paucity of archival evidence. Nonetheless, a good deal can be established about the targeted readers of these publications, not just from their price point, but from their size, paper, and illustration quality, all of which features can be difficult to divine in digital facsimiles. Such characteristics can also vary a good deal between different editions of the same title. This is a particularly pressing problem when working with essay-periodicals, many of which went through several, and in some cases numerous, editions, later examples of which sometimes edited, renumbered, added, redacted, changed the layout, or otherwise obscured the original contents. A final genre-specific issue for digital surrogates of eighteenthcentury periodicals and magazines, as opposed to novels or volumes of poetry, is that they are only ever as complete as the single original from which they are scanned. This is especially problematic for periodicals and magazines which are usually duplicated from unique bound volumes that can differ as markedly from other copies of the same bound volume as from the unbound, stitched individual issues from which they are comprised. Advertisements, illustrations, portraits, song sheets, maps, fashion plates, and embroidery patterns, all of which are given attention in this volume, were integral parts of many eighteenth-century periodicals and magazines. Yet not all of these features made it past the binding cut. Relying on a single digital copy of a bound volume of a periodical that may or may not have these paratextual elements, depending on the accident of its provenance, gives a partial and potentially distorted impression of its contents and of the reading experience.

Readers The question of who and how many people read eighteenth-century periodicals, whether or not they were explicitly marketed to a female readership, is frustratingly difficult to answer because of the nature and patchiness of the available evidence. Literacy rates, in general, are hard to substantiate with absolute certainty, although what is clear is that there was a significant rise in the adult reading public between the beginning of the century and 1830. Michael Suarez has recently claimed that this demographic grew by over 3 million – or an increase of 238.4 per cent – between 1700 and 1830 (2009: 11). The growth in the number of women readers (from about 25 per cent at the time of the death of Queen Anne to 50 per cent in 1830) became especially noticeable after 1760, Suarez contends (9). 1760 was the year that Charlotte

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Lennox’s game-changing miscellany, the Lady’s Museum, was founded and, not coincidentally, a date after which periodicals that appealed specifically, if not exclusively, to women readers in their titles mushroomed. But how many adult readers of either sex – and we should not forget that children and adolescents read serial publications too – subscribed to, or otherwise enjoyed, individual periodical titles is difficult to deduce, reliant as we are when we seek to establish circulation figures on the statistics offered up by obviously interested editors and proprietors. As Gillian Williamson documents, Edward Cave’s proud declaration in 1748 that 12,000 copies of the Gentleman’s Magazine were being published monthly has been subject to intense and unresolved debate in the intervening 250 years (2016: 35). Even when an editor’s pronouncements are met with broad scholarly unanimity, however, the figures tell us only part of the story of a periodical’s success and circulation. Addison’s claim in Spectator 10 that ‘three thousand’ copies of the paper were being sold daily is not especially wide of the mark of more recent estimates of 3,500 to 4,000 copies, although it is a long way from the often-quoted 20,000 copies that numerous sources spuriously claim that Thomas Tickell boasted the periodical ran to.6 But of course, the number of copies printed or sold gives only one measure of circulation, which for long-running publications such as the Gentleman’s Magazine or Lady’s Magazine (the latter conventionally cited as printing around 15,000 monthly copies at the height of its popularity (Mayo 1962: 421 n. 75)) almost certainly fluctuated significantly over time. Additionally, we have to take into account that a single issue of a newspaper, periodical, or magazine likely had several, indeed many, readers through its circulation in coffee houses, libraries, and reading societies, as well as among family members: as noted above, Addison surmised that an individual Spectator paper likely had twenty readers, a figure that Richmond Bond in the 1950s doubled to forty (1952: 14). A more accurate gauge of circulation and readership must additionally consider reprintings of sold-out issues, single issues of essay-periodicals and magazines sold in bound bi-yearly or annual volumes, the several translations of popular periodicals that appeared in Europe, as well as the various, sometimes multiple, editions that prominent essay-periodicals such as the Spectator, the Female Tatler and the Female Spectator went through across the long period covered by this volume. In the case of periodicals such as the Female Spectator, for which we have little concrete archival evidence, such information is all we have available to judge the reach of a particular title. As Patrick Spedding demonstrates, this data can be mined to illuminate the success of a particular publication relative both to its competitors – by which yardstick Haywood’s periodical was only ‘moderately successful’ – and to the author/editor’s other works – against which standard the Female Spectator ‘was clearly a great success’ (Spedding 2006: 195). Even though we can be fairly certain that the Female Spectator had many more readers than Haywood’s non-periodical writing – and in general it should be noted that many leading eighteenth-century periodicals and magazines were printed in vastly larger runs than a single edition of a novel, for instance – such analysis still does not provide anything approximating a conclusive answer to the question of how many people actually read Haywood’s periodical. Nor does such analysis help answer the equally challenging question of who these readers were. Correspondence, memoirs, and diary entries can offer insights into individual periodical reading experiences – of bluestocking Hester Thrale reading the Spectator to her children, or the financially distressed governess Ellen Weeton owning

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and using embroidery patterns from the Lady’s Magazine – but drawing larger conclusions about a periodical’s readership requires a more solid and wider evidentiary base than such anecdotes can provide. In the near total absence of publisher archives that deal with the running of periodicals, slightly less rare surviving booksellers’ accounts can be enlightening.7 In Provincial Readers in Eighteenth-Century England, Jan Fergus, one of very few literary scholars and book historians to include periodicals and magazines in their histories of eighteenth-century readership, uses surviving account books of Midlands booksellers, the Clays, and Timothy Stevens of Cirencester, to examine the buying habits of magazine readers, and concludes, among many other insights, that men and male boarding schools were a prominent demographic of the early readership of the Lady’s Magazine (2006: 200–9). Yet even these detailed archives constitute only a partial record, forcing us to turn from external sources to the internal evidence – though we use the term cautiously – of periodicals themselves for information on their readers. The implied audience of a periodical can be inferred from various details. Price is one. Most weeklies in the first decades of the century cost just a penny per issue, as did the daily Spectator until paper taxes, which helped caused the demise of many less popular texts in the first half of the century, forced a price hike to 2d in 1712. By the mid-century, some periodicals, including those marketed directly at women readers, could command substantial prices on the clear assumption that their purchasers would have considerable disposable income. A monthly, stitched ‘book’ of Haywood’s Female Spectator in the mid-1740s was a shilling (the same cover price that Lennox’s elegant and beautifully illustrated Lady’s Museum would command in 1760), with the complete set of twenty-four books costing £1 4s unbound. Just three years after the last book of the Female Spectator was published, Jasper Goodwill’s bi-monthly, densely printed Ladies Magazine (1749–53), published by G. Griffiths, sold for just 2d an issue or 5s 6d for a year’s worth of twenty-four issues. Perhaps not coincidentally, Goodwill claimed his inexpensive magazine was intended for the ‘young’, and specifically addressed not only readers who had the leisure to spend their day in the ‘parlour’, but also those who spent their days in the ‘Shop’ or ‘Compting-house’ (title page). Like Griffiths, most magazine publishers throughout the century attempted to keep prices comparatively low to target as large a readership as possible. The Gentleman’s Magazine’s cost was kept at 6d a monthly issue from 1731 until 1783 when it doubled in price to 1s at the same time that it doubled its pages. The Lady’s Magazine managed to keep its costs down for even longer, and retained its 6d cover charge until 1800 when it doubled to include regular, coloured fashion plates that must have significantly raised its production costs. Its eventual rival La Belle Assemblée initially sold (in 1806) for £2 6d an issue – just one of many indications that John Bell’s elegant magazine espoused higher production values and targeted a more affluent or aspirational readership – although even this figure pales in comparison to the luxury price tag of 3 guineas per twelve issues of around four pages each for Niklaus Wilhelm von Heideloff’s gorgeous fashion magazine, the Gallery of Fashion (1794–1804). Further indications of implied readership can often be inferred from the full titles of periodicals and the advertisements placed in newspapers to alert readers to their imminent publication. In the overpopulated and at times aggressively competitive periodical marketplace, magazine proprietors and editors conjured increasingly specialist titles for markets they implied had been overlooked or underserved by existing

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periodical fare. Periodicals such as Goodwill’s Ladies Magazine, the 1756 Young Lady, or 1799 the Young Gentleman’s and Lady’s Magazine, or Universal Repository of Knowledge explicitly targeted the young, or young at heart. Some, such as the monthly Country Magazine: or Gentleman’s and Lady’s Pocket Companion (1736–7), marketed themselves to a geographically demarcated readership. Presenting itself as a work of ‘greater Variety, and more Use’ than any of its predecessors and contemporaries, the Country Magazine catered to what it claimed to be a neglected, non-urban male and female readership, who as well as valuing conventional magazine content – essays, anecdotes, poetry, current affairs, and birth-marriage and death notices – sought out seasonally relevant culinary and medicinal recipes and advice on gardening and husbandry. Other periodical titles attempted to define readers or their magazines’ contents socially. The full title of the Lady’s Monthly Museum (1798–1828) declared it to be aimed at a ‘polite’ class of readers, and early advertisements for the periodical in newspapers routinely noted that it was especially ‘adapted for families and boarding schools’. The Royal Female Magazine (1760), edited by poet Robert Lloyd, and Hugh Kelly’s variously titled Court Miscellany; or Ladies New Magazine (1765–9) declare affiliation (or perhaps just a mildly prurient interest) in the world of the court. Yet, the contents of these publications caution against drawing any definitive conclusions about the contents of periodicals based on their titles. Just as there is nothing especially ‘new’ about the New Lady’s Magazine (1786–95), which, in fact, reprinted without acknowledgement great swathes of content from its namesake and rival the Lady’s Magazine, there is little in Lloyd’s and Kelly’s publications that would be out of place in any number of contemporary magazines, regardless of whether they have royal or court, or gentleman or ladies in their titles. This final point is of central importance to this volume and begs a crucial but implausibly difficult question to answer: what constitutes a women’s periodical or magazine in the long eighteenth century? As Shawn Lisa Maurer points out, these terms are, at the very least, ‘problematic appellation[s]’ in our period (1998: 54). For one thing, they are anachronisms in an era in which the preferred gendered descriptors for periodicals were ‘female’ (the Female Tatler, Female Spectator) or, taking the lead from Dunton, ‘Lady’s/Ladies’. The latter, and more common, term, still proudly espoused by the longest-running weekly women’s magazine the Lady (1885–) – a magazine for ‘elegant women with elegant minds – can cause some modern readers to bristle because of its implied social and economic exclusivity. The word ‘Lady’ certainly possessed these same connotations in general parlance across the eighteenth century, but, as we have already implied, it doesn’t have quite the same currency in the eighteenth-century periodicals and magazines in whose titles the word frequently appeared. In social terms, the ‘Lady’ of eighteenth-century periodical and magazine titles is ostensibly a shorthand for women of the genteel and mercantile classes, whose lives, aspirations, and grievances often form the focus of much of these publications’ contents. The Lady’s Magazine, for instance, specifically addressed itself, in its inaugural August 1770 issue, to women from the ‘house-wife’ to the ‘peeress’, all of whom, the editor hoped, would ‘meet with something suitable to their different walk in life’ in the magazine’s pages. In fact, the periodical’s contents suggest its demographic was still wider, containing as it does letters putatively from, and countless stories about, daughters of cheesemongers and grocers, women in service and women labouring as shopworkers and governesses, even if not all of these women are treated with unqualified sympathy.

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More often, however, ‘lady’ (like the term ‘fair sex’ with which it was so frequently coupled) functions as a moral rather than social marker in periodical titles. In the address ‘To the Ladies’ in the first issue of the Ladies Mercury of 28 February 1693, the editor vows that the periodical will ‘make it our Study to avoid even the least offensive Syllable, that may give any rude Shock to the Chastest Ear’ or ‘force a Blush into a Virgin-Cheek’ (1). The mockery underpinning the editor’s seeming chivalry is exposed immediately in the first question submitted to the Mercury in which a ‘perfect Magdalene’ describes her ‘Repentance’ at having allowed herself to be the mistress of ‘a lewd and infamous Rifler’ for nearly a year prior to marrying her a husband of whom she feels morally ‘unworthy’. The periodical’s response is characteristically pragmatic – since the woman’s ‘sin lyes concealed from the world’ and therefore shields her husband from infamy, there is no need for self-reproach – and its editor concludes by enjoining the correspondent to ‘[l]ook nobly up . . . to the bright Heaven before thee’ (1). Few periodicals for the ladies would contain as much explicit content devoted to extra-marital sex as the short-lived Ladies Mercury, and decidedly less tolerance toward what the New Lady’s Magazine described as ‘insipid, scandalous, or indecent’ content was extended as the century progressed (‘Address to the Ladies’. 1 (Feb 1786): n. p.). Nonetheless, magazines read by women sometimes showed considerable sympathy for women’s indiscretions, whether those of the reformed coquette eidolon of the Female Spectator, the fallen Misella in Samuel Johnson’s Rambler, or the clandestine lovers in countless magazine fictions in the century’s last decades. ‘Lady’, in other words, is not quite as morally absolute as a term as we might assume. More neutrally, ‘Lady’s/Ladies’ can function in periodical titles as ‘Female’ does, to imply a periodical’s positioning of itself in relation to existing titles. The precise nature of this positioning can be ambiguous or even downright misleading, but might suggest that a particular publication: (1) is in dialogue with an existing periodical; (2) sets itself up as a gender-specific rival to a known publication; or (3) is an attempt to cash in on the success of a popular serial work. Periodicals such as the Female Tatler, the Female Spectator, and the Lady’s Magazine have been read in all three ways in extant scholarship (and indeed, for many years such approaches have dominated scholarship on these periodicals), but as the essays devoted to them in this volume clearly demonstrate, each is a far more complex publication than such comparisons suggest, and each had a life and a brand very much of its own, independent of any namesake its strategically conjured. Perhaps the most misleading aspect of the ‘female’ in the Female Spectator or ‘Lady’ in the various lady’s museums, magazines, miscellanies, and repositories that appeared across the long eighteenth century, however, is the suggestion that these were exclusively magazines by and for women any more than the Athenian Mercury, the Spectator, or the Gentleman’s Magazine were men’s magazines. As we have noted above, some women wrote for all of these male-edited publications and many, many more read them, just as Oliver Goldsmith wrote and at some point edited the mid-century Lady’s Magazine (1759–63). Nor did writing from the vantage point of a female eidolon necessarily suggest either an implied female reader or a womanchampioning tone: around the same time Goldsmith was editing the Polite Companion for the Fair Sex (as the Lady’s Magazine was subtitled), Christopher Smart was putting forth the Midwife, by Mrs Mary Midnight (1751–3). Smart’s strange female eidolon was entirely unafraid of courting controversy with male authors, and reflected the

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learning and habits of Smart’s recent university education, even as Smart himself was performing in a vaudeville-like show, The Old Woman’s Oratory (1751), while crossdressed as his own creation. Meanwhile, Bonnell Thornton, who with George Colman would go on to write the important and polite Connoisseur (1754–6), launched the female-voiced Drury-Lane Journal (1752) by Madame Roxana Termagant specifically in order to attack Henry Fielding’s manly Covent-Garden Journal (1752) (other targets included Johnson’s Rambler and the Gentleman’s Magazine): with Thornton and Smart, the female voice had nothing to do with courting a female reader or adding a veneer of politeness to their work. Later in the century, the poets George Crabbe and Thomas Chatterton and novelist George Moore were just three of hundreds of men who wrote for the Lady’s Magazine and presumably, like the Midlands men and schoolboys brought to light in Fergus’s work, read it, too. In short, there really is no simple correlation between an author’s sex and the readers’, nor any desire for one on the part of the authors of this volume. Nonetheless, the assumption that eighteenth-century periodicals with female or ladies in their titles were ‘by women for women’ remains an enduring strain in the relevant scholarship, despite convincing efforts to by the likes of Maurer – who determines the phrase women’s magazine ‘oxymoronic’ – to debunk it (1998: 207). In no small part, this is because it is a myth (recognised as such even at the time of publication) that has its origins in the magazines that are our subject, and which frequently claimed to be produced by female pens for female amusement (Batchelor 2011: 245–67). Yet the presence of men as writers and readers need not disqualify a serial publication from the title ‘women’s periodical’ or ‘magazine’, especially in titles that claimed, as eighteenth-century periodicals directly marketed at female audiences often did, to offer distinctive content (on matters of sexual propriety, domestic economy, women’s education, fashion, needlework, or music) attuned to or discussed from the supposedly uniquely gendered perspective of their readership. In fact, all of these topics proved to be of interest in supposedly male-oriented periodicals too (the Hibernian Magazine even included monthly embroidery patterns, for instance), but the critical consensus, even among those scholars who are sceptical of the term ‘women’s periodical’ before the Victorian period, is that the women’s magazine in its recognisably modern form emerged around 1770 with the publication of the Lady’s Magazine (see for example, Maurer 2010). This volume does not contest this narrative, although it does challenge the conventional account of the separation of public from private spheres in the final decades of the century with which this narrative has been inextricably bound. Even so, it insistently questions the gendered assumptions about readership, content, and tone that are often bound up with the term women’s periodical. The essays that follow subscribe to a capacious, flexible, and sceptical definition of women’s periodicals and magazines. Essays address periodicals in which women were editors, dominant or merely occasional contributors; they examine magazines whose titles directly targeted women readers and others that did not but in which women played a key role as producers, purchasers, or subjects. The volume’s contributors illuminate periodical contents (such as fashion plates, needlework patterns, fiction) that have come to be seen as quintessential to the genre and others (mathematics, great lives, and politics) that have not always been identified in the early women’s magazine. Above all, they remain alert to the particularities of tone and form that worry away at so many of the

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essentialist assumptions commonly associated with the genre, but which, as numerous essays in this volume suggest, early women’s periodicals and magazines often qualified or actively resisted. Only by taking into account such complexities, this volume argues, can the first women’s periodicals achieve the central place they deserve in the history of eighteenth-century women’s writing.

Notes 1. See for example Mansfield Park, Ch. 16, and Ch. 3 of Northanger Abbey. 2. Daniel Defoe edited and wrote the Weekly Review of the Affairs of France, which ran under various names (and in bi- and tri-weekly forms) from 1704 to 1713, containing essays, news, and advice from a fictional ‘Scandalous Club’. For a recent treatment of Dunton’s well-known resentment of Defoe’s taking (loose) inspiration from his work, see King 2015. 3. On censorship, libel, and the government, see for example Black 2010: 95–138. 4. See also Parsons’s argument about the confluences between periodical publications and secret histories in Parsons 2017: 147–59. 5. The first of these altercations, about the misquoting of verse set to song, was reported in the magazine in the November 1773 issue (568). The dispute flared again in June 1778 (n. p.), shortly after the magazine published an extract of Reeve’s novel, The Old English Baron (1777) and invited her to become a regular, and presumably gratis, contributor to the magazine. 6. On the circulation of the Spectator see, for instance, Bond’s introduction to Addison and Steele 1965: lxxxiii. 7. A rare and invaluable exception can be found in the business papers and correspondence of John Nichols, whose printing house owned and edited the Gentleman’s Magazine from 1778 to 1856, and which are being archived by Julian Pooley. For more information on the in-progress Nichols Archive Project contact [email protected].

Works Cited Addison, Joseph and Richard Steele. 1965. The Spectator. Ed. Donald Bond. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Austen, Jane. 2006. Northanger Abbey. Ed. Barbara Benedict and Deidre Le Faye. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Batchelor, Jennie. 2011. ‘“Connections which are of service . . . in a more advanced age”: The Lady’s Magazine, Community, and Women’s Literary Histories’. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 30: 245–67. Black, Jeremy. 2010. The English Press in the Eighteenth Century. New York: Routledge. Bond, Richmond. 1952. ‘The Business of the Spectator’. University of North Carolina Extension Bulletin 32: 7–19. Bowers, Toni. 2011. Force or Fraud: British Seduction Stories and the Problem of Resistance 1660–1760. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DiCenzo, Maria. 2015. ‘Remediating the Past: Doing “Periodical Studies” in the Digital Era’. ESC: English Studies in Canada 41.1: 19–39. Fergus, Jan. 2006. Provincial Readers in Eighteenth-Century England. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Graham, Walter. 1930. English Literary Periodicals. New York: Thomas Nelson. Guest, Harriet. 2000. Small Change: Women, Learning, Patriotism, 1750–1810. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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Habermas, Jürgen. 1991. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Haywood, Eliza. 2001. The Female Spectator. Selected Works of Eliza Haywood. Part 2. Vols 2–3. Ed. Kathryn R. King and Alexander Pettit. London: Pickering & Chatto. Henderson, Desirée. 2017. ‘Recovery and Modern Periodical Studies’. American Periodicals 27.1: 2–5. Italia. Iona. 2008. ‘FAIR-SEXING IT’. Media History 14:3: 323–35. King, Rachael Scarborough. 2015. ‘Interloping with My Question-Project: Debating Genre in John Dunton’s and Daniel Defoe’s Epistolary Periodicals’. Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 44: 121–42. The Ladies Mercury. 1693. London: T. Platt. McDowell, Paula. 1998. The Women of Grub Street: Press, Politics, and Gender in the London Literary Marketplace 1678–1730. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Maurer, Shawn Lisa. 1998. Proposing Men: Dialectics of Gender and Class in the EighteenthCentury English Periodical. Stanford: Stanford University Press. —. 2010. ‘The Periodical’. The History of British Women’s Writing 1690–1750. Ed. Ros Ballaster. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 156–72. New Lady’s Magazine. 1786–95. London: Alexander Hogg. Parsons, Nicola. 2017. ‘Secret History and the Periodical’. The Secret History in Literature, 1660–1820. Ed. Rebecca Bullard and Rachel Carnell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 147–59. Powell, Manushag N. 2012. Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. ‘Robots Reading Vogue.’ 2017. (last accessed 6 Mar 2017). Shevelow, Kathryn. 1989. Women and Print Culture: The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London: Routledge. Spedding, Patrick. 2006. ‘Measuring the Success of Haywood’s Female Spectator. Fair Philosopher: Eliza Haywood and The Female Spectator. Ed. Donald J. Newman and Lynne Marie Wright. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. 193–211. Suarez, S. J. Michael. 2009. ‘Introduction’. The Cambridge History of the book in Britain: Vol. V, 1695–1830. Ed. Michael Suarez, S. J. and Michael L. Turner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Swift, Jonathan. 1948. Journal to Stella. Ed. Harold Williams. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Williamson, Gillian. 2016. British Masculinity in the Gentleman’s Magazine. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Part I Learning for the Ladies

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n book 10 of the much-lauded Female Spectator (1744–6), Eliza Haywood’s main eidolon launches into a long disquisition about women’s minds and education, at one point imagining an antagonistic interlocution thus: ‘O but, say they, Learning puts the Sexes too much on an Equality, it would destroy that implicit Obedience which it is necessary the Women should pay to our Commands.’ The narrator responds, dryly, that it is certain ‘Knowledge can make the Bad [wives] no worse, and would make the Good much better than they could be without it’ (4 Feb 1745: 363–4). More interesting than this reasonably commonplace argument that education for women benefits men as well, is how the essay in its conclusion transforms this position into a meditation on the periodical genre itself: ‘my Readers will cry, that my Business, as a Spectator, is to report such Things as I see, and am convinced of the Truth of, not present them with Ideas of my own Formation’, but, she says, ‘much may be done by a steady Resolution,—without it, nothing’ (366). In other words, both the steadfast determination of the periodical author to keep creating output, and of the readers, men and women, to consume it and better their minds, must work together to achieve any progress. Periodicals, suggests this essay, were ever so much more than repositories of news and opinion. They could be, to use a term also employed by Haywood, ‘visionary’, moving their readers toward a more satisfying social structure using an educational programme of heterogeneous reading. The Female Spectator was a woman-championing periodical that was not, despite many modern claims to the contrary, a periodical designed only with women readers in mind, but it did give much weight to women’s educational obstacles. In eighteenthcentury England, while there were such shining exceptions to the rule as Margaret Cavendish or Elizabeth Carter, it was by no means assured that a woman would have any formal schooling or become either literate or numerate, let alone be able to improve her mind through extensive reading (as Mr Darcy famously suggested would be the ideal case). A learned woman might be a well-respected figure, but she was not one representative of the majority. In truth, female literacy always lagged behind males’, but both sexes saw major gains in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. By the 1750s, perhaps 40 per cent of women could read, mostly those in the middling and higher classes. Most education, male or female, began in the home, and was increasingly superintended by women; therefore, we witness a widespread, though diffuse, notion, like that seen above in Haywood: that for women to have some real knowledge and critical reasoning skill was a social good. Further, as we now know, women were not the major consumers of fiction in the eighteenth century: their reading was rather divided among religious, practical, and periodical writing. Because they provided women with access to a wide array of reading subjects, styles, and genres, and because they encouraged, though this variety, habits of reading that honed thoughtfulness and critical reasoning, periodicals were a crucial force in making available to women of middling to higher social status an education that reached beyond basic necessary and domestic skills. And some of them, as this first part of our volume will show, were interested in bringing education to women for its own sake, and not solely so that men

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and children would find in their wives and mothers more useful appendages. Some even pushed the boundaries of women’s education beyond the relative safety of history and natural philosophy into theology or philosophy or even (that is, always) politics. The essays here take up the topic of periodical learning for women both in broad and narrow senses. One of the most useful movements in this group is Eve Tavor Bannet’s coinage of ‘woman-championing periodicals’ (a phrase that recurs throughout this volume) to describe works that, whether or not they are ‘by women for women’, pointedly adapt basic generic features of periodical writing to reorient them toward ‘the Ladies’. Non-vocational knowledge of all stamps was everywhere in periodical reading, and the diffuse and heterogeneous experience of reading in the genre in and of itself worked against sexual divisions in learning. Even so, periodical learning could also be a formalised affair. James Wood is quick to notice how carefully periodicals throughout the period interrogate the relationship between learning and politeness: as a whole, periodicals’ depictions of learning for women are ambivalent or positive, resisting the crude satires of learned ladies infamously found in some novels and conduct books. Though each defined it differently, women-championing periodicals from the Ladies Mercury (1693) to the Lady’s Magazine: or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1770–1832) worked hard to negotiate a space where women’s extended learning was acceptable, even proper. Other specific case studies offer startling insights. Charlotte Lennox’s Lady’s Museum (1760–1), for example, was an innovative magazine far ahead of its time in numerous ways, one of which was its aggressive programme of comprehensive feminocentric education, which reaches far beyond the sometimes perfunctory didacticism that suffused other history reading recommendations for women. Anna K. Sagal tours us through Lennox’s ambitious plan to translate, revise, and write histories that would allow her readers not only world knowledge, but also alternative possibilities for what it means to be a woman in the first place. Part I concludes with the work of Koenraad Claes: no treatment of eighteenth-century educational debate would be complete without a consideration of how the upheaval of the French Revolution changed and catalysed matters, and Claes’s research into the Lady’s Magazine shows that the venue trusted its readers to handle controversy and political debate, meanwhile moderating against the conventional wisdom that the dominance of the magazine form at the end of the eighteenth century meant a shift away from an open embrace of women’s learning. In sum, Part I teaches us that the question of women’s learning in the periodical genre was an ambiguous, ambitious, and even a dominating theme.

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1 Periodicals and the Problem of Women’s Learning James Robert Wood

O

ne of the questions posed in John Dunton’s question-and-answer periodical, the Athenian Mercury (1690–7), was ‘Whether it be proper for Women to be Learned?’ In its reply, the Athenian Mercury considered some possible responses to the question, ranging from the principle that women can be said to ‘have learned enough, if they can distinguish between their Husband’s Breeches and another Man’s’ to the proposal that women ought to be allowed to read ‘Novels, Plays, and Romances, with perhaps a little History’, but were to be kept well away from the ‘Edge-Tools of Philosophy’. The article concludes by opining, ‘we see no reason why Women should not be learned now, as well as Madam [Katherine] Philips, [Anna Maria] Van Schurman, and others, have formerly been’, although it is observed that many women could not avail themselves of such learning, with most of their waking hours spent either in paid or unpaid domestic labour (23 May 1691: 1). In the midst of considering the question of women’s learning, the Athenian Mercury is led to ask the more fundamental question: what is learning in the first place? Norma Clarke, in discussing this number, observes that in this context ‘women’s learning’ embraced a wide spectrum stretching from basic literacy to the erudition of a Margaret Cavendish: ‘Women being “learned” in 1691 might mean their having basic knowledge of reading, enough to puzzle out a pamphlet or page of the Bible; it might mean being able to write; or, at the other extreme, being proficient in Latin and Greek and sufficiently well read in such subjects as philosophy and theology to discourse with learned men’ (2004: 146). Clarke implies that it was men who decided which women were learned enough to participate in learned discourse. In contrast, Carol Pal has recently sought to question the assumption that learned women in the seventeenth century occupied a precarious place in the intellectual world. Pal argues that women represented ‘an integral component of a much larger intellectual commonwealth, known as the republic of letters’ (2012: 1). We should not assume, then, that women were necessarily marginal figures in the world of learning. In considering the role women’s learning plays in women’s periodicals over the long eighteenth century, however, I want to retain Clarke’s model of a continuum of learning rather than a sharp break separating the learned from the unlearned. Periodicals can offer insights into how women across the continuum participated in the wider culture of learning. Periodicals from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century sought to incorporate learning into women’s lives, reflecting, as they did so, on the meaning of women’s learning itself.

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For all its facetiousness, the Athenian Mercury accurately anticipates how early periodical culture would seek to accommodate learning to politeness, a cultural ideal canonically articulated in the writings of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the third Earl of Shaftesbury, who attempted, as Lawrence Klein has argued, to define the basis for a form of society outside the institutions of Court and Church (1994: 10 passim). Learning could potentially detach the learned person from others, making it impossible for him or her to participate in polite society. Joseph Addison and Richard Steele’s Spectator (1711–12; 1714) sought to distinguish polite learning from pedantry. Mr Spectator writes in Spectator 105 that ‘A Man who has been brought up among Books, and is able to talk of nothing else, is a very indifferent companion, and what we call a Pedant’ (30 June 1711, vol. 2: 437). However, the Spectator goes on to expand the word ‘pedant’ to include ‘every one that does not know how to think out of his profession and particular way of life’. Book learning is, for Mr Spectator, a subset of a larger type of impoliteness, rendering the pedant, wrapped up in the pursuit of a specialised subject, unable to enter fully into sociable commerce with others. In addition to the ‘Book-Pedant’, Mr Spectator names the ‘Man of the Town’, the ‘State-Pedant’, and the ‘Military Pedant’ as variations on the same pedantic theme. All these pedants are unable to converse outside their respective spheres of interest (30 June 1711, vol. 2: 437–8). The corruption of learning into pedantry in the Spectator emerges in the periodical as simply one variety of unsociability among many. One consequence of their programme of making learning polite is the anxiety it implies: namely that, in displaying one’s learning, one might so easily make oneself unsociable and ridiculous. In his anti-feminist satire L’Art de connaître les femmes (1730), translated into English in 1732 as The Art of Knowing Women, François Bruys suggested that this anxiety was especially acute for women. He asks the question, ‘Why is Knowledge in Women branded with a Kind of Shame?’ and gives as his answer to his own question that women ‘can only be learned by Halves’ and therefore ‘to avoid being ridiculed, it is better they should be wholly ignorant’ (96). If writers like Bruys suggested that women could only be learned ‘by Halves’, another line of attack on women’s learning was to argue that women could indeed become learned but could do so only by shirking their social and domestic responsibilities. The learned lady who neglects her household and personal appearance and flaunts socially accepted modes of behaviour frequently appears as an object of satire and opprobrium in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Nussbaum 1984: 43 passim). Tobias Smollett’s novel Roderick Random (1748), for instance, juxtaposes two women who are damaged socially in different ways through their learning: Mrs Sagely and Miss Williams. Mrs Sagely is described by Roderick sitting in her study surrounded by ‘books, globes, quadrants, telescopes, and other learned apparatus’ (1964: 218) along with a snuffbox, a dirty handkerchief, and a spittoon. She reclines in an awkward position ‘with one foot on the ground, and the other upon a high stool at some distance from her seat; her sandy locks hung down in a disorder I cannot call beautiful from her head, which was deprived of its coif, for the benefit of scratching with one hand, while she held the stump of a pen in the other’ (219). The novel’s other learned woman is Miss Williams, whose reading of Shaftesbury, Tindal, and Hobbes leads ineluctably to her seduction and subsequent fall into prostitution (117). Mrs Sagely and Miss Williams work as opposite sides of the same coin in Smollett’s novel, together implying that women’s learning is incompatible with polite society.

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The social status of women’s learning from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century was, however, much more ambivalent than these satirical treatments would suggest. In the early part of the period, Bathsua Makin and Mary Astell wrote polemics in favour of education for elite women, contributing as they did so to the wider debate on the question of women’s learning, known in France as the querelle des femmes (Raftery 1997: 31–40). Makin’s Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen (1673) concluded with the hope that ‘some of these Considerations will at least move some of this abused Sex to set a right value upon themselves, according to the dignity of their Creation, that they might, with an honest pride and magnanimity, scorn to be bowed down and made to stoop to such Follies and Vanities, Trifles and Nothings, so far below them, and unproportionable to their noble Souls’ (41–2). In A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (1694–7), Astell also sought to associate women’s learning with virtue, arguing that it is not learning but ‘Ignorance and a narrow Education’ that ‘lay the Foundation of Vice, and Imitation and Custom rear it up’ (2002: 67). Makin’s and Astell’s arguments indicate that the debate over women’s learning often revolved less around the question of whether or not women could be learned and more around the question of whether women’s learning tended toward vice or virtue. The debate on women’s learning continued into the eighteenth century, although it took on new inflections as the wider cultural imaginary changed and new forms of social affiliation appeared. Harriet Guest has argued, for instance, that during the eighteenth century the issue of women’s learning became increasingly intertwined with an emergent nationalism that sought to define Britain’s difference from and superiority to the Continent: ‘By the late 1760s and 1770s, publications by women could be welcomed simply because they were by women, and it became commonplace to claim that Britain was more civilised than other European nations because women were better treated in this culture, and were better educated’ (2000: 23). At the same time, new forms of sociability for women also opened up new lines of attack on learned ladies. Writers across the political spectrum aimed satires, for example, at the members of the loose society of learned women known as the Bluestockings, who began to meet as a group from the 1750s. They are targeted, for example, in Frances Burney’s unpublished play The Witlings (1779), in Charles Pigott’s chapter on the Bluestockings in The Female Jockey Club (1794), and in Thomas Rowlandson’s print Breaking Up of the Blue Stocking Club (1815) (Haslett 2010: 435, 439, 433). In this essay I argue that women’s periodicals were actively involved in negotiating the boundary that divided proper from improper learning for women. Whether implicitly or explicitly, women’s periodicals are engaged in wider discussions over where to place the line, dividing polite from impolite learning and how learning relates to other spheres of activity that tended to be marked off as distinctively feminine such as cooking, gossiping, or raising children. Periodicals addressed specifically to women readers do not simply aim to communicate or instil learning. Instead, they seek to engage their audiences in the wider cultural conversation around women’s learning and its place within women’s lives. My case studies will be the Ladies Mercury (1693), the Ladies’ Diary: or, the Woman’s Almanack (1704–1841), the Female Tatler (1709–10), the Female Spectator (1744–6), the Lady’s Museum (1760–1), and the Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1770–1832). The titles of these periodicals make a specific appeal for the attention of women readers. However, it is

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important to remember, as Manushag N. Powell notes, that the readers of early periodicals ‘were almost always presumed to be sexually mixed, at least before the last third of the century’ (2012: 58; cf. Maurer 1998: 205). In this essay, then, I shall understand these periodicals as making bids for the particular, though not exclusive, attention of women readers.

The Ladies Mercury A few years after the Athenian Mercury had discussed the propriety of women’s learning, the Ladies Mercury appeared for a brief run of four numbers. The first number opens with an address to the ‘Gentlemen’ of the Athenian Mercury that seems to cede learning wholly over to that periodical: We acquiess to yield up to You that fair and larger Field; the Examination of Learning, Nature, Arts, Sciences, and indeed the whole World; being contented to bound our narrow Speculation to only that little Sublunary, Woman. Whilst Religion and Heaven, and other Sublimer Points, are your Gamaliel Studies; We are for sitting down with Martha’s humbler part, a little homely Cookery, the dishing up of a small Treat of Love, &c. (27 Feb 1693: 1) The Ladies Mercury goes on to propose a division of labour between love and learning, with itself claiming ‘Trifles and Vanities’ as its primary concern and the Athenian Mercury taking ‘more serious and weighty matters’ as its sphere of interest. In the process, the Ladies Mercury draws a distinction between learning and gossip that maps onto the distinction between the two sexes. This opening number of the Ladies Mercury, then, might be regarded as furnishing further evidence for Michael McKeon’s argument in The Secret History of Domesticity that the ‘separation out’ of the public and private in this period is closely bound up with the transition from a ‘one-sex’ to a ‘two-sex’ model of gender (2005: 272–7). But the very terms with which the Ladies Mercury proposes to leave learned topics to the Athenian Mercury undermines the opening announcement that no learning will appear in its pages. To understand the allusion to ‘Gamaliel Studies’, after all, a reader would have to catch the reference to the learned Pharisee who successfully defends Peter and his fellow apostles before the Jewish council in the Acts of the Apostles. Indeed, the promise to banish learning from the Ladies Mercury is immediately violated in the second number, whose first question is framed as an antiquarian query from a reader signing herself ‘Lucy C.’ who writes, ‘Our English History informs us, That about the Year 575, Etheldreda Daughter of Inah a King in the Saxon Heptarchie, was twice Married, kept her Virginity, and thence gained the title of St. Audrie’ and goes on to pose the question, ‘whether you believe She dyed a Maid or not, being Married to two Husbands? and supposing she did, whether, on that account she deserved the honour of being Canonized?’ (6 Mar 1693: 1). Even if she may well be a fictional correspondent, ‘Lucy C.’ gives expression to the interest many women in this period took in history, for whom, as D. R. Woolf has written, ‘antiquarian and especially genealogical pursuits were less a matter of amassing superfluous erudition than of constructing a personal historical domain by applying imagination and feeling to documentary and material evidence’ (1997: 653). Although Lucy C. does not claim any genealogical

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connection to Etheldreda, the story of the Saxon princess’s two marriages folds neatly into the concern with the private lives of public figures to which the contemporary genre of the ‘secret history’ catered (Bullard 2009). In its answer to Lucy C.’s query about whether the Saxon princess deserved to become St Audrey, the Ladies Mercury replied, we acknowledge her highly deserving the Honour of being Canonized. For supposing she was a Bedded as well as Wedded Wife, with the Innocence and Ignorance of never knowing nor designing to know WHAT’s WHAT; if all her Virtues and Piety were every way answerable, and she was as exemplar for Praying as for Fasting, and all other equal Mortifications and Abstinence from the rest of Worldly Temptations and Vanities, we can allow her no less than a Shining Saint of the First Magnitude. (6 Mar 1693: 1) The Ladies Mercury suggests that the impropriety imputed to women’s learning might be precisely what made it desirable for many women: the article slyly links antiquarian with sexual curiosity. Knowing about Etheldreda and knowing ‘WHAT’s WHAT’ become almost the same thing. This number of the Ladies Mercury gains a particular frisson, then, precisely by drawing attention to the possibility that sexual impropriety may attach to women’s learning. Although the Ladies Mercury would cease publication after only four numbers, its humorous article on Etheldreda anticipates how women’s periodicals would seek to draw a broad spectrum of readers into engaging with history and with learning more generally. As Eve Tavor Bannet notes in her essay in this volume, it was precisely the miscellaneous and fragmentary nature of the knowledge contained in the early periodicals that led them to be perceived as useful vehicles of learning for a broad spectrum of readers. Short, easily digestible forms like the anecdote were crucial in promoting learning in the early periodical. The anecdote’s formal separation from its surrounding context allows readers uninformed about Anglo Saxon history to engage with it. Short in form and pleasurable in effect, the anecdote could function equally well as a basis for moral speculation as it could function as a vehicle for historical knowledge (Wood 2014). By using an anecdote as the basis for a disquisition on whether or not virginity is a prerequisite for sainthood, the Ladies Mercury also succeeds in turning the antiquarian information it contains into an object of titillation, succeeding in allowing the article at one and the same time to offer an ‘Examination of Learning’ and ‘a small Treat of Love’. The strategy pursued by the Ladies Mercury in using short forms to make learning accessible to its readers would also be practised extensively in the much longer-lived Ladies’ Diary.

The Ladies’ Diary The Ladies’ Diary: or, the Woman’s Almanack was issued annually from 1704 to 1841, beginning in the reign of Queen Anne and ending early in the reign of Queen Victoria. In the first few years of its long run, the Ladies’ Diary contained recipes and fiction among the articles that framed the almanac proper. In 1709, however, the almanac’s editor John Tipper announced that the periodical would concentrate on enigmas and mathematical puzzles. Even before 1709, the Ladies’ Diary was already

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seeking to involve women in mathematical learning. In 1706, for example, Tipper printed an article explaining the causes of solar eclipses by claiming that ‘of all the Objects of our Thoughts, there is none more Noble, or give a greater Satisfaction to the Mind, than the Contemplation of the Heavenly Phaenomena, the Motions, Periodical Revolutions, Appulses, and other Passions and Effects of the Fixed Stars and Planets’. The article proceeds to invite its readers to model an eclipse of the sun by means of ‘a large Hoop of Two Yards Diameter’ (3 (1706): n. p.). Mathematical and astronomical abstractions are thus made to mesh with the world of everyday objects. The Ladies’ Diary’s presentation of mathematical puzzles in the context of an almanac can also be seen as a means of folding this knowledge into the routines of everyday life. The abstractions of mathematics arise from the lived experience of time: the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, and the passing of the seasons. The periodical’s short mathematical puzzles would be the main way it made mathematical learning pleasurable. A form of play rather than a chore, the mathematical puzzle could be pursued in periods of leisure outside the working day. These puzzles varied in difficulty. Some were solvable only by those who could follow the latest developments in mathematics. Shelley Costa notes, for example, ‘By 1720 the almanac had presented two problems involving Newtonian infinitesimal calculus – or “fluxions,” as it was then known in Britain – truly a cutting-edge technique at this time’ (2002: 53). The almanac also included easier problems such as the typical puzzle that ‘J. Hunt’ posed to the readers of the Ladies’ Diary in 1787: From the following equations, dear Gents, will appear An ornament greatly becoming the fair x + y + z = 20 x +2y +3z +20 x2 + y2 +z2 = 266 (84 (1787): 45) The solution, as revealed in the following year’s issue, is x = 3, y = 1, and z = 16 and the word formed by the third, first, and sixteenth letters of the alphabet is ‘CAP’ (85 (1788): 33). Like many other puzzles of the same kind in the Ladies’ Diary, the problem yields the name of a common object when solved. This variety of mathematical puzzle that produces a word as soon as it is solved argues for the similarity between the mathematical puzzles and the verbal enigmas that accompanied them in the periodical, which frequently had everyday objects as their solutions. In the 1709 issue of the Ladies’ Diary, Tipper described the enigma as, an ingenious and Beautiful obscuring the plainest things, which when discovered, strikes the Soul with Admiration, while we pleasingly wonder to see how it was possible to lay as it were a Veil before the Sun. It is an Artificial representing a Subject under the shape of those of another, with so much Cunning, that hides a thing while it discovers it, and persuades us it is something else than what it is really designed for. (6 (1709): n. p.) Like the anecdote, the mathematical puzzle and the enigma are short forms that produce an effect of revelation: a sense, however fleeting, of actually participating in the creation of knowledge as opposed to passively imbibing it.

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The question naturally arises of how many women participated in posing and solving the mathematical puzzles in the Ladies’ Diary. Using Thomas Leybourn’s 1817 index of the posers and the answerers of puzzles in the mathematical sections of the Ladies’ Diary, Teri Perl finds that ‘Out of the 913 contributors listed in Leybourn’s index, only 32 were women (3.5%).’ At least one of these contributors who wrote under the name of ‘Ann Nichols’ was in fact a man posing as a woman (1979: 45). Conversely, it is likely that some women posed and answered mathematical problems under male names. Even taking the pseudonymous crossdressing into account, the true extent of which is unknown, Leybourn’s index suggests that the preponderance of people contributing to the mathematical content of the periodical were men. Perl finds further the proportion of contributors identifying themselves as women falling off over the course of the periodical’s run: ‘Seventeen women contributed between 1710 and 1725, while only fifteen women contributors are listed from 1748 to 1815’ – a decline that Perl ascribes to ‘the beginning of the current stereotypes about women and mathematics’ rather than to editorial policy (45–6). Of course, this does not suggest that few women attempted the mathematical puzzles, only that they may not have written back to the periodical to answer the puzzles in the same proportion as men did. Indeed, in the 1718 issue of the Ladies’ Diary, Tipper claimed that ‘foreigners would be amaz’d when I show them no less than 4 or 500 several letters from so many several women, with solutions geometrical, arithmetical, algebraical, astronomical, and philosophical’ (quoted in Perl 1979: 37). Many more women would have surely worked on the solutions than the few whose names appear in Leybourn’s index and the true number of women who pursued the mathematical puzzles of the Ladies’ Diary will remain unknown. What seems more significant, in any case, is the way the almanac seeks to integrate learning into women’s hours and days. The regular instalments in which eighteenth-century periodicals like the Ladies’ Diary were issued – whether those instalments were daily, monthly, or yearly – underpin the concern these periodicals show at the level of content for making learning a regular fixture of women’s lives.

The Female Tatler Women’s learning is a major concern of the Female Tatler (1709–10), whose first fiftytwo numbers are purportedly written by Phoebe Crakenthorpe, ‘a Lady that knows every thing’, as the periodical’s headnote informs its readers. This ambiguity about whether Mrs Crakenthorpe’s knowledge is of social affairs or learned matters, or indeed both, neatly captures the Female Tatler’s dual focus on learning and gossip. Although Tedra Osell describes Mrs Crakenthorpe as ‘no Bluestocking’ (2005: 293), she is in fact presented as being well-versed in modern and ancient literature in addition to being knowledgeable about the current stories doing the rounds about love affairs and social mishaps. In seeking to coordinate learning with gossip, Mrs Crakenthorpe resembles her male counterpart: Isaac Bickerstaff, the eidolon adopted by Richard Steele in the Tatler. In the opening number of the Tatler (12 Apr 1709), Bickerstaff proposes to publish different kinds of subject matter under the titles of London coffee and chocolate houses. He informs readers that he will include items of learning under the heading of ‘The Graecian’, an establishment which was, as Steele’s editor Donald F. Bond notes, ‘a favourite meeting place of lawyers, scholars, and

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members of the Royal Society’ (1987, vol. 1: p. 16 n. 5). More commonly, however, Bickerstaff tends to distribute learning and learned references into the Tatler as a whole, whose title, referring to the practice of tattling or gossiping, has been chosen by Bickerstaff in recognition of his female readers. By similarly claiming a prerogative to inhabit both the domains of gossip and learning, Mrs Crakenthorpe embodies the Female Tatler’s project to integrate learning into women’s everyday lives. We can see this project instantiated in the motto Sum Canna Vocalis (‘I am a talking reed’), which was appended to many numbers of the Female Tatler written nominally by Mrs Crakenthorpe and is explained in the third number. The motto is a reference taken from Ovid’s tale of King Midas’s barber, who, unable to share the secret that Midas has ass’s ears with other people, shares it with a hole in the riverbank, from which reeds later grow, broadcasting the information as they sway in the wind. Shawn Lisa Maurer writes that just as the motto ‘signals the transformation of nature, in the form of reeds played by the wind, into the culture of human discourse, so too does the publication’s own ability to metamorphose private scandal into public intelligence necessarily broaden the definition of [the] “women’s sphere”’ (2010: 161). The motto also signals the Female Tatler’s ambition to coordinate classical literature with the world of gossip. As a learned woman, Mrs Crakenthorpe is distinguished from another member of her circle, ‘Lady Wou’d-be’, who embodies the satirical stereotype of the lady determined to pursue learning to the detriment of her social and domestic obligations: Lady Wou’d-be, is a learned Piece, and has puzzled most Divines, she’s a great Admirer of Suckling, Milton she has by Heart, and Cowley her Bed-fellow; Plays are infinitely below her, Alexander she can bear, but a Comedy’s fit only for the Woman; she understands Architecture, and talks of the Corinthian, the Dorick, Ionick, and Tuscan Orders; her Language is Seraphick and Supernatural; and for those who use familiar Phrases, their Discourse is uncouth and jejune, and bears no Symmetry or Concatination. – Ask her, if she can make a Tansy? – She never hear’d of it. (29 July–1 Aug 1709: 1) A ‘Tansy’ is a plant used as a garnish for dishes, and the Oxford English Dictionary notes that in the eighteenth century the word could also refer to a pudding flavoured with its juice (‘Tansy’, n. 3). Lady Wou’d-be’s inability to understand what the word ‘Tansy’ means shows how her pursuit of learning – in English rather than classical poetry – has rendered her unable to participate in everyday conversation or to perform a domestic task like making a pudding. Even in a period in which cooking was increasingly the prerogative of the housekeeper in upper-class households, the lady might, as Gilly Lehmann observes in her social history of cooking in eighteenth-century Britain, ‘amuse herself with sweet dishes for the desert’ (2003: 286). Lady Wou’d-be’s ignorance of tansies shows her neglect of the varieties of domestic knowledge that highborn women were still expected to acquire. Like Elizabeth Carter, who, in Samuel Johnson’s description, ‘could make a pudding, as well as translate Epictetus from the Greek’ (quoted in Hill 1897, vol. 2: 11), the eidolon of the Female Tatler combines knowledge of polite literature with social and domestic competence. Learning is not just a personal acquisition in the Female Tatler but a social responsibility as well. A concern for learning is a necessary part of social and domestic life.

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References to modern or classical literature tend to enter the Female Tatler through allusions or quotations that are prompted by immediate social concerns. Lady Wou’d-be’s public display of hypochondria in number 25, for example, provides Mrs Crakenthorpe with an opportunity to put her learning to use. For the edification of Lady Wou’d-be and the assembled company, Mrs Crakenthorpe reads out a passage from ‘a most Ingenious Author’ (31 Aug–2 Sep 1709: 1). The passage is an anecdote from Jean de La Bruyère’s Les Charactères (1688), which was first translated into English in 1699. In the anecdote, a character named Irene is represented as going to take medical advice from the Greek god Asclepius, who offers curt and commonsensical guidance: telling her, for example, to drink water when she complains to him that wine disagrees with her stomach (1700: 216–17). After reading out the extract, Mrs Crakenthorpe attempts to smooth over Lady Wou’d-be’s feelings: ‘Lady Wou’d-be was so sensible of her Vanity, and so out of Countenance at the false Steps she had taken to be a fine Lady, that I was forc’d to sweeten the roughness of Æsculapius with a Compliment, like giving her a Spoonful of Julip after a nauseous Medicine, to stifle a greater Confusion than I cou’d have imagin’d’ (31 Aug–2 Sep 1709: 2). The simile also obliquely serves as an image of how learning itself is made palatable in the Female Tatler by being placed in a social context. The same emphasis on the importance of learning in managing relations with others also appears when Mrs Crakenthorpe advises her friend Lady Mean-well to ensure that her son receive a proper education, setting out the ‘fatal Consequences’ that attend the ‘want of Erudition’, arguing that young men who have no taste of Books run into all manner of Extravagancies, and Time lying heavy upon their Hands, embrace the most sordid Company, show’d her several Fools of Fortune that flutter about this Town, and how contemptidly they appear before Men of Literature; that Estates but make ’em more conspicuous Coxcombs and that a Block–head was always brutish to his parents. (15–17 Aug 1709: 1) The very last number of the Female Tatler, probably authored by Bernard Mandeville, concludes with a paean to women’s learning. The last number is presented as a production of Lucinda, one member of the ‘Society of Ladies’ that replaces Mrs Crakenthorpe after the fifty-third issue. Surveying the course of women’s history, from the ‘first Ages of the World’ when ‘keeping of sheep and kneading of Dough were our ordinary employment’ through the Middle Ages when women were ‘condemn’d to the Distaff or the Seraglio, Elder and Chaster Monasteries than those founded on better Pretences’, Lucinda finds women persistently excluded from learning. She writes, however, that in the present age women have for the first time emerged with an equal claim to be as learned as men: By length of Time and negligence of our Tyrants, the Enclosures of learning wore, away, and Capacity and Inclination led many of our sex to venture on that forbidden Ground, and bright Examples the rest, that at present I believe, shou’d Apollo require a List of the Names of those Authors now in Being, to the great Joy of his impartial Goodness, he wou’d find his Female Votaries of almost equal Number and Industry to his Male, and put in as good a Claim to Immortality as those who endeavour to disappoint their Purpose or divert their Pursuit. (31 Mar 1710: 1)

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The last number of the Female Tatler implies that the periodical essay itself as a genre is a new form appropriate to a new age of women’s learning. In the process, this last number revives the trope of the ‘lost woman writer’ that Jennifer Summit has traced in writers in English from Chaucer to Queen Elizabeth, who used the myth of women’s exclusion from literature as a means of investing authority in modern vernacular writing (2000: 30 passim). The Female Tatler similarly uses the trope to authorise the new world of periodical culture. In the next two sections I examine two mid-century periodicals that self-consciously seek to define the possibilities and limits of women’s learning: Eliza Haywood’s Female Spectator and Charlotte Lennox’s Lady’s Museum.

The Female Spectator Haywood’s Female Spectator, the eidolon of the periodical bearing her name, advises her female readers to read, though at the same time cautions them not to read too much: ‘It is not that I would perswade any one to a continual poreing over Books, too much Reading, tho’ of the best Authors, is apt to dull the Spirits, and to destroy that Attention which alone can render this Employment profitable’ (book 4 (24 July 1744), vol. 2: 125). This advice implicitly recommends the periodical itself as the kind of reading matter best suited to polite readers: a form that will not distract readers from social and domestic obligations. Throughout the Female Spectator, Haywood’s eidolon often gestures toward the need to contain women’s learning within proper limits. The Female Spectator approvingly reproduces a letter by ‘H.L.’ that commends her previous reflections on the immortality of the soul and thanks her ‘for recommending the Study of Philosophy to the Ladies, that is, that most useful Branch of it that teaches the Nature of the Soul’ (book 13 (2 May 1745), vol. 3: 26). This implies that some branches of philosophy may be more appropriate for women to study than others. This concern with setting bounds to women’s learning reappears in Book 15 of the periodical, which contains the correspondent ‘Philo–Naturae’s’ much-discussed letter recommending the study of natural philosophy to women. Philo–Naturae suggests that if women could only get into the habit of going out into the fields with their microscopes, then ‘They would doubtless perceive Animals which are not to be found in the most accurate Volumes of Natural Philosophy; and the Royal Society might be indebted to every fair Columbus for a new World of Beings to employ their Speculations’ (book 15 (6 July 1745), vol. 3: 88). Kristen M. Girten has argued that Haywood uses Philo–Naturae’s letter and the Female Spectator’s subsequent commendation of it to show how ‘women may turn their ostensibly trivial lives into lives of public significance, thus challenging the gendered separation of spheres that enables their confinement’ (2009: 57). Girten suggests that this prediction that women might contribute to the study of the natural world looks forward to the Royal Society’s publication of Caroline Hershel’s astronomical research in the 1780s and 90s and her eventual election to the Royal Society as its first female member in 1828 (Girten 2009: 59–60). Robin Valenza, however, places more emphasis on the restricted nature of the learning that ‘Philo–Naturae’ recommends to women, who clarifies that he would not want them to ‘fill their Heads with the Propositions of an Aldrovandus, a Malbranche, or a Newton: – the Ideas of those great Men are not suited to every Capacity; – they require a Depth of Learning, a Strength of Judgment, and a Length of Time,

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to be ranged and digested so as to render them either pleasing or beneficial’ (Book 15 (6 July 1745), vol. 3: 83). Here, Valenza argues, ‘Newton and his illustrious company are bodied forth as examples of that knowledge inaccessible to the untrained, the most prominent group of which is women’ (80). Where Girten sees the Female Spectator opening up possibilities for women’s investigations of the natural world, Valenza sees the periodical as closing them off. Their readings suggest the difficulty of taking account of the nuances that emerge even from a single discussion of women’s learning in one periodical. Periodicals like the Female Spectator are not straightforward calls either for expanding or restricting women’s learning. Rather, they attest to the complexities for a culture that saw women’s learning as both a necessary accomplishment and as a possible distraction from social and domestic life.

The Lady’s Museum The subject of women’s learning is also a central preoccupation in Lennox’s Lady’s Museum. The topic is frequently mentioned by the young female Trifler, who writes the introductory essays for each of the eleven monthly instalments of the Lady’s Museum, and is juxtaposed with her younger sister who shows no interest in learned matters. The question of women’s learning is also dramatised in the ‘History of Harriot and Sophia’, a serialised fiction later published as Lennox’s novel Sophia (1762). In the ‘History of Harriot and Sophia’, the studious and learned Sophia is contrasted with the vain and unlearned Harriot. Although the Trifler’s name might seem to imply a dismissive attitude toward women’s learning, the way that the Lady’s Museum begins its articles on natural history (entitled ‘Philosophy for the Ladies’) suggests that ‘trifles’ are the very basis and origin of knowledge: ‘We accumulate knowledge by golden grains, and find ourselves possessed of an ample treasure before we are even aware that we have attained the necessary store for our passing easily through life’ (1.2: 132). The topics featured in the Lady’s Museum echo the advice given in the essay included in the first issue, ‘Of the Studies Proper for Women’, a translation of Pierre Joseph Bourdier de Villemert’s L’Ami des femmes (1758), which recommends history and natural history as ‘alone sufficient to furnish women with an agreeable kind of study’ (1 (1760): 12). The Lady’s Museum ran a short history of Britain from the original Celts up to the Saxon Heptarchy and a collection of articles on small insects in the series ‘Philosophy for the Ladies’, including articles on the ‘Formica-Leo’ (1 (July 1760): 309–16), the ‘Swallow-tailed Butterfly’ (2 (Oct 1760): 467–73), and the ‘Ephemeron or Day-Fly’ (2 (Nov 1760): 633–40). The Lady’s Magazine’s focus on the theory as well as the practice of women’s learning is underlined by a series of selections in English translation from François Fénelon’s educational treatise ‘De l’Education des Filles’ (‘Of the Education of Daughters’). As Iona Italia has noted, Fénelon’s treatise, by contrast to the Lady’s Museum as a whole, tends to view women in the first place as teachers of children rather than students of learning in their own right (2005: 198). Indeed, as Anna K. Sagal has recently argued, Lennox allows women readers an active role in the creation of knowledge (2015). Interestingly, however, one single letter from a correspondent to the Lady’s Museum on an interpretive crux in Shakespeare’s Macbeth illustrates how periodicals sometimes sought both to tie women’s learning to a concern for children and parenting and to engage women readers in the active performance of critical judgement. The

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correspondent ‘C.D.’ argues on both historical and textual grounds that when Macduff, having been informed by Malcolm of the massacre of his family on Macbeth’s orders, remarks ‘He has no children’ that he is not referring to Macbeth but rather to Malcolm. ‘C.D.’ offers the analysis as a ‘trifling criticism’, which nevertheless may ‘perhaps occasion a different manner of reading and acting’ the scene from Macbeth in question (I, v, 409). If this short piece of criticism is thematically linked to conventionally ‘feminine’ concerns about the children of the characters in Macbeth – of the kind that would later be mocked by L. C. Knights in his essay ‘How many Children had Lady Macbeth?’ – it also pointedly routes these concerns through a speech by a male character composed by a canonical male playwright. Whatever the actual gender of ‘C.D.’ (who may well be a cover for Lennox herself), the letter she or he addresses to the Trifler suggests that a ‘feminine’ focus on the domestic situations of the characters in Macbeth may give rise to discoveries that would otherwise escape critics.

The Lady’s Magazine The long-running Lady’s Magazine featured learning as part of its content from its first appearance in 1770. Jacqueline Pearson notes in her study of women’s reading habits between 1750 and 1835 that the Lady’s Magazine carried articles on history, for example running a serialised ‘Concise History of England’ (1772–3) and another series of articles on natural history entitled ‘The Moral Zoologist’ (1800–5) that used natural history to encourage religious contemplation on the divine creator (1999: 66). Elsewhere in this volume, Jennie Batchelor takes up the subjects of the magazine’s ongoing conversation about women’s education and the magazine’s conversational form as a vehicle for women’s intellectual improvement. Here, I would like to focus on a different strand in the magazine’s framing of women’s learning: its alignment of learning with fashion. The ‘Address to the Reader’ that opens the first number of the Lady’s Magazine, for example, presents learning as a form of fashionable display. It promises its readers that ‘Every branch of literature will be ransacked to please and instruct the mind, besides the engravings designed to adorn the person’ (1 (Aug 1770): n. p.). In her previous work on the Lady’s Magazine, Batchelor has commented on how the textile metaphors embody the periodical’s mission as ‘a dual process of re-clothing: re-clothing women in a garb of probity and learning to make them more attractive and appealing wives, mothers and friends, and re-clothing probity and learning to render these virtues more attractive propositions to the magazine’s readers’ (2005: 111). The ‘Address’ even suggests that the fashion reports that it included might themselves be counted as a variety of learning – ‘a branch of information entirely new’ – thus giving fashion a place among the arts and sciences (1 (Aug) 1770: n. p.). Because the eighteenth century’s fascination with the ‘Orient’ produced both a programme of research into Eastern languages and literatures (Franklin 2011; Aravamudan 2011) and a fashion for Eastern clothes and commodities (Lemire and Riello 2008; Jenkins 2013), oriental learning was an ideal fit for the Lady’s Magazine’s programme of making learning fashionable. The magazine served as a venue for a popularised Orientalism, making narratives purportedly taken from Eastern texts available to its readers in French and English translations. As Srinivas Aravamudan notes, the Lady’s Magazine published short extracts from the Arabian Tales: or a Continuation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments between 1794 and 1796 (2011: 69). The magazine also

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prominently featured a number of stories that were termed ‘Oriental Anecdotes’ among its pages. One such anecdote, printed under the title ‘COMFORT FOR THE AFFLICTED’ and subtitled ‘From the Arabic’ was issued in the first number of the magazine: A POOR Dervise made his pilgrimage to Mecca, barefooted for want of shoes, cursing his lot, and accusing heaven of cruelty; but when he arrived at the gate of the great Mosque of Cousa, he perceived a poor man who had lost both his feet. The view of a man more miserable than himself, afforded him some consolation, and convinced him, that it was a greater affliction to be without feet, than without shoes. (1 (Aug 1770): 24) This ‘Oriental Anecdote’ inverts the aspirational logic of fashion, which compels the unfashionable to endeavour to emulate the dress and graces of the fashionable. Anecdotes like these could themselves, however, be perceived as items of fashionable knowledge: able to be treated both as small fragments of oriental learning and as aperçus to be used in polite conversation.

Conclusion To survey women’s periodicals over the long eighteenth century is to be struck by the many different types of learning that could be found in them, from antiquarianism in the Ladies Mercury, classical and modern literature in the Female Spectator, mathematics in the Ladies’ Diary, natural history in the Female Spectator, criticism in the Lady’s Museum, and Orientalism in the Lady’s Magazine. More than simply setting out to popularise learning, however, women’s magazines made contributions to the debate around women’s learning itself. One important continuity found across women’s periodicals of the long eighteenth century is the effort to bring learning into contact with spheres of life and literature that apparently lie outside it. So, for example, the antiquarianism is juxtaposed with secret history in the Ladies Mercury, enigmas with mathematical puzzles in the Ladies’ Diary, classical scholarship with gossip in the Female Tatler, countryside excursions with botany and zoology in the Female Spectator, literary criticism with parenting in the Lady’s Museum, and Orientalism with fashion in the Lady’s Magazine. Throughout this essay, however, I have left the question hanging that the Athenian Mercury implicitly asks in the act of considering whether it is proper for women to be learned: what, after all, is learning? We might answer this question by defining learning against other kinds of knowledge: learning as opposed to practical knowledge of how to make a table or a dress, for example. Or we might define learned texts against other kinds of texts: for example, the ‘novels or romances’ that the Athenian Mercury mentions as typical reading matter for women. Learning, we might say, is opposed to the immediate pressures of work and the pleasures of leisure. This implies, however, that learning is a relational and not a fixed term. Because women’s periodicals over the long eighteenth century show a persistent concern for connecting learning to other spheres of life, they tend to emphasise precisely the relational quality that characterises the idea of learning: the way that it emerges only over and against other kinds of knowledge. In particular, these periodicals remind us of the role that gender difference has played in defining what it means to be learned.

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Works Cited Addison, Joseph and Richard Steele. 1965. The Spectator. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Aravamudan, Srinivas. 2011. Enlightenment Orientalism: Resisting the Rise of the Novel. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Astell, Mary. 2002. A Serious Proposal to the Ladies. Ed. Patricia Springborg. Peterborough, Canada: Broadview. Batchelor, Jennie. 2005. Dress, Distress, and Desire: Clothing and the Female Body in Eighteenth-Century Literature. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Bruys, François. 1732. The Art of Knowing Women; Or, The Female Sex Dissected. London: Printed for E. Curll, and T. Payne. Bullard, Rebecca. 2009. The Politics of Disclosure, 1674–1725: Secret History Narratives. London: Pickering & Chatto. Clarke, Norma. 2004. The Rise and Fall of the Woman of Letters. London: Pimlico. Costa, Shelley. 2002. ‘The Ladies’ Diary: Gender, Mathematics, and Civil Society in EarlyEighteenth-Century England’. Osiris 17: 49–73. Dunton, John, ed. 1690–7. The Athenian Mercury. London. Franklin, Michael J. 2011. ‘Orientalist Jones’: Sir William Jones, Poet, Lawyer, and Linguist, 1746–1794. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Girten, Kristen M. 2009. ‘Unsexed Souls: Natural Philosophy as Transformation in Eliza Haywood’s Female Spectator’. Eighteenth-Century Studies 43.1: 55–74. Guest, Harriet. 2000. Small Change: Women, Learning, Patriotism, 1750–1810. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Haslett, Moyra. 2010. ‘Bluestocking Feminism Revisited: The Satirical Figure Of The Bluestocking’. Women’s Writing 17.3: 432–51. Haywood, Eliza. 2001. The Female Spectator. Selected Works of Eliza Haywood. Part 2. Vols 2–3. Ed. Kathryn R. King and Alexander Pettit. London: Pickering & Chatto. Hill, George Birkbeck. [1897] 1966. Johnsonian Miscellanies. 2 vols. New York: Barnes and Noble. Italia, Iona. 2005. The Rise of Literary Journalism in the Eighteenth Century: Anxious Employment. London: Routledge. Jenkins, Eugenia Zuroski. 2013. A Taste for China: English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Klein, Lawrence. 1994. Shaftesbury and the Culture of Politeness: Moral Discourse and Cultural Politics in early Eighteenth-century England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. La Bruyère, Jean de. 1700. The Characters, Or, The Manners of the Age. By Monsieur de la Bruyere, of the French Academy. Made English by Several Hands. 2nd edn. London: John Bullard. The Ladies’ Diary: or, the Woman’s Almanack.1704–1841. London. The Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex. 1770–1832 (1st ser. 1770–1819; 2nd ser. 1820–9; 3rd ser. 1830–2). London. The Lady’s Magazine; or, Polite Companion for the Fair Sex. 1759–63. London. The Ladies Mercury. 1693. London: T. Platt. Lehmann, Gilly. 2003. The British Housewife: Cookery Books, Cooking and Society in 18thCentury Britain. London: Prospect Books. Lemire. Beverly and Riello, Giorgio. 2008. ‘East and West: Textiles and Fashion in Early Modern Europe’. Journal of Social History 41.4: 887–916. Lennox, Charlotte. 1760–1. The Lady’s Museum. London: J. Newbury and J. Coote.

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McKeon, Michael. 2005. The Secret History of Domesticity: Public, Private, and the Division of Knowledge. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Makin, Bathsua. 1673. An Essay to Revive the Antient Education of Gentlewomen. London: Printed by J.D. Maurer, Shawn Lisa. 1998. Proposing Men: Dialectics of Gender and Class in the Eighteenthcentury English Periodical. Stanford: Stanford University Press. —. 2010. ‘The Periodical’. The History of British Women’s Writing, 1690–1750. Ed. Ros Ballaster. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Nussbaum, Felicity. 1984. The Brink of All We Hate: English Satires on Women, 1660–1750. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky. OED Online. 2016. Oxford University Press. (last accessed 12 Sep 2016). Osell, Tedra. 2005. ‘Tatling Women in the Public Sphere: Rhetorical Femininity and the English Essay Periodical’. Eighteenth-Century Studies 38.2. 283–300. Pal, Carol. 2012. Republic of Women: Rethinking the Republic of Letters in the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pearson, Jacqueline. 1999. Women’s Reading in Britain, 1750–1835. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Perl, Teri. 1979. ‘The Ladies’ Diary or Woman’s Almanack, 1704–1841’. Historia Mathematica 6. 36–53. Powell, Manushag N. 2012. Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Raftery, Deirdre. 1997. Women and Learning in English Writing, 1600–1900. Dublin: Four Courts Press. Sagal, Anna K. 2015. ‘Philosophy for the Ladies’: Feminism, Pedagogy, and Natural Philosophy in Charlotte Lennox’s Lady’s Museum’. Eighteenth-Century Fiction 28. 140–66. Smollett, Tobias. [1748] 1964. The Adventures of Roderick Random. Ed. Paul Gabriel-Boucé. London: Oxford University Press. Steele, Richard. 1987. The Tatler. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Summit, Jennifer. 2000. Lost Property: The Woman Writer and Literary History, 1380–1589. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Valenza, Robin. 2009. Literature, Language, and the Rise of the Intellectual Disciplines in Britain, 1680–1820. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wood, James Robert. 2014. ‘Mr. Spectator’s Anecdotes and the Science of Human Nature’. Eighteenth-Century Life 38.1. 63–92. Woolf, D. R. 1997. ‘A Feminine Past? Gender, Genre, and Historical Knowledge in England, 1500–1800’. The American Historical Review 102: 645–79.

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his essay considers some of the ways in which ‘Ladies’ (and would-be ladies) were interpolated by features of periodicals that are frequently mentioned, but less often explored: their promise to instruct as well as entertain their readers; their miscellaneous character; their co-optation of conversational forms; and the interpretative and critical methods they modelled and taught. These were fixed generic features of eighteenth-century periodicals that contemporaries linked directly both to the composition of their target audiences and to the ways in which they expected periodical contents to be read and used. Manushag N. Powell has rightly stressed that ‘both male and female periodical writers tended to address all genders, or at least assume their presence in the readership’, and that most periodicals were read by women as well as men, while pointing out that this ‘does not mean they were treated exactly the same as their male counterparts’ (2012: 133). But there was also considerable variation in how women were treated, especially in male-authored periodicals. Along with those that ‘marginalised women, under the guise of polite gallantry’ (Copley 1995: 73), those that ‘constructed the ideal woman as sexually chaste, emotionally passive and economically unproductive’ (Maurer 1998: 7), and those that built on an erudite tradition of ‘misogynist satire’ to deride females as gossips, fools, or termagants (Browne 1992: 20), there were male-authored periodicals addressed primarily to ladies which claimed that ‘in Great Britain alone, the charming Sex maintain the Dignity of human Nature’ as rational beings, and sought to ‘embellish their Understandings . . . enlarge their Faculties, and open their Thoughts by Degrees’ (Free Thinker 1.3 (1718): vii, 8). This last understudied group is our focus here, exemplified by Ambrose Philip’s Free Thinker (1718–23), the Ladies Journal (1727), the Lady’s Weekly Magazine (1747) and the Female Mentor (1793–6). The Free Thinker and the Ladies Journal have male eidolons who characterise themselves as ‘Champions of the Fair’; the others use female characters to ‘dignify’ ladies, while demonstrating rhetorical patterns indicative of a well-trained male pen. All but the Lady’s Weekly were sufficiently popular and long-lasting to be reissued in volume form, the Free Thinker and the Female Mentor multiple times.1 While occupying a middle ground between mainstream and woman-authored periodicals and adopting some key contemporary feminist positions, ‘woman-championing’ periodicals such as these usefully illustrate ways in which generic features common to all periodicals could be adapted and reoriented to the Ladies.

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Periodicals carried a miscellany of knowledge fragments: ‘learning’ in the arts and sciences (moral, political and natural philosophy, history, cultural geography, theology and religion, classical learning, modern literature, genre theory, literary and art criticism), factual information, practical receipts, political and commercial intelligence, ‘knowledge of the world’, ‘instructions unto life’, summaries of domestic, foreign, and American news. All periodicals were not equally instructive, or even instructive on all the same topics. But their reiterated promises to ‘disseminate useful knowledge among all ranks of people at a small expense’, as successive title pages of the Bee, or Literary Weekly Intelligencer (1790–4) declared, and to serve as ‘Repositories of Instruction’ as well as ‘Amusement’, should not be dismissed as trivial or marginal to more important party political and/or conduct-book functions. What Stephen Copley calls ‘general, non-vocational, non-specialist knowledge’ became a valuable and highly vendible commodity at the turn of the eighteenth century, when its dissemination began to serve both personal and national-imperial goals (Copley 1995: 67). As Isaac Watts observed, knowledge was needed to counteract the ‘narrowness of mind’ prevailing among men who travelled little beyond their native town or village, and ‘know not how to believe anything wise or proper besides what they have been taught to practice’. At once too credulous of superstitions and too disbelieving of new truths, men who ‘confine[d] themselves within the circle of their own hereditary ideas and opinions’ refused to believe that the sun did not rotate around the earth, that the telescope and microscope did not ‘delude the eye with false images’, or that the dress and customs of people in other places were not absurd or monstrous because different from their own. Widespread general reading must cure widespread ignorance and produce what Britain’s expanding commercial empire increasingly needed: men who knew enough about the world to take its diverse phenomena and peoples in their stride and whose ‘enlarged’ understandings could cope with experiences, discoveries, and truths that were constantly ‘new and strange’ (Watts 1743: 227, 231, 232). Acquisition of the knowledge disseminated by periodicals was ‘useful’ to individuals inasmuch as it contributed to a man’s social advancement, commercial success and/or prosecution of the business of life, and introduced him to subjects not yet readily available either in Latin Grammar or in ‘English’ schools. But the knowledge presented in periodicals also denaturalised the local, the provincial, and the insular by providing ‘general views’: subsuming persons under types and localities under regions; showing the ‘Country’ how it looked to the ‘Town’, the Town to the Country, the empty-headed leisured ranks to ‘the busie Part of Mankind’, and ‘factions’ to one another; contrasting British manners with French, Protestants with Catholics, and increasingly, through a series of wars, positioning Britain as an actor in Europe and the new World.2 One of the more important functions of periodicals, then, was to serve as what George Washington called ‘easy vehicles of education’ (quoted in Read 2005: 234). Contemporaries held that periodicals’ miscellaneous and fragmentary character was precisely what made them such ‘easy vehicles of education’. British periodicals were not addressed exclusively to an educated, leisured, and fashionable elite, as we sometimes suppose. They were geared to the ‘Unlearned’ – propertied gentlemen who had ignored or forgotten whatever education they had received (the condition of most of the traditional gentry and nobility, according to Addison and others throughout the century); ladies without much formal schooling, or conversant primarily with the standard female ‘accomplishments’; graduates of ‘English schools’ (the Vo-Techs of

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the day); and those whose formal training had not proceeded much beyond the primer and the grammar book. According to Vicesimus Knox, the unlearned included people ‘of all conditions: the young and the old, the gentleman and the merchant, the soldier, the mariner, the subordinate practitioner in medicine and law, those who hold places in public offices . . . and lastly, though not least numerous or important, the ladies’ (1779, vol. 2: 11). But we have discovered that periodicals were read even further down the social hierarchy – by servants, country tradesmen’s wives, schoolchildren, students, apprentices, and clerks.3 Being incapable as well as unwilling to follow distant causes through long abstruse academic treatises, as Dr Johnson pointed out in Rambler no. 145, the unlearned needed literary ‘manufactures’ tailored to their intellectual girth (Johnson (1751) 1969: 10–12). This was a challenge if, as John Clarke said, the leisured ranks were easily distracted, reading only ‘by fits and starts’ and ‘without due Attention’ (Clarke 1731: 74) while ‘men who are engaged in the active pursuits of business’ had little time to devote to reading or study (Bee 1.1 (Dec 1790)). Providing a variety of short, informative, and self-contained pieces in language that could be readily understood was an ideal way of instructing readers such as these. As contemporaries explained, the brevity and perspicuity of periodical essays, letters, or reports meant that knowledge could be acquired without much time or effort on the part of the readers. The busy could easily read a short essay, report, letter, or poem in the ‘interstices’ of labour or during their few idle hours, and the sociable were spared the trouble of selecting extracts from books to read aloud and discuss in domestic or social settings – they could conveniently use one or other of the periodical’s short, preselected pieces to preface and stimulate conversation in company. Tailor-made too for readers with short attention spans, who were easily distracted and soon ready to move on to something else, the periodical’s miscellaneous variety of subjects, genres, and styles was widely supposed to increase potential market share by serving readers with diverse interests and tastes. At the same time, the relatively self-contained character of each issue, and of each item within it, invited and facilitated discontinuous reading – as did the collection of issues into volumes, since these more capacious repositories multiplied the miscellaneous options immediately available to a reader. Discontinuous reading here means reading individual items selectively according to one’s tastes, interests, or momentary inclination, as well as reading bits at different times, out of sequence, and/or without bothering to connect them to others. The miscellaneous contents of the group of woman-championing periodicals to be considered here did not differ markedly from that of other instructive periodicals. They were certainly not confined to the ‘feminine’ and domestic topics (dress, beauty, housewifery, marriage, love) that were reserved for women readers after it became what Hannah More called, in Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education (1799), ‘the Profession of Ladies’ to be ‘Wives, Mothers and Mistresses of Families’ (1818, vol. 8: 38).4 Edited and largely authored by Ambrose Philips, the Free Thinker’s 159 issues instructed its ‘Female Disciples’ in principles of rational reflection derived from John Locke’s ‘Of the Conduct of the Understanding’ (1706) as well as in religious controversies, the principles on which Britain’s mixed government had been established at the Revolution, the importance of trade and frugality to a flourishing empire, the cause of eclipses and other such ‘serious’ subjects. The periodical made it clear that love and marriage were matters of equal importance to men and women, and that the goal of its occasional issues on these subjects was to ‘reform both Sexes’

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in order to better ‘tally’ them to one another (1.13 (1718): 57). While simultaneously addressing ‘the vulgar or grosser Understandings who have no Leisure or Inclination to learn’ (1.16 (1718): 69), the ‘busie Part of Mankind’, and men ‘who had the Misfortune to grow old in Ignorance’ (1.23 (1718): 106) the periodical singled out ‘the Fair Sex’ for instruction in the art of thinking for themselves rationally and impartially (free thinking), because ‘Your tender Sex, for want of these Inquiries which they had long been disus’d to, were the greatest slaves in your notions’ (‘To the Ladies of Great Britain’ 1.1 (1718): vi). The twenty-two numbers of the Ladies Journal, which was likewise designed for ‘the Improvement of the Ladies, and the more unlearn’d Part of the World’ (no. 8 (1727): 57) were intended to instruct readers in ‘the liberal Sciences’; while the surviving number of the Lady’s Weekly Magazine (Thursday 19 Feb 1747) was devoted to a ‘History of the Transactions of the World’: it contextualised Britain’s war in Flanders in international relations, past and present (1). Woman-championing periodicals reoriented their instructive contents to ladies by adding miscellaneous elements promoting women’s education. Male periodicalists put their female readers on their mettle by telling them that ‘Learning’ would ‘embellish’ their minds as beauty embellished their bodies, and outlast their physical attractions (Free Thinker 1.3 (1718): 8); that study would ‘set them upon a Level with my own Sex, in our boasted Superiority of Reason’ and show that ‘Ladies have as nice a Sense of Things, and as good Judgment, as most Men, however objected against by some’; or that ladies ‘could obtain the Preference over Men by their Application to Learning’ (Ladies Journal no. 3 (1727): 20; no. 2 (1727): 11; no. 1 (1727): 96). They added to their medley of essay topics, essays on female education and essays describing women who had distinguished themselves by their learning or ingenuity, whether in antiquity or in modern times – indeed, a quarter of the Female Mentor’s forty-three issues were devoted to learned women and notable queenly consorts.5 They also exemplified rational and educated women with well-informed minds and sound judgements in their pages. The Lady’s Weekly Magazine had a female character explain Europe’s intricate international relations to two interested female characters, and highlighted the important role played by female rulers, such as the Empress of Russia, in international events. The Female Mentor made a thoughtful and well-read mother-character the definitive, authoritative voice. Others favoured essays praising the conduct of educated women who judged for themselves, often in binary opposition to more fashionably unlearned constructions of womanhood. Promoting women’s education bore on the instruction that woman-championing periodicals were actively offering ladies; it helped market the product. But this product also echoed, and helped to keep alive, principles and proofs earlier adduced by feminists such as Mary Astell, Lady Chudleigh, and Judith Drake, who had argued at the turn of the eighteenth century that women appeared to be fools only because they lacked men’s education – not, as men said, because they lacked Reason – and that once educated, they would prove men’s equals or superiors. Women-championing periodicals stopped short of recommending to ladies the extensive learning prescribed by a Bathsua Makin or Mary Astell. But they were less regulatory too; for in their efforts to appeal to diverse readers with diverse tastes, abilities, and opportunities, they recommended more than one kind of learning, even in the same periodical. The Free Thinker presented a course of reading for ladies wishing to learn to think and judge for themselves and acquire the same kinds of general knowledge as men. But with proper

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gallantry and polite deference, it also addressed and supplied ladies seeking more restricted, detailed, and gossiping kinds of knowledge. The Female Mentor used its principal character to model a well-read and highly articulate mother whose intellectual arguments impressed and silenced gentlemen, and presented numerous examples of powerful ‘consorts’ in governing roles. But its essays on education drew on François Fénelon’s century-old Traité de l’éducation des filles (1687), which stressed moral and domestic education. The effect of this variety of models was to give ladies options for the kind of woman they wished to imitate, the kind/s of role they wished to play, and the kind/s of instructive reading they accordingly chose, even within the said periodical – and perhaps helped to pacify male readers who objected to women learning on the grounds that ‘they have other things to do [which] they will not mind if they be once Bookish’ (Makin 1673: 6). Periodicals did not, on the whole, bother to explain why men needed knowledge. Perhaps this was obvious enough, given the British Empire’s many new, educationdependent jobs and the fact that ‘learning’ was now enabling men in the lower orders to dramatically better themselves. Periodicals began to flourish at a moment when upward social mobility no longer depended solely on wealth acquisition or grammar-school scholarships leading to the learned professions (law, divinity, medicine). Many now rose from the humblest beginnings as clerks, bookkeepers, and ‘writers’ (i.e. clerks or factors in India or other foreign locales) in commerce; as secretaries, copyists, customs officers, and minor officials in government service at home and abroad; or as printers, booksellers, scriveners, writing masters, tutors and teachers, military and ships’ officers, engineers, surveyors and estate agents almost anywhere. The same could not be said for ladies or would-be ladies, who might reasonably wonder why they should exert themselves to develop their rational faculties and acquire general knowledge when they could be attending to the still room, helping in the shop, or picking out a new tune or gown. Woman-championing periodicals met this challenge by using ‘Conversation’ both to justify female learning and exemplify its results. During the first half of the century, these periodicals attached ladies’ need for knowledge to the fact that conversation was ‘mixed’. Some recent scholars maintain that, contrary to what we once thought, women always already inhabited the ‘public sphere’ – as servers, hawkers, and occasional visitors in coffee houses, for instance. But contemporaries tended to present ‘bring[ing] both Sexes to mix indifferently, in Conversation, in public Assemblies and in all the Diversions of Life, to the mutual Satisfaction and Improvement of each other’ (Free Thinker 1.3 (1718): 10) as something new. Judith Drake, for instance, described this as an import from France that would have a civilising and restraining effect on English men if adopted in England (1697). The Free Thinker described mixed conversation as an invention of ‘philosophers’ who had designed ‘Laws of Politeness and Good Breeding’ such as this to temper men’s natural fierceness (1.3 (1718): 10); while the Ladies Journal said that learning ‘despite the Tyranny of Custom’ would ‘render [ladies’] Conversation more acceptable to the wiser Part of Mankind’ (no. 2 (1727): 11). Conversation was also an important instrument of pedagogy, especially for girls and the unlearned who, even if able to write, had not acquired the habit of using writing as a natural aid to learning, memorisation, and application of what had been learned. Pedagogy – the need to educate children – became an alternative justification for ladies’ acquisition of knowledge after mid-century, when more and more women established themselves as teachers and

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teacher-owners of schools, and feminists began urging mothers to educate their own children (as fathers had earlier been urged to do). On both counts, conversation tended to figure larger in woman-championing periodicals than in other male-authored ones, both as an exemplification of the impact knowledge had on women’s conversation in mixed company, and as a vehicle of instruction in its own right. Here again, we are looking at the adaptation and reorientation of a generic feature, for all periodicals typically included some stylised conversational devices. John Dunton had cleverly appropriated for the Athenian Mercury the question-and-answer structure long familiar even to beginning readers from catechisms and grammars. Later essayperiodicalists preferred the ‘written conversation’ of letters to the editor (which incorporated questions and answers when these sought and received advice) and marked or unmarked letter-essays which positioned the public as addressees and ‘friends’. Since contemporary readers thought of language as situated between an I and a You about an It and conceived of reading as ‘conversing with books’, this was coupled with an eidolon designed (among other things) to provide readers with an obvious interlocutor who could, in turn, acknowledge readers’ shaping presence through bursts of colloquial style, occasional apostrophes and allusions to their qualities or needs. In mainstream ‘spectatorial’ periodicals and later magazines, however, such devices were increasingly overlaid by essays presenting the observations, speculations, or lucubrations of what Johnson felicitously called a ‘disembodied intelligence’ (or series of disembodied intelligences). Abandoning for the moment any quirks associated with the eidolon in favour of the rational exposition and seeming neutrality of a knowledgeable ‘looker-on’, spectatorial periodicalists might summarise conversations, comment on styles of conversation, or produce prescriptive ‘Essays on Conversation’; but they rarely recorded the interactions and speech-acts among conversing characters so that these could be directly ‘seen’ and ‘heard’. Woman-championing periodicals often did allow such conversations to be seen and heard in order to make conversation itself a vehicle of instruction. The Lady’s Weekly Magazine presented its ‘History of the Transactions of the World’ in dialogue form, explaining that ‘we have chose to convey our Sentiments by Way of Dialogue, as the most easy, familiar and natural Method for all Capacities, and which is likely to make the strongest Impression upon the Memory’ (no. 1 (1747): 1). The dialogue is generated by questions that a Miss Bloom and Lady Manley direct to Mrs Pry, who is ‘a connoisseur in both trade and politics’. Miss Bloom explains that her questions are intended ‘for my instruction, as well as my Aunt’s amusement, for I like to know what is doing in the world, as it will furnish me with knowledge useful in Conversation and pleasing to Society’ (1). Conversation was the stated goal as well as the means of instruction. After Mrs Pry’s answers demonstrate her extensive knowledge and shrewd critical judgment, Miss Bloom thanks her by saying: ‘you have given me more instruction with respect to the affairs of Europe than I could have reasonably expected in so short a time’ (2). The time it took to listen to an instructive conversation was all the more profitable for being short. The Female Mentor was subtitled ‘Select Conversations’. While privileging the oral disquisitions of the mother-mentor, it recorded the conversations of ‘an improving and rational society’ composed of both men and women. This society originated in the participants’ childhood, when the mother-character (Amanda) had regularly ‘assembled’ her own and others’ children ‘for recreation, entertainment and improvement, by a course of reading and

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conversation’ of an afternoon (1 (1793): 1). The adult conversational circle here therefore departs in interesting ways both from the literary coteries that Margaret Ezell found reflected in the Gentleman’s Journal at the beginning of the century (Ezell 1992: 323–40), and from single-sex clubs or ‘societies of ladies’ modelled on the Spectator. More modestly, while occasionally introducing whole discourses verbatim, the Free Thinker used issues devoted entirely to letters to simulate ‘written conversation’ by answering his correspondents’ letters in epistolary form, rather than in the narrative voice that introduced them, and by highlighting the mixed-gender character of these conversations. In their uses of conversation, woman-championing periodicals resembled woman-authored periodicals such the Female Spectator (1744–6) and the Old Maid (1755–6) which, according to Sarah Prescott and Jane Spencer, dramatised women’s conversations in a manner ‘unusually open in its extended dialogue form’, represented political discussion ‘as properly placed in mixed-sex assemblies’, and refused to show women ‘taking the receptive role in polite discourse which is usually their place in Addison and Steele’s periodicals’ (2000: 45, 52, 49). Nevertheless, like other periodicals, most of them counted literature among the liberal arts in which they ‘usefully’ instructed readers. That is to say, periodicals not only contained poems, songs, fables, stories, and translations from the classics for the entertainment of the public; they also modelled and taught ways of thinking about literature and talking about texts – in theoretical essays about the actual and/or ideal characteristics of particular genres, in critical essays analysing specific classical or modern texts, and in quick comments on the style or content of the letters, poems, tales, or histories they introduced. Mainstream periodicalists generally strove to teach the public what they had learned in the course of their ‘liberal’ educations at grammar schools and/or universities politely, ‘as if they taught them not’. Though taking every care to expound and clarify what they meant, they pretended they were only displaying their taste and talents, or repeating what all right-thinking people already knew and thought. After years of studying British and American literature in modern academic systems that integrate some version of most of their critical approaches, we view their periodical essays as elegant but curiously familiar moments in the history of literary criticism, rather than as what they also and perhaps primarily were – a means of tactfully instructing the Unlearned in what they did not know. The Ladies Journal and the Free Thinker were at once more obvious and more basic in their literary instruction. The Free Thinker explicitly showed readers how to do comparisons, for instance between two critical essays on the same work. It provided a list of ten criteria for readers to use when judging the validity of arguments; gave ‘Rules for female Doubting’ (2.57 (1718): 6); and instructions for how to study. The Ladies Journal divided its serious essays into an expository half (Precept) and an illustrative story or poem (Example), generally separated by a gap on the page. As apprentices, servants, and daughters in domestic or commercial settings, most people learned adult skills and conduct by imitating the example of others, not by studying abstract general propositions; narrative or poetic examples made it easier for those who had difficulty with abstractions to grasp an essay’s point. At the same time, the obvious juxtaposition of philosophical exposition and literary exempla showed those who could follow both that these were variants – different languages for saying the same things – while illustrating the journal’s overall point: that ‘Poetry’ [i.e. literature] was ‘adorned with the other liberal Sciences’ and ‘a lovely Composition of the body of

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human Learning’ because ‘it teaches us the Secrets of Nature, the Knowledge of Man and Things, and pleasingly leads us into a sense of the innumerable blessings we owe the divine Creator . . . all of which it conveys to us, free from the expence of Travel, severity of Teachers, or pedantry of Schools’ (Ladies Journal no. 2 (1727): 13). Interestingly, the Ladies Journal assumed that the Ladies and Unlearned of 1727 would have no difficulty interpreting the hidden meanings of complex allegories or parables; like The Free Thinker, it published these genres without explanation or translation. The Ladies Journal strove instead to model and teach the newer ‘surface’ criticism of the day – that tissue of formal, belletristic, moral, and universalisinghuman criticism that qualified Joseph Spence for the Oxford Chair of Poetry during the mid 1720s, and that we tend to associate with Hugh Blair and the nineteenth century. For instance, no. 10 used the essayist’s example and a visit to the theatre to see Thomas Otway’s The Orphan, to show readers how to approach a drama ‘so worthy of their best Attention’ (1727: 73). A play was ‘partly for Recreation’, and ‘partly . . . Matter for Speculations’, readers were told. So while the essayist praised the correct emotional response to the play which he both dictated and attributed to ladies – ‘tender Emotions of Pity, and the Sympathetic softness of Sorrow that appear’d in the Breasts and Eyes of the gentle Compassionate Fair, at the undeserv’d Oppression of so much Virtue as made up the Character of Monimia, for Virtue never fails to attract the Esteem and tenderest Regard of generous Souls’ (1727: 73) – he made it clear that demonstrating sensibility was not enough. Ideally, the quality of the play should be judged by reference to the checklist of formal and belletristic criteria he rapidly provided (I have italicised key terms): ‘the Characters are so perfectly drawn, the Distresses so natural and moving, the incidents so proper and Accidental, and in short the whole Plot so judiciously and masterly wrought, that it is only what may at any time happen in private Life, so far is it from anything that’s improbable or uncommon’ (1727: 74). But beginners were not necessarily capable of adopting so much reflective distance or of seeing the play ‘whole’. Consequently, the essayist insisted that the main thing was to take pains to be ‘all Attention at a good Play’ (contrary to theatre audiences’ usual practice) and to ‘devour the Sentences as they issue from the Mouths of the Players’ (1727: 74) in order to find matter for reflection in particular sentences or sententiae. Like Spence whose written criticism followed a familiar schoolroom practice by citing a particular speech before discussing its beauties, didactic moral, and/or revelation of universal traits of human nature, the essayist used an extract from Castalio’s speech about ‘Friendship’ to deliver supposedly ‘loose Thoughts on so noble a Subject, thrown together without any set Method or Form’6 for the benefit of his ‘fair Readers’ (Thursday 23 Mar 1726–7: 74). In the last part of the same number, a letter to ‘The Author of the Ladies Journal’ containing ‘undigested thoughts’ about Poetry confirms that improving, universalising, and moralising ‘Thoughts’ that could be articulated and shared were the proper critical response. Ladies and the Unlearned must not only be moved; they must seek out, reflect upon, and discuss such practical wisdom as was to be found in short, judiciously selected extracts from poetry and plays portraying the common course of private life. Woman-championing periodicals were even more explicit about the uses to which their periodicals should be put. In the passages from the Lady’s Weekly Magazine cited above, Miss Bloom’s articulation of the function and value of the instruction she was receiving from her conversation with Mrs Pry informed readers of the benefits they

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might expect from reading that issue of the periodical: reading the brief dialogue composing it was a quick way for readers to acquire knowledge they too could use in their own future conversations. This was another adaptation and reorientation of a generic feature of periodicals for the benefit of ladies. For all periodicals tried to show their readers how to read them, and why and how they were useful. But most were subtler about it. Except in prefatory material where that existed, they guided readers’ understanding through scattered hints and an occasional essay on the periodical genre, on being a periodical author, on the uses of print, or on genres that frequently found their way into periodicals (such as biography or marvellous tales). Woman-championing periodicals sometimes deployed these devices too. But they also blatantly told readers how to read and use periodicals, especially during the first half of the century when ladies’ education in rhetorical and literary matters was likely to be poor. Comparison makes the difference clear. The Spectator, which developed a variety of themes non-contiguously across its almost 600 issues, used an essay comparing reading to a hunt or chase to indicate to readers who collected Spectator papers as they appeared or bought them bound in volumes, that they could pursue (chase after) any theme they wished (Death, the English Language, Raillery and Wit, etc.) by jumping from relevant paper to relevant paper and reading the periodical discontinuously. But the Free Thinker, which developed themes in the same way, began almost every essay by announcing its subject and giving the numbers of the previous, non-contiguous issues that the current essay was continuing. Having explained to readers that the original papers had been revised for reprinting in volumes, it used the last issue in each volume to drive home instructions repeatedly given in previous issues, as well as to provide yet again the numbers of the issues in that volume to which it wished ‘the Fair’ particularly to attend. The last issue of volume 1 emphasised the importance of ensuring that the volume’s ‘preliminary’ essays or ‘Lectures’ on rational thinking were ‘seriously attended to’, and reminded readers that these were to be found in nos. 1, 45, 10, 14, 16, 26, 36 48, 50 and 53 (in that order). The last issue of volume 2 explained that the periodicalist was obliged ‘frequently to refer from one Paper to another’ to prosecute its educational goals, since by this Expedient, I am able methodically to resume, as well as to point out to my Readers, the Connection of so many different subjects, in the same Order as if they were printed consequentially, and it is by this kind of general Index, that I hope to keep my Thoughts out of Confusion, amidst the Variety, which is expected in a Work of this kind. (2.105 (1719): 235) The Free Thinker and the Ladies Journal devoted most of their efforts to instructing readers in how to regard and use the variety of genres, styles and subjects ‘which is expected in a Work of this kind’. They explained that it was their ‘Business’ as periodical writers to ‘endeavour to please every Body by suiting [their] Discourse, and varying [their] Subjects to the different Tastes of their Readers’ in order to ‘gratifie every Gusto’ (Ladies Journal no. 10 (Thursday 23 Mar 1726–7): 73) and that variety made a periodical ‘like an elegant Feast, where every Guest may find his Palate gratify’d in his Turn’ (Free Thinker 1.9 (1718): 36). ‘Lighter fare’ accommodated readers who ‘can neither relish nor digest, substantial Dishes’ (Free Thinker

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1.9 (1718): 36) and ‘contribute[d] to Diversify an Undertaking which, pursued without Interruption, would soon grow too serious for any but the Wise’ (Free Thinker 1.11 (1718): 45). This did not mean that ‘[l]ighter fare’ was not instructive too – both periodicals assured readers that it was. But it did mean that everyone did not have to read everything – every issue, or every part of every issue. Through warnings in the essay’s first paragraph, or categorisation of the kind of reader/s to which they thought it would appeal – ‘the Fair Sex . . . favour less serious Entertainments’ (Free Thinker 1.22 (1718): 99) – these periodicals excused readers from the ‘[l]ighter fare’ if their taste ran to more ‘substantial dishes’, and from ‘substantial dishes’ if they could neither relish nor digest them. One did not have to stop buying their periodical because one found a particular issue boring, heavy going, or trivial; one could skip that issue and those like it. There was bound to be something eventually in the periodical’s smorgasbord that would appeal. By the same token, one did not have to read a bound volume of periodical issues continuously from cover to cover either to find something one enjoyed or to make sense of the contents – even if, like the Spectator and the Free Thinker, there were a few thematically connected issues or run-on stories embedded amidst its variety, and/or a recurring eidolon. Establishing engaging recurrences and rudimentary continuities was another way of trying to keep readers faithfully buying and dipping into the patchwork of instructive and entertaining fragments periodicals offered. But in that patchwork, each essay, story, or poem also stood on its own. Both periodicals used letters to the editor containing correspondents’ contradictorily positive and negative judgements of a particular issue, essay, or letter to make this point, and invite readers to judge for themselves the utility or interest that individual articles held for them. Publishing correspondents who criticised and corrected a particular essay, praised its argument and added to it, condemned the contents of a particular issue as trivial or dull, complained that the last several numbers contained nothing of interest, and/or demanded that the periodical take up a particular topic, demonstrated to actual readers that others considered essays and issues piecemeal, and read them discontinuously and selectively, without giving the periodical up. Discontinuous reading was something that periodicals facilitated, anticipated, modelled, and got even after their first weekly, twice-weekly, or monthly publication – when isolated essays were reprinted in other periodicals or essay collections; when read ‘by fits and starts’ in an interval of labour or diversions; when dipped into for reading aloud in company; when taken up by readers in different moods, or with different tastes, who skipped what they did not like; when readers pursued diverse particular topics across non-contiguous issues; when the issues or volumes available to a reader were incomplete. Eighteenth-century periodicals were often didactic, even magisterial, in tone and sometimes stridently so, especially on gender issues. But readers’ discontinuous reading of miscellaneous fragments, together with their diverse selections and/ or trajectories through discontinuous materials, scattered the unified ideological message, and dissipated the inescapably regulatory impact attributed to them by modern analyses which (re)construct eighteenth-century periodicals as more or less organic wholes with clear, well-articulated didactic goals. The dispersing and dissolving effect of discontinuous reading was only compounded as readers

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encountered bits and pieces from a variety of periodicals (to say nothing of other kinds of papers and books) – some bought, some borrowed, some found in library reading rooms, taverns or coffee shops, some heard with varying degrees of attention as they were read aloud during convivial evenings at someone’s house or shop. Here the bits and pieces presenting rational, educated, capable ladies in womanchampioning periodicals competed with bits and pieces presenting other types of ‘rhetorical femininity’:7 fashionably frivolous, non-intellectual types; modest and submissive Christian types; headstrong, managing ‘termagant’ types; crossdressing ‘masculine’ types; dutiful types; passionate types; prudes, coquettes, and more. The positive moral valency that one type was given in bits and pieces of one periodical was contradicted by bits and pieces ridiculing or criticising it in another – rhetorical femininities were subject to debate. The regulatory force of any single construction of femininity was further suborned by ‘non-compliant’ readings, such as those modelled and taught in critical or corrective letters to the editor, in letters rejecting whole areas of a periodical’s content outright, or in essays such as Ambrose Philips’s essay on rules for judging arguments. Indeed, Mark Towsey found that in practice, eighteenth-century readers often did not interpret works as they were ‘supposed’ to (2010).8 The fact that many periodicals vigorously condemned coquettes during the 1790s, just as they had during the 1710s and 1720s, for instance, suggests that, decade after eighteenth-century decade, significant numbers of non-compliant women readers skipped, ignored, rejected, or reinterpreted injunctions against female coquetry, wherever they appeared. Perhaps they interpreted didactic condemnations of the illegitimate power and pleasures enjoyed by coquettes as giving them excellent reason to behave like coquettes. Mary Wollstonecraft’s complaint at century’s end that women were still relying on their beauty and wiles to enslave men, instead of using reason and education to equalise gender-relations, suggests the same – that, decade after eighteenth-century decade, significant numbers of women readers were skipping, ignoring, rejecting or reinterpreting injunctions to educate and inform their minds and depend primarily upon themselves. And who is to say that women readers invariably read as women – allying themselves with one or other of the rhetorical femininities in a periodical and considering themselves interpolated only there? Might they not (also/sometimes/often?) have identified with ‘the Unlearned Part of Mankind’, and viewed text and world, discontinuously, through a male gaze? Perhaps unlearned male readers found a similarly convenient disguising screen in periodicals’ assurance that their sole design in delivering ‘the most abstracted Notions in familiar Terms’ and through ‘Metaphors, Similitudes, Illustrations and Allusions’ (Free Thinker 3.147 (1723): 203) was to enable ladies to understand them. Whatever gender identities readers embodied and/or mentally assumed while reading or being read to, it is hard to escape the conclusion that in periodicals perused by both women and men, didacticism promoting fixed gender-binaries and normative female proprieties was blunted, dissipated, and perhaps defeated, precisely by those fixed generic features that women-championing journals reoriented to British Ladies: their instruction of readers of all genders; the interpretative and critical methods they disseminated; their miscellaneous, piecemeal contents; and the discontinuous reading practices they serviced, fostered, and taught.

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Notes 1. The Free Thinker in 1718–23, 1733, 1739, 1740, and 1742; the Female Mentor in 1793, 1796, 1798, and 1802. 2. This is not the argument made in Anderson (1983). Despite revisions in 1991 and 2006, Anderson’s thesis about print’s effect on nationalism depends on assumptions about eighteenth-century print culture which have been superseded (Howsam 2006; Baron et al. 2007; Bannet 2013: 122–33). 3. Fergus 2006; Donoghue 1996; Colclough 2007. 4. See also Bannet 2000. 5. Here, the Free Thinker singled out Queen Elizabeth I, the Ladies Journal Katherine Philips, Aphra Behn, Delarivier Manley, Susannah Centlivre, and Eliza Haywood. 6. In fact, it was highly structured according to conventional rhetorical topoi: definition, arguments in favour of, arguments against, etc. 7. I am borrowing this term from Tara Osell, but extending from eidolons to other verbal constructions of femininity which ‘represent women as a class’ and do not necessarily correspond to actual persons (Osell 2005: 283–300). 8. See also Chartier 1995.

Works Cited Anderson, Benedict. 1983. Imagined Communities. London: Verso. Bannet, Eve Tavor. 2000. The Domestic Revolution: Enlightenment Feminisms and the Novel. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. —. 2013. ‘The History of Reading: the Long Eighteenth Century’. The Literary Compass 10.2: 122–33. Baron, Sabrina Alcorn, Eric N. Lindquist, and Eleanor F. Shevlin, eds. 2007. Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Eisenstein. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. The Bee, or Literary Weekly Intelligencer. 1790–4. Edinburgh. Browne, Stephen H. 1992. ‘Satirizing Women’s Speech’. Rhetorical Society Quarterly 22.3: 20–9. Chartier, Roger. 1995. Form and Meaning. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Clarke, John. 1731. An Essay upon Study. London: Printed for Arthur Bettesworth. Colclough. Stephen. 2007. Consuming Texts: Readers and Reading Communities, 1695–1870. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Copley, Stephen. 1995. ‘Commerce, Conversation and Politeness in Early Eighteenth-Century Periodicals’. British Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies 18.1: 63–77. Donoghue. Frank. 1996. The Fame Machine. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Drake, Judith. 1697. An Essay in Defence of the Female Sex. London: Printed for A. Roper and R. Clavel. Ezell, Margaret. 1992. ‘The Gentleman’s Journal and the Communication of Restoration Coterie Practices’. Modern Philology 89.3: 323–40. The Female Mentor. 1793–6. London. Fergus, Jan. 2006. Provincial Readers in Eighteenth-Century England. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Philips, Ambrose]. The Free Thinker. 1722–3. 3 vols. 3rd edn. London. Howsam. Leslie. 2006. Old Books, New Histories. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Johnson, Samuel. 1969. The Rambler. The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson. Volume V: The Rambler. Ed. W. J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss. New Haven: Yale University Press.

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Knox, Vicesimus. 1779. Essays Moral and Literary, 2 vols. 2nd edn. London: Dilly. The Ladies Journal. 1727. London. The Lady’s Weekly Magazine. 1747. London. Locke, John. 1706. Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke. London: Printed for A. and J. Churchill. Makin, Bathsua. 1673. An Essay to revive the antient education of Gentlewomen in religion, manners, arts and tongues. London: J[ohn] D[arby]. Maurer, Shawn Lisa. 1998. Proposing Men: Dialectics of Gender and Class in the EighteenthCentury English Periodical. Stanford: Stanford University Press. More, Hannah. 1818. The Works of Hannah More. 18 vols. London: T. Cadell. Osell, Tara. 2005. ‘Tatling Women in the Public Sphere: Rhetorical Femininity and the English Essay Periodical’. Eighteenth-Century Studies 38.2: 283–300. Powell, Manushag N. 2011. ‘New Directions in Eighteenth-Century Periodical Studies’. Literary Compass 8.5: 240–57. —. 2012. Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Prescott Sarah and Jane Spencer. 2000. ‘Prattling, tattling and Knowing Everything: Public Authority and Female Editorial Personae in the Early Essay Periodical’. Journal for EighteenthCentury Studies 23.1: 43–57. Read, Beverley. 2005. ‘Exhibiting the Fair Sex’. Periodical Literature in Eighteenth-Century America. Ed. Mark Kamrath and Sharon Harris. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. Towsey, Mark. 2010. Reading the Scottish Enlightenment 1750–1820. Leiden: Brill. Watts, Isaac. 1743. The Improvement of the Mind: A Supplement to the Art of Logick. London: J. Brackstone and T. Longman.

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3 Constructing Women’s History in the LADY’S MUSEUM Anna K. Sagal

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hile Charlotte Lennox has long been the subject of significant scholarship, the Lady’s Museum remains a largely underexamined piece in her oeuvre. Produced during her most prolific decade, and encompassing a number of her other works in poetry and translation, it was among her most ambitious projects; it is certainly one that bolsters her (still contested) legacy as a feminist author. The Lady’s Museum was published in eleven monthly instalments from 1760 to 1761 and subsequently released in two bound volumes (Small 1969: 220; Schürer 2008: 32). Each number contained a wide variety of informative articles, including introductory essays from the Trifler (the periodical’s eidolon),1 pieces on geography, natural philosophy, and history, letters from correspondents, poems, songs, and biographies, two tracts on women’s education, and the first serialised printing of Lennox’s 1762 novel Sophia (Bataille 2000: 5; Powell 2012: 185). As a whole, the periodical was designed to be a comprehensive educational resource for its female readers; a resource, I contend, that accomplishes its ambitious aims through a distinctive vision of women’s history that enmeshes itself with the genre of romance. History and romance were already intertwined genres for early modern readers. The grand heroic romances of the seventeenth century, like Madeleine de Scudéry’s Clélie (1654–61), reimagined classical history, just as ambitious histories like the multi-authored A Universal History (1747–68) and Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776) romanticised key historical figures and events. Amatory fictions regularly employed the term ‘history’ in their titles without pretending to historical accuracy or even historical content. Despite such mutual imbrication, however, critics in the period were invested in theorising the two genres as distinct. History was conceptualised as masculine, bound up as it was with notions of rationality and realism in contradistinction to the fanciful genre of romance (Strehle and Carden 2003: xv). Romance, on the other hand, was associated with the feminine and with women in often very negative ways, and popular critical opinion derided female readers for their links to the genre – whether or not they actually read romances. The two genres were believed to occupy opposite sides of an unbridgeable chasm, resolutely distinct in their attributes because history had not yet ‘lost its privileged status as a closed and final narrative outside the play of time’, while romance remained an homage to what Clara Reeve dismissed as ‘what has never happened, nor is likely to happen’ (Strehle and Carden 2003: xxiii; Reeve 1785: 111). Eighteenthcentury thinkers were also engaged in debates about the value of ancient versus modern

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history, often contesting the significance of either genre to contemporary experience, as well as the potential each possessed to be edifying or exemplary. As is evidenced in Lennox’s periodical, ancient and modern histories alike were deployed for both literary and critical purposes, as she draws upon a diversity of sources to create her educational publication. Lennox’s own efforts to write history for her female readers were remarkable. Historical essays in the Lady’s Museum not only defied conventional notions of generic separation, but did so in generative ways that accomplished more than a simple acknowledgement of their interconnectedness. If romance was to be designated a female genre, then history infused with romance could offer women more potent reasons for the reading of history than simply edification or the inculcation of values. In opening up space for a distinct type of history reading – history that was sexy, exciting, and playful – Lennox affirms the significance of female experience to the broader narrative of history and the importance of unique ways of telling that history. These histories also encompass a diversity of cultures, informing her readers about bygone societies while subtly underscoring the similarities between modern-day England and these seemingly fantastical pasts in order to highlight the enduring value of female experience. Thus, while Lennox’s readers were on the whole unlikely to marry dukes like the heroine of Bianca Capello or lead armies like the titular Princess Padmani, they could be inspired by illustrations of ingenuity and strength that contrasted with repressive contemporary notions of femininity. Indeed, contemporary conduct-of-life works such as Lady Sarah Pennington’s An Unfortunate Mother’s Advice to Her Absent Daughters (1761) endorsed models of appropriate female education and deportment that were ultimately quite restrictive. The Lady’s Museum was thus labouring against deeply entrenched attitudes in its attempts to promote an expansive vision of women’s history and female experience. Popular periodicals served as barometers for prevailing attitudes about women’s history reading. While Joseph Addison in Spectator no. 37 mocked a woman’s pretensions to reading ‘Seneca’s Morals’ and ‘Ogleby’s Virgil’ because of their placement in a library next to salacious texts like ‘The New Atalantis, with a Key to it’ and ‘Clelia: Which opened of it self in the Place that describes two Lovers in a Bower’, by mid-century attitudes toward women’s reading practices seem to have shifted (12 Apr 1711, vol. 1: 153–5). Eliza Haywood, for one, recommended extensive reading of classical history in book 15 of the Female Spectator (1744–6), listing, among many other Greek and Roman scholars ‘HERODOTUS, Thucydides, Dion, and Xenophon’, in an extensive essay on the importance of history to a holistic education (6 July 1745, vol. 3: 95). The Lady’s Museum also advocated for history reading, with one essay declaring, ‘Those striking pictures, that are displayed in the annals of the human race, are highly proper to direct the judgment, and form the heart’ (1.1: 13). The male-authored Lady’s Curiosity (1752) likewise praised women for judicious reading, differentiating between the sensible, domestic reading of ‘the Married Philosopher’ and the overly complex (and possibly scientific) reading of ‘the Blazing Comet’ (Druid 1752: 22). Finally, Jasper Goodwill’s Ladies Magazine: or, the Universal Entertainer (1749–53) ranked being ‘well read’ among the highest praises to be bestowed upon a woman: ‘She . . . was endowed with a surprising Memory. Her Elocution was remarkably fine, and her Action just. In a Word, she was well read’ (3.13 (2–16 May 1752): 195).

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In particular, eighteenth-century writers often believed that history about women would especially appeal to female readers. While women’s history was not a fully differentiated genre in the eighteenth century, texts like catalogues of ‘women worthies’ hint at the emergence of the genre and undergird the importance of understanding history written specifically about women as distinct from other types of history. Popular eighteenth-century contributions by both men and women included George Ballard’s Memoirs of Several Ladies of Great Britain (1752), John Duncombe’s Feminead (1754), and Mary Scott’s The Female Advocate (1775). This was not a new trend in the eighteenth century, either; histories of famous female figures penned for a female reading audience trace their roots at least to Giovanni Boccaccio’s De Mulieribus Claris (1374) and Christine de Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies (1405). Yet many such texts were deeply rooted in conservative perspectives on subjects like religion, politics, fashion, and art, despite an ostensibly forwardthinking approach to female education and accomplishments. Periodicals, however, occupied a nebulous space between a traditionalist pedagogical model and a more progressive modus operandi; though they, too, contributed to the cultivation of emergent cultural and social values, the distinctiveness of the miscellany format enabled publications like the Lady’s Museum to lay claim to an educational imperative and accomplish that aim in innovative ways. In fact, though many critics have dismissed the educational claims of most magazines as insincere or insufficient, such critiques overlook what may have been genuine pedagogical value for actual women readers in the period.2 Furthermore, as a review of the historical content in the Lady’s Museum will demonstrate, the pedagogical value of such material transcended mere ‘women’s interest’ and instead became representative of the diverse possibilities for women’s intellectual and internal lives. As the periodical reimagines the stories of famous heroines like Joan of Arc, female readers see models of virtue, strength, and resilience that posit alternatives to modern examples of ideal femininity. The Lady’s Museum was deeply invested in the value of history reading and history writing for its female audience. Of the wide variety of texts that comprise the bulk of the periodical’s content, articles that may be considered ‘historical’ take up a little more than a third of entire publication.3 This is a remarkable proportion, even given the vogue for endorsing the reading of history among periodicals. While this initially suggests that Lennox was in part seeking to capitalise on a trend, it is also evident that she sincerely believed in the value of historical texts for her female readers. For example, an early essay in the first number extols women’s history with extended references to celebrated female historians and the viability of women as actors in the broader narrative of history: ‘Women have at all times had so great a share in events, and have acted so many different parts, that they may with reason consider our archives as their own; nay, there are many of them who have written memoirs of the several events of which they have been eye-witness’ (1.1: 13). The essay proceeds to name Anna Comnena and Christine de Pizan, medieval women renowned for their historical labour. Here, women are celebrated not only as participants in the vast ‘archives’ of history, but also as writers/creators of history, drafting ‘memoirs’, translations, and commentaries on significant moments in time. Staking a claim to historical authority as witnesses, female authors position their intellectual labour in the same sphere as male historiographic work: able to ‘with reason consider our [male] archives their own’, they toil under the same intellectual circumstances.

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Yet this endorsement is problematic. However laudatory this passage seems, it has been preceded a mere two pages before by the admonition, ‘If their sex has produced Daciers and Chatelets, these are examples rarely found, and fitter to be admired than imitated: for who would wish to see assemblies made up of doctors in petticoats, who will regale us with Greek and the systems of Leibnitz’ (1.1: 11). In addition to its blunt critique of female intellectual labour, this statement also evokes the contemporary belief that the end of all women’s education was the cultivation of elegant manners and proper deportment. But why affirm the historical labour of de Pizan while critiquing similar work by Anne Dacier? Perhaps Dacier’s work as a translator of classics shifted her labour into an unfeminine sphere, although this prejudice did not seem to have an impact on the reputation of Elizabeth Carter, who was widely respected for her translations of Epictetus. A critique of Émilie du Châtelet is more plausible; as a mathematician and physicist, du Châtelet was perceptibly intruding upon ostensibly masculine spheres of inquiry. Female intellectual labour, then, was delimited in very specific ways in this particular essay; flexible enough to allow for the assembly of women’s history (de Pizan) or a history of family members (Comnena), but rigid enough to exclude classical translations and philosophical commentaries. It is also significant that none of the female intellectuals mentioned – appreciatively or otherwise – are English; academic achievement seems shunted to a European setting, as if the periodical hesitates to depict English women achieving or aspiring to advanced knowledge. Another solution, however, offers itself: these are not Lennox’s words at all, but a translation of Pierre Joseph Bourdier de Villemert’s L’ami des femmes (1758) that she may have done herself (Lorenzo Modia 2010: 204–5). Incorporated in the magazine as ‘Of the Studies Proper for Women’, this educational tract was a vital contribution to her educational programme in the periodical, but it also added to a consistent tension between the publication’s divergent attitudes regarding women’s education. Building upon the arguments of Judith Dorn (1992) and Claire Boulard Jouslin (2012), I submit that this particular essay substantiated the pedagogical ethos of the magazine without fully representing the periodical’s ultimate stance on the notion of women reading and writing history – a stance that is ultimately far more progressive than either critic has suggested. As such, Villemert’s condemnation of women’s history functions as a conservative attitude against which Lennox can position her unique vision of women’s history. That said, while the French authorship of this essay partially explains the omission of English women in this passage, it does not explain their absence from the entire periodical, a fact that problematises our assessment of Lennox’s project as a truly inclusive endeavour. Periodicals like the Lady’s Museum were likely a noteworthy resource for women’s entertainment, as well as edification; as Jan Fergus has shown through a study of borrowing and purchasing records, novels (romances among them) were not the primary genre women seemed to have been reading (2000: 159). In fact, as Paula McDowell observes, ‘eighteenth-century women as a group were more likely to participate in newspapers and periodicals’ both as authors and as readers (2000: 136). This may have been in part a function of practicality: around this time period, Fergus estimates that novels were ‘three to five times the cost of a magazine’, making their purchase prohibitive for most middle-class readers (2000: 163). Magazines, on the other hand, were more widely available both for purchase and for rent through newly founded lending libraries, circumstances that enabled further literary participation among middle-class

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readers (Ballaster et al. 1991: 45). This disparity between magazines and novels raises a number of questions. Did women look to periodicals as a source for entertaining reading in lieu of expensive, possibly forbidden novels or romances? Did periodicals like the Lady’s Museum represent a more creative (and possibly more pleasurable) pedagogical model than other contemporary educational texts for women? What was the value of the connections between romance and history for female readers? At least initially, one suspects that romances found a neat fit in the periodical because – like magazines – they were generously consumed by female readers. This shared audience may have been seen as an opportunity for profit; women were more likely to buy periodicals that had content they knew they would enjoy (and were likewise more likely to share such texts with friends and relatives, inspiring new readers and potentially new customers). Further, if, as critics have averred, periodicals themselves represented a certain gentility of intellectual consumption, the act of reading a periodical – however sensational the contents – could arguably be seen as a more ladylike act than reading a novel (Shevelow 1989: 2; Italia 2005: 6, 194). The educational imperative of many periodicals, especially those with aspirations to an audience of ‘ladies’, may have also served to recontextualise entertaining material in a more appropriate manner. Certainly, magazines like the Free-Thinker (1718–21), the Visiter (1723–4), and the Ladies Magazine pretended to a kind of educational aim and often directly addressed subjects like women’s reading, but they provided such materials within a miscellany of subjects without any strong pedagogical framework. Unlike many of these publications, Lennox’s periodical was an overtly pedagogical endeavour. As such, her work in negotiating a place for romance writing within the context of women’s history takes on added significance. Indeed, it was no simple task to recast romance as either edifying or useful. Romances were something of a critical scapegoat in the eighteenth century. Primarily translated from French and Italian, heroic romances like those Arabella from Lennox’s Female Quixote (1752) read were seen to promote sexual licence, religious laxity, and improper behaviour. Thus, while according to Sharon Smith Palo, earlier feminist authors like Judith Drake and Hannah Woolley argued that ‘romances teach young women to revere admirable human qualities, improve women’s conversation and their understanding of language, and provide knowledge of a world with which they might otherwise have limited experience’, by mid-century they were largely considered part of genre that was cause for nothing but suspicion.4 This is not to say that romances lagged in popularity; while the heroic romance of the seventeenth century lost some currency with readers, the surge in amatory fiction at the beginning of the eighteenth century has been seen as filling that generic gap, sustaining a vibrant tradition of what Ros Ballaster calls ‘love fictions’ targeted at female readers (1992: 51). Indeed, as Reeve’s The Progress of Romance (1785) reveals, critics remained uneasy about women’s romance-reading practices through the entire century. However, in the Lady’s Museum, Lennox works to rehabilitate conventions typically associated with romance through its intersections with the genre of women’s history. As Devoney Looser has shown, romance and history were far from completely differentiated in Lennox’s oeuvre, and often, she advances a fruitful mix of the two. The most common source for this observation has traditionally been The Female Quixote, in which Arabella spends the entire novel developing a kind of historiographic model of self-education by balancing the ancient history of her romances with the modern

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history of her peers (2000: 111). I suggest that while the romance model of history is seemingly dismissed in the conclusion, we cannot deny the power and influence it has afforded Arabella, nor the genuine education she gained from such texts, despite her idiosyncrasies.5 Ultimately, the notion of history as a category of static fact-telling was neither plausible nor appealing in The Female Quixote; nor was it appealing to Lennox herself. Lennox’s own efforts to publish by subscription ‘The Age of Queen Elizabeth’ (although eventually unsuccessful) were shaped by advice at the outset from William Robertson to avoid tedium and not ‘confine [itself] . . . wholly to historical transactions’ (Schürer 2012: 98). This characteristic lack of emphasis on fact-based history is a crucial factor in evaluating her pedagogical approach as innovative; instead, Lennox accentuates the value of narrative and rejects the notion of education-as-behaviourmodification in favour of education-as-experience. Armed with the benefits garnered from the entanglement of romance and history in her previous writings, Lennox’s work in the Lady’s Museum poses an equally compelling troubling of the two genres as pure and separate categories. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that the task of sorting out history from romance in her periodical remains a challenging one, as in every number there are a number of articles arguably classifiable as historical: The History of the Duchess of Beaufort (nos. 1 and 2); The History of the Count de Comminge (nos. 2–9); An Account of the Vestal Virgins (no. 2); Essay on the Original Inhabitants of Great Britain (nos. 3–8); The Tryal of the Maid of Orleans (no. 3); The History of Bianca Capello (nos. 5–7); The History of the Princess Padmani (no. 9); and The Life of Anthony Van Dyck (nos. 10 and 11). In two cases (Comminge and Van Dyck), the subjects are male and therefore fall outside the purview of women’s history as I define it in this study. Essay on the Original Inhabitants of Great Britain, while predominantly a history of male-driven events taken from Paul de Rapin Thoray’s History of England (1726), does include a somewhat sympathetic four-page section on Queen Boadicea that is worth noting, if only as a point of contrast to many of the other feminocentric tales (Powell 2012: 183). Of the remainder, Princess Padmani is an oriental tale that Lennox found in an early eighteenth-century history of the Mughal Empire, although she may have also been influenced by more contemporary adaptations of this ubiquitous Rajput legend. Bianca Capello, while sensational and exciting, concerns a well-known historical figure and was likely written or translated by Lennox.6 Duchess of Beaufort is primarily drawn from the Memoirs of the Duke of Sully, a work that Lennox translated in 1751.7 The fact that she repurposed the material is not unusual (she did the same with a few poems, for example), and it was likely that she felt it important to maintain a robust historical presence in each number – Duchess of Beaufort is the only historical essay in the first issue. (It is also worthwhile to note that in this context she renamed the translation for the Duke’s mistress.) Vestal Virgins, which could have been pulled from any number of histories of Roman antiquity that circulated throughout England in the eighteenth century, represents a contribution from classical history. Finally, Maid of Orleans is carefully notated as ‘extracted from the Archives of Normandy’, although it is also conceivable that Lennox was inspired by Jean Chapelain’s popular epic poem La Pucelle, où la France délivrée (1656).8 The diversity of sources for her periodical indicates not only the extensive research she put into crafting her educational offerings, but also the important emphasis she placed upon breadth in her vision for women’s reading.

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Essays featuring women’s history appear in nine of the eleven numbers. Three might be categorised as romances, while the others seem to typify conventional history in a strictly narrative sense. Each of those first three, crucially, employs the term ‘history’ in its title, a common rhetorical move in amatory as well as sentimental fiction. However, while we might then assume that Lennox is evoking ‘history’ in the novelistic sense of the term (as with Richardson’s Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady (1748), for example, or the periodical’s own History of Harriot and Sophia), it is potentially also likely that she used the term to market the pieces as history qua history in conjunction with Villemert’s declaration in favour of historical reading. ‘History’ as a generic term also seems to specifically target biographical pieces, whereas more expository essays on a time period, a set of circumstances, or a group of people are titled differently. In her choice of titles, Lennox is thereby engaging in an ongoing debate about what constituted history and, in particular, what was deemed valuable or significant history. By insisting upon the label of ‘history’ for biographical pieces versus, for example, the genre of ‘lives’ that her friend Samuel Johnson would later work with extensively, Lennox is affirming both the veracity of her work and its pedagogical value. It is clear upon reading the Lady’s Museum that each of these essays contributes to the historical thrust of the series. Thus, while Dorn remarks that these essays ‘stretch the contemporary meaning of “history” to the fullest’, I think it worth parsing the benefits of that ‘stretching’ and thinking flexibly about Lennox’s production of women’s history outside the generic boundaries that were proscribed for her readers (1992: 17). Appealing to women initially through their female characters, these pieces become valuable not only as stories about and for women, but as stories that can teach women how to negotiate a challenging and often dissatisfying modern English society. The articles also frequently raise questions about women’s social, intellectual, and legal freedoms, positing imaginative alternatives to the lived experience of their readers, which, although not viable models in themselves, represent the kinds of critical thinking and engagement the periodical could provide in service of a more fulfilling life. As Manushag N. Powell notes, Lennox is highly concerned with the value of reading to her female audiences and ‘is trying to reform female readers; not to make them more scholarly, exactly, but to use reading to modify their deportments with the aim of making them less miserable (yet more commodifiable, valuable) in a mixed-sex world’ (2012: 190). I would further suggest that the reading of women’s history in particular is used to cultivate a level of intellectual and emotional engagement that must be understood as deeply satisfying in and of itself. An early historical foray presented in the second number of the Lady’s Museum, An Account of the Vestal Virgins seems tailor-made for a female audience. In this essay, a group of isolated and well-educated women are offered privileges and benefits that exceeded those available to women in the broader society. Evoking the female communities of nunneries in medieval and early modern Europe, the Vestal community in ancient Rome represents a kind of ideal existence for women. Women are not forced into unloving marriages, nor are they subject to the social and financial strain of living as spinsters. More remarkably, they are also offered a kind of advanced education (albeit in religious worship) that encompassed the majority of their time in service. Lennox elaborates, ‘The first ten years were a kind of novitiate or probation, when they were instructed in all the sacred mysteries; the next ten were passed in the practice of them, and the last ten in teaching the novices’ (1.2: 116). In this society, women

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are even offered the opportunity to serve as educators to other women, modelling the kind of ideal, multigenerational female community that Sarah Scott would soon envision in her Millenium Hall (1762). Most importantly, ‘they were educated and maintained at the expense of the common-wealth’, ascribing greater social significance to these women, their education, and their lives (1.2: 116). In short, the Vestals are esteemed in Roman society because of opportunities that, as many authors lamented, were unavailable to modern women. In addition to the social and educational benefits the Vestals enjoyed, there were various legal and financial advantages as well. As Lennox notes: [V]ery great privileges and marks of distinction were at several times granted to the vestals. They had a right to make a will during their father’s life, and to dispose of their fortunes, without a trustee; for the Roman women were always under guardianship: they were forbid to take an oath, and in courts of justice their evidence was admitted upon their bare affirmation. (1.2: 116) Unlike contemporary English women (or historical Roman women), the Vestals have legal rights and protections that affirm their protected status. They have financial control over their own estates, the legal flexibility to determine the ultimate fate of their property and assets, and even the ratification of individual personhood inherent in the ability to appear in court independently of any male relative. In what almost reads like a fantasy scenario for struggling women in the eighteenth century, the Vestals transcend quotidian womanhood and represent a model of liberated femininity that has much to offer. Of course, whether in Lennox’s modern England or the world of historical Rome, this model is ultimately unsustainable. The remainder of the essay proceeds to detail corruption and scandals in the Roman religious network, as well as the draconian punishments meted out to the Vestals who failed in some aspect of their duties, either through laxity (in letting a sacred flame expire) or sexual licence (in violating their vows of chastity) (1.2: 117). And while Lennox shudders in horror at the excessive lengths to which Romans went to punish unchaste women, one cannot but be reminded of the many, many deaths of unchaste women in other eighteenth-century fictions. The remainder of this short essay begins to blur history with romance, as the escapades of Emilia, Marcia, and Licinia turn scandalous, evoking the excessive sexuality cautioned against in anti-romance tracts, with their promiscuity in pursuing and sharing multiple sexual partners. One suspects that in this narrative turn, Lennox is drawing the age’s anti-Catholic prejudices to their logical conclusion; virginity as a permanent category of female life was so closely associated with the concept of the nunnery and with Catholicism that it was impossible for her to imagine chastity as a viable option. However, this history also illuminates the relationship between a potentially ideal feminine society and a repressive masculine force that spoils that ideal, evoking some of the gendered tensions present in modern English society at a time when women struggled to negotiate ideal situations of their own. Here, Lennox uses a technique readers would soon come to recognise in the Gothic novel – the mitigation of a contentious topic through temporal and geographic distance. Vestal Virgins thereby has the potential to be thought-provoking and sensational in equal measure.

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The Tryal of the Maid of Orleans is a historical biography with a more complex stance on appropriate femininity, women’s intellectual freedom, and the value of female worthies. As the title indicates, it retells the story of Joan of Arc’s rise to power, trial for blasphemy, and eventual execution, and it manages to do so with an unexpected degree of sympathy for a Catholic martyr (particularly surprising given Lennox’s own ambivalence about the Catholic religion in this publication). Here, the editorial apparatus of the Lady’s Museum makes a point of noting, as mentioned above, that Lennox herself did not write or even translate this particular piece, but that it was ‘Extracted from the Archives of Normandy, by John Nagerel, canon and archdeacon of the church of Notre Dame At Rouen [and] Communicated to the author by a friend’ (1.3: 212). The citation of source material is rare both for the Lady’s Museum and for periodicals as a genre; a lack of attribution was endemic among the periodical press, as loopholes in copyright and licensing laws left flexibility for the reproduction and repurposing of texts across publications (Italia 2005: 21, 201–2). It was also common for eighteenth-century descriptions of Joan of Arc to be drawn from historical record; Rouen, being the site of her execution, was a likely place for useful resources (Raknem 1971: 4). This specific attribution in the Lady’s Museum suggests that Lennox was taking pains to substantiate her content as pedagogically valuable and historically accurate, while at the same time preserving the fiction of multiple contributors to her miscellany periodical. Of course, romances often employed the fiction of ‘archival discovery’ as a framing device, a trend that complicates an assessment of this attribution as influenced by either history or romance conventions. Regardless of the inspiration for this attribution, the material was clearly positioned to appeal to female readers in a number of ways. This feminocentric tale features a ‘worthy’ woman whose intelligence and military prowess won her a spot in the annals of history as a legendary French heroine and Catholic martyr. In her portrayal in the Lady’s Museum, moreover, her intellectual abilities and the influence those abilities afforded her are the most valuable aspects of her character. Lennox explains, ‘she spoke with so much knowledge, with so much prudence and wisdom, that her opinion was often followed, and that of the most experienced generals laid aside’ (1.3: 213). Exceeding the expertise even of men with decades of military experience, Joan’s knowledge of the world, of politics, and of warfare become transcendent in this essay. And while her actual military intelligence is at least nominally attributed to religious revelation, the text as written in this periodical de-emphasises her religious inspiration to an almost surprising extent – so much so that what must have surely been a deep scepticism on Lennox’s (Anglican) part is absent from the text and the martyr’s eventual execution is condemned as ‘unjust’ (1.3: 228). Perhaps in this history, the unconventional behaviour of its heroine is laudable enough for Lennox to mitigate her anti-Catholic prejudices. This marked sympathy for the French Catholic Joan is also potentially a defensive reaction to contemporary critical accounts. While literary response to Joan’s role in French history and her gradual emergence as a saintly figure was largely positive in Europe, detractions typically concerned her religious visions and sexual purity, for example, as in Voltaire’s derisive parody La Pucelle D’Orléans (1762) (Raknem 1971: 24, 73). Featuring similar aspersions, Shakespeare’s scathing depiction of Joan in Henry IV (c. 1596–9) might have also influenced Lennox’s version – she did treat Shakespeare’s corpus extensively in her Shakespear Illustrated

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(1753–4) (Goy-Blanquet 2003: 2). Lennox carefully balances Joan’s assertiveness and non-traditional behaviour with their positive valences, eliminating the saintly cult of personality that characterised French accounts while still emphasising her essential goodness and innocence. She writes admiringly of her military heroine, ‘[e]very thing seemed familiar to her mind; her activity and address were equal to those of the most accomplished warriors’, but importantly also includes the seemingly irrelevant fact that ‘her mother had taught her to sew’ (1.3: 213, 221). Lennox is careful to modulate any aggression on the part of her French heroine, noting, ‘[Joan] did not call herself a warrior in these letters . . . [that information] had been since added to them’ (1.3: 223). Although she was evidently as talented and physically fit as ‘the most accomplished warriors’, she could easily adapt to feminine activities like sewing, and even at one point worked as a ‘maid-servant’ (1.3: 221). Joan’s contributions to the French war effort are more queenly than crass, as she moves through the troops with ‘the unaffected politeness and ceremony of a courtier’ and none of the grotesque physicality that was attributed to other warlike women (Lennox’s Boadicea among them, who ‘was of a masculine countenance, tall in stature, with yellow hair’) (1.3: 212, 277). Despite the heroine’s unfortunate demise, the story of Joan of Arc as retold by Lennox paints a portrait of respectable, independent femininity that can exist in a reimagined narrative space for women to enjoy and draw inspiration from. The periodical continues to offer edifying and entertaining stories about controversial women with The History of Bianca Capello. A historical biography with as much romantic flair as one could ask for, this piece concerns the true story of a sixteenthcentury Italian noblewoman and her various romantic entanglements. The young Bianca becomes the mistress and later wife of two different men, is embroiled in a number of court intrigues and death threats, and is eventually murdered along with her second husband. While the story was certainly salacious enough to form the backbone of Thomas Middleton’s Women Beware Women (1657), notorious as an excoriating interpretation of a fallen, ruthless Bianca, Lennox takes a wholly sympathetic stance. Throughout the narrative, Bianca is characterised as virtuous, kind, and good, largely innocent of any wrongdoing. As a young lady, she is ‘extremely beautiful, and of so winning and graceful behaviour as enhanced the lustre of her charms’, just as a heroine ought to be (1.3: 245). In a characterisation consonant with the romance genre, Bianca’s fall from grace into her first sexual relationship is largely out of her control; as Pietro Buonaventuri’s ceaseless efforts to seduce her proceed, she ‘began to regard with some attention the attractive graces of his person and manner, till this new reciprocal love augmenting every day, became sanctified at length by a private marriage, followed by many secret meetings’ (1.5: 345–6). And unlike every other secret marriage in the history of secret marriages, Bianca’s is legitimate; when the lovers flee to Florence upon her family discovering their affair, they are accepted into the Buonaventuri household and the duchy as a married couple. There, Bianca almost immediately becomes seduced into another love affair with Duke Francisco, who lures her from a self-imposed seclusion with a series of social contrivances until ‘having heard, she soon consented to accept his love: the charms of his conversation and person encreasing every day her inclination for him, till their passion became mutual’ (2.6: 459). In a narrative gesture that was common in femaleauthored romances, Lennox refers to her as ‘poor Bianca’, lamenting the ‘thorny paths

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that brought her to the flowery precipice into which she fell’: notably, as in many of Haywood’s works, the author treats a victimised woman with empathy, rather than scorn or derision (2.6: 459). In fact, Lennox conveys a Bianca who somehow remains faithful to both men in her life, loving her husband ‘to excess’ yet continuing to cheerfully consort with the duke. Dramatically unlike Middleton’s Bianca, whose seduction by the duke embitters and ruins her – recall the chilling lines, ‘I’m made bold now; I thank thy treachery, sin, and I’m acquainted; No couple greater’ (Middleton 2002: II, ii, 442–4) – Bianca in the Lady’s Museum is lovingly concerned for her husband’s safety. She cries, ‘Since my love for you exceeds all that is, or ever was, of passionate, and kind, let me by that conjure you, to hear me out with patience’, pleading with her husband to cease his all-too-public philandering (2.6: 464). When he unsurprisingly does not and is brutally murdered, Bianca ‘with the utmost violence of passion, was ready to destroy herself’ and only failed because of the duke’s intercession. And after an unspecified amount of time, the duke resolves to marry her himself, observing, ‘his love alone had obscured her virtues, which in themselves were both great and many’ (2.7: 535). Bianca here emerges as the closest thing we might imagine to a model romance heroine almost in the vein of Richardson’s Clarissa: she retains her virtue even through seduction, remains faithful to and elicits marriage from both of her sexual partners, and is above all innocent of any wrongdoing – even of the poisoning which takes her life and that of the duke. For Lennox’s readers, the tale of Bianca Capello occupies a space between history and romance; based upon a well-known true story, yet recast with a sympathetic and even potentially radical reading of a woman’s sexual freedoms, this particular piece in the Lady’s Museum offers another vignette of enticing yet ultimately unsustainable female behaviour. Obviously, Lennox is not endorsing a life of infidelity; what she does seem to be gesturing toward, however, is the notion that female virtue can survive in the most unexpected places. It is also clearly something of a recovery project – pushing back against accounts like Middleton’s that fail to view the woman’s role in such a determined series of seductions as wholly sympathetic. By emphasising both female vulnerability in the face of male sexual power/violence and the inner strength that women can call forth in such scenarios, Lennox rehabilitates Bianca Capello, turning her scandalous past into a model of female virtue worth considering. With the inclusion of The History of Princess Padmani in no. 9, Lennox returns with a title character who embodies many of the same gendered ambiguities as Joan of Arc and Boadicea, as the princess’s wartime expedition reflects her bravery and loyalty despite ultimately leading to disaster. While Padmani is unique among the Lady’s Museum offerings because of its oriental origins, oriental tales were quite popular at mid-century and here again Lennox may have been taking advantage of a vogue for particular subjects to promote her periodical. The content was pulled nearly verbatim from Niccolao Manucci’s The General History of the Mogol Empire (1709);9 given Lennox’s familiarity with Italian romances, she may have first discovered the legend in Francesco Vanneschi’s more recent Artamene (1746). Because of the immense popularity of the Padmani tradition in Rajput culture stretching back to the mid-sixteenth century, it is also conceivable that scholars of Near East Studies in England were familiar with the legend, and a reference to a ‘Portuguese historian’ in the text itself raises the possibility that Lennox came across a version in her translation work (Sreenivasan 2007: 2–3). Either way, the inclusion of an oriental tale in the periodical both expanded the cultural

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sphere of the periodical’s contents – exposing Lennox’s female readers to other historical genres – and deepened its commitment to exploring diverse female experiences. Lennox’s Padmani recounts the story of the conquering Mogul Emperor Ackebar’s lustful advances toward the Princess Padmani, the much-beloved wife of the Raja Rana. As with many of the other feminocentric tales in the Lady’s Museum, Padmani is forced to defend her own honour in the absence of male protection; namely, when her husband briefly considers giving her up to his rival to avoid bloodshed. She pushes her husband to regain his military authority (and, of course, masculine reputation) by ‘consum[ing] the enemy’s forces and extinguish[ing] his flame’ (2.9: 699). Here, the woman is the actor in a position of strength; unlike many other contested princesses, Padmani has a say in the way her fate is decided. And when her husband is eventually tricked and captured by his enemy, Padmani rises to the occasion with a few military tricks of her own. Lennox writes, ‘The gallant princess did not suffer herself to be overwhelmed with this unexpected disaster; she immediately got on horseback, and with her lance in her hand, appeared at the head of her troops, resolved to conquer or die’ (2.9: 703). Unlike poor Boadicea, however, who ‘became . . . inhumanly savage’, Padmani ‘shewed herself as much superior to the men in prudence and courage, as she surpassed in beauty all those of her sex’ (1: 277, 2: 704). Next, she pretends to capitulate to Akebar’s demands, only to secretly dispatch a squad of elite warriors into the heart of her enemy’s camp to wreck havoc and free her husband (2: 706–8). Unfortunately, Akebar, ‘baffled and outwitted by a woman’, becomes ‘enraged to the last degree’ and lays waste to the entire city, slaying Rana and inspiring the faithful Padmani’s suicide (2.9: 708–9). While The History of the Princess Padmani continues a troubling trend in bad ends for good women throughout the Lady’s Museum, it is valuable here to think through the benefits Lennox’s readers gain from reading the Indian princess’s grand adventures. Padmani displayed greater fortitude, sharper tactical intelligence, and a more substantial devotion to her marriage than her male compatriots. Exemplifying the best in female virtue while transcending the limits of conventional femininity, she is also clearly a candidate for the annals of ‘worthy’ women. Like the histories of the Vestals, Joan, and Bianca, Padmani’s life is not itself a model for eighteenth-century English women to imitate, but it is instead proof of enduring female qualities – resilience, bravery, intelligence, and loyalty. While modern readers of the Lady’s Museum had no occasion to take up a spear, they did likely need periodic reminders about their own strengths. And for Lennox, the story of the Princess Padmani is only one of the many ways in which her readers could learn such a valuable lesson. As brief as it has been, this review of selected historical pieces from the Lady’s Museum gives rise to a number of valuable observations about the role of history essays in this periodical. Initially, it is notable that for all of Lennox’s inventiveness in positioning romances and scandalous histories as intellectually valuable, she does not feel comfortable incorporating histories of English women – even those from a long-distant past. This at least partially contravenes her project of offering exciting, romance-inflected history as an inspiration for contemporary English readers, although it also underscores the prevailing attitudes about a restrictive English femininity that Lennox was working against. It is likewise apparent that each of these essays both incorporates and surpasses scandal in its efforts to project historical models of femininity as inspirations for modern readers. Offered up as part of the broader ethos

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of thoughtfulness and reflection that characterised the Lady’s Museum, these historical essays are vital components to a new and progressive pedagogical project. Ultimately, it is evident that for Lennox, the true value of history reading lies not in the cultivation of manners or the collection of historical facts, but in the vast possibilities of female experience available through relived and reimagined history, best achieved through the merging of history and romance.

Notes 1. For more information on the fascinating and critically invaluable role that the Trifler plays in the Lady’s Museum, see Susan Carlile’s essay in Part V of this volume. 2. Adburgham 1972: 117; White 1970: 30; Small 1969: 224–5. 3. I am choosing to exclude from this estimation and this discussion the geographical essays (which do contain some historical content) because history is not their primary aim. 4. Palo 2005–6: 209; King 2012: 24; Pearson 1999: 77. 5. The debate over Arabella’s romance reading is voluminous and cannot adequately be addressed here, but interested readers can pursue work by Laurie Langbauer, Margaret Doody, Ruth Mack, Wendy Motooka, Scott Paul Gordon, Marta Kvande, Kate Levin, and others. 6. The correspondent who introduces the piece calls it a translation, but critics have been unable to find an original, leaving open the possibility that the ‘translation’ may itself be a fiction. 7. Despite its relevance, I do not focus further on this essay because it is a nearly a word-forword replication of her earlier translation and is not specifically adapted to this periodical. 8. Portions of this particular essay seem to have been taken from Lennox’s periodical (or another unidentified common source) for use in both the Lady’s Magazine (in 1780) and Southey’s Common-Place Book (in 1851). This indicates something of a popular reception for the story, if not for the Lady’s Museum itself. 9. Many thanks to Susan Carlile for this information.

Works Cited Adburgham, Alison. 1972. Women in Print: Writing Women and Women’s Magazines from the Restoration to the Accession of Queen Victoria. London: George Allen and Unwin. Addison, Joseph and Richard Steele. 1965. The Spectator. Ed. Donald Bond. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Ballaster, Ros. 1992. Seductive Forms: Women’s Amatory Fiction from 1684–1740. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Ballaster, Ros, Margaret Beetham, Elizabeth Frazer, and Sandra Hebron. 1991. Women’s Worlds: Ideology, Femininity and the Woman’s Magazine. London: Macmillan. Bataille, Robert R. 2000. The Writing Life of Hugh Kelly. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Dorn, Judith. 1992. ‘Reading Women Reading History: The Philosophy of Periodical Form in Charlotte Lennox’s. The Lady’s Museum’. Historical Reflections 18.3: 7–27. Druid, Nestor. 1752. The Lady’s Curiosity. London. Fergus, Jan. 2000. ‘Women readers: a case study’. Women and Literature in Britain. Ed. Vivien Jones. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 155–76. Goy-Blanquet, Dominique. 2003. ‘Shakespeare and Voltaire Set Fire to History’. Joan of Arc, a Saint for All Reasons. Ed. Goy-Blanquet. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. 1–38.

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Haywood, Eliza. 2001. The Female Spectator. Selected Works of Eliza Haywood. Part 2. Vols. 2–3. Ed. Kathryn R. King and Alexander Pettit. London: Pickering & Chatto. Italia, Iona. 2005. Anxious Employment: The Rise of Literary Journalism in the Eighteenth Century, London: Routledge. Jouslin, Claire Boulard. 2012. ‘Conservative or Reformer? The History and Fortune of Fénelon’s Traite de l’Education des Filles in Eighteenth-Century England’. The Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies 12.4: 48–78. King, Kathryn R. 2012. A Political Biography of Eliza Haywood, London: Pickering & Chatto. The Ladies Magazine: or, the Universal Entertainer. 1749–53. London: G. Griffith. Lennox, Charlotte. 1760–1. The Lady’s Museum. London: J. Newbury and J. Coote. Looser, Devoney. 2000. British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 1670–1820. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Lorenzo Modia, Maria Jesus. 2010. ‘Education for Women in the Eighteenth-Century Periodical: Charlotte Lennox’s The Lady’s Museum’. Differences, (in)equality and justice. Ed. Ana Antón-Pacheco Bravo et al. Madrid: Editorial Fundamentos. 201–12. McDowell, Paula. 2000. ‘Women and the Business of Print’. Women and Literature in Britain 1700–1800. Ed. Vivien Jones, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 135–54. Middleton, Thomas. 2002. ‘Women Beware Women’. English Renaissance Drama. Ed. David Bevington. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 1515–92. Palo, Sharon Smith. 2005–6. ‘The Good Effects of a Whimsical Study: Romance and Women’s Learning in Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote’. Eighteenth-Century Fiction 18.2: 203–38. Pearson, Jacqueline. 1999. Women’s Reading in Britain, 1750–1835. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Powell, Manushag N. 2012. Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Raknem, Ingvald. 1971. Joan of Arc in History, Legend, and Literature. Oslo: Scandinavian University Books. Reeve, Clara. 1785. The Progress of Romance. 2 vols. Colchester: W. Keymer. Schürer, Norbert. 2008. Introduction to Sophia. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press. —, ed. 2012. Charlotte Lennox: Correspondence and Miscellaneous Documents. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Shevelow, Kathryn. 1989. Women and Print Culture: The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London: Routledge. Small, Miriam Rossiter. 1969. Charlotte Ramsey Lennox: An Eighteenth Century Lady of Letters. North Haven, CT: Archon Books. Sreenivasan, Ramya. 2007. The Many Lives of a Rajput Queen. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Strehle, Susan and Mary Paniccia Carden. 2003. Doubled Plots: Romance and History. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press. White, Cynthia. 1970. Women’s Magazines 1693–1968. London: Michael Joseph.

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4 Vindications and Reflections: The LADY’S MAGAZINE during the Revolution Controversy (1789–1795) Koenraad Claes

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any different and often clashing narratives have been suggested for the cultural-historical development of Western democracy, but nearly all historians agree on the importance of the chain of events together known as the French Revolution. This period, dramatically demarcated by the Storming of the Bastille prison on 14 July 1789 and Bonaparte’s Coup of 18 Brumaire year VIII (or 9 November 1799 on the Gregorian calendar), is commonly viewed as a rift in world history, with an incommensurable before and after. Political historian Gregory Claeys finds that ‘the French Revolution is incontrovertibly the defining act of modern politics’ not only because societies all over Europe and beyond came to redefine themselves in relation to it, but also because the contemporaneous debates on its significance gave rise to new political notions concerning class, faith, and gender that endure to this day (2007: 1). Each of these categories is relevant to the everyday lives of women, and therefore has been discussed – directly or indirectly – in women’s magazines, since the very start of the genre. In Britain, the heated responses to the French uprising have long been known as the ‘Revolution Controversy’, which is usually considered to have started in the autumn of 1789, when the first programmatic statements on the French Revolution started to appear, and to have settled down into an armed truce after 1795, when the Pitt government largely succeeded in subduing the public expression of radical reformism. The Controversy is justly described in historiography as Britain’s quintessential pamphlet war, but pamphlets were not the only publications in and through which its battles were waged. The more widely disseminated form of periodicals, including those primarily marketed toward women, was mobilised as well. This essay will examine how the Revolution Controversy figures in the most important British women’s magazine of the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century: the Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1770–1832).1 Even though most scholars writing on the Lady’s Magazine have so far dismissed it as an organ of female domestication, this pioneering publication is uniquely qualified as a document of this troubled time. The combined advantages that it was Britain’s only monthly woman’s periodical that appeared throughout the Controversy, and that it drew a socially and ideologically diverse audience that participated to an unseen extent in its production, allow us to read case studies from its contents as responses to specific moments in this period. The French Revolution

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is often treated as a single epochal event, but to gain insight into how it functioned in British public discourse it makes sense to consider it in distinct phases: an initial phase (1789–92) revolving around the fundamental controversy between Dissenter Richard Price and ‘Old Whig’ Edmund Burke; a second phase (1792–5) characterised by a democratic and internationalist radicalisation under the influence of the tracts of Thomas Paine and a conservative nationalist reaction after Britain joined the First Coalition in its war against France; and a third phase or aftermath (1795–9) in which loyalist ‘anti-Jacobin’ rhetoric through government repression finally defines the terms of the debate in its favour (Butler 1984: passim). As we will see, these three phases show distinctly from the contents of the Lady’s Magazine.

Lady versus Gentleman? Reading a late eighteenth-century women’s magazine for its discussion of historical events, even if it is one of the bestselling periodicals of its time, has long not been an obvious choice. Comparing editorial statements in the Lady’s Magazine after the execution of Louis XVI in January 1793 – then often cited as the casus belli between Britain and Revolutionary France – with those in the pioneering Gentleman’s Magazine (1731–1922) of which it is at least in name the feminine counterpart, Mary Poovey influentially claimed that women’s magazines during the 1790s in the main shielded women from the supposedly corrupting influence of politics, then considered the prerogative of men. She found that ‘where the Gentleman’s Magazine explicitly warns its readers of a political and cultural menace, the Lady’s Magazine presents a reassuring picture of stability and continuity’ (1984: 16–17). This conclusion is in line with other historical accounts that discern an increasingly binary gender ideology in eighteenth-century women’s periodicals that culminates in the debilitating ‘FairSexing’ that Kathryn Shevelow perceived in women’s magazines in the second half of the century (1989: 188–90). The Lady’s Magazine’s most enduring subtitle, ‘Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex’, and the high-minded tone of its ‘To our correspondents’ page in which the as-yet unidentified editors reject submissions that are not appropriate for this mythical ‘Fair Sex’, do make it seem a case in point of the latter phenomenon. Although the editorials cited by Poovey of course do frame the content of the magazine’s body text, focusing on these short and unhelpfully formulaic prefatory statements amounts to privileging one voice over the many others that constitute the characteristically dialogic form of the magazine. Secondly, in late eighteenthcentury women’s periodicals the primary purpose of editorials was not commentary on topical events, but rather communication with the magazine’s community of readercontributors on submissions. Finally, it is not unthinkable that the editors intentionally omitted information from the editorials that could more subtly be communicated through other types of content. Nevertheless, the content of the Lady’s Magazine beyond these editorials has not fared much better in scholarship, usually being read reductively to make it fit preconceptions of late eighteenth-century women’s publications as focused on prescriptive conduct essays or, as Robert Mayo’s genre-defining study of eighteenth-century magazine fiction put it, ‘predominantly decorous, sentimental, and moral’ tales (1962: 188). The Lady’s Magazine’s editors nonetheless demonstrably aimed to secure as wide an audience as possible, and they did this through diversified content. As will be

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clear from a mere glance at the open-access annotated index provided by the Lady’s Magazine research project at the University of Kent, this periodical featured original literary contributions in prose, verse, and drama, as well as letters to the editor, advice columns, and essays on topical events, history, philosophy, and social issues (Batchelor et al. 2016).2 The range of the non-original content that was appropriated, often tacitly, from other periodicals or extracted from books, is also very wide, and draws from dozens of sources that do not fit the image of the depoliticised Fair. The characterisation of the magazine by Poovey and others makes it appear to have been in line with the counter-revolutionary conduct writer Laetitia Mathilda Hawkins, who in her Letters on the Female Mind (1793) held it a boon that ‘[t]he whole world might be at war, and yet not the rumor [sic] of it reach the ear of an Englishwoman’ (Hawkins 1793: 194). This seems to be confirmed by the insistence throughout the editorial addresses studied by Poovey that all contentious matter, such as overt politics, would be barred from its pages. However, the Lady’s Magazine’s monthly ‘Foreign’ and ‘Home’ news sections do in fact consistently cover global political and military conflicts connected to the French Revolution, and while these sections are too fragmentary and non-committal to yield clues about the editors’ ideological position in the Revolution Controversy, there are dozens of items that could be more helpful. Although admittedly the extracts in question mostly (though not solely) stem from the less controversial sections of their publications, in the 1790s the magazine features most of the major participants in the Revolution Controversy, with an undeniable predominance of the radical side. We do not have a lot of information on the Lady’s Magazine publisher at the time, George Robinson (1736–1801), but what is clear is that the man who was perhaps the most successful bookseller of late eighteenth-century London, like many of his profession, had radical sympathies. After Paine was ruled guilty of seditious libel and his Rights of Man was proscribed, an event to which we shall soon return, Robinson was fined for continuing to sell copies of the uncensored edition (West 1839: 133). This was a daring statement that at a later stage could have resulted in a prison sentence. Whereas Paine’s was the decade’s most widely disseminated radical publication, William Godwin’s Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793), published by Robinson, was the most influential philosophical tract among reformist intellectuals. Godwin’s Enquiry appeared but a few weeks after the execution of Louis XVI, and a popular theory holds that the only precaution that kept the author and his publisher out of prison was the fact that they famously priced the book so high as to keep it out of reach of the impressionable masses, who were then the main concern of government censors (Evans 2006: 69). Robinson disdained government censorship at least enough to continue visiting his friend Thomas Holcroft when the latter was briefly imprisoned in 1794 for attending reformist meetings (Kelly 2004), at a time when guilt by association was deemed sufficient grounds for treason allegations. Robinson is also on record as keeping Holcroft in work during the tough following years by commissioning translations (Hazlitt 1816: passim), and the author is consistently reviewed positively in the magazine. Surely, a strict avoidance of political content in one of Robinson’s publications, especially one with such a wide readership and therefore large propaganda potential as the Lady’s Magazine, would have been out of character for this intrepid publisher. This deceptively wide readership is another reason why the claim that the Lady’s Magazine was an intentionally apolitical publication deserves to be verified. The

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assumption that a periodical entitled ‘Lady’s Magazine’ would be strictly aimed at women, albeit understandable, is incorrect. Although feminine-gendered contributions constitute the bulk of the magazine, a lot of content is explicitly presented as genderneutral, and many items even address male readers. A reception study by Jan Fergus indicates that the magazine was subscribed to by many male readers, as well as by boarding school pupils of both sexes (Fergus 2006: 200–9). Indeed, the editorial insistence on the magazine’s appropriateness for the Fair Sex appears to have functioned as a strategy to market it as family reading. To this end, one early editorial patronisingly implies that female and juvenile sensibilities are identical by promising in one sentence that the Lady’s Magazine will continue to address ‘[e]very topic conducive of inspiring the juvenile bosom with the love of virtue, and detestation of vice, or ornamenting the Sex with something more permanent and more attractive than mere beauty’ (‘Preface’. 4 (Jan 1773): n. p.). As Jennie Batchelor has explained, readers of both sexes and of all ages did not merely consume the Lady’s Magazine; they played a significant role in producing it, too, by submitting letters and original material in every genre and by engaging in informal editorial work by submitting extracts (2011: passim). They also reply to one another’s submissions, and the Lady’s Magazine made the most of the inherent potential of the magazine genre to accommodate contradictory voices. Throughout its run, male and female readers used the magazine as a democratic forum to have their say on the major questions of their age, and plausible figures for its readership go up to 16,000, surpassing all but the most widely disseminated pamphlets (Batchelor 2011: 247). As we shall see, these reader-contributors sometimes even anticipated arguments of since canonised works of political philosophy.

Fundamental Debates on Dissent and Gender (1789–92) Surprising as this neglect may be, in its first few months the French Revolution was deemed of little concern in the British press. France had too long been a hereditary enemy for the British to feel any sympathy for its embattled institutions, and a prevalent sense of moral and political superiority toward the French monarchy, Catholic and aspiring to absolutism, was shared by Whigs of all factions and most Tories alike. There was also some rejoicing in Britain about France’s internal conflict for strategic and geopolitical reasons. William Windham, Whig parliamentarian and later certainly no friend to the Revolutionaries, averred that before the start of its expansionist policy in 1792, ‘France, our ancient rival, was in a situation which, more than at any other period, freed us from apprehension on her account’ (quoted in Cobhan 1960: 23–4). In most newspapers and monthlies, coverage of the French Revolution was minimal in comparison to the attention that had gone to the recent American uprising and the subsequent Wars of Independence because the American Revolution was considered a domestic crisis. To illustrate the initial carelessness in the Lady’s Magazine, it may suffice to quote the unsigned article ‘New Fashions in Paris’ of October 1789, where the first mention of the ongoing events as ‘a revolution’ occurs in an article on a new style of women’s caps appearing in the French capital, as ‘[t]here could not be a doubt but a revolution, such as happened in France, would furnish several ideas of expressing it in the ton of fashion’ (20 (Oct 1789): 51; emphasis original).

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The Revolution Controversy only started a few months after the Storming of the Bastille, when British reformist commentators suggested that the grievances of the French against their deposed authorities were also relevant to Britain. Initially, the most vocal admirers of the French Revolution were religious Dissenters who perceived the curtailing of the despotic French monarchy as a belated parallel phenomenon to Britain’s own Glorious Revolution, a hot topic as the centenary of the latter had only just been celebrated. In November 1789 the philosopher and Dissenting preacher Richard Price delivered and published the sermon A Discourse on the Love of our Country that welcomed the French uprising as an opportunity to rekindle at home the reformist spirit of 1688 and do away with laws that imposed religious discrimination in favour of the Church of England. Price quickly came under attack in Old Whig and mainline Anglican polemics, most notably Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (Nov 1790). Burke, who only a few years before had championed peace with the American insurgents who had inspired the French, now warned in notoriously high-wrought rhetoric that all political projects based on abstract principles including human rights, and such as were witnessed in France, constituted a violation of tradition that would result in the breakdown of society. Burke’s insistence that those Britons who sympathised with the French Revolution were potential traitors to Britain was the spark that lit the fuse of the Revolution Controversy. Women writers weighed in on both sides of the debate, and for instance Mary Hays, Catharine Macaulay, and Mary Wollstonecraft were amongst the first thinkers to come to Price’s defence. Although Wollstonecraft wrote her Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790) before Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), already in that earlier book her interventions were motivated not only by Burke’s dismissal of the principles of the French Revolution and those commentators in Britain who had spoken out in its favour, but also by the halting effect that his traditionalist defence of the vested interest might have on the advancement of women in society. These early concerns come together in an easily overlooked debate in the pages of the Lady’s Magazine. In the December issue of 1789, a self-described male ‘young correspondent’ signing himself ‘R. Beaumont’ wrote in to propose a debate between readers on what today is still one of the most contentious couplets by Alexander Pope: Men, some to Bus’ness, some to Pleasure take; But ev’ry Woman is at heart a Rake. Beaumont proposes to debate whether this statement from ‘Epistle II. To a Lady’ (1743) is ‘founded on malice’, or ‘knowledge of the world’ (20 (Dec 1789): 622). Although Pope had died forty-seven years earlier, this topic was not an arbitrary choice. It explicitly links Beaumont’s periodical debate to contemporaneous debating societies, where, according to Donna Andrew, these exact lines were a regular topic (1996: 413). Mary Wollstonecraft, in her early Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787), had listed Pope with Shakespeare and Milton as authors whose reputation was then deemed ‘indisputable’ in popular estimation, though readers, and young women in particular, should have more confidence in developing their own views (1787: 52). Later, in the 1792 Vindication of the Rights of Woman, she would again engage with Pope as ‘a well-known poet [who] might be quoted to refute [her] unqualified assertions’, and there dwells at length on the same two lines (1995: 202).

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The topic furthermore tied in with ongoing religious controversies between Dissenters such as Price, who propagated ideas of continual progress, and mainline Anglicans, whose religious orthodoxy often mirrored a political acquiescence. After Beaumont and his first few respondents quibble uninspiringly on the exact interpretation of the term ‘rake’, these fundamental issues come to the forefront in the exchanges between the final two debaters. The first, signed alternatingly ‘William Edwy’ and ‘W. Edwy’, may seem to write under his legal name, but has likely named himself for the Anglo-Saxon king Eadwig or Edwy, who at the time was an icon of gallantry for standing by his morganatic bride Elgiva, and a fashionable topic in literature and history painting, for instance in a play by Frances Burney Edwy and Elgiva (1788). Additionally, Whig historiography in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries tended to idealise pre-Norman kingship as a more democratic alternative to the present, authoritarian form of monarchy, supposedly brought in by William the Conqueror and reaching its peak under the maligned Stuarts, and even the more conservative historian David Hume portrays Eadwig’s accuser St Dunstan as a papist usurper of the sovereignty of the kings of England (Harris 2015: 394). W. Edwy objects to the inexact phrasing in the discussed poem, and presumes that what Pope understands by ‘rakishness’ is in fact merely ‘levity’. While this debater allows that many women are disposed toward levity, he argues that this is not enough to prove them to be rakes ‘at heart’, because numbers incline to this from imitation or bad examples, but not in conformity to the natural desires of the heart, which in its state of innocency, is always pure; though it is not uncommon afterwards to observe its purity corrupted, without any natural propensities being the occasion. (21 (Apr 1790): 188) W. Edwy does not exempt women from the allegation that they often behave regrettably, nor does he condemn them for such faults altogether. He is suspicious of slippery terms like ‘modesty, prudence or circumspection’. Rather than as unchanging principles to guide our conduct by, as true virtues should be, he sees these concepts as determined by prejudices that in male-dominated societies always put women at a disadvantage. According to W. Edwy, nothing would be able to save women if ‘the heart [were not] averse’ to the temptation of immoral behaviour, and the statement that all women ‘commenced rakes at first from the heart’ would therefore be fallacious. Claire Tomalin has noted in her biography of Wollstonecraft that after the latter had come to know the two opinion leaders on respectively the progressive and the conservative view of mankind, ‘it turned out that she was more interested in Dr [Richard] Price on natural virtue, than in Dr [Samuel] Johnson on natural vice’ (1992: 50). It is the same dichotomy that distinguishes W. Edwy, for natural virtue, from his opponents in the Pope debate, who explicitly adhere to the principle of natural vice. There are of course political consequences to a dichotomy between philosophical creeds that advocate a possibility of change to even the foundations of society, such as Price’s radical Whig doctrine of perfectibility, and those like Johnson, who link a belief in biological and social determinism to a mandatory preservation of social institutions, a position mainly found in the Tory and Old Whig camps. Understandably, during the French Revolution the distinctions between radicalism and conservatism at times informed political debate in the magazine more than in the preceding

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decades. In the Lady’s Magazine issue of March 1790 we find a seemingly trivial rebus by debater Beaumont, who supports the pro-Pope side by insisting on natural vice, of which the solution is said to reveal to the ‘rapturous eye / the name of him whose honest zeal is ready, / in virtue’s cause to stand by the distress’d, / and with softening care will succour the oppress’d’ (21 (Mar 1790): 160). The solution to the rebus is ‘Burke’. Although Burke had not yet published his Reflections, this rebus appears shortly after his announcement of this work and his first parliamentary speech against the Revolution of February 1790 (Claeys 2007: 13). The next participant in the debate, signed ‘C. J. Pitt’, also takes issue with W. Edwy’s belief in natural virtue. In his defence of Pope, Pitt starts by calling upon an even greater authority, reminding the reader that ‘[h]uman nature in the scripture is pronounced to be prone to error from the first dawning of reason, and the heart of man is naturally more disposed to depravity than excellence’ (21 (June 1790): 298). ‘Man’ is here intended as denoting the whole of humankind, as Pitt goes further than just stressing that not all women give into the ‘natural dictates of their hearts’, he also states that women are not inherently more depraved than men. However, ‘the subjection which, in the nature of things, they are obliged to be under to the men’ ill prepares them to resist these dictates. Remarkably, this is followed by a frank avowal that the difference between men and women is caused by their respective upbringing: ‘as custom has denied them so much of the advantages of education bestowed on men, their minds are consequently not so enlarged’, causing ‘an abridgement of their mental resources’. Nevertheless, no appeal to change this situation ensues, only the advice that ‘prudence attach them to the necessary employs of their domestic stations’ (21 (June 1790): 298). Even though this will now seem a strange lapse of judgement, it is consistent with most writings on female education that had been published before the 1790s. Even comparatively progressive educational writers who call for new pedagogic approaches in female education, such as the younger Wollstonecraft, did not yet fundamentally question the exclusively domestic ends that such education served. Catharine Macaulay’s Letters on Female Education (1790) was the first widely read defence of the provocative theses that ‘morals must be taught on immutable Principles’ and with ‘[n]o characteristic Difference in Sex’.3 Macaulay states in an extract from that book, appearing in the Lady’s Magazine of September 1790 issue, that ‘[i]t is a long time before the crowd give up an opinion they have been taught to look upon with respect, and I know many persons who will follow you willingly through the course of your argument, till they perceive it tends to the overthrow of some fond prejudice’ (21 (Sep 1790): 487). Interestingly, the Pope debate is again obliquely referenced in this extract, as Macaulay turns to her advantage Pope’s assertion in the same poem that ‘a perfect woman’s but a softer man’ to prove that the same moral precepts and educational principles should be upheld for both sexes (idem).4 Indeed, the obstacle of what the radicalised Wollstonecraft would soon call the ‘separate interest’ of the sexes (1995: 202) would have to be cleared before any further discussion of women’s role in society could take place. This would be the central thesis of her Vindication of the Rights of Woman two years later, and it is in this context that she, too, discusses the two verses by Pope. None of the three extracts from that work that appear in the Lady’s Magazine in June and July 1792 include her opinions on Pope’s views on women, but her statements on this subject, clearly influenced by Macaulay, hold that

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Pope was right so far as that women often copy the behaviour of the (male) rakes who can secure their affections too easily, but women’s education does not prepare them to distinguish sincerity from affectation: [a]nd when all their ingenuity is called forth to adjust their dress, ‘a passion for a scarlet coat,’ is so natural, that it never surprised me; and, allowing Pope’s summary of their character to be just, ‘that every woman is at heart a rake,’ . . . till women are led to exercise their understandings, they should not be satirised for their attachment to rakes; nor even for being rakes at heart, when it appears to be the inevitable consequence of their education. (1995: 202) A few less elaborate items appear in the magazine during this first phase that are likewise relevant to the French Revolution, among which two stand out for their direct relevance to issues that were hotly debated in pamphlets at the time. In January 1791 an ‘Account of a Journey to Dunkirk’ is published, bearing the signature ‘A Citizen of the World’ (possibly the Irish radical pamphleteer Matthew Carey who was mainly active in the American press).5 Accounts of the antiquarian or natural assets of locations were very popular in the Lady’s Magazine as in other publications in the late eighteenth century, and the title implies an attempt to pass this item off as belonging to this innocuous category. This piece, which before appeared in the governmentcritical newspaper the Public Advertiser of 19 November 1790 as part of a series entitled ‘Tour of Pleasure through France’, moves from a short appreciation of the scenic beauty of the Dunkirk coastline to an avowal of a spirit of solidarity between the French and the English. An encountered Frenchman is quoted as stating that the ‘late happy expected revolution was not only patronised by a considerable majority of those of first rate abilities, but at least nine-tenths of the nation approved of the measure, and are determined to support them in it, at all hazards’ (21 (Supp 1790): 701–2). This seemingly objective account gains political significance when viewed in light of the contemporaneous campaigns of reformists to pave the way in Britain for democratic reform inspired by the French revolutionaries. In the Lady’s Magazine submissions of appropriated items by readers such as this are often accompanied by an introductory headnote signed by the reader acting as intermediary; the fact that no such preface appears with this ‘Account’ suggests that it was selected by the editors or staff writers, who will therefore have known its source and not have objected to its potential to be read as propaganda. Price would not experience much of the Controversy that he inadvertently caused, as he passed away in April 1791. He was succeeded at his parish in Newington Green by fellow Dissenting radical Joseph Priestley who had recently come down from Birmingham after his political activities there had made him the victim of loyalist rioters. Priestley’s funeral sermon for Price was the subject of an oddly uncharacteristic item in the Lady’s Magazine, which the editors explain they are running ‘though [they] are not very desirous of encouraging a controversy on such subjects’ (22 (May 1791): facing 227). The otherwise obscure Francis Wragg, reverend of St Anne’s in Aldersgate (London), delivers a rebuttal of Priestley’s contention that ‘after the dissolution of the soul and body, the soul will remain in a state of insensibility, till the day of resurrection’, a doctrine that fits the millenarian theology popular with Dissenting divines (22 (June 1791): 299). This religious dispute becomes conflated with Price’s political aspirations

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as the writer sarcastically states that if the late Dr Price upon the Resurrection were ‘informed, by an enemy to rational liberty, that a counter revolution in France had taken place’, he would be eager to deny any immediate continuation of our earthly existence in the afterlife (22 (June 1791): 300). This letter appears in the Gentleman’s Magazine in the same month, which suggests that Rev. Wragg submitted it to both periodicals simultaneously, considering the Lady’s Magazine an appropriate venue for such articles as well.

Radicalisation and Reaction (1792–5) While the Revolution Controversy was fought out in bitter terms throughout its first phase, the established order and its supporters generally treated their adversaries as profoundly misguided extremists who needed to be contained, but who ultimately posed little threat because they failed to connect to the general populace. Those polemicists who, as the phrase went, said ‘ditto to Mr. Burke’, tried to combat the appeal of the Revolutionary creed in Britain by portraying its advocates as abstract doctrinaires. As most historians now agree, in their zeal the radical pamphleteers regularly overstepped their mark by placing too much emphasis on their attack on organised religion and its moral teachings, and thereby alienated the uneducated masses who may have welcomed democratic reform but were wary of the anticlerical policies of the Revolutionary government in France. This relative tolerance on the part of the government disappeared after the distribution of cheap editions of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man (1791–2) in May 1792 by activist societies dedicated to bringing radical pamphlets within reach of the working classes and lower middle classes. The first part of Rights of Man (Feb 1791) had been a direct response to the philosophical objections to Revolutionary doctrines raised in Burke’s Reflections, but the second part (Feb 1792) was a much more incendiary tract, and like the first part written in a dangerously inclusive register (Philp 2011: 31). One extract from each part of Rights of Man appeared in the Lady’s Magazine. In August 1791, the magazine prints with slight paraphrase Paine’s anecdote from the first part of a Norman aristocrat who had suggested to Benjamin Franklin that he would assume the post of monarch of the newly independent United States (or be paid a compensation of £30,000 if this generous offer were rejected), that in the original serves to mock Burke’s contention that the Williamite Revolution settlement was superior to the recent French constitution. In the original, this anecdote ends with the ironic note that ‘the chivalry character which Mr. Burke so much admires, is certainly much easier to make a bargain with than a hard-dealing Dutchman’ (Paine 1995: 476), which is omitted in the magazine. Even so, a satire on aristocratic presumption is retained, and this by itself inoffensive extract could point curious readers to the pamphlet for the unexpurgated text, which is duly cited as its source. The less facetious second extract, stemming from the closing remarks of the second part, is reproduced verbatim. ‘[A]s religion is very improperly made a political machine’, Paine proposes to state his views on religious devotion by drawing an analogy of ‘a large family of children’ in which each of the children would show their love not as they were personally inclined instead of by ‘a concerted plan’ (23 (Apr 1792): 179). This obvious attack on state religion appears two months after the original publication in February 1792, again with the clear ascription ‘From

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Paine’s Rights of Man, Part the Second’, suggesting a cautious endorsement of the source text that is confirmed by Robinson’s refusal to stop selling the pamphlet after it had been proscribed. Through these extracts the Lady’s Magazine helped popularise Paine’s thought, and even before the publication of the cut-price edition that drew the government’s ire, by conveying two of his central concerns: the democratic convictions that hereditary government is not self-evident but needs to be validated by the consent of the people, and that the powers of Church and State should be kept separate. One month after, and not coincidentally the same month as the cut-price edition appeared, Rights of Man was proscribed for its inclusion of an unguarded phrase that could be interpreted as stating that even constitutional monarchy was a form of tyranny, and its author was prosecuted for sedition. The second part of Paine’s pamphlet had arrived at a bad time as it coincided with the start of the Revolutionary Wars in the spring of 1792 (though not yet involving Britain) and anticipated the declaration of the French Republic in September of that year amidst escalated violence against the remaining vestiges of royalism. When in November the French government justified its occupation of the Austrian Netherlands by declaring that it would lend support to oppressed foreign peoples to liberate themselves from their reactionary governments, British pro-Revolutionary activists became a clear and present domestic danger. Paine fled to France, but his trial in absentia attracted much notice. The Lady’s Magazine published in its entirety Thomas Erskine’s court defence of Paine (Jan 1793). While this speech was published elsewhere in the press, for instance in newspapers, its inclusion in the Lady’s Magazine, again, nuances the preconceptions about this periodical established by earlier scholarship, and indeed the magazine’s own deceptive rhetoric. Hardly a month after Paine was convicted, Louis XVI was executed, resulting nearly immediately in Britain’s entry into the Allied side of the War and in a fierce backlash against pro-Revolutionary reformists. The Lady’s Magazine’s interest in sedition trials is consistent throughout this period, suggesting that Robinson did not only publish the Paine defence to clear his own conduct in continuing to sell copies of Rights of Man. It later also reproduces in their entirety Erskine’s defence speeches for the London Corresponding Society’s working-class leader Thomas Hardy (Nov 1794), and for John Horne Tooke (Jan 1795), the leader of the intellectual network the Society for Constitutional Information. Incidentally, although this had not been the main reason for the prosecution of these activists, both had been involved in the printing and the distribution of the cheap edition of Rights of Man. Obviously, these could have been reprinted with the excuse that the words of the defence counsel were rendered faithfully out of merely journalistic considerations. However, in December 1794, a ‘Sketch of the Life and Character of John Horne Tooke, Esq.’ also appeared, only a few days after the verdict of 22 November. The anonymous author is clearly an admirer of ‘[t]his gentleman, whose great abilities have long been the admiration of all who are intimately acquainted with him or with his writings’, concluding that Horne Tooke’s temperament and ‘genius . . . have undoubtedly been strong, and may, perhaps, in certain cases, have led him beyond the precise limits of moderation’, but imagining that ‘posterity, it may be, consigning to oblivion his narrow-minded persecutors, shall esteem him one of the ornaments of the age in which he lived’ (25 (Dec 1794): 619–23). The article mentions that Horne Tooke was acquitted after ‘after only ten minutes [sic] consultation, by a truly respectable and impartial jury of

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his countrymen’ (25 (Dec 1794): 622), emphasising thereby a discrepancy between the stances of the government and the British people. Disowning the government’s indictment of extremism was an important concern for any friend to reform in Britain. As the Revolution in France became increasingly violent from the summer of 1792, the Pitt government and its supporters attempted to implicate all supporters of the Revolutionary project in the regicide and messianic foreign policy of the French, especially that of the Jacobin faction after it came to power in May 1793. The loyalist strategy was to refer to all pro-Revolutionary discourse as ‘Jacobin’, for instance in the titles of the loyalist periodicals the Anti-Jacobin (1797–8) and the Anti-Jacobin Review (1798–1821), even though the leading British radicals were closer to the generally more moderate Girondin faction that was in power before Robespierre. British expatriates in Paris like Paine, Wollstonecraft, and Helen Maria Williams were targeted by the Jacobin regime for their earlier association with the former leader Jacques Pierre Brissot and for some time in peril of execution. At home, the violent episodes such as a massacre of Royalist prisoners in September 1792 and above all the execution of Louis XVI and later Marie Antoinette, which overall the British radicals abhorred as much as their loyalist opponents, had caused an outrage in the British press and managed to validate for many Burke’s earlier prophecies of doom. The reformist strategy therefore evolved from downplaying the excesses of the Revolution to distancing oneself from their perpetrators. In order to do this, a tactical reformist anti-Jacobinism was developed that out of context may easily be mistaken for loyalism to the established British government. This shift is reflected in the evolving accounts on the events in France that were being authored by British eyewitnesses. One of the most successful radical texts issued by Robinson during the 1790s was Helen Maria Williams’s Letters from France (1790–6), an eyewitness account that was excerpted copiously in the magazine. The first extracts that appear, drawn from the first two volumes of the Letters, which predate the execution of the king and Britain’s entering the war, reflect the political tendencies of those volumes by painting an all but untainted picture of Revolutionary France, intended by Williams to contradict negative portrayals in loyalist media. The extract ‘Observations on the Theatrical Amusement of Paris’ opens with the author’s statement that, coming down from Coblenz to the French capital, ‘[s]uch of our acquaintance as are aristocrates [sic], tell us how much we ought to lament the evil destiny which has led us to Paris at present, that the town has lost all its former eclat [sic]’. She goes on to contradict them: I am rather disposed to congratulate myself that I have missed the fine equipages, the laced liveries, and the good company at Coblenz; while I have an opportunity of observing the effects of a revolution, so noble in design, to astonishing in the sudden change produced in the sentiments of a whole nation, rising from the servility of abject servitude, to such an exalted spirit of freedom, that the contemplation inspired unwearied admiration and wonder. (23 (Sept 1792): 471–2) Predictably, Williams reassures the reader that she found Parisian theatre improved by the recent upheaval as well. While this subject may seem safe enough, it should be noted that the Lady’s Magazine reprinted this shortly after the declaration of the French Republic and the start of its expansionist wars, events that sent shockwaves through the British establishment.

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As several critics have discussed, Williams’s account of the Revolutionary years appeals to a wide readership, above all women, by borrowing plots and tropes from sentimental and Gothic fiction (cf. Keane 2012). The earlier extract ‘Auguste and Madelaine’ is subtitled in the magazine a ‘A Real Story’, and the author opens her purported anecdote with the declaration that she is not going to write as a ‘novelwriter’ who ‘by the aid of a little additional misery, and by giving the circumstances which actually happened a heightened colour . . . might almost spin a volume from these materials’ (23 (Aug 1792): 418). However, she goes on to deliver a sentimental tale that fits in with dozens of short fiction narratives that appeared in the magazine, the story of young aristocrat Auguste who falls in love with the poor Madelaine but unbeknownst to her is kept away from her by his father, upon which she resolves to take the veil. She is prevented from this fatal error by her lover turning up at the eleventh hour and informing her of ‘a decree of the national assembly, forbidding any nuns to be professed’. She ponders gratefully on her good fortune: ‘I have always loved the revolution . . . and this last decree is surely of all others the best and wisest—but if it had come too late!’ (23 (Aug 1792): 425). A few months before, the magazine had actually repurposed another extract as a serialised three-part novella ‘Family Pride and Parental Cruelty’ (Jan–Mar 1792), which is the famous long account of the French lovers kept apart near the end of the Ancien Régime by means of a lettre de cachet, that dreaded instrument of arbitrary power. The employment of the sentimental tale as a means of propagating the Revolution is notable throughout the magazine’s twentythird volume (1792). Immediately preceding ‘Auguste and Madelaine’, an extract from a well-known passage from Charlotte Smith’s epistolary novel Desmond (1792), also published by Robinson, and arguably the first of what would later be called English Jacobin novels, appears as the stand-alone tale ‘Adventures of a Breton’. In this item, the titular Breton recounts, among other mishaps, his bad treatment as a prisoner of war at the hands of his British captors during the American Wars. Ironically, this item appears a month before the aforementioned massacre of prisoners in Paris. The preface to the source text defiantly claimed the right for women to write about politics, and in the body text Smith repeatedly engages with Burke. While her more radical aims are not conspicuous in the extract, this does function as an advertisement for the whole novel, where readers could get the complete message. In 1793, however, after a period of mounting tensions and Britain’s declaration of war to France, the tenor of the magazine’s items related to the Revolution changes. In 1793 and 1794 several extracts appear from the Foxite moderate reformist John Moore’s Journal during a Residence in France from the beginning of August to the middle of December 1792 (1793/4), also published by Robinson, on topics such as the recent decline in royalist sentiment in France (Jan 1793 – the month of the king’s execution), the 1792 riots and massacres in Paris (Aug 1793), the dissolution of convents (Dec 1793), and the executions of the Queen of France (Dec 1793 and Supp 1793). All of these are dismissive of the events they discuss. The treatment of Marie Antoinette, at a far less critical stage already lamented by Burke, was a double outrage because it not only touched royal prerogative but was also a violation of femininity. The poet and novelist Mary Robinson, though a well-known radical herself, contributes the poem ‘Marie Antoinette’s lamentation’, decrying the ‘fell Barbarity’ of the French regime (24 (Apr 1793): 213). Nevertheless, explicit as these dismissals of Jacobin crimes are, they should not be viewed as retractions of support for the example of the Revolution.

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As Steven Blakemore has noted, the anti-Jacobin tendency of the letters by Williams published after the fall of the Girondin faction to which she was attached, prominent in the fourth volume of Letters from France (1793), Letters Containing a Sketch of the Politics of France (1795), and A Tour in Switzerland (1798), is an attempt to dissociate the Revolutionary project from its Jacobin perversion (Blakemore 1997: 153–62). From the second source, a sympathetic ‘Character of Louis XVI’ is extracted in the magazine in August 1795, tellingly attributed to Reign of Terror martyr and Girondin figure Madame Roland. More assertively, shortly after the death of the Jacobin leader, the magazine published the informative ‘Memoires of Robespierre’, which is explicit it its disapproval, but still ends on the wry note that ‘[h]is fall, it seems probable, will be of little importance to the combined powers, who have laboured so earnestly to reestablish a monarchical government in that country’, echoing the insistent reformist contention that counter-revolutionary pressure from abroad had been instrumental in provoking the worst excesses of the French Revolution (25 (Sep 1794): 490). Related to this belief was a second reformist strategy developed in this period – that of pacifism aimed against British participation in the Revolutionary Wars. Throughout the Wars, readers submitted verse on brothers, sons, husbands, or sweethearts who were participating or had fallen in battle, and outside of their context it is often nearly impossible to tell patriotic endorsement of this sacrifice from an outright dismissal of the war effort that as part of the reformist appeal to the working classes still honoured the soldiers who risked their lives for an unworthy government. One clear case is the publication of the radical John Thelwall’s ‘Nelly’s Complaint. A Ballad’, which asks whether the young soldier must ‘from his country torn / a stranger’s doubtful cause sustain’ (26 (Jan 1795): 47). Thelwall had only the month before been acquitted of sedition during the same wave of trials that had seen Horne Tooke and Hardy indicted. As the ascription appearing with the poem frankly declares, it was taken from the recent collection Poems written during a close Confinement in the Tower and Newgate (1795). Like the ‘Sketch’ on Horne Tooke that appeared the month before, the inclusion of this poem can be interpreted as a triumphant declaration of victory over government repression.

Aftermath of the Controversy, and Conclusions The Revolution Controversy is usually considered to come to an end by the introduction of the so-called ‘Gagging Acts’ of the end of 1795: the Seditious Meetings Act that made organising reformist assemblies virtually impossible, and the Treasonable Practices Act that made all statements critical of the king or his government liable to be prosecuted as treason (Butler 1981: 49). The most undaunted radicals such as Thelwall kept organising, and some other critical contributions are still in print, but pro-Revolutionary reformism largely lost the support it had acquired during the first half of the decade (Claeys 2007: 154). In the Lady’s Magazine, reformists retained a strong presence, and notably authors such as Holcroft and young radicals including George Dyer, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey make a regular appearance. Especially in the case of the latter poets, these often contain general statements in favour of abstract yet politicised notions such as liberty and peace, but despite the continuation of extracts from the accounts of Williams and from Directoire-era French publications that are duly dismissive of

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the past Reign of Terror, there is much less engagement with topical events in the still ongoing Revolution in France. This overview of the contents of the Lady’s Magazine pertaining to the Revolution Controversy could only touch upon a selection of relevant items. Many more contributions pro and con the French Revolution can be found in the magazine. Nevertheless, it allows us to draw a number of conclusions. Firstly, although Poovey and Shevelow were right that late eighteenth-century women’s magazines played an important role in the construction of restricted notions of femininity and that these magazines often displaced the emphasis of earlier women’s periodicals on the acquisition of learning to ‘other forms of knowledge more directly relevant to women’s lives’ (Shevelow 1989: 188), in the case of the Lady’s Magazine at least this does not necessarily entail a complete ban of political content. Secondly, although the Lady’s Magazine, like most magazines, cannot be said to be a straightforward organ of any given ideological position, during the Revolution Controversy it consistently made room for publications of the radical reformist faction, including the most controversial. Thirdly, and finally: it is certain that readers of this period’s British women’s periodicals were better informed about ongoing political debates than we have long presumed.

Notes 1. In 1823 the magazine’s subtitle changed to The Lady’s Magazine; or, Mirror of the BellesLettres. 2. Research for this chapter was generously supported by a Research Project Grant awarded by the Leverhulme Trust, entitled ‘The Lady’s Magazine (1770–1818): Understanding the Emergence of a Genre’ for which the author was Research Associate between 2014 and 2016. 3. The titles of letters XXI and XXII. 4. Macaulay’s paraphrase; the original reads: ‘Heav’n, when it strives to polish all it can / Its last best work, but forms a softer Man’ (ll. 271–2). 5. Articles under this pseudonym from this period have been attributed to Carey in Carty 2015: 339. Carey edited the American Museum or Universal Magazine (1787–92), from which the Lady’s Magazine regularly reprinted articles.

Works Cited Andrew, Donna. 1996. ‘Popular Culture and Public Debate: London 1780’. Historical Journal 39.2: 405–23. Batchelor, Jennie. 2011 ‘‘Connections, which are of service . . . in a more advanced age’: The Lady’s Magazine, Community, and Women’s Literary Histories’. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 30.2: 245–67. Batchelor, Jennie, Koenraad Claes and Jenny DiPlacidi. 2016. ‘Research Data’. (last accessed 29 Sep 2016). Blakemore, Steven. 1997. Crisis in Representation: Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Helen Maria Williams, and the Rewriting of the French Revolution. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Butler, Marilyn. 1981. Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries: English Literature and its Background 1760–1830. Oxford: Oxford University Press. —. 1984. ‘Introductory essay’. Burke, Paine, Godwin and the Revolution Controversy. Ed. Marilyn Butler. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Carty, T. J. 2015. A Dictionary of Literary Pseudonyms in the English Language. 2nd edn. London: Routledge. Claeys, Gregory. 2007. The French Revolution Debate in Britain: The Origins of Modern Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Cobhan, Alfred. 1960. ‘Introduction’. The Debate on the French Revolution: 1789–1800. Ed. Alfred Cobhan. London: Adam & Charles Black. Evans, Chris. 2006. Debating the Revolution: Britain in the 1790s. New York: I. B. Tauris. Fergus, Jan. 2006. Provincial Readers in Eighteenth-Century England. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Harris, James A. 2015. Hume: An Intellectual Biography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hawkins, Laetitia Matilda. 1793. ‘Postscript’. Letters on the Female Mind, its Powers and Pursuits. London: Hookham & Carpenter. Hazlitt, William. 1816. Memoirs of the late Thomas Holcroft. Vol. 3. London: Longman. Keane, Angela. 2012. Revolutionary Women Writers: Charlotte Smith & Helen Maria Williams. Tavistock: Northcote. Kelly, Gary. ‘Holcroft, Thomas (1745–1809)’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004. (last accessed 19 Sep 2016) The Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex. 1770–1832 (1st ser. 1770–1819; 2nd ser. 1820–9; 3rd ser. 1830–2). London. Mayo, Robert. 1962. The English Novel in the Magazines: 1740–1815. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Paine, Thomas. 1995. ‘Rights of Man. Part 1’. Collected Writings. Ed. Eric Foner. New York: Library of America. Philp, Mark. 2011. ‘Paine, Rights of Man’. The Cambridge Companion to British Literature of the French Revolution in the 1790s. Ed. Pamela Clemit. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Poovey, Mary. 1984. The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer: Ideology and Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and Jane Austen. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Shevelow, Kathryn. 1989. Women and Print Culture: The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London: Routledge. Tomalin, Claire. 1992. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft. London: Penguin. West, William. 1839. ‘Letters To My Son at Rome. Letter IX. Notice of the Robinsons’. Aldine Magazine 1.9: 133–5. Wollstonecraft, Mary. 1787. Thoughts on the Education of Daughters. London: Joseph Johnson. —. 1995. A Vindication of the Rights of Men and A Vindication of the Right of Woman. Ed. Sylvana Tomaselli. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Part II The Poetics of Periodicals

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The Poetics of Periodicals: Introduction

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hroughout the long eighteenth century, poetry was one of the periodical’s most enduring and significant genres. From the verse of Elizabeth Singer (later Rowe) in John Dunton’s Athenian Mercury (1690–7), and Aphra Behn’s and Anne Finch’s poetic presence in Peter Motteux’s Gentleman’s Journal (1692–4), to the hundreds of poems by Felicia Hemans that appeared in the pages of the New Monthly Magazine (1814–84) and Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (1817–1980) in the 1820s and 1830s, thousands of original and reprinted poems by women writers appeared in newspapers, periodicals, and magazines. Yet these texts have been unjustly overlooked in literary scholarship, which remains sceptical of, and no doubt daunted by, the ubiquity, variable quality, and sometimes occasional nature of what was termed fugitive verse, as well as the difficulty of attribution posed by the pervasive culture of anonymous and pseudonymous publication. Indeed, periodical poetry is frequently used as evidence of the amateurism of the serial publications that printed them, of the magazine’s tendency toward piracy, and (particularly in the case of poetry by women and especially in magazines that explicitly addressed a female readership) of the hackneyed and maudlin sentimentality to which these periodicals have traditionally been deemed prone. While Victorianists such as Linda K. Hughes (2007) and Kathryn Ledbetter (2009) have ably challenged such views, their legacies have not yet been extensively scrutinised in our period beyond a few notable exceptions, the majority of which focus on individual titles such as the Gentleman’s Journal (Ezell 1992) or Gentleman’s Magazine (1731–1922) (Ram 1999). Periodical poetry by women and poetry by men in magazines titularly marketed at a female audience have been given even shorter shrift. While Paula Backscheider’s (2005) and Stephen C. Behrendt’s (2009) important studies of eighteenth-century and Romantic women poets, respectively, devote some attention to poetry that appeared in newspapers and magazines as well as stand-alone volumes, much work needs to be done to establish: (1) the important contribution that periodicals played in the popularisation of verse forms and the cultivation of poetic tastes that upheld or challenged formal hierarchies; (2) how periodicals shaped the reception of canonical and now little-known, even anonymous, poets, whose works often sat side by side within an individual newspaper’s or periodical’s pages; and (3) the equally vital role that poetry played in the development and success of the periodical genre from early newsletters and miscellanies to the dedicated poetical magazines that flourished in the later eighteenth century. The chapters in this section lay down an important marker in this timely and necessary conversation. Analysing appropriations of already published poems as well as original poetry written for periodicals and magazines, they alert us to the potentially difficult position of the woman poet, who could find her work reprinted within a magazine’s pages without her consent or next to poems or editorial interpolations antagonistic to her own politics or aesthetics. Equally, they document the literal and metaphorical space periodicals opened up in the hands of forward-thinking (and commercially astute) publishers and determinedly ambitious women poets for the creation

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of a female poetic tradition. Two chapters take single-author approaches. Dustin Stewart’s important essay opens this part of the volume with an illuminating account of the poetry of Elizabeth Singer in the Athenian Mercury. As Stewart deftly observes, Singer Rowe, and most of the recent scholars who have argued for her importance as a poet and early prose fiction writer, have made it all too easy to forget her early periodical poetry. Yet her dealings with Dunton and with the Athenian Mercury crucially shaped not only Rowe’s later, and more famous, verse, but also the vision of prose epistolarity for which she would become famous. Tanya Caldwell similarly hones in on the work of a single, remarkable woman writer, Hannah Cowley, to illuminate her career and the moment in literary history that she helped to define. Documenting the flirtatious poetic exchange between Della Crusca (Robert Merry) and Anna Matilda (Cowley) in John Bell’s the World (1787–97), Caldwell illuminates how Cowley used the genre of ‘the periodical poem’ to intervene in radical affairs of the moment and to position herself and fellow female poets in relation to established literary traditions. The contributions by Jennifer Batt and Octavia Cox zoom out to take a wide shot of the complicated, sometimes fraught, two-way relationship between women poets and magazines. Batt’s essay on poetry by women in magazines from the 1730s to 1750s shows the extraordinary range of women’s poetry during these decades and their complex interactions with a genre that could make their careers or, in many cases, consign them to obscurity. Cox takes up this story later in the century and shows how it could take a very different turn in the hands of an entrepreneurial periodicalist such as James Harrison. Cox’s account of the Lady’s Poetical Magazine (1781–2), which gave more space to women poets than contemporary miscellanies and anthologies, reveals how Harrison envisioned his periodical as a space in which women and male poets were in dialogue, and how his efforts led to the canonisation of certain women poets at the turn of the nineteenth century. Taken together, all four essays show how impoverished our sense of eighteenth-century poetry is if we ignore its major, massmarket, venue: the serial publication.

Works Cited Backscheider, Paula. 2005. Eighteenth-Century Women Poets and their Poetry: Inventing Agency, Inventing Genre. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Behrendt, Stephen C. 2009. British Women’s Poetry and the Romantic Writing Community. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Ezell, Margaret J. M. 1992. ‘The Gentleman’s Journal and the Commercialization of Restoration Coterie Practices. Modern Philology 89.3: 323–40. Hughes, Linda K. 2007. ‘What the Wellesley Left Out: Why Poetry Matters to Periodical Studies’. Victorian Periodicals Review 40.2: 91–125. Ledbetter, Kathryn. 2009. British Victorian Women’s Periodicals: Beauty, Civilization, and Poetry. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Ram, Titia. 1999. Magnitude in Marginality: Edward Cave and The Gentleman’s Magazine, 1731–1754. Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht.

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5 Dunton and Singer after the ATHENIAN MERCURY: Two Plots of Platonic Love Dustin D. Stewart

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he pensive provincial churchman John Norris and the irrepressible London bookseller John Dunton could agree that platonic love is the love of angels even if they disagreed about what that meant. Norris took for granted that angels love God. He defined platonic love as ‘the Love of Beauty abstracted from all sensual Applications’, an ‘Angelical Affection’ because it lifts the lover toward the divine, the ‘first original Beauty’ (1687: 444). Dunton surmised that angels love other angels. In an early issue of the Athenian Mercury (1690–7), his innovative question-and-answer periodical, he settled on a formulation to which he often returned: a chaste cross-gender friendship conducted outside the body, a ‘strict Union of Souls’ and ‘a Conversation truly Angelical’ (1.11).1 Despite this difference, both men accepted that platonic love faces threats from below. Norris’s discussion warns that any ‘desire of corporal contact’ interrupts the soul’s ascent (1687: 444), and Dunton’s account – written in April 1691 with his anonymous collaborators, known as the Athenians, a group in which some scholars have mistakenly included Norris (Taylor 2009: 28) – also cautions that physicality breaks the spiritual spell: ‘all the fear is least the Friendship should in time degenerate, and the Body come in for a share with the Soul . . . which if it once does, Farewel Friendship’ (AM 1.11). Whether angelic spirits love God or one another, they evidently cannot love bodies. Dunton seized upon this idea of a higher affection predicated on physical absence to conceptualise epistolary relationships and to defend the use of women’s letters in his publications. By imagining that letters, ‘those little subtle Messengers’, carry ‘all the Soul’ of a writer but none of the body (AM 2.13), he turned platonic love into a theory of collaborative, cross-gender authorship: angelic conversation conducted by letter. Much as Dunton delighted in this theory, he delighted too in the narrative potential of platonic love gone sour, spoiled by physical presence and bodily desire. For decades after broaching what might be called the sinking plot of platonic love – the dangerous body comes in, and down goes the friendship – he produced further versions of it, most elaborately in The Athenian Spy (1704) and in ‘The Double Courtship’ (1710), two epistolary texts that revealed Dunton’s ongoing fascination with the woman who had previously become the Mercury’s star contributor: Elizabeth Singer (later, beyond the purview of this chapter, known as Elizabeth Rowe). Yet platonic love as Dunton understands it also faces a threat from above, namely Norris’s definition. One soul might cease loving another because it feels pressed to direct that love toward God instead. The philosopher and educational theorist Mary Astell wrestles with this difficult imperative in an exchange of letters she initiated with

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Norris, published as Letters Concerning the Love of God (1695).2 Written in October 1693, during the same week that Singer had questions about strained relationships answered in the Mercury (AM 12.1), one of Astell’s contributions laments that her ‘strong Propensity to friendly Love’ keeps her from following Norris’s call to love God alone (1705: 32–3). In theory she accepts, as a later letter declares, that only love for the creator can ‘make us become Angels even whilst we dwell on Earth’ (67). In practice, however, she finds that parting company with fellow creatures increases her fondness for them. We are, she says, too much inclined to treat a person as ‘our Good whose Absence we find uneasie to us’ (34–5). A footnote added to the 1705 edition defensively insists that Astell checked this tendency to love, in something like Dunton’s fashion, the souls of absent friends and embraced Norris’s stricter alternative instead. Her struggle epitomises a second plot of platonic love, a different sort of break-up story in which the lover cuts ties with the beloved so as to ascend to some higher object. Dunton put this climbing plot to imaginative use in The Athenian Spy, having made overtures to it in The Art of Living Incognito (1700), an earlier book of anonymised letters. More familiar to literary historians is a real-life version of the plot. Dunton and Singer styled themselves platonic lovers in letters exchanged in the 1690s (with the full support, Dunton insisted, of his then wife); and a rare surviving letter of Singer’s, held with Dunton’s manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, suggests that her early poem on the topic was written at his behest (MS. Rawlinson d.72, fol. 31). First published in the Mercury on 24 December 1695, this poem, titled ‘Platonick Love’, aligns itself with Dunton’s defences: ‘Nor is the greatness of my Love to thee’, the poet says to an unnamed beloved, ‘a sacriledge unto the Deity’ (19.17). In later moving beyond the Mercury’s orbit, however, Singer both distanced herself from Dunton and broke from this poem’s perspective. Like Astell, she increasingly if not uniformly adopted Norris’s view of what angels love. Dunton meanwhile reused and repurposed ‘Platonick Love’, invoking the Astell-Norris model as a precedent for his relationship with Singer. To his mind she had been – and he still wanted her to be – an Astell to his Norris. In these post-Mercury publications, examined in this chapter, Dunton depicts Norris as a high priest of platonic love and uses the offbeat portrait to rationalise his appropriation of Singer’s writing. But what Dunton saw as a sinking plot, platonic love lost to bodily desire, Singer lived out as a climbing plot. She became an Astell in her way by leaving Dunton behind. Nor did she depart empty-handed. She took with her a powerful vision of the author as a spirit writing from the angelic world, a vision worked out in exchange with Dunton and developed from sources they shared (including Norris, whom Singer read more perceptively).3 She performed this authorial role so well that Dunton found himself emulating her, the editor imitating the star he discovered, later on. She took as well a strategy for organising epistolary narratives around poems. Dunton had begun to incorporate verse into the normal questionand-answer content of the Mercury, itself presented in a stylised epistolary format meant ‘to create an atmosphere of friendly exchange’ (Ezell 1992: 327). Sensing an opportunity, Singer, an aspiring young writer living in Frome, put some poetry into a letter to him and the Athenians in London. The first poem she sent, as early as autumn 1691, was probably ‘King William Passing the Boyne’, though the biblical paraphrase ‘Habbakkuk’ was the first one they published, in October 1693 (King

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2002: 162; Backscheider 2011: 44). Tuck some verse into a letter addressed to the right person and the result, apparently, is a plot. Or in this case two: Singer’s career in print began (her verse became a popular feature of the Mercury and new poetrythemed issues gave the periodical a boost), and so did her fraught relationship with Dunton. She eventually transformed their shared obsession with unseen spirits communicating by letter into groundbreaking epistolary fictions written as though from the other side. The process by which she published her first poems, then, became the content of her final books. But Singer also learned from dealing with Dunton that the same poetry can serve different purposes – can activate divergent plots – when reframed by new letters.

Sinking ‘Platonick Love’ responds to widespread discussion in earlier issues of the Mercury, but the topic influenced the periodical even when not directly addressed. After the Athenians proclaim – in a reply underscored by Kathryn Shevelow (1989: 64–6) – that women’s learning is justified because women have ‘as noble Souls as we’ (AM 1.18) and then reaffirm their case for cross-gender spiritual friendship, the pervasive suggestion is that the Mercury itself offers a forum for conversation among the equally dignified souls of men and women: a hub for platonic love. Dunton’s periodical furthermore circulated the hopeful view that such love, seen as affection detached from embodiment, anticipates what souls feel for each other after bodily death. In an undated issue printed for the first full-volume set, a reader raises what became a recurring question: will we recognise our disembodied friends in heaven (AM 1.25)? Though Dunton himself changed his answer in the years to follow – tacking from his position in the Essay, Proving, We Shall Know Our Friends in Heaven (1698) to a negative response in The Christian’s Gazette (1709) and back – in the Mercury he and the Athenians hold that souls will know one another. The opinion has its basis in the assumed similarity between disembodied souls and angels: ‘’tis probable that there’s such a thing as Friendship among Angels’ and ‘we shall be like the Angels’, one issue reasons (AM 3.13), and another issue declares more emphatically that ‘we shall be then like the Angels, who we are sure know each other’ (AM 6.7). Defining platonic love as angelic experience, and angelic experience as disembodied conversation, the Athenians encourage readers to think they will recognise their friends in heaven to the same extent that they can discern their friends’ minds apart from their bodies in personal letters or the minds of different writers contributing to the periodical. In more realistic moments, however, Dunton and company either admit that talk of platonic love can be a ruse – alluring a purported friend into a sexual relationship – or resign themselves to the view that pure spiritual love between the sexes is doomed to sink to bodily lust. A cautious statement by the Athenians allows that while platonic love does exist, ‘’tis obvious there are Pretenders to it’ (AM 8.11). One such pretender slyly asked, in March 1692, whether ‘Kisses and chast Embraces may be admitted into that Friendship between different Sexes’. ‘Hold, good Mr. Platonique! not a Lips breadth further’, begins the printed reply. After chiding him for neglecting the body’s power, it concludes that he must avoid bodily contact except ‘as you may embrace or salute a Sister or a Neighbour’ (AM 6.17).

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This disapproving language reappears verbatim in Dunton’s Athenian Spy, printed seven years after the final issue of the Mercury. His preface announces the triumphant return of the Athenians, though Dunton was working alone at this point, and the first part of the book comprises pseudonymous letters said to be exchanged between the Athenians and the women they courted in platonic romances, with a view (however playful) to platonic weddings. The opening letter, wooing one Madam Laureat, duplicates wording from the Mercury’s earliest definition: ‘a tender Friendship between Persons of a different Sex’, ‘a Conversation truly Angelical’ (Dunton 1704: 3). But Laureat remains a sceptic. Starting with the rebuff recycled from the Mercury – ‘Hold (Good Platonicks) not a Lips breadth further’ – she argues that ‘there’s certainly no better nor worse than meer Flesh and Blood at the Bottom’ of their celebration of spiritual affection (7, 11). The sentiment sounds familiar as a Swiftian critique of enthusiasm, but Dunton constructs a winningly doubtful female antagonist from his own periodical past, turning the Athenians into characters and turning their prior reservations against them. He also draws on the language of Mary Astell, who tells John Norris that ‘love is an insinuating Passion, and where-ever ’tis admitted, will spread and make its Way’ (1705: 64). Madam Laureat restates Astell’s point with help from Milton’s Satan: calling love ‘an insinuating Devil’, she proclaims that ‘if he gets but the tip of his Wing into your Heart, all the rest quickly follows’ (Dunton 1704: 12).4 The Athenians at their most doubtful similarly warn that sexual love takes cross-gender friendship and ‘totally sucks it up and drowns it’ (AM 3.13). The startling formulation at once evacuates purity and inundates it. A more measured reply, printed in the Mercury on 10 May 1692, is indicative of Dunton’s later tendency to associate the idealism of platonic love with verse and misgivings about it with prose. The Athenians, conceding that pure friendship of spirit can be made ‘ridiculous’ through misuse, nonetheless insist that several cases have cemented their belief in it. For ‘the latest’ they point to ‘a Copy of Verses writ by a Platonick Gentleman’ that appear ‘in the Gentlemans Journal for the last Month’. All five stanzas of the previously published poem follow, beginning with this one: Since Love hath kindled in our Eyes A chast and holy Fire, It were a Sin if thou or I Shou’d let this Flame expire. The poem works out an analogy between heavenly stars and lovers’ eyes made conventional by earlier defenders of platonic love. In the second stanza, the speaker tells the addressee that while they cannot meet in person, they may still love at a distance just as ‘the fixt Stars by their twinkling greet, / And yet they never joyn’ (AM 7.13).5 Literary history has attributed ‘Since Love Hath Kindled’ to Dunton – in May 1818 the Gentleman’s Magazine called it the only thing ‘worth preserving’ of all he scribbled about platonic love (88: 396) – and whether or not he wrote it, he reprised it frequently, in the Spy (1704: 53–4), for example, and in Life and Errors (1705: 186–7). In the latter he representatively uses the poem’s language to prove to another sceptical Madam Laureat type that ‘Platonick-Love is a Real Thing’ (186). Dunton can only treat the poem as evidence, however, by obscuring its original narrative context. In an entry in the April 1692 issue the Gentleman’s Journal, two young

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people – a scholar and a woman with a ‘natural Inclination to Learning’ – commence an ‘abstracted Philosophical Union’ (1: 4–5). After three years, the woman wants something ‘more substantial’ and asks about marriage. Her ‘contemplative Lover’, opting to ‘confine himself to Ideal happiness’, sends her the poem as his rejection (5). In effect the poem kills her, and then word of her death kills him. The unsigned entry concludes with a seemingly counter-Duntonian moral against love at a distance: ‘Since absence hath such fatal consequences, Lovers should endeavour never to leave the object of their Passion’ (6). Dunton’s habit of extracting ‘Since Love Hath Kindled’ from this tragic story might suggest that he scrubbed the framing narrative from memory. Yet it nicely enacts his own argument that platonic love dissipates whenever ‘the Body come[s] in for a share with the Soul’ (AM 1.11). One partner’s earthly desires interfere with the other’s disembodied ideal, and a necessarily failed marriage proposal ends the relationship. Rather than forget about this pattern, Dunton held onto it and (in his telling) lived it out with Elizabeth Singer. Published in 1710, ‘The Double Courtship’ recounts their relationship and quotes from their supposedly platonic correspondence, which commenced, as Kathryn King has shown, with a notice in the Mercury on 8 January 1695 asking for her address (2002: 165), and which culminated, as E. J. Clery has explained, in a journey to Agford: ‘in September 1697, after the death of his wife, he travelled to Singer’s home in Somerset and proposed marriage’ (2004: 37). She quite sanely said no, and Clery concludes from Dunton’s reflections that he was haunted less by her rejection than by his own ‘failure to sustain the ideal of platonic love’ (37). Life followed art in this case, however, for Dunton had written about such a failure when defining platonic love nearly two decades before, and ‘Courtship’ adopts the basic structure of the 1692 Gentleman’s Journal story from which he had regularly pulled ‘Since Love Hath Kindled’ in the intervening years. His story, in other words, takes the shape of a stylised sinking plot, and the communication between John Norris and Mary Astell emerges as his self-flattering precedent. Dunton doesn’t bother to keep the ending a surprise. His point is his pattern, a descent from pure distance to impure presence: ‘when from courting her SOUL, I fell to courting her BODY, (and that’s the Reason I call this Project the Double Courtship) our Friendship (Mutually) chill’d’ (1710: 2). But the author does take pains to insist that the relationship remained chaste until then. He uses poetry to defend his ideal, interpolating and splicing together lines from poems he rarely names, including (in the first such stretch of verse) Singer’s own ‘Platonick Love’ (2). In this vein he reprints ‘Since Love Hath Kindled’ again (8–9), soon after making a revealing claim about his qualifications at the time: ‘I knew the Nature of Platonick Love lay wholly in the disinterested Union of two Minds, which were made (as Mr. Norris and Madam Astel’s were) of Inclination that was purely Spiritual’ (8). A footnote addresses readers who might not recognise Astell’s name: ‘The Lady the Reverend and Learned Mr. John Norris corresponded with in his Book entituled [sic], Letters concerning the Love of God, between the Author of the Proposal to the Ladies, and Mr. John Norris’ (8, italics reversed). By juxtaposing ‘Since Love Hath Kindled’ with Letters Concerning the Love of God, Dunton implicitly slots the co-authors of that book into the two characters in the Gentleman’s Journal narrative, and the casting choice seems to work: a reclusive scholar and a woman inclined to learning share a chaste relationship, becoming a model of platonic love. At least it works so long as one joins

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Dunton in ignoring the rather significant point that Norris and Astell didn’t write letters about love felt for each other. For Dunton, the nature of their bond – a cross-gender friendship, ‘purely Spiritual’, carried out by letter – matters more than the content of their exchange, which in fact places love for God over and against love for other people. Dunton tightens the comparison between his correspondence with Singer and Norris’s with Astell when he attempts to justify not only having written letters about platonic love to an unmarried woman in the first place but also, now, publishing a few of her letters in his text: ‘the Reverend Dons have set me a President [precedent] in this Kind; the famous Norris, (now Rector of Bemmerton,) owns himself greatly honour’d by that Platonick Correspondence he had with Madam Astell, and has publish’d the Letters that past between ’em’ (25). Again overlooking a salient difference – Astell gave Norris permission to publish her letters – Dunton portrays himself as doing no worse than the pious rector of Bemerton had done. Near the surface here is the troubling insistence that Singer should in fact thank him for making her famous, even as Astell should thank Norris. The Athenian Spy should be seen as a precursor to ‘Courtship’, and not simply because of its dedication to Singer – which runs, as King notes, to eleven pages (2002: 165) and which evolved into the later work’s long biographical sketch. It is possible Dunton wanted to publish his correspondence with Singer on platonic love in the Spy but refrained at her request. (In that case some of the material appearing in ‘Courtship’, along with the additional letters Dunton threatens there to publish, was meant for the earlier book.) Even if not, as I explain below, he includes more of her writing in the volume than he admits. He also playfully tests out the examples of Norris and Astell in the Spy. A character known by Dunton’s pen name of Philaret, asked by his correspondent Irene about possible ministers for their hoped-for platonic wedding, can think of only one man suitably ‘Spiritual’, ‘Intellectual’, and ‘Platonical’ for the task: Now I have it, there’s Mr. Norris you know, Rector of Bemerton near Salisbury, begotten betwixt the Brains of Plato and Malbranche . . . He’s certainly the fittest Fellow in the Universe for the purpose; besides, he has writ a Book entituled [sic] the Ideal World; which shall be our Family-Book, and into this World we must endeavour to transport our selves, and live as little as is possible in this sensual World, where the very Air would spoil all our Platonism. (Dunton 1704: 67–8) Whimsical as this sounds, the passage confirms that Dunton has Norris in mind when he claims in ‘Courtship’ that early in his relationship with Singer the two didn’t want a real-world marriage but longed ‘to celebrate our Platonick Wedding in the Ideal World’ (1710: 8). Astell turns up in the Spy on a descriptive list of eligible women in London. Defined by her invisibility, she can nevertheless be admired in textual form, especially through Norris’s epistolary mediation: ‘She never insinuates her merit (as is seen by her Letters to Mr. Norris) by any other means than the fine things she speaks or writes’ (Dunton 1704: *13).6 Similarly, Dunton’s dedication asks Singer to grace the head of the 1704 volume in his praise of her even if her modesty kept her from actively participating. Yet this prefatory tribute can sound as though it describes Astell instead: her disdain for enthusiasm (‘your Zeal has nothing of Frenzy and Passion’), say, or her love for God more than the world (‘You do not over-love the Creature, your greatest hopes are anchor’d in Eternity’) (sig. A5v). Dunton’s notion

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that he and Singer could prove another Norris and Astell antedated ‘Courtship’, then, by several years at least. The idea may indeed be traced to the peak of their relationship, before platonic love sank to something else, and may derive from Singer herself. In her most meaningful letter printed in ‘Courtship’, the young writer tells Dunton that one of his missives has been discovered by her strict father (Dunton 1710: 40). Eventually he yielded to her pleas to keep up the friendship, she writes, on the condition that they cease discussing ‘the old Theam’ of platonic love: ‘tho’ we think ’tis a pure Friendship – the old Gentleman can’t digest such exalted Notions of it’ (41, italics reversed). To encourage Dunton, but also to state her final words on the old theme, she interjects a quatrain: Keep your Love true, I dare engage that mine Shall like my Soul, Immortal prove; In Friendship’s ORB how brightly shall we shine, Where all shall envy, none divide our Love. (41) The lines come from Norris’s dialogical poem ‘Damon and Pythias: Or, Friendship in Perfection’, published in his undervalued Collection of Miscellanies (1687). In a long reply, printed next in ‘Courtship’, Dunton takes his turn, adapting lines from the same Norris poem to say that if he dies first, he will be Singer’s ‘guardian Angel’ (willing to ‘leave Elysium to converse’ with her), will attend her at her death, and (when she becomes a fellow spirit) ‘will embrace my New-Born Friend’ and never let her go (44, italics reversed). ‘Damon and Pythias’ underwrites as well as conveys the hope that angelic affection will endure in the next life. While early issues of the Mercury attest that Dunton knew Norris’s work before he knew Singer, the striking coincidence, within the span of two or three months in 1694–5, between the beginning of his correspondence with her and the publication of Letters Concerning the Love of God seems to have sealed a connection for him between Norris’s authority and his platonic relationship with Singer. Nor is this surprising given that her letters brought him snatches of Norris’s verse. When recalling the sinking, however, Dunton looks to a different literary authority. In ‘Courtship’ he discusses how, granted an opportunity as a new widower and goaded by the ban on his beloved topic, he travelled to Agford and turned his ‘Platonick Address’ into the proposal that miscarried (1710: 26). To vindicate his all-too-human desire for Singer’s body, he invokes at several points ‘the immortal Cowley’ (18). Dunton had long associated Elizabeth Singer with Abraham Cowley. It was because of her fluency in ‘Platonick Love and Poetry’, he contends, that the Athenians first ‘call’d her The Pindarick Lady’ (5). If so, ‘Pindarick Lady’ was to Dunton more or less synonymous with ‘Platonick Lady’; and Cowley, reviver of the Pindaric ode and erstwhile proponent of platonic love, forged the link between the two. His poetic career could itself be taken for a sinking plot. Early poems exult in the idea that souls meet and mix when bodies are apart: ‘Absence it self does Bounteous prove’ (1905: 27). But later poems turn anti-platonic: ‘When Souls mix ’tis an Happiness; / But not compleat till Bodies too combine’ (75). Singer’s poem ‘Platonick Love’ opens with the words ‘So Angels Love’, announcing itself as a riposte to Cowley’s ‘Answer to the Platonicks’, which begins: ‘So Angels love; so let them love for me; / When I’am [sic] all soul, such shall my Love too be’ (80). Breaking from his earlier view, Cowley declares that the

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body, for now, proves necessary for love. Dunton built this trajectory – from defending to questioning platonic love, from soul down to body – into his presentation of Singer’s first book, Poems on Several Occasions (1696). In organising the contents Dunton placed her ‘Platonick Love’ first in the collection. But afterward he inserted, as a companion poem, ‘Humane Love: By a Country Gentleman’, which he claimed was written by a friend and which quotes Cowley to countermand Singer: ‘So Angels love, So let them love for me; / As mortal, I must like a mortal be’ (Singer 1696: 3, first gathering). Cowley exemplified and endorsed the movement from spiritual love down to corporeal love, a movement Dunton had recapitulated in bringing Singer’s early poetry together for the public. When, in ‘Courtship’, he summons both ‘Answer to the Platonicks’ (1710: 18) and ‘Humane Love’ (14) to explain his personal failure to sustain the ideal, he relies on a pattern familiar from his bid to portray Singer as a new Cowley. What started as an act of literary promotion resurfaced as an attempt at self-justification. Telling the tale in 1710, Dunton probably cannot recognise that he recounts the relationship in terms that had held sway in his imagination since before his correspondence with Singer flourished in the mid-1690s. Yet the structure appeared in the Athenian Mercury’s earliest argument for platonic love in 1691, with its warning about the body coming for a share, and it took clearer shape the next year in a Gentleman’s Journal vignette, from which Dunton culled a poem to sing the ideal of spirits in love. He didn’t altogether ignore the prosaic reality of the surrounding narrative. He made its descent to the flesh, leading to the death of a relationship, the fulcrum of his autobiographical story about loving Elizabeth Singer. Descent from platonic heights had a poetic pedigree too in Cowley, whose anti-platonic movement Dunton imposed upon Singer’s first book. ‘The Double Courtship’ is, in short, a decidedly literary construction. The pattern into which Dunton fits events preceded the events themselves. Indeed, the pattern may have shaped the events. This is by no means to say that he fabricated the platonic relationship or his proposal or her rejection. There’s no denying that he fell for Singer. But neither can it be denied that on some perverse level he wanted the proposal to fail, if only so he could sell the story of it, a story he had already been spinning for quite some time. In life as in periodical art, the sinking of platonic love was one of Dunton’s favourite plots. He should have remembered, however, that Norris’s example pointed in a different direction.

Rising Rather than worry that attachment to another soul may slide to something dangerously carnal, Singer’s poem ‘Platonick Love’ falters over the thought that her soul should aspire to something higher. In this sense the poem, first printed in the nineteenth of the Mercury’s twenty volumes, revises the periodical’s long-running conversation. It begins in agreement that platonic love is angelic experience: So Angels Love and all the rest is dross, Contracted, selfish, sensitive and gross. Unlike to this, all free and unconfin’d Is that bright flame I bear thy brighter mind. (AM 19.17)

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First the soul (‘bright flame’) disowns the body, then it merges with the love it feels, and finally it blends with the friend’s ‘mind’, a spiritual fusion of the sort typically dramatised in the writing of Lady Chudleigh (1993: 79, 343–52). At the beginning of the fourth line, an assertion about the soul (it is unbound) morphs into one about the soul’s inseparability from the addressee (its flame is actually your flame). One possible concern, familiar to the Mercury’s readership, is that this blending subtly represents or encourages sexual union. Anticipating the charge, Singer’s second stanza admonishes that ‘no stragling wish, or symptom of desire’ reaches her ‘holy fire’. The fourth, despite appearing to mark a conclusion, reacts to a different concern: Nor is the greatness of my Love to thee, A sacriledge unto the Deity, Can I th’ enticing stream almost adore, And not prefer its lovely fountain more? Here is the poem’s genuine question, expressed with the image of the platonic lover as a stream and God as its source. The poet means to say that her love for the one doesn’t hinder her greater love for the other. ‘Almost’ is the first crux, sowing doubt about what it means almost to adore something (and allowing almost to glide too easily, in one’s reading, into most). The problem intensifies with the final line’s ‘not’, a negation intended to accompany the prior line’s ‘Can’: can I not prefer? Yet its delayed placement has the effect of rendering the two loves potentially incompatible. By adoring the stream, she may unwittingly choose not to prefer the source. The early poem cannot overcome the position, in other words, of Mary Astell, who haunts Singer’s final stanza. One of Astell’s letters to Norris relies on the same distinction between source and stream: ‘He that has discovered the Fountain will not seek for troubled and failing Streams to quench his Thirst.’ Unflinching, Astell proceeds to say of the soul, ‘Whenever it moves towards the Creature it must necessarily forsake the Creator’ (1705: 134). On the unlikely chance that Singer had not read Letters Concerning the Love of God, her poem ends up on the same intellectual track nonetheless. It nearly affirms, in spite of itself and of John Dunton, that moving toward another soul counts as sinking, and it stretches toward Norris’s vision of angelic love and toward a climbing plot, in which the poet forsakes the stream for the ‘lovely fountain’. Now Dunton wasn’t altogether oblivious to the charm of this alternative. He hinted at it by rounding out Singer’s Poems on Several Occasions with ‘A Farewel to Love’, in which the speaker renounces Cupid and his ilk and promises, Diana-like, to ‘find out the Remotest Paths I can’ (1696: 67, second gathering). If at the outset of the book (seen from Dunton’s perspective) she serves platonic love, and in the middle she follows Cowley and explores embodiment and earthly love, then perhaps in that final poem she flies love’s disappointments and pursues a higher calling. A richer example comes from The Athenian Spy, where the momentous real-life exchange in which Singer silences Dunton on the old theme, the correspondence he excerpted in ‘The Double Courtship’, makes a veiled earlier appearance. It is in this back-and-forth that Singer and Dunton shared portions of Norris’s conversation poem ‘Damon and Pythias’. Characters in the Spy, as it happens, quote the same two selections. First, Philaret interpolates the lines that Singer had written to Dunton (1704: 33), with the

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winking suggestion that Dunton – who often wrote to Singer under the pen name Philaret – was now sending the verses back to her in print. Second, in the next cache of letters, the character Fido appeals to his reluctant platonic lover Orinda (one of the names Dunton uses for Singer in ‘Courtship’), and he inserts the same lines from Norris that Dunton had quoted to Singer. In fact, the paragraph preceding the quoted poetry, other than altered pseudonyms, is identical in the Spy and in the personal letters printed in ‘Courtship’ (Dunton 1704: 85–6; Dunton 1710: 43–4). Fido wins Orinda over to the cause of platonic love. Along the way, however, he hesitates, and he voices his doubts about the danger of his feelings in language borrowed from another Singer poem, ‘To Mrs. Mary Friend’ (1704: 93). But no sooner does Dunton lead the reader to suspect a sinking plot than he diverges from this pattern. After Orinda agrees to become Fido’s platonic spouse in the ideal world ‘if Norris will Marry us’ (99), Fido abruptly cuts off the relationship. And Norris’s poem ‘Seraphic Love’, with its vision of angelic affection that escapes bodies and lower beauties,7 becomes his break-up song to Orinda: But now, thou soft Enchantress of the Mind, Farwel; a Change, a mighty Change I find; The Empire of my Heart thou must resign. (Dunton 1704: 101; cf. Norris 1687: 22–3) Norris helps Dunton’s Fido learn that he must become angelic in a different way: ‘A fairer Object now my Soul does move; / It must be all Devotion, what before was Love’ (1704: 101). After quoting from ‘Seraphic Love’ Fido returns to prose and names his source to explain his action: these are, he says, ‘the very words of the Seraphick Norris, by which you see, had we both kept in the same Mind, he’d never have join’d us in Platonick Matrimony’ (101). The point of registering Dunton’s use of his personal correspondence with Singer in the Spy isn’t merely that he was, as one frustrated interlocutor complained, ‘a man that prints every Thing’ (King 2015: 126). One early manuscript letter admits that he can scarcely understand what Norris means when he writes about platonic love (Bodleian Library, MS. Rawl. d.72, fol. 98). Even so, Dunton normally took Norris’s precedent to justify intense cross-gender friendship in general and his own relationship with Singer in particular. In this sequence, though, he betrays his awareness of a countervailing definition. To become an angel, according to Norris and ‘Seraphic Love’, is to break away from other human loves. Dunton, wishfully and self-servingly assuming the role of Fido, fictionalises parts of his exchange with Singer (left to play Orinda) and fancies that it was he who left her behind and followed Norris heavenward. Another way to put this point is to say that Dunton in the Spy briefly dons the authorial persona that Singer was already fashioning and later developed into a famous self-image (Stewart 2013). He had tried out the gimmick of presenting himself as penning communications from the spiritual realm before – in The Art of Living Incognito the idea of withdrawal from the world culminates in an ‘Essay upon His Own Funeral’ (Dunton 1700) – and he returned to it soon enough – his Christian’s Gazette: or, News Chiefly Respecting the Invisible World (1709) appeared promising broadcasts from heaven. Although this novelty didn’t last for Dunton (no further news broke from heaven), the vision took hold for the woman who became Elizabeth Rowe.

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For her, as for Dunton’s Fido, Norris’s writing eventually demanded a reconsideration of platonic love. If Astell’s letters vex Singer’s unstable defence in ‘Platonick Love’, Norris’s earlier poem ‘Seraphic Love’ attacks that defence more directly. Where Singer begins by claiming that love for another soul is no sacrilege, Norris’s poem says of an analogous scenario that it is nothing else: Credulous and Silly I, With vain, with impious Idolatry, Ador’d that Star which was to lead me to the Deity. (1687: 23) The beauty of another person became its own end rather than a rung on the ladder to God, but now Norris concludes that ‘there is but One that’s Good, there is but One that’s Fair’ (23). For the sake of that one beauty he must soar past all others. Inserted into the narrative of her life, this poem became a climbing plot that Singer Rowe chose to tell herself about her break from Dunton and from her Athenian Mercury moment. Her commitment to this version of her autobiography comes out in the disdain she expressed later in life for the poems written in her Dunton years, which she demeaned as ‘trifles’, for example, when Edmund Curll in 1736 brought out an unauthorised edition (Singer Rowe 1739: 2.177). It comes out in her efforts to keep most of her early printed poetry out of print and off the record (King 2002), particularly away from the text that became her posthumous Miscellaneous Works. And it comes out in the changes she made to a few poems that did survive from the Mercury years. One such poem began its life in print as ‘Canticles 7.11’, first published in the Mercury on 7 January 1696 (AM 19.21). This biblical paraphrase closely follows another model provided by John Norris in his love poem ‘The Invitation’. With an epigraph from Canticles 7.11 – Norris renders the verse this way: ‘Come my Beloved let us go forth into the Field, let us lodge in the Villages’ (1687: 39) – he explores the joys of romantic passion. His effort begins, ‘Come thou divinest object of my love’ (1687: 39). Perhaps already alert to the danger of sacrilege, even with the sanction provided by the Song of Songs, Singer’s first version substitutes ‘most charming’ for ‘divinest’ (AM 19.21). In the rest of her poem, however, Singer easily outdoes Norris for erotic intensity. Her closing couplet, deploying the image familiar from ‘Platonick Love’, depicts her spirit and her beloved’s as flames burning and intermingling: ‘With how much heat shall I carress thee there, / And in sweet transports give up all my love.’ But in the modified version of the poem published after her death, in Miscellaneous Works, the poet addresses God instead of a fellow spirit, and she speaks from a position of devout seclusion: My pure desires, and holy vows, Shall centre all in thee; While ev’ry hour to sacred love Shall consecrated be. (1739: 1.44) Here and in her own rapt poem titled ‘Seraphic Love’ (1.56), the way of the mature devotional poet is the way of the mature Norris, channelling erotic and ecstatic energies toward God. Perhaps ‘centre’ in this stanza specifically echoes Norris’s argument that the heroically pious must love God alone and must ‘concenter our whole affections

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upon him’ (1687: 288). Or perhaps it hearkens to Mary Astell, who wrote to Norris: ‘Love being the same to the Soul that Motion is to Bodies, as Bodies cannot have two Centers, or different Terms of Motion, so neither can the Soul have a twofold desire. We may as reasonably expect that a Stone should go up Hill and down Hill at the same time, as that the Soul should at once love GOD and any thing besides him’ (1705: 133). Either way, the final version of the poem that started as ‘Canticles 7.11’ appears to announce the triumph of one conception of platonic love over another. Not only does it celebrate the poet’s unmediated access to the divine. It also seems to exult in the poet’s freedom from a model of collaborative authorship that for a time made her dependent on the souls of men like John Dunton. Yet this indication of a clean break remains too tidy. To the extent that Singer distanced herself from Dunton, she moved both toward God and toward other people, especially her younger friend Frances Thynne, eventual Countess of Hertford. It is not too much to propose that the intense spiritual relationship Dunton liked to believe he once had with Singer – spoiled as he thought by his desire for her body – Singer ended up sharing with Lady Hertford. In the mid-1690s Dunton and Singer picked choice passages from Norris’s ‘Damon and Pythias’ to promise each other that their souls would keep corresponding after death. Not too terribly long after that, and certainly within recent memory of The Christian’s Gazette and Dunton’s promise of news from heaven, Singer Rowe was writing playfully to Hertford to declare that she was already dead and that her letters should be read as bringing news ‘from the immaterial world’ (1739: 2.68). Later, this self-proclaimed spirit-writer told Hertford that her death drew near: ‘then, tho’ I have no intention to haunt you as a ghost, I shall certainly make you some friendly, tho’ invisible, visits, and wait to make my compliments at your first entrance on the celestial coasts’ (2.172–3). It was the dream, once again, of Norris’s ‘Damon and Pythias’: she will be present to welcome her beloved friend into the afterlife. Singer and Dunton had claimed this promise together, but by now it was powerfully and perhaps singularly associated with her individual literary legacy, monumentalised in the massively popular fictions Friendship in Death: In Twenty Letters from the Dead to the Living (1728) and Letters Moral and Entertaining (1733–4), which ends with a modified rising plot of its own. The final exchange of letters in this three-volume work describes how an initially amatory affair turns platonic when a woman’s lover dies and then he returns as a benevolent spirit, tutoring her about higher loves and ‘superior Objects’ for her affection (Singer Rowe 1733–4: 3.129). During the years of her mature friendship with Lady Hertford, the author found a third way for platonic love, that is, a way that combined the two others. Instead of accepting the terms of a choice between another soul and God, she decided that some souls could guide one to God. The insight itself wasn’t new, of course, but the application of it to forge a career as a woman writer was. In devising a third plot of platonic love, Singer Rowe became both an Astell and a Norris: a model for later readers and readers, men alongside women, who thought that in following her they could climb to heaven. She also extended Dunton’s discovery, in the discourse surrounding platonic love, of a formula for narrative momentum. In the Athenian Spy and in ‘The Double Courtship’ he returns to a strategy he applied to a Gentleman’s Journal story from the beginning of the previous decade. If a poem can be extracted from its narrative

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context to sing the ideal of platonic love, it can also be inserted into different narrative frames, usually into exchanges of letters between men and women, to generate new realistic plots. On this point, too, Singer Rowe did not so much break away from Dunton as adapt and refine his rough innovations to her own more durable ends. Her career began with her bold attempt to place some verse amid the Athenian Mercury’s questions and answers. To Dunton at the time she was an invisible reader of the periodical, so far removed from London society she may as well have been writing from the immaterial world. What made her gamble pay off was his gushing response. The periodical pioneer took the verse from her letters and resituated it in the public, though still epistolary, space of the Mercury, and soon enough she became a dominant presence in its pages, famous though still unknown. Later he reprinted some of the same poems in other projects, hiding his addresses to her in plain sight but also hoping to return to the intimacy of manuscript. She had other intimacies to pursue now, other correspondents to write to, and she recognised that souls can sometimes circulate more freely when detached from bodies that stay unseen. But she never broke away from the Mercury’s insistence that print offers a space for angelic spirits to interact. In fact, she turned her early perspective as an invisible reader of that periodical into a durable authorial identity: a spirit-reader and a spirit-writer. She went on to take that role as far as it could possibly go in the eighteenth century, in genres (from poetry to serial fiction) she saw practised in early periodicals, within their loosely epistolary framework. If Dunton spent the first decade of the eighteenth century trying to recapture the magic of a lost relationship and capitalising on the reputation he helped her to make, Singer Rowe spent the decades to follow returning the favour, reclaiming for her own innovations and for her higher loves, human as well as divine, the plots he had spun from her poems.

Notes 1. Following the precedents of Shevelow (1989) and Berry (2003), I cite the Athenian Mercury (hereafter AM) by volume and issue number. This method allows me to account for the many undated issues that Dunton, from the first through the seventh volume, used to supplement previously released numbers and to ensure that they would be purchased as a complete set. Access to these undated numbers is a practical concern nowadays: several electronic databases silently exclude them from the Mercury’s run. 2. The title page is dated 1695, but as Jacqueline Broad has observed (2015), the Term Catalogues show that the book appeared late in the previous year. I cite from the second edition of 1705. 3. Others shared this vision. Manushag Powell takes the example of Thomas Berington’s News from the Dead (1715–16) to show that ‘a periodicalist is always already deceased, or at least not quite at home among the living’ (2012: 202). 4. Dunton deploys Astell’s phrase with less licence in ‘The Double Courtship’: ‘Corporal Love’s an insinuating Passion’ (1710: 16). 5. Compare, in The Platonick Lovers (1636), William Davenant’s ‘guiltless Stars, who seem’d / To smile, and winke upon each other’ (Davenant 1665: 115). 6. The asterisk adjacent to the page number appears in the original. 7. For one attempt to save Astell from this poem’s vision and from Norris’s religious outlook, see Johns 2003: 32–5.

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Works Cited [Astell, Mary], and John Norris. 1705. Letters Concerning the Love of God. London: for Manship. Backscheider, Paula R. 2011. ‘Elizabeth Singer Rowe: Lifestyle as Legacy’. New Contexts for Eighteenth-Century British Fiction. Ed. Christopher D. Johnson. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press. 41–65. Berry, Helen. 2003. Gender, Society and Print Culture in Late-Stuart England: The Cultural World of the Athenian Mercury. Aldershot: Ashgate. Broad, Jacqueline. 2015. The Philosophy of Mary Astell: An Early Modern Theory of Virtue. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chudleigh, Lady Mary. The Poems and Prose of Mary, Lady Chudleigh. 1993. Ed. Margaret J. M. Ezell. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Clery, E. J. 2004. The Feminization Debate in Eighteenth-Century England: Literature, Commerce and Luxury. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Cowley, Abraham. 1905. Poems. Ed. A. R. Waller. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Davenant, William. 1665. Two Excellent Plays. London: for Bedel and Collins. Dunton, John. 1700. The Art of Living Incognito. London: for Dunton. —. 1704. The Athenian Spy. London: for Halsey. —. 1705. The Life and Errors of John Dunton Late Citizen of London. London: for Malthus. —. 1710. ‘The Double Courtship’. Athenianism. London: for Morphew. 1–61. —, ed. 1690–7. The Athenian Mercury. London. Ezell, Margaret J. M. 1992. ‘The Gentleman’s Journal and the Commercialization of Restoration Coterie Literary Practices’. Modern Philology 89: 323–40. The Gentleman’s Journal, or the Monthly Miscellany. 1692–4. London. The Gentleman’s Magazine. 1731–1922 (1st ser. 1731–1833; ser. 2–4 1834–68). London. Johns, Alessa. 2003. Women’s Utopias of the Eighteenth Century. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. King, Kathryn R. 2002. ‘Elizabeth Singer Rowe’s Tactical Use of Print and Manuscript’. Women’s Writing and the Circulation of ideas: Manuscript Publication in England, 1550–1800. Ed. George L. Justice and Nathan Tinker. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 158–80. King, Rachel Scarborough. 2015. ‘“Interloping with my Question-Project”: Debating Genre in John Dunton’s and Daniel Defoe’s Epistolary Periodicals’. Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 44: 121–42. Norris, John. 1687. A Collection of Miscellanies. Oxford: for Crosley. Powell, Manushag N. 2012. Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Shevelow, Kathryn. 1989. Women and Print Culture: The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London: Routledge. [Singer, Elizabeth]. 1696. Poems on Several Occasions. Written by Philomela. London: for Dunton. [Singer Rowe, Elizabeth]. 1733–4. Friendship in Death: In Twenty Letters from the Dead to the Living. To Which Are Added, Letters Moral and Entertaining. 4 vols. London: for Worrall. Singer Rowe, Elizabeth. 1739. Miscellaneous Works in Prose and Verse. 2 vols. London: for Hett and Dodsley. Stewart, Dustin D. 2013. ‘Elizabeth Rowe, John Milton and Poetic Change’. Women’s Writing 20: 13–31. Taylor, E. Derek. 2009. Reason and Religion in Clarissa: Samuel Richardson and ‘The Famous Mr. Norris, of Bemerton’. Farnham: Ashgate.

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6 Women’s Poetry in the Magazines Jennifer Batt

W

hen, in 1731, Edward Cave established the first periodical miscellany that would call itself a magazine, he quickly came to realise that poetry would form a key element of his publication’s appeal. Playing host to a range of verses – from essays to epigrams, songs to satirical sketches – by a miscellany of authors, the ‘Poetical Essays’ section became a regular feature of Cave’s Gentleman’s Magazine (1731–1922). As ever more magazines were set up as the century progressed, competitor after competitor echoed the format that Cave had developed; with so many titles following his example and devoting several pages of each issue to verse, by the middle of the century hundreds of poems were appearing in magazines every year. A small but significant proportion of that verse was penned by female authors, some of whom – including Anne Ingram, Viscountess Irwin, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Mary Jones, and Mary Leapor – have since become established figures in the canon of eighteenth-century poetry; and some of whom – including those whose identities remain shrouded behind pseudonyms such as Clarinda, Fidelia, Pastora, or Aishmella – have been seldom read, and even seldomer discussed, in the years since their work first appeared in magazines. This chapter sets out to offer an account of the place that female poets, both familiar and unfamiliar, occupied in the rich poetic culture that magazines made possible. Surveys of magazine verse, such as those by scholars including Calvin Yost (1936), Anthony Barker (1996), Titia Ram (1999), and Jacob Sider Jost (2015), have tended to focus narrowly upon a single publication, Cave’s Gentleman’s Magazine. Yet important though Cave’s magazine was in establishing the magazine format, as the eighteenth century wore on it became just one of many titles in an increasingly crowded marketplace. While this chapter draws a number of its examples from the Gentleman’s Magazine, then, it also casts its net wider, drawing on that publication’s long-standing rival, the London Magazine (1732–85); on short-lived publications, such as the British Magazine (1746–51); and on regional publications such as the Newcastle General Magazine (1747–60) and the Scots Magazine (1739–1826). So much verse was published in magazines that this chapter does not pretend to offer a comprehensive survey of it all; rather, it offers a set of case studies from the 1730s, 1740s, and 1750s that reveal some of the complex ways that female poets interacted with magazines, and vice versa. These case studies shed light on some of the possibilities that magazines made available to female poets, such as the opportunity of having one’s voice (and one’s arguments) heard; of reaching a wide readership; of developing a public profile as a poet; and of participating in a poetic community. But these examples also demonstrate some of the ways that magazines could exploit female poets, by publishing their work without their knowledge or consent; impose restrictions upon them by framing their verse in ways that were limiting or problematic; or – because of the ephemerality of

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the form – lead to even important pieces of verse being quickly forgotten. The case studies offered in this chapter reveal the vital role that magazines could play in making female poets, and their work, highly visible; they also reveal, however, how effective magazines were at disguising, or making invisible, that very same thing. Among the miscellany of competing viewpoints to which the poetry pages of magazines played host were a number of strident, female-authored, proto-feminist or feminist poetic essays which forcefully took issue with the ways that male authors had written about women. One such piece has, in recent years, come to increasing scholarly attention: Anne Ingram, Viscountess Irwin’s rebuttal of Alexander Pope’s Of the Characters of Women: An Epistle to a Lady. Pope’s poem had been published as a folio pamphlet in February 1735 before being included in the second volume of his Works later in the same year. Provoked by his scathing character sketches of vapid and changeable women, Ingram composed a response that contended that if women were, as Pope alleged, ‘Triflers’ more concerned with ‘Dress’ and ‘Beauty’ than with intellectual pursuits, it was because they had been ‘by Custom doom’d to Folly, Sloth and Ease’.1 Ingram proposed that the key factor in shaping women’s behaviour was the education they had – or more significantly, had not – received: ‘Unus’d to Books, nor Vertue taught to prize’, a woman’s ‘Mind’ became, all too frequently, ‘a savage Waste’, a ‘Void’ which ‘Trifles’ would inevitably ‘fill up’. ‘Misled by Custom’, ‘Strangers to Reason’, and with ‘their Morals left . . . to Chance’, how could more be expected of women? How could they ‘more Vertue show, / Or tempting Vice, treat like a common Foe?’ How could they ‘resist, when soothing pleasure wooes?’ And how could they ‘on other Themes converse or write, / Than what they hear all Day, and dream all Night?’ This forceful riposte probably had some circulation in manuscript before it was copied, on 16 December 1736, into the weekly newspaper The Old Whig, or Consistent Protestant as ‘An Epistle to Mr. Pope. By a Lady. Occasioned by his Characters of Women.’ Whether the decision to withhold the author’s identity was Ingram’s choice, or that of the poem’s copyist or the newspaper’s editor, the title under which her epistle was printed flipped that of Pope’s on its head, insistently positioning her response as the moment in which the subject of his poem spoke out against him. Shortly after its appearance in the newspaper, ‘An Epistle to Mr. Pope. By a Lady’ was copied into the Gentleman’s Magazine (6 (Dec 1736): 745) and the London Magazine (6 (Jan 1737): 47–8). It is unclear whether the publication of her poem in the newspaper – and its subsequent republication in the magazines – took place with Ingram’s knowledge or consent, but the effect was dramatic: publication in these periodicals transformed a poem that had previously had a limited manuscript circulation into a work that reached a vastly expanded potential readership. This audience would have been even larger than that which Pope’s Epistle to a Lady had reached, at least in the early years after that work’s publication: in the 1730s there would have been no more than a few thousand copies of Pope’s poem in circulation (Foxon 1991: 117–31), at a time when the proprietors of the Gentleman’s Magazine boasted sales of c. 10,000 copies per month, and the London Magazine had a regular monthly print run of 7,000 copies (McKenzie and Ross, 1968: 11–12). Ingram’s poem would go on to be reproduced in magazines at intervals throughout the century: a version appeared in London Magazine in October 1759 (28: 550–1), from whence it was also copied, the following month, into the regionally produced Newcastle General Magazine (580–1); and a different variant was printed in the Gentleman’s Magazine in August 1771 (41: 371–2) before being copied into the Universal Magazine (49: 98–9) and Scots Magazine

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(33: 431–2) of the same month. Publication in these magazines’ poetry sections was certainly not as prestigious as publication in a folio pamphlet or in a volume of the author’s collected Works but it did mean that Ingram’s arguments, which pushed back so forcefully against the propositions of her prominent male opponent, were brought within reach of a large, socially diverse, nationwide audience. Yet while magazines could be a space in which a female voice might be heard to speak out against her male peers, they were also a medium that facilitated the forgetting of those moments of opposition. For all that magazine proprietors encouraged their readers to view the magazine as an enduring record of the year’s events by printing title pages, prefaces, and indexes that could be bound together with a year’s worth of monthly issues, magazines were, fundamentally, topical and ephemeral publications. So many poems were published in magazines, month by month, that any single poem – however well-written and however provocative its arguments – could soon slip from memory, particularly when, lacking attribution or with authorship indicated only though generic epithets like ‘a Lady’, there was nothing to demand that a reader remember it. Hidden amongst the thousands of other poems that were published in magazines, and appearing in just a handful of scattered and minor miscellanies, ‘An Epistle to Mr. Pope. By a Lady’ largely disappeared from view until its recent rediscovery and subsequent anthology-driven reintegration into the canon of eighteenth-century poetry.2 It seems unlikely that Ingram had planned to use magazines as a medium to host her strident counterblast to misogynist polemic, but other female writers set out with precisely that aim. In late 1747, the pseudonymous (and as yet still unidentified) Clarinda submitted a short seasonal piece, ‘Christmas Morn’, for inclusion in the British Magazine. Yet, when she came to read her contribution in the issue for December 1747 (2: 558) she was dismayed by the company her poem had been forced to keep. Her piece appeared just a page or two after a lengthy extract from A Panegyrick on the Fair Sex (2: 555–7), an anonymous poem that had initially been published as a pamphlet in June 1747.3 Despite its title, A Panegyrick slandered ‘the Fair Sex’ as intemperate, vain, shallow, stupid, chattering, deceitful hypocrites; it illustrated its case with character sketches of various women, including an account of one Clarinda who ‘ne’er was silent for a minute, / Tho’ all she says has nothing in it’ (2: 556). The author of A Panegyrick probably did not have the pseudonymous poet Clarinda in mind when he crafted his portrait of a woman of that name but, when they reproduced his poem in their poetry section, the editors of the British Magazine – wilfully or accidentally – imposed an implicit connection between the poem’s sketch of Clarinda and the contributor who went by the same name. To find her poem following so closely on the heels of a piece which urged ‘dear Clarinda’ to ‘hold thy tongue’ (since ‘you’re always talking, always wrong’) (2: 556) might have felt to the pseudonymous female poet like a deliberate attempt to silence her; whether she was motivated by personal grievance or by a more general outrage at the misogyny A Panegyrick advanced, she was quick to react to what she had read. Making use of the possibilities the magazine form offered for prompt dialogue and swift rebuttal, she composed a reply and submitted it to the magazine editors within a month or so; her address ‘To the Author of a Poem, intitled a Panegyric upon the Fair Sex’ appeared in the February 1748 issue (3: 81–2). Just as Anne Ingram had done in her reply to Pope’s Epistle to a Lady, so too did Clarinda insist that the faults that the author of A Panegyrick identified in ‘womankind’ (3: 81) were caused not by their lack of raw potential but by the limits that had been placed upon them by custom. Ingram had argued that the only ‘Diff’rence’

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between men and women ‘in Education . . . lies’ (Old Whig, 16 December 1736), and Clarinda – who may, perhaps, have read Ingram’s poem in a magazine or elsewhere – made the same observation, proposing that The man who with a son is blest, Sends him to school, ten years at least; But, if a daughter he shou’d rear, Perhaps he sends her – half a year! A time a boy wou’d scarcely know His alphabet as far as – O: If six months don’t compleat the daughter, She’s call’d a Dunce for ever after. (3: 82) Mirroring the satiric tetrameter couplets that the anonymous author of A Panegyrick had used, Clarinda charged him with the ‘weakness of [his] brains’; her point was made all the more scathing because, she implied, he was ‘void of thought’ even despite the educational advantages that he had, as a man, enjoyed. For those readers who wanted to judge her analysis of his talents for themselves, the title under which her poem was printed directed them back, by issue and page number, to the very piece that had provoked such a retaliation. While many of the exchanges that magazines hosted were, like this, a fleeting matter of provocation and response, occasionally magazines played host to exchanges that were prolonged and multidirectional. One such extended exchange began in 1734, when a pseudonymous poet from Lincoln who signed her verse ‘Fidelia’ put herself forward, over the course of a series of poems submitted to the Gentleman’s Magazine, as a potential wife and ‘help-meet’ to Jonathan Swift (4 (Sep 1734): 508; 4 (Nov 1734): 619). Yet in declaring ‘I love the Dean with the utmost affection’ (4 (Nov 1734): 619), Fidelia had to negotiate a position for herself in relation to the currents of misogyny that lurked throughout Swift’s verse. One example of that misogyny was ‘The Furniture of a Woman’s Mind’, a poem characterising women as frivolous, empty-headed, and excessively talkative that would appear in the February 1735 issue of the Gentleman’s Magazine (5: 99). Where Anne Ingram and Clarinda might have reacted to Swift’s attack by offering a critique of the ‘Custom’ that enforced stupidity upon women, Fidelia took a different approach. In a poem that was printed in the March 1735 issue of the magazine, she refused to renounce her affection for the Dean. Protesting that ‘I love him so – and ever shall’, she explained: And as to what he wrote not long since, Of female minds, upon my conscience, To think it general – would be nonsense. ’Tis like he meant some certain dame, Who falsely had aspers’d his fame, And he to be revenged on her, Writes thus at large her character: I vow I’m not offended by it, Let she it represents apply it. (5: 159)

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As Fidelia excused Swift by insisting that he had not composed an attack on the sex at large but rather a satire targeted at the reformation of a specific individual, readers who might have missed his poem were directed by a helpful annotation back to the page of the magazine’s previous issue where they could read his words for themselves. Instructing these readers in how to read his poem, Fidelia insisted that Swift’s aim as a satirist was not to ‘to ridicule the fair’, but rather ‘he wrote for some good end, / As a weak sister’s fault to mend’. And yet despite this defence of his methods, Fidelia concluded her poem by announcing that she would now forsake her pursuit of Swift’s affections: ‘Since I can’t obtain his favour, / Quite to forget him I’ll endeavour’ (5: 159). Her decision to move on was, it seems, a strategic one, for if her attempt to win the affections of Swift had not worked, she had instead won the admiration of many others. The March issue of the Gentleman’s Magazine contained poems about or addressed to Fidelia by Ignis Fatuus, Bardulus, and Sylvius, and offered apologies to Philander and R. L. of Lincoln for not including their pieces which had tended ‘to the same end’ (5: 155, 157). As Jane Brereton – under her pseudonym of Melissa (styled in this instance ‘M-a’) – would observe in the April issue, Fidelia had attracted ‘a retinue of poets, / From the highest class, quite down to the low wits; / From Apollo’s true sons, to his vain implorers, / [who] Most humbly profess themselves [her] adorers’ (5: 215). In the subsequent months, the magazine’s poetry section supported the development of a coterie that came together virtually as dozens of poems, the tone of which frequently pitched somewhere between flirting and flyting, were exchanged in print. At the centre of this poetic community were Fidelia, Melissa, Fido (Thomas Beach – unbeknownst to Jane Brereton, a real-life neighbour of hers), and Sylvius (John Duick), but others, including Eliza (Elizabeth Carter), Astrophil (Moses Browne), and the as-yetunidentified Lucius, Pastora, and Prudence Manage also contributed.4 As this frenetic exchange came to dominate the magazine’s poetry section throughout much of 1735, some contributors worried that it might become tedious to readers who were not a part of the coterie: as Fido remarked in an (unsuccessful) attempt to put an end to the poetic toing and froing in September: ‘We’ve plagu’d Cave’s readers long enough, / Till Mag. has groan’d with loads of stuff’ (5: 555). As well as plaguing readers, the coterie exchange may also have alienated some of the magazine’s would-be contributors; one such author, Bardus, wrote to the magazine’s proprietor to complain that those who participated in this exchange of verse were getting preferential treatment. Their submissions were jumping the queue for inclusion when non-coterie works were forced to wait: Our strains you neglect sometimes a whole year, Yet others as soon as transmitted appear; As Pastora, Fidelia, Melissa, and Fido, Who ne’er take such pains as my Comrades and I do. (5: iii)5 Well-executed verse was being omitted, Bardus argued, in favour of verse that was of a lesser quality but which continued the prolonged poetic dispute. ‘’Twere excusable sometimes to give ’em a column, / But it’s out of all reason to scold thro’ a volume’ he complained (5: iii), insisting that were Cave to persist in this vein, his pool of unpaid poetic contributors would shrink, and the quality of his poetry section would consequently suffer.

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Though the coterie exchange to which Bardus objected was fostered by male poets as much as it was by female writers, it is notable that in his complaint it was Fidelia, Melissa, and Pastora who bore the brunt of his attack. The right of women to write was a prevailing theme of these coterie exchanges, and there were strident opinions on both sides. Fido became particularly outspoken: in one poem he turned on both Fidelia and Melissa, declaring that the very act of picking up a pen was unfeminine behaviour. Addressing Melissa, he insisted that I neither burn for Fid, nor you. The easy vein in which she writes, And your more learn’d, judicious flights, May charm yourselves and please your friends, But wives shou’d answer other ends. (5 (Sep 1735): 555) Fido’s insistence that he only valued Fidelia and Melissa in as much as they were able to perform wifely duties provoked responses in retaliation, including that of the pseudonymous Pastora. Pastora did what Ingram and Clarinda would also do in response to other provocative texts: she mounted a general defence of the female sex. She addressed Fido directly: ’Gainst the whole sex, you open war declare, And subtly urge, that we have no pretence To raise our faculties and aim at sense; Gravely affirm, that all we ought to do, Is to inspect a family – and sew. Content in ignorance to drag our chain, And blindly serve our haughty tyrant man, Who vainly swell’d with his imperious rule, Thinks nature destin’d woman a – tame fool; A meer machine, devoid of reason’s guide, And like the brutes design’d to sooth his pride. (5 (Nov 1735): 675) Fido did not, however, take such a rebuttal with good grace. Mockingly imagining Pastora as ‘sound[ing] the charge – with drumming’ at the head of an army, he conceded defeat, but not because of the quality of her arguments: ‘I yield! I yield! to overmatches, / And dread no wounds like female – scratches’ (676). Pastora, for her part, refused to back down in the face of Fido’s continued ridicule. She turned her attention to female writers instead in one of the final coterie pieces that the magazine published; addressing Fidelia, she encouraged her to join with her and other female poets in an alliance against men such as Fido (5 (Dec 1735): 727). Though not all commentary on female poets that appeared in magazines was as provocatively scathing as that which Fido composed, even verse that celebrated female writers tended to frame their writing in particular, limiting ways because of their gender. Occasionally female poets might be hailed in magazine verse for their intellect, as Elizabeth Carter was in an epigram that referred to her as ‘learn’d Eliza’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 8 (Aug 1738): 429), or their abilities might be figured in a quasi-androgynous way, as those of Mary Jones were in a poem which declared that her verse revealed the

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‘touches of a master hand’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 19 (Feb 1749): 87). More often than not, however, the primary means of praising a female poet was to insist upon her attractiveness to men. In many poems in this vein a female poet was, typically, a young, bright, fair, graceful nymph or maid: Fidelia, for example, was a ‘young maiden’ and ‘nymph’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 5 (Mar 1735): 155); Elizabeth Carter was a ‘bright’ and ‘lovely maid’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 8 (Aug 1738): 429); Aishmella, a regular contributor of verse (including compositions in Latin and translations from Greek) to the British Magazine, was a ‘fair, of sense refin’d, / In whom each grace and virtue is combin’d’ (British Magazine 4 (Sep 1749): 388); and Mary Jones was a ‘fair maid’ and ‘bright nymph’ whose verse possessed a ‘resistless charm, and nameless grace’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 19 (Feb 1749): 87; 20 (Dec 1751): 567). An admirer and would-be lover informed Aishmella that her verse his ‘enraptur’d breast excite[d]’ (British Magazine 4 (Sep 1749): 388), while another told Charlotte Lennox that her beauty and poetic ability combined in such a way as to be irresistible: ‘Your verse creates, your form can fix desire, / Wishing we read, and gazing we admire’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 20 (Nov 1750): 518). One admirer of Mary Jones – who signed his or her work under the female pseudonym Laetitia Meanwell – praised her for the ‘winning ease’ with which she ‘sway[ed] the heart’, while a second remarked upon the way her ‘enchanting’ ‘song’ ‘draws the rapt swains insensibly along’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 19 (Feb 1749): 87; 20 (Dec 1751): 567). Even those celebratory poems which recognised poetic merit by awarding female writers the laurel inevitably and insidiously slid from celebrating ability to focusing upon the poet’s appearance: the laurel was thus awarded to both Elizabeth Carter and Mary Jones ‘to adorn’ their respective ‘brow[s]’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 8 (Aug 1738): 429; 20 (Dec 1751): 568). Yet since this focus on these women’s sexual allure brought with it potential accusations of immodest behaviour, even as this verse speculated on female poets’ attractiveness, it also tended to insist upon their chastity. Fidelia was thus declared to be a ‘chaste auth’ress’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 5 (Mar 1735): 155), and while ‘Love’ was ‘the inchanting subject of’ Charlotte Lennox’s ‘song’, she – and the passion she described – was yet ‘Tender as chaste, and innocent as strong’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 20 (Nov 1750): 518)..Where, in several poems, comparisons on grounds of poetic ‘genius’ were made between female poets and Sappho, Sappho’s ‘wanton’ reputation meant that special care had to be taken to insist upon the contemporary poets’ virtue: consequently, Lennox’s verse was declared to be ‘purer’, and Jones’ ‘more pure’ than that of their notorious predecessor (Gentleman’s Magazine 20 (Nov 1750): 518; 20 (Dec 1751): 567–8). Some of this interest in the female poet’s sexuality was figured as enquiries into their marital status that teetered on the verge of becoming marriage proposals: Aishmella was asked to reveal ‘if yet remain unpaid thy marriage vows’ (British Magazine 4 (Sep 1749): 388), while Fidelia’s husband was considered to possess all the luck: ‘Happy swain! whoe’er he be / Leagu’d in friendship, nymph, with thee, / Blest the hymeneal band! / Where Fidelia gives her hand’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 5 (Mar 1735): 155). While such references to marriage were, perhaps, an attempt to bring these poems’ literary flirtation within the bounds of respectability, ultimately what they implied, as Fido had aggressively suggested, was that whatever talents a woman displayed on a public stage, her only real worth was as a wife. There were other ways, too, in which a magazine might attempt to shape – and limit – the ways in which a female poet’s work might be received. In June 1749 the

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London Magazine printed ‘Verses on Self-Murder, address’d to – by a Lady’, a poem in which the speaker had despairingly asked, ‘Why should I drag along this life I hate . . . / Why this mysterious being force t’ exist, / When every joy is lost, and every hope dismist?’ (18 (June 1749): 284) The editors followed this articulation of suicidal despair with a note that distanced them from the propositions the poem advanced: As it is to be suppos’d that we often differ from the sentiments of our correspondents, and sometimes disapprove them; so here we think this lady has suggested very immoral and pernicious advice; that she has not duly weighed that inimitable soliloquy of Hamlet, To be or not to be, – nor the many excellent Tracts that have been publish’d against Self-Murder; and, what is worse, seems to have forgot her Maker and her Christianity. (18: 284) By reproving the author for the arguments she had advanced, the editors were able to print the hitherto unpublished poem and at the same time position themselves as arbiters of morality. Attempting to guide their readers into dismissing her arguments, the magazine editors insisted that this account of despair suffered from its author’s failure to read and properly digest the key texts that have been written on her subject. Yet in their desire to decry the author’s immoral verse, the magazine editor’s denunciation of her failure of careful reading and rational thought was, perhaps, not strictly accurate: despite their assertion, as Shirley Tung has argued, the poem’s propositions can be seen to have much in common with Hamlet’s own (2014: 116). In addition to attacking the female author’s moral character and intellectual capacity, the editors of the London Magazine shaped how readers would respond to ‘Verses on Self-Murder’ in another very specific way: they drew conspicuous attention to the poet’s gender, even as they deliberately withheld her identity. In the middle of the eighteenth century well over half of the poems that appeared in the London Magazine did so without an attribution of any kind, and yet, though this poem could have been reproduced anonymously, the editors chose to identify its author as ‘a lady’, perhaps considering that this information imparted an important extra frisson to its transgressive sentiments. Having identified the author as a woman, though, the editors then chose not to name her, despite it being very likely that they were well aware that Lady Mary Wortley Montagu had written the poem. On the same page that ‘Verses on Self-Murder’ was printed, the editors also included a second poem by Montagu, ‘A Ballad To The Tune of The Irish Howl’. The authorship of this lyric exploration of thwarted desire was unambiguously signalled with the attribution ‘By Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’ (18 (June 1749): 284). The appearance of two poems by Montagu in such close proximity to each other suggests that the magazine editors had reliable access to a manuscript or manuscripts containing her verse. And yet, though they deemed it acceptable to identify Montagu as the author of a ballad about sexual longing, they considered it to be beyond the pale to identify her as the author of lines on suicide. What lay behind such a decision was, perhaps, an assessment of the potential harm that an association with such a poem might do to Montagu’s reputation. In a poem published in the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1737 Catherine Cockburn had explained one of the problems facing women who wished to venture their intellect in published works:

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If some advent’rous genius rare arise, Who on exalted themes her talent tries, She fears to give the work (tho’ prais’d) a name, And flies not more from infamy, than fame. (7 (May 1737): 308) Cockburn argued that putting one’s name to one’s work – however well received that work was – risked one’s reputation. Wanting at least some recognition for her own writing, Cockburn signed this poem as being by ‘the Authoress of a Treatise (not yet publish’d) in Vindication of Mr. Lock’ (7: 308). Many years earlier Cockburn had published several plays under her maiden name Trotter; the attribution she employed here seems designed to distance herself from those early works and yet to draw attention to the intellectual projects upon which she had recently been working. A circumspection of a slightly different kind emerged after her death and the subsequent publication of The Works of Mrs. Catharine Cockburn in 1751. In two poems that remarked upon her the posthumous appearance of her Works, she was never unambiguously named, being instead variously described as ‘a most excellent and ingenious Lady’, ‘Mira’, and ‘Mrs. C-n’ (London Magazine 21 (June 1752): 280). The contradictory impulses of, on the one hand, wanting to gain credit for a body of work, while on the other, being anxious about becoming publicly known as a writer seems to have prompted many magazine contributors, both male and female, to conceal their identities behind pseudonyms. The coterie exchange that developed in the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1734–5 reveals how a pseudonym could effectively connect works together. After two comic epistles were published under the name of Fidelia in September and November 1734 (4: 508, 619), a third piece appeared under the same pseudonym in December (4: 694). Readers including the pseudonymous Lucius and Sylvius recognised that ‘A Christmas Hymn’ was different in tone from the ‘prompt wit’ of Fidelia’s earlier comic verse, being instead a ‘hymn . . . full of heav’nly zeal’ (4 (1734): iv), written in a ‘serious solemn strain’ (5 (Mar 1735): 155). And yet as they read the poem, they seemed to ‘tak[e] it for granted’ (5 (Mar 1735): 155) that the same hand lay behind all three pieces. The magazine editors shared this belief, and by remarking that ‘we have a reason to think [all three pieces are] by the same Lady’, encouraged their readers in the same (4 (1734): iv). Yet if the same author did compose all three pieces, who was she? And, moreover, was the author – and were the other writers who adopted female pseudonyms, including Pastora, and Prudence Manage – in fact female? Fidelia’s boisterous verse and her predilection for scatological humour provoked some scepticism about the author’s gender, prompting Fidelia to retort that ‘I feign my name, but not my sex’ (5 (May 1735): 256). The truth of this statement remains unproven: while some pseudonymous contributors to the magazine have been identified, the real identity, and the real gender, of Fidelia is as yet unknown. Notwithstanding, in 1735 this pseudonymous author did become one of the Gentleman’s Magazine’s best known, and perhaps most notorious, contributors. Though Fidelia (it is to be assumed) chose her own pseudonym, and Catherine Cockburn figured the choice to reveal or conceal one’s authorship as belonging to the author herself, frequently the decision to include or withhold that information was made by someone else. Moreover, while that decision was sometimes bound up with a desire to deflect fame or infamy, identities could also be withheld for other reasons,

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as certain practices of the London Magazine reveal. In July 1751, the magazine drew its readers’ attention to the fact that Two Volumes, in Octavo, have been lately printed, of Poems on several Occasions, by the late Mrs. Leapor, of Brackley in Northamptonshire; the one published in 1749, and the other last Month. They were printed by Subscription, for the Benefit of her surviving Father, a Gardener in that Country. (20: 311) The second of these two subscription volumes contained a prefatory epistle which provided a biographical account of this poet; declaring that ‘it is very extraordinary, that a Country Girl, without the Advantages of Education, should be capable of such Productions’ the London Magazine partially reproduced the text of this letter in the belief that ‘our Readers cannot but be pleased with some Account of her’ (20: 311). Yet as ‘extraordinary’ as this phenomenon was, the London did not draw its readers attention to the fact that the magazine had, in the previous eighteen months, already reprinted thirteen poems from the first volume of Leapor’s Poems on Several Occasions.6 Nor did it, as it proceeded to reprint at least fifteen more of Leapor’s poems from that first volume over the next three years, at any time inform its readers that they could find a handy digest of the poet’s biography in the issue for July 1751.7 Almost all of these poems appeared without attribution; though, in mid to late 1752 the magazine identified Leapor as the authors of a few poems, it soon reverted to printing her verse without acknowledging her authorship.8 And Leapor was not the only female poet to have her work reproduced in this way. Over a two-year period, starting in April 1752, the same thing happened to Mary Jones: the magazine reprinted fifteen poems from her Miscellanies in Prose and Verse (1750), identifying only four of these as her work.9 In reproducing verse by Leapor and Jones, the London Magazine did not withhold the poets’ identities in order to spare their blushes; rather, it imposed anonymity upon verse that had already been published in volumes of these authors’ collected works. In Leapor’s and Jones’s volumes, the magazine’s editors had found a rich seam of relatively unknown, generically varied, high-quality verse which could be exploited to fill their poetry pages. By reproducing this verse without ascribing it to its authors, the editors could give the impression – perhaps to all but the very limited number of readers who had (and had read) a copy of Leapor’s or Jones’s verse – that their publication was brimful of diversely authored verse that was not to be found in any other rival magazine publication. This republication of Leapor’s and Jones’s verse meant that the potential readership of their writing was vastly expanded, but it also meant that almost none of the readers who encountered their work in this way would have known to whom give credit to for the verse they had read. Yet perhaps that may have brought a compensation of a sort: being published without attribution may have meant that these poets’ work, particularly those poems in which the poetic voice was not conspicuously gendered feminine, could be read without the limiting preconceptions and belittling assumptions that were almost inevitably imposed when a poet was identified as female. The London Magazine’s rather dishonest appropriation of their verse, then, meant that poems by Leapor and Jones were presented to readers in a way that allowed them to stand, for once, as equals with their male peers. ‘Parnassus loses more than half its pride, / Unless bright females grace his flow’ry side’, declared a poem published in the London Magazine in 1755 (24 (Appendix): 626) as it encouraged female poets to stand on an equal footing with men. The anony-

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mous author of this poem blamed women themselves – those ‘females’ who ‘flaunt at ball and play, / Or at the toilet waste the live-long day’ – for their sex’s absence from Parnassus, urging ‘each slothful toast and belle’ to ‘rouse . . . for shame’ and ‘wake to extasy the vocal shell’. Had they read this poem, Anne Ingram, or Clarinda, or Pastora might have responded by arguing that the reason so many ‘gay daughters of brocade’ were not ‘in sense as well as silks array’d’ was neither vanity nor laziness but rather ‘Custom’. That ‘Custom’ affected whether women were able to pick up a pen and what happened to their work once they had done so. Magazines played an important role in making women’s writing visible in the eighteenth century: they were a medium in which women’s voices could be heard, and through which female poets could reach a wide readership and develop or enhance their reputation. But magazines also employed practices which obscured, or rendered invisible, the activity of women writers: authorship might be concealed behind pseudonyms and generic epithets such as ‘a lady’ or it might be withheld entirely; poems might be placed in dialogue with prose or verse which imposed a belittling critique – often, based simply upon the poet’s gender – upon them; and while the very nature of magazine publication might mean that a poem could shine brightly for a brief moment, it also meant that that work might then disappear, perhaps for decades, perhaps indefinitely. As much as magazines offered considerable encouragement to female poets to set out toward Parnassus’s slopes, then, they also placed obstacles in the way of women succeeding and being recognised for their success in that adventure.

Notes 1. For the early publication of Pope’s poem, see Pope 1951: 38. 2. See for example its inclusion in Lonsdale 1989: 150–1; the Norton Anthology of English Literature from the seventh (2003) edition onwards; and its recent addition to Fairer and Gerrard (2015): 337–40. 3. For the date of the pamphlet’s initial publication see London Magazine 16 (June 1747): 296. 4. See de Montluzin. On Brereton not knowing the identity of Fido, see Turner 2004. 5. The poem was included as part of the volume’s prefatory matter, probably printed in early 1736. 6. ‘The Beauties of the Spring’, ‘A Summer’s Wish’, ‘The Month of August’, ‘An Epitaph’, and ‘Another’ (London Magazine 18 (1749): iii–iv); ‘On Winter’ (19 (Jan 1750): 37); ‘An Hymn to the Morning’ (19 (Feb 1750): 88); ‘The Linnet and the Goldfinch’ (19 (Apr 1750): 185); ‘Strephon to Celia. A modern Love-Letter’ (19 (May 1750): 230–1); ‘The Fox and the Hen’ and ‘On Sickness’ (19 (July 1750): 328–9); ‘The Fall of Lucia’ (19 (Dec 1750): 568); ‘Essay on Happiness’ (20 (Apr 1751): 183–4). 7. ‘The Moral Vision’ and ‘The Question. Occasioned by a Serious Admonition’ (London Magazine 21 (Feb 1752): 87–8); ‘The Sacrifice. An Epistle to Celia’ (21 (May 1752): 236); ‘The Charms of Anthony’ (21 (Sep 1752): 426); ‘Sylvia and the Bee’ (21 (Oct 1752): 475–6); ‘The Setting Sun’ (21 (Nov 1752): 524); ‘An Epitaph’, ‘An Ode to Mercy’ and ‘Friend in Disgrace’ (21 (Dec 1752): 569, 572–3); ‘To Artemisia. Dr. King’s Invitation to Bellvill imitated’ (22 (July 1753): 333); ‘The Head-Ach. To Aurelia’ (22 (Aug 1753): 385); ‘On Discontent. To Stella’ (22 (Oct 1753): 481); ‘Song to Cloe playing on her Spinet’ (23 (Jan 1754): 41); ‘The Enquiry’ (23 (Feb 1754): 89); ‘The Sow and the Peacock’ (23 (May 1754): 232). 8. The poems that were attributed appeared in the issues for October, November, and December 1752. 9. ‘On Miss Charlot Clayton’s Birth-day’ (London Magazine 21 (Apr 1752): 188); ‘On Miss Charlot Clayton’s Birth-day’ (21 (May 1752): 236); ‘On a favourite dog,

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jennifer batt supposed to be poisoned’, ‘To Mrs. Clayton, with a Hare’ (21 (July 1752): 330–1); ‘The Spider’ (21 (Aug 1752): 378–9); ‘To Stella, after the Small-Pox’, ‘Sublime Strains’ (21 (Sep 1752): 427–8); ‘From New Lodge to Fern-Hill’ (21 (Oct 1752): 475–6); ‘On Miss Charlot Clayton’s Birth-day’, ‘Birth-day’ (21 (Dec 1752): 573, 610); ‘Birth-Day’ (22 (May 1753): 235); ‘Soliloquy on an empty purse’ (22 (July 1753): 335–6); ‘Epitaph on Brigadier General Hill’ and ‘Epitaph on a Young Nobleman’ (22 (Aug 1753): 385); ‘Extempore: On a Drawing of the Countess of Hertford’s’ (22 (Dec 1753): 577). The poems that were attributed appeared in the issues for July, September, and October 1752.

Works Cited Barker, Anthony D. 1996. ‘Poetry from the Provinces: Amateur Poets in the Gentleman’s Magazine in the 1730s and 1740s’. Tradition in Transition: Women Writers, Marginal Texts, and the Eighteenth-Century Canon. Ed. Alvaro Ribeiro and James G. Basker. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 241–56. The British Magazine. 1746–51. London. de Montluzin, Emily Lorraine. ‘The Poetry of the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1731–1800: An Electronic Database of Titles, Authors, and First Lines’. (last accessed 20 November 2016). Fairer, David and Christine Gerrard, eds. 2015. Eighteenth Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology. 3rd ed. John Wiley and Sons. Foxon, David. 1991. Pope and the Early Eighteenth Century Book Trade. Ed. James McLaverty. Oxford: Clarendon Press. The Gentleman’s Magazine. 1731–1922 (1st ser. 1731–1833; ser. 2–4 1834–68). London. Jost, Jacob Sider. 2015. ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine, Samuel Johnson, and the Symbolic Economy of Eighteenth-Century Poetry’. Review of English Studies 66: 915–35. The London Magazine. 1820–9. (1st ser. 1820–4; 2 ser. 1825–8; 3rd ser. 1828–9). London: Baldwin, Craddock, and Joy. The London Magazine, or Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer. 1732–85. London. Lonsdale, Roger, ed. 1989. Eighteenth Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. McKenzie, D. F., and J. C. Ross, eds. 1968. A Ledger of Charles Ackers, Printer of the London Magazine. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The Newcastle General Magazine. 1747–60. Newcastle upon Tyne. Pope, Alexander. 1951. Epistles to Several Persons (Moral Essays). Ed. F. W. Bateson. London: Methuen & Co. Ram, Titia. 1999. Magnitude in Marginality: Edward Cave and The Gentleman’s Magazine, 1731–1754. Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht. The Scots Magazine. 1739–1826. Edinburgh. Tung, Shirley F. 2014. ‘Self-murder, female agency, and manuscripts ‘mangl’d and falsify’d’: Lady Mary Wortley’s “Verses Address’d To –” and the London Magazine’. British Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies 38.1: 115–34. Turner, Katherine. 2004. ‘Brereton [née Hughes], Jane’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (last accessed 5 Jan 2017). Yost, Calvin. 1936. The Poetry of the Gentleman’s Magazine: A Study in Eighteenth Century Literary Taste. PhD Dissertation. University of Pennsylvania.

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7 ‘A lasting wreath of various hue’: Hannah Cowley, the Della Cruscan Affair, and the Medium of the Periodical Poem Tanya M. Caldwell

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n Wednesday, 16 April 1788, Della Crusca – or Robert Merry – reinforced the principles of what was by then the second, English, wave of Della Cruscanism, a poetic movement that he and other travellers had begun and saw dwindle in Florence then rekindled in London in 1788. He interweaves inextricably the dramatic, nationalistic, and female emphases of reincarnated Della Cruscanism as he employs his eternising powers to praise the actress Mary Wells’s ‘Talents’: Then to thy brow, lov’d WELLS! is due, A lasting Wreath, of various hue, Hung with each perfum’d Flow’r that blows, But chief, the Cowslip and the Rose: For surely thou art she! THYSELF– benign Simplicity. (World 16 Apr 1788)1 By conflating with the glories of the countryside Wells’s ‘Simplicity’ and her ‘Mimic Pow’rs’, Della Crusca aligns the actress’s chief arts with those of the correspondence dominated by himself and Anna Matilda in his new paper the World: poetry, drama, and nationalism draw strength from each other. By endowing upon her a ‘lasting wreath of various hue’ he projects her, as a female dramatic artist, into the permanent annals of English letters. He thereby achieves a major goal of this project, simultaneously trumpeting poetry, female talent, and the dramatic arts through the periodical presses with their mass outreach. John Bell founded the World along with Major Edward Topham at the beginning of 1787.2 From the start, the paper was connected with celebrity theatre folk such as Topham’s mistress, Mary Wells, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Immediately too it made a splash through the poetry of Della Crusca, or Robert Merry, who appeared in England as the first editions did. Hannah Cowley would respond right away as Anna Matilda in a pseudonymous correspondence that took the fashionable world by storm. Her flirtatious correspondence with Della Crusca became a phenomenon that not only made the World the most popular paper of its time but also enabled this periodical and others like it to further the principles of miscellany publications that had eroded generic and gender hierarchies as the eighteenth century unfolded.

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For Cowley the playwright (1743–1809), becoming involved in the venture was characteristic of her ever-surprising modus operandi. Her pseudonymous flirtatious exchange with Merry as Della Crusca would lead inevitably to mockery, with her apparent poetic cuckolding of her faithful husband becoming the subject of verse satire. The correspondence reflects, however, the risks she took throughout her career that belie her demure front and that placed her at the heart of London’s poetic and dramatic scenes. Her contemporaries knew the bold housewife and mother from the provinces throughout her dramatic career not only for efforts to cultivate and expand English poetic traditions but also for her constant generic experimentation, as Angela Escott has outlined extensively in her impressive study of Cowley as playwright. Della Crusca’s tribute to Mary Wells here thus indirectly explains Cowley’s participation in the racy exchange that seems not to fit with her private persona, for Bell facilitates the kind of changes in poetic publication that allow for the appeal of Cowley’s plays and her poetry, which aimed to bring together tradition and the contemporary and to integrate female artists fully into renowned traditions, making them visible to a broad audience. Collaboration with John Bell, Cowley would have seen immediately, fit with her vision of the future of English letters.3 Bell’s progressiveness, inherent not only in his periodical publications but also in his editions and collections, afforded, as Cowley recognised, opportunities for fundamental change in the way readers viewed and preserved poetry. Cowley’s aim, throughout her career, and the potential she seized in these publications, with their novel medium, was a holistic integration of women into the annals of English letters by writing them into national traditions. Her poetic exchange with Della Crusca recognises, as Bell’s print endeavours do, the evolutionary nature of the English canon as it is shaped by imperialistic impulses and the classical past. Bell’s ability to capture the imagination of what Claire Knowles calls ‘emergent mass culture’ and to shape national literary tradition, in other words, both drove and was reinforced by the exchange between Della Crusca and Anna Matilda (2009: 17–44). The responses of both poets in their pseudonymous roles to Mary Wells further highlights the goals of Bell and those who aligned themselves with him through the World. The impact of the Della Cruscan correspondence and its involvement in London theatre is evident a year later when the Morning Star congratulates itself, on 12 May 1789, on acquiring a fresh piece of this sensational poetic correspondence – this time an address supposedly by Anna Matilda to Mrs Wells. As Lucyle Werkmeister discusses in detail, the Star had been rivalling the World in its popular success (1963: 180–97). This poem may, therefore, have been by a spurious Anna Matilda. Whatever the case, the poem – and the appeal that the Star aimed for – reveals the hallmarks of Anna Matilda’s (and Hannah Cowley’s) poetry with its tribute to English and Western poetic traditions as well as in the sensational appeal of celebrity gossip. By capitalising on the Della Cruscan phenomenon as it extended to these conversations with Wells, the Star highlights its importance in English literary history. This poem, by Anna Matilda or an imitator of her style, pushes the possibilities of English poetry even beyond progress made through the commercial and heteroglossic endeavours of the eighteenth-century miscellanies. Beginning with Dryden and Lintott, the miscellanies had worked to dismantle notions of generic hierarchy and legitimised reader tastes, just as the theatre did. In this poem consoling Mrs Wells on the loss of her lover, Topham, Anna Matilda’s confidence in her own and her subjects’ fame is embodied in her tone and the poetic ancestry she draws upon. As she teases Della Crusca, ‘who rid’st thy Pegasus so high,

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Beating BELARAPHON and Mrs. Hughes’, she invokes, miscellany-style, English myth and Rabelais with a hint of Thomas Gray (‘Ode on a Favourite Cat’), as she asks him, What is the CAT that glides so glib? Is it a tabby or a gib! Is it the puss of Whittington, Lord May’r? Or ROBILARDUS, that with hideous claws, Made trembling PANURGE scream and quake and flare. . . . (Morning Star 12 May 1789) The poet says she would ‘give my pair of pink Parisian shoes’ to ‘share’ Della Crusca’s ‘pretty pastimes’. As well as appealing to a contemporary audience, this ephemeron, as a poetic focus, creates in its interplay with light-hearted but time-tested literary material – Gray’s unfortunate tabby, Dick Whittington’s cat, and Rabelais’s monstrous feline – a Dryden-Lintott-style mixture of registers, voices, and ages that deflects the authority of the classics. Anna Matilda’s poem may seem clunky in moments, as William Hazlitt would proclaim of Hannah Cowley’s poetry, but it underscores the mix of traditions and varied local voices that sustain English literary culture by the end of the eighteenth century.4 In her flagrant dismantling of hierarchies, work that both Rabelais and Dryden undertook in their mock-heroics and (in Dryden’s case) in the miscellanies, Anna Matilda continues a tradition of questioning authority. She also assumes agency as a woman writer. The ‘pink Parisian shoes’ become part of the ‘pretty’ diversions of serious traditions. Anna Matilda then complicates the tradition of female poetic friendship central to poetry by women.5 She bids Della Crusca, O send me down a lovely kitten, To send to lovely Mrs. Wells! For Topham all aghast, Frowns on the nymph e’erwhile so lov’d. (Morning Star 12 May 1789) The immediate appeal again is sensational: the poem’s topicality targets the contemporary audience drawn to periodicals and masquerades. Yet, in seeking her poetic lover’s help to comfort the actress, Mrs Wells, with a whimsical gift, Anna Matilda simultaneously acknowledges the power of a female poetic tradition by the late eighteenth century (that of female friendship), and she expands it. By including Mrs Wells in a pseudonymous correspondence, the two main players in this poetic drama also create a teasing masquerade-like scene in lines that refer haphazardly to living, literary, and mythical figures, and to contemporary and mythical events. Cowley excelled in employing pseudonyms for authorial agency, in the tradition of women writers.6 The Anna Matilda of this poem, like Della Crusca in his tribute to Wells a year earlier, creates a poetic masquerade that reflects the varied tastes of the kind of audience that frequented the Pantheon and bought periodical newspapers. Whether or not this poem is by the original Anna Matilda, both it and Della Crusca’s shed light on why the respectable matronly Cowley participated, under a mask that might easily be flipped up, as the following discussion will show, in the racy correspondence. They offer experimental modes and an appeal to a broad fashionable audience enabled by

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periodical publication to manipulate revered male traditions in English letters.7 Because of John Bell’s innovative endeavours to shape a more creative English literary heritage, Cowley knew her poems would be enshrined in lasting tomes: anthologies. In this way she would entwine women in the colourful laurels of English letters: a lasting wreath of truly various hue. A key element of this repositioning of women artists is Anna Matilda’s consciousness of an ancient female poetic ancestry that coexists with the male one promoted especially by Dryden and Pope at the beginning of the eighteenth century. In her tribute to Wells, Anna Matilda’s allusions profile that ancestry. By the mid-eighteenth century, as Paula Backscheider demonstrates, a declaration of unlettered lineage that went back to the ancient poets was common on the part of female poets. Cowley’s theatre contemporary and fellow Della Cruscan, Mary Robinson, is perhaps her closest kindred spirit in terms of what Backscheider calls her ‘commitment to Poetry’. In Robinson’s To The Muse of Poetry (1791) she hails the ‘souls like mine’ that ‘Beam with poetic rays divine’ (quoted in Backscheider 2005: 25). Also common, as Backscheider remarks, citing Mary Leapor’s Hymn to Morning, is an ancestry traced to Sappho in particular (2005: 26).8 In the address to Mrs Wells under discussion here, with its myriad allusions to high and low subject matter and voices through the ages, Cowley (or Anna Matilda) taps the spirit of Dryden of whom she has a constant sense. The female poetic ancestral tradition that Backscheider acknowledges begins with the mighty Poet Laureate’s ode ‘To the Pious Memory of the Accomplished Young Lady Mrs. Anne Killigrew’. Dryden praises the variety and permanence of the work of the young poet, claiming that if her ‘Praexisting Soul’ Was form’d, at first, with Myriads more, It did through all the Mighty Poets roul, Who Greek or Latine Laurels wore, And was that Sappho last, which once it was before. (1969: 110 ll. 29–33) The lasting wreath of various hue and ‘celestial kind’ that Killigrew shared with Sappho also had a masculine element, however. Part of Dryden’s motive in this poem to a relatively obscure female poet was praise of her father: ‘Thy Father was transfus’d into thy Blood: / So wert thou born into the tuneful strain’ (1969: 110, ll. 26–7). Anna Matilda evokes both the masculine and feminine components of her heritage in her tribute to Wells. In the tradition of male poets like Dryden, she heaps one upon the next allusions to Gray, Rabelais, and English mythology, as discussed above, to reinforce the timelessness of the passions addressed. She simultaneously calls upon her literary lover, Della Crusca, to join with her in supporting Mrs Wells in friendship – an expansion of both the male and female poetic traditions of friendship. Her purpose is to comfort her fellow artist as Wells grieves Topham’s loss of affection and to support all three of them as they are made vulnerable to ‘merciless John Bell’, who ‘Kicks out the World, and bids it go to hell’. Yet this poem was part of the new literary world, that, Cowley, Merry, and all those involved with the Della Cruscan undertakings recognised, was opened up by Bell’s boldness. Among Bell’s greatest innovations, as Carrie Smith remarks, ‘was the incorporation of engraved landscape genre scenes within the text and commissioning

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copper-plate engraved portraits of the most prominent actors of the day’.9 The actor portraits ‘boosted sales’, including of his ‘affordable, illustrated pocket volumes of Shakespeare’s plays’. They also shed light on ‘the dynamics of eighteenth-century theatrical celebrity’ (Smith and Werner 2012). In the poem composed for the Morning Star on 12 May 1789, Anna Matilda draws the actress’s contemporary drama into her poetic masquerade as she provides a portrait with voyeuristic satisfaction and blends the British theatre world with that of the long literary culture she has evoked. She sketches a real-life vignette of an actress that seems designed to have the kind of appeal Bell strove for in his portraits. This literary portrait replicates the emotional poses of the engraved portraits in imagining the grief of Mrs Wells: Think, o think how this must grieve her! Tears and sighs will not reprieve her; ... For ghostly counsel and advice, To Parson ESTE she calls in vain. . . . The poem then descends into the kind of farce that William Gifford would target at the Della Cruscans in the 1790s, and Anna Matilda’s portrait of Wells takes on a Hogarthian quality. Following the practice of Bell’s innovative editions, she makes a celebrity out of an actress who has been ill-used and includes her in a discourse that stretches beyond the contemporary affairs she uses here for diversion. Anna Matilda’s consequent achievement in placing the female arts at the heart of national discourses was a constant goal of Hannah Cowley, the patriotic playwright. By this point in the correspondence, the poems had garnered national and international attention, and Cowley’s aim was to integrate women into the possibilities opened by Bell. The ‘great object’ of John Bell’s ‘ambition’, as he publicly announced in the 1788 ‘Address to the World’, was to ‘retrieve and exalt the neglected art of printing in England’ (repr. in Morison 1981: n. p.). Bell achieved his planned revolution as the first printer in England to use ‘modern face’ and by abolishing the long S in printing (Morison 1981: n. 2). He also engaged in the canon-making editorial activities of the age to produce editions and collections that appealed to all kinds of readers, like the now ubiquitous miscellanies. As the ‘Note Addressed to the Members of the First Edition Club’ of John Bell remarks, he violated the ‘unwritten law of the booksellers of London, who were then also its publishers, by printing better than they did, and much cheaper, those works by classical English authors which old established firms regarded as an inherited asset’ (Morison 1981: n. 3). Included in these new classics was the kind of portrait described above, which helped establish the celebrity actress and made the public rethink the dynamic between classical literature and the contemporary theatre world. Bell’s Theatre collection also established plays by women alongside those by Shakespeare and other successful male playwrights and aimed them at a popular audience.10 So the man who began in newspapers reshaped notions of timeless works and timeless English writers using as a basis the principles of periodical publication. In the midst of these revolutions in print and publication, Bell underscores Anna Matilda’s role as female mystery poet. In early June 1788, the London Chronicle whets its audience’s appetite by promising the ‘charming poetry of Della Crusca, Anna Matilda, and Arley’ that it ‘has been delighted with’ in ‘two handsome pocket volumes, most beautifully printed by Mr. Bell at his own new and ingenious presses’.

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These innovative volumes, a product of the charms of periodical publication and designed to impress posterity, are explicitly associated with the theatre as well as one of the most influential literary figures in the nation: they are ‘dedicated by permission to R. B. Sheridan’ and ‘will include an original Tragedy . . . by Della Crusca’ as well as the ‘various poems, which have at different times appeared with distinguished reputation in the public papers’. A week later, on 20 June 1788, the World declares that these forthcoming volumes ‘are not more distinguished for their charms as poetical compositions than they are admired for their TYPOGRAPHICAL elegance and perfection’. On the strength of the alluring poetry and print that Bell has facilitated, English publications can now compete in an international arena: ‘his presses may now vie with the boasted excellences of Didot at Paris, who has long been accustomed to look on the productions of England in the typographical art, with contempt and ridicule’. The international scope of Bell’s achievement and the miscellany-like appeal that is grounded in English tradition are profiled in that first advertisement. The puff for The Poetry of the World in the Morning Herald on 14 June promises poems by Della Crusca, Anna Matilda, and Arley as well as ‘The Ancient Muse Burlesqued, in five numbers – Sonnets by Benedict – The African Boy – Extempore on Lady T-yr-l’s Ring; to which are added an original Tragedy, by Della Crusca.’ A similar range of genres, periods, and pitches characterised the miscellanies of Dryden and Tonson then Lintott. ‘The African Boy’ is a reminder of the expansion of empire at the heart of culture as well as politics and theatre (Morning Herald 14 June 1788). The charm of the poetry boasted in the advertisements as crucial to the success of a publication revolution is centred on Anna Matilda. The puffs also present her as the centre of intrigue. At the end of 1788, sandwiched between advertisements for Bell’s British Theatre (at fifteen volumes by this stage) and a proposal for his Poets of Great Britain – reiterations of Bell’s ongoing efforts to consolidate English letters – is a review of The Poetry of the World that highlights the enticement of the periodical exchange. The focus is on Anna Matilda. Noting that the World has not ‘seen fit’ to reveal the ‘real Authors’ of the Della Crucan correspondence, the reviewer comments, however, that ‘Della Crusca is supposed to be Mr. Merry, that Arley is certainly Mr. M. P. Andrews, and that the Bard is thought to be a Mr. Berkley.’ The identity of the key correspondent is still the subject of social intrigue: ‘Time, who is celebrated for babbling the profoundest secrets, will probably, if we exercise a little patience, acquaint us with the real name of Anna Matilda, which is now, we find, carefully concealed.’ None of the poets, the reviewer reminds us, can be ‘vulgar Writers’ (World 26 Dec 1788). The standing, the appeal, the persistence of the verse, and its transmutations are testimony to its quality. Even so and despite being anchored in a new popular medium, Della Cruscan poetry was not without criticism from the start. As Knowles notes, ‘conservative critics’, in particular, were ‘deeply’ concerned at the degradation of poetics that Della Crusca and his followers initiated with their popular movement (2009: 37). Those condemning Merry’s seduction ‘by the tinsel of affectation’ and damning what they saw as a deficiency of harmony, and overabundance of ‘tropes and metaphors’ were judging the Della Cruscans by neoclassical standards (38). Yet the initial exchange between Della Crusca and Anna Matilda demonstrates the poets’ conscious effort to revitalise classical and neoclassical traditions from within for a mass audience. Such innovations were the forte of Hannah Cowley who made space for authentic female voices inside recognisable genres and jeux d’esprit. That Cowley, or Anna Matilda, did

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lack the poetic skill of her male ancestors is beside the point; she uses the periodical to revitalise revered traditions in order to continue discourses begun by ancients and continued through male poets like Dryden and Gray. The exchange that sparked English Della Cruscanism underscores the main players’ rejection of exhausted modes. It also places them in a venerable tradition of poetic revivification that goes back to ancient times. Della Crusca reignites the poetic phenomenon on his return to England in 1787 by publishing ‘The Adieu and Recall to Love’ in the General Evening Post (28–30 June 1787). Like Ovid’s first poem in the Amores, this is a recusatio that begins in each case with a ‘feign’d surprise’, as Della Crusca frames it. Cupid’s unpredictability as well as his centrality to virile poetry is the focus of Ovid’s poem and Della Crusca’s. Ovid begins by declaring he must, despite his intentions, write love poetry because Cupid stole a foot from his lines, making them inadequate for epic. The poet complains of not having subject matter (‘nec mihi materia est’) when the playful Cupid shoots one of his accurate darts, facilitating the muse of Love (‘certas habuit puer ille sagittas. / uror, et in vacuo pectore regnat Amor’). Della Crusca likewise begins without a subject: ‘I’m free at last.’ He also profiles Cupid’s playfulness as well as his own by unusually dismissing him (‘I quit thy pow’r’) and celebrating his freedom from ‘the roguish leer’ and ‘wanton wing’ of the boy with his ‘arrow keen’ (an almost direct translation of Ovid). Weaving this poem into the theatre discourse that is a key part of Della Cruscanism, Della Crusca playfully bids Cupid to find his victims elsewhere: ‘on Louisa’s breast repose!’ Yet, like Ovid’s speaker, he realises that without Cupid there will be no poetry to intrigue the eavesdropping audience: ‘O hasten back then, idle Boy, / And with thine anguish bring thy joy!’ (General Evening Post 28–30 June 1787). Anna Matilda responds in a poem ‘For the World’: ‘The Pen’. She creates a dialogue between poetic lovers where the Amores consist of the male poet’s monologue in imagined dialogues with Cupid and his lover. The male speaker’s pain for the arrow shot through his heart in Amores 1.2 (‘haeserunt tenues in corde sagittae’) becomes in Anna Matilda’s poem the power of Della Crusca’s pen on a female heart: O! seize again thy golden quill, And with its point my bosom thrill; With magic touch explore my heart . . . (10 Jul 1787) The focus of both Ovid’s and Anna Matilda’s poems is that articulated by the male lover in Amores 1.3: the passion that Cupid incites makes for rich poetry (‘te mihi materiam felicem in carmina praebe’). Recognising the collusion of Cupid and Apollo, Anna Matilda points to the inextricable nature of poetry and passion: ‘The one poetic language give; / The other bid thy passion live’ (10 July 1787). Anna Matilda extends the tradition of poetic revivification to include Dryden in her subsequent response to Della Crusca as she continues the exchange in the World a month later.11 She claims, ‘Thou bidst! “my purple slumbers fly!”’ Here she regrets that time has taken the ‘rose-bud’ from her ‘cheek’, sprinkled her ‘tresses . . . with thy snow’ and ‘warp[ed]’ her ‘slim form’. Yet, thanks to the ‘Poet’s fire’ that Della Crusca engenders, she can still kindle her ‘torch’ and ‘follow his superior flight’. Anna Matilda feminises a common motif from Dryden’s ongoing insistence in his old age that he retained yet his poetic virility, despite losing his official positions and being beaten up

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in Rose Alley. She frames her powers with a favourite metaphor of Dryden. Her poetic vigour remains, she claims: Nor yet, the pencil strives in vain, To wake upon the canvas plain, All the strong passions of the mind . . . (4 Aug 1787) She has appropriated both Dryden’s masculine trope of sexual poetic powers and his conceit of ‘A Parallel Betwixt Painting and Poetry’.12 In asserting her poetic powers, Anna Matilda also expresses melancholy for ‘him . . . my bosom’s LORD’, who had ‘ador’d’ her ‘slim form’ (4 Aug 1787). In Ovid, the male lover imagines encountering his beloved’s husband at a dinner party. The scandal of Ovid is in this way muted to a woman poet’s reflection on her domestic past in love even as she revives her powers within a classical tradition that is sexually based. At this moment also, the pseudonym that Cowley manages to stand behind longer than other Della Cruscans becomes vulnerable, as a fragment of her autobiography slips in. Her fashionable friends might well have guessed the identities behind this sad reflection on the absent but ‘so lov’d’ lord by a skilled poet and wearer of masks. We need to be mindful that this initial exchange between Della Crusca and Anna Matilda took place in the periodical presses. Its illicit subject matter is geared toward the gossipy beau monde of the theatre and salons. Anna Matilda’s pseudonym gives her a degree of protection that would last the length of the correspondence, but, as Manushag Powell says of the ‘eidolon’ figure in the periodicals, marriage was not compatible for such a figure who remained ‘exposed to the public’ and smelling ‘faintly of a kind of mental prostitution’ that runs counter to the mental and physical chastity required of marriage (Powell 2012: 137). Cowley’s marriage was known publicly for the intense devotion expressed by Anna Matilda’s longing for her absent lord. As Anna Matilda, an ageing poet reviving her powers through a sexually charged exchange, Cowley metamorphoses a classical masculine motif. She presents instead a non-gendered stimulation of the poetic soul through correspondence with another poetic voice in a voyeuristic space, in which neither the audience nor the poets know actual identities. The female poet regains her old vigour. She not only offers a daring variation on the old male poet-silent female object scenario but also supplies domestic memories instead of the prospect of sex. In the process, Cowley has also reworked the mid-century partially respectable female periodical eidolon. This masked writer, framed by classical traditions, like the disguised wife or fiancée in the Parthenon, whose mask could be pulled away at any moment, dominates a public sphere. As Russell says of Cowley’s heroine in The Belle’s Stratagem (performed 1780, published 1781) and of her performance in the Parthenon to win over the hero through sentimentality, the ‘self’ Letitia finally offers to Doricourt, establishes her both as an ‘English wife’ and a sexualised entity. The identity is established through performance and disguise, and it ‘represents a romance of female selfhood that exceeds and transcends performance, a vision of a kind of subjectivity that, validated by patriarchy, liberates both the individual and society into an empire of love’ (Russell 2007: 221). Appealing to mass audiences through sentimentality and the dismantling of classical forms is also a novelising process, as commentators on miscellanies and the periodical observe. Early in the correspondence, Anna Matilda determines to break through

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neoclassical standards and map the way for sentimental poetry. In ‘To Della Crusca’ in the World on Saturday, 22 December 1787, Anna Matilda rejects confined metres: I HATE the Elegaic lay– Chuse me a measure jocund as the day! Such days as near the ides of June Meet the Lark’s elab’rate fame. . . . She praises Della Crusca’s uninhibited verse: ‘Poetic chains should fall, before such bards as thee.’ As the Romantic poets would espouse and poets like Gray already had, Anna Matilda argues that nature should be heard in poetry’s notes: ‘And in thy verse meand’ring wild, / Thou who art FANCY’s favourite Child’ (22 Dec 1787). This poem, like almost all those of the Della Cruscans in the World, is framed by allusions to the stage. In this case is juxtaposed a report on the ‘very numerous and brilliant attendance on Lee Lewes’s Benefit’. Lewes performed in and spoke the prologue of several of Cowley’s plays. His performance skills are, in this report, put on a par with ancient achievement: in ‘a well-penned farewell Address, Mr. Lewes was what Horace recommends – he FELT, and made his Audience feel so forcibly, as to draw from them the most unbounded applause’ (22 Dec 1787). While separate from the poem, this news-from-the-theatre has the sensational immediacy of an advertisement aimed to satisfy the ‘immediate need’ for novelty that the periodical so well catered to, as Barbara Benedict points out (2007: 198).13 It also complements for readers the contents of the poem to which it lies adjacent. It is part, therefore, of the dramatic and the classical components inherent in the periodical publications that facilitated English Della Cruscanism as well as part of the anthologies that quickly sprang up from them.14 Powell pinpoints the integrated nature of stage and periodical as agents of literary change for printers, consumers, and readers in the latter part of the eighteenth century. She notes the appeal of each to the masses, even as periodical poems and dramatists alike looked to tradition for authority, and the fact that both were in a state of flux (2012: 9). As novel texts for a mutable age, the Della Cruscan poems are therefore enhanced by the juxtaposed advertisements, which achieve, as Benedict says, a fundamental redefinition of the familiar (2007: 199). We should remember that all the key elements of English Della Cruscanism that I have focused on here – the drama at its centre, the consciousness of passion at the heart of true poetry, and the Janus-faced observation of past and future – were at its origins. Noting that Edward Topham’s desire for Mrs Wells and his efforts to establish her theatre career ‘led to the establishment of The World’ in conjunction with John Bell, Stanley Morison declares of the publication that truly ‘Love first created the World’ (1981: 72). The inherent theatricality of the pseudonyms heightens the dramatic nature of the poetry that, as Morison also notes, ‘attracted to itself shortly afterwards as much public notice as ever fell to the share of a daily publication’ (1981: 72). This pseudonymous theatricality enhanced the feminised nature of the World since pseudonymous poetry was particularly associated with women by the late eighteenth century, as Backscheider remarks (20). The new world that Cowley would shape is evident in Anna Matilda’s poem published in the World on 23 November 1787, in response to Della Crusca’s ‘Elegy Written on the Plain of Fontenoy’, which appeared in the World on 16 November 1787. Anna Matilda acknowledges the newspaper’s goal of offering a response to

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immediate public demand on one hand and the reassurance of native poetic permanence on the other hand. The note prefacing Anna Matilda’s response is headed ‘O matre Pulchre, filia pulchrior’ (‘Oh beautiful mother, more beautiful daughter’): the poet’s assurance that her poem is born from what has gone before in the genealogical tradition that Dryden nurtured. Yet, the accompanying note informs the public, this response to that ‘transcendent Poet’ (Della Crusca) is written for the kind of immediate gratification that periodical publication delivered: it appears ‘not forty hours after! – the World was very highly favoured with the following STANZAS’ (23 Nov 1787). Merry’s, or Della Crusca’s, poem on the defeat, in 1745, of the forces of the Duke of Cumberland during the War of the Austrian Succession, picks up from Gray and his famous Elegy, in particular, notes of the sublime, a deep patriotism, condemnation of the destructive ambition of rulers, and praise of fallen soldiers. Like many artists, writers, and playwrights of the late eighteenth century, Hannah Cowley and Richard Brinsley Sheridan included, Della Crusca places his poem against the backdrop of empire. Its ending draws attention, as would Cowley’s last play, The Town Before You (1795), to the struggles encompassing the globe in an age of trade: From barb’rous Turkey to Britannia’s shore, Opposing int’rests into rage increase; Destruction rears her sceptre, Tumults rear, Ah! where shall hapless Man repose in peace? (World 16 Nov 1787) Although Anna Matilda’s poem in the World begins with praise for Della Crusca’s ‘transcendent’ powers, its focus and achievement are her transcendence of these traditions. Establishing the quality of the poets engaging the attention of the World’s audience, its editor also immediately declares that both ‘rank’ with ‘the Genius which is thus described to have excited them’ – Thomas Gray, in other words (23 Nov 1787). The manipulation of readers’ judgement is akin to that of early eighteenth-century anthologies with their medley of material, as Benedict reminds us: the interconnections between ‘publishers, editors, authors, and readers . . . consolidate a consensus of literary values; at the same time, they enfranchise individual readers to pursue their own tastes regardless of the consensus’ (1996: 212). Further insisting upon Della Crusca’s and Anna Matilda’s place in a timeless English discourse and placing Anna Matilda on equal footing with her male counterparts, the editor equates their ‘poetic energy, and philosophic truth’ as well as their ‘grace and force of numbers’ (23 Nov 1787). All these terms were used of Hannah Cowley’s first play, The Runaway (1776) in a poetic review. The editor would naturally not expect the audience to make the connection; in both cases, however, laudatory language once spared for classical and neoclassical poets is used of a woman playwright from the country and periodical correspondents, including a woman. Traditional categories are confounded. In responding to Della Crusca’s poem on a battle almost half a century old, Anna Matilda hears in it the threat of future lives lost in contemporary strife. In ‘the coarse din that Trade and Folly form’, she reflects, echoing Gray, ‘the Muse’s Son again I meet – / I catch his notes amidst the vulgar storm’. The deep value of Della Crusca’s poem is in keeping alive the best of the nation in poetry and so contemporary consciousness.

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In her lines live English pastoral, neoclassicism, Shakespeare, and a reminder that the glory of the past is in the hands of poets: His notes now bear me, pensive to the Plain, Cloth’d by a verdure drawn from Britain’s heart; Whose heroes bled superior to their pain, Sunk, crown’d with glory, and contemn’d the smart. (23 Nov 1787) The poem’s first medium is a periodical for the masses: a commercial enterprise that stirs the literate and makes the less literate a little more so. As she captures a wide market, Anna Matilda also changes the male-centric focus of such poetry. She plunges her readers into timeless scenes of war, but her poetic perspective is distinctly female. In a line that has the chiasmic resonance of a line of epic battle translation (Dryden or Pope translating Virgil or Homer), she focuses not on the immediate victims but those waiting at home: Deep bitter groans, still deeper groans resound, Whilst Fathers, Brothers, Lovers, Husbands die! She bids the ‘blest Bard’ turn ‘thy mental eye’ to every outpost of imperial reach (to ‘hamlets, cities, empires’); her focus is again domestic loss: Where, do not Husbands, Fathers, dying moan? Where, do not Mothers, Sisters, Orphans weep? The authority of her female poetic voice and her feminised medium is reinforced, ironically, by the admission of error printed at the end of the periodical version, the ‘Erratum, in Anna Matilda’s last Verses to Della Crusca.’ The erratum recalls that Gray’s Elegy too was first published in periodicals and magazines and with sufficient inaccuracies that ‘Gray requested Walpole to have it printed in a more respectable and accurate manner’ (1840: xxix). Anna Matilda’s periodical poem follows the path of a venerated male poet, who himself relied on the evolutionary workings of English letters. In inserting herself into this malleable literary culture, Anna Matilda extends through the commercial presses a process begun in the Restoration miscellanies, which, as Benedict has shown, broadened reader inclusivity through slippages between forms and registers. Readers and reading material had become profoundly heteroglossic. The eighteenth century demanded greater decency than the collections that Aphra Behn and the Earl of Rochester had made popular, with Behn not respectable reading, though Cowley made a concerted effort to trace her lineage from her. With old hierarchies dismantled, late eighteenth-century anthologies, like the wax exhibits, public shows, plays, and the masquerades of the cosmopolitan capitals, mingled high and low across national and all nature of other boundaries. That the Della Cruscans’ immediate success extends, like that of Hannah Cowley’s plays, not just across the nation but across the international borders imperative to an imperialist future is apparent in the first collection that includes their poems.

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This is a sampling of the contents of volume 3 of The English Lyceum, or, a Choice of Pieces in Prose and Verse Selected from the Best Periodical Papers, Magazines, Pamphlets, & Other British . . . Printed in Hamburg 1787: THE FOUNTAINS. A FAIRY TALE THE MAN OF FEELING LA FATA MORGANA HISTORY OF LA ROCHE. A FRAGMENT. Traits of the Life of the late ATHENIAN STUART. A DIALOGUE between PERICLES, a Modern GREEK and a RUSSIAN. To ANNA MATILDA. Speech of OLIVER CROMWELL to a Dutch Ambassador. LETTERS FROM THE LATE MR. STERNE. (Never printed before.) THE SLAVES. An Elegy. CUPID AND DEATH. From Beloe’s Poems. (Lately Published) ODE TO SIMPLICITY. Addressed to Mrs. WELLS. Extract from a Review of the Grievances and Government of Quebeck. CUPID AND PSYCHE. ODE To Miss Farren. Letter to the Editor of the Gazetteer. Political materials lie cheek by jowl with poetry, classical with contemporary, sentimental with ancient rhetoric, fairy tales with historical tracts. The periodical nature of the publication is flaunted in an international collection that has a timeless element to it. The Della Cruscans feature prominently as a commodity and tribute to the theatre and to the ladies, who are subjects and consumers. So, the Della Cruscans achieved permanence in English letters, despite their secondrate poetry. Through a collection like this and The Poetry of the World, discussed above, as well as Bell’s The British Album (1789) they made their mark internationally and influenced the Romantic poets (Morison 1981: 133). The British Album reproduces the poetry from the first anthology, thereby reiterating its national importance, as Gamer remarks, and it has the inclusiveness of Bell’s Theatre (2003: 48). As with individual poems in the World, evidence of editing confers status. Bell offers the poems ‘in a more complete, finished, and correct state’ in the dedication to Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Again too Bell assures readers of quality: he will ‘render justice’ to the ‘superior excellence of the Poetry itself’. As dedicatee, Sheridan, the theatre manager and playwright, becomes a Garrick for his time, further linking cultural arts and literature, as Bell calls him the ‘best Critic, the first Scholar, and the most admired Genius of the age’. Doubtless hugely satisfying for Cowley, whom Sheridan tried to freeze out after Garrick’s death and who remained her rival in the theatre, the first poems in The British Album are those that realign gender power balances in poetry, as described above: ‘Adieu and Recall to Love’ and ‘The Pen’. Before the British Album appeared, Cowley and Bell capitalised on what Backscheider called a ‘rapid advancement’ of women’s writing amongst publishers and consumers in the last part of the century, anthologising from the Della Cruscan exchange The Poetry of Anna Matilda (1788) (2005: 3). As an ingénue playwright, Cowley had declared in the prologue to her first play, The Runaway (1776), that she had an

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advantage as a woman writer. She claims it ‘has a thousand faults, which, if written by a Man, would have incurred the severest lash of Criticism’ (‘Dedication’. The Runaway. n. p.). Even the arrangement of The Poetry of Anna Matilda profiles women as readers and artists, placing them permanently within English letters – the original aim of the Della Cruscans. The ‘Preface’ makes Anna Matilda’s purpose explicit: to ‘have her name united with that of DELLA CRUSCA’s, longer than the fleeting fame of Newspapers allows’ (Cowley 1788: n. p.). In another surreptitious move to authorise her collection through poetic ancestries and Gray’s practices, in particular, Anna Matilda adds to her poetry a ‘Fragment’ from the autograph of the famous Sir William Waller; ‘an important Actor in the busy drama of the last century’.15 The collection begins with a set of object poems16 that profile female friendship and link the age of sentiment to that of neoclassicism. As Benedict points out, seventeenthcentury and early eighteenth-century ‘occasional’ miscellanies feature poems on objects or transitory events; ladies are frequently the subject as well as the intended readers and these ‘socialised things cause and express feeling’ (2007: 199). Occasional object poems by Pope, Swift, and Gay especially both satirised and capitalised upon the commodity culture that women fed and were victims of. Here, Anna Matilda takes a recognisably feminised trope, which, as Benedict also notes, poets use to transform traditional genre in a commodified world. She uses it in her anthologised periodical poems to infuse the neoclassical world of the Restoration and Pope’s age with the sentimentality of her own. She makes women agents rather than objects of the poems, as she did in her response to ‘Adieu to Love’. The collection begins with a poem ‘Written the Morning after Anna Matilda’s Return from a Friend’s House, Close on the Verge of Windsor Forest’. The woman writer behind the mask feels tangible as she praises her friend ‘Harriet’s polish’d mind, / Her sense reflective, and her taste refin’d’ (Cowley 1788: 2). The opening lines evoke what Backscheider calls a ‘unique’ public space for women, that of the ‘friendship poem’ (2005: 175): Have I then left you, sweet Hygeian bowers– Oh! have I left you friendship’s holy hours? The English setting (Windsor forest) with its classical inhabitants (the ‘venerable Dryads’ that watch Anna Matilda’s friend Harriet ‘graceful move’) conjures the neoclassical ancestry of Pope (Cowley 1788: 2). The humble tone and focus on female friendship shift agency and artistry to women as the collection opens. Two poems later, the register is humbler still. The poet is conscious of her English heritage but again profiles domestic female concerns. In the process, ‘Charity’, the proclaimed subject of the ‘Address to Two Candles’ eradicates or at least undermines the commercial element of the venture, aiding Cowley’s efforts in her anthology to turn what began as periodical poems into permanent fixtures of English letters in a way that reflect and shapes the age. The brief preface to the poem remarks, ‘At a Cottage on an eminence, Anna Matilda had ordered the Candles to be removed from the Window, but the Night was dark; and recollecting the situation, she replaced’ and ‘addressed them’. This address reflects, like Dryden’s Religio Laici, that in the darkness, a ‘weary traveller may roam’ without a ‘guide’ (Cowley 1788: 4–5). Yet this is no philosophical or religious tract. The candles become symbols of hope for ‘an aged parent’ or ‘a child’

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who ‘Bemoans, forlorn, in yonder glades’. The humble candles are no ‘ignis false’ but a tribute to and embodiment of nature’s gifts: The rose, the violet, and the thyme That scent the Morning’s dewy shower, Combin’d their aromatic gifts, And form’d ye for the present hour. (Cowley 1788: 5) In these humble notes of the countryside are echoes of Dryden and Gray recast in a distinctly female framework. The ‘Adieu to Love’ and ‘The Pen’ as well as the Plains of Fontenoy poems follow, completing Anna Matilda’s presentation of English poetry. Pope condemned multiple women writers in The Dunciad (first published in 1722) in an effort to undermine their success. William Gifford’s 1797 satirical The Baeviad and The Maeviad’s focused attacks on the Della Cruscans is likewise a response to their destabilisation of literary traditions in general and Anna Matilda’s empowering of the female artist in particular. The impact of the Della Cruscans is betrayed in Gifford’s complaint that ‘from one end of the kingdom to the other, all was nonsense and Della Crusca’ (1797: xiii). Gifford’s efforts to undermine a movement that had affected ‘mass’ readership reveal his fears that the Della Cruscans were dismantling old hierarchies as their print phenomenon progressed: periodical poems became anthologies and more anthologies. Ironically part of and evidence of the success of this phenomenon were Gifford’s satires attempting to stymy these irrefutable changes in literary production, agency, and genre.17 One of Gifford’s main targets is ‘the mad jangle of Matilda’s lyre’, by which Cowley not only heightened the correspondence but through which she also affected change in the theatre under her own name. Her centrality to the Della Cruscan efforts as well as to the stage of her time in subtly bringing about fundamental shifts in artistic production, media, and consumption deserves still more attention. Angela Escott, Gillian Russell, and other commentators have begun to demonstrate how Cowley’s experimentation exploded paradigms and created space for women as artists and subjects. In assuming the mask of Anna Matilda and joining with an innovator like Bell to bring together the stage and poetic traditions, and past and present, Cowley goes far beyond engaging in an inexplicable racy correspondence. She demonstrates the powerful and long-term impact that periodical publications could have as they constantly metamorphosed and she showed what the most unassuming woman writer of the time could achieve.

Notes 1. There are no page numbers for the World. 2. Morison notes that ‘Under the editorship of Topham and printed by John Bell at his own establishment, Vol. 1, No. 1 of The World or Fashionable Gazetter came out on January 1, 1787’ (1981: 8). 3. Michael Gamer also notes the appeal to the Della Cruscans of Bell’s innovations and his determination to turn periodical publications into something more lasting (2003: 33). 4. Barbara Benedict’s Making the Modern Reader throughout traces role of miscellanies in establishing variety and novelty as central to reader demands.

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5. Backscheider in her Chapter 5, ‘Friendship Poems’, traces the history of this genre, ‘the only significant form of poetry that eighteenth-century women inherited from women’ (2005: 175). 6. Backscheider discusses the tradition of women writers’ use of pseudonyms in EighteenthCentury Women Poets. For Hannah Cowley’s use of a pseudonym in a venture with the newspaper and theatre personality Henry Bate, see Caldwell 2012: 25–53. 7. Backscheider demonstrates throughout Eighteenth-Century Women Poets and their Poetry that women writers experimented with established traditions to the point of reclaiming some. She shows, for example, how ‘women were the major participants’ in the eighteenthcentury sonnet revival (2005: 316). 8. This ancestry is established in the periodical the Morning Post & Advertiser (Friday, 1 Mar 1776) with a poetic review of Cowley’s first play, The Runaway (1776). The playwright is compared to ‘ancient Sappho [who] charm’d the breast / With energy divine’ and can equally command the ‘tragic scene’ or (as Thalia, the muse of comedy, states in the poem) ‘reign / In comic and instructive lays’. 9. Carrie Smith and Sarah Werner, ‘John Bell: Bibliographic Nightmare’ (last accessed 1 Dec 2016). 10. Morison notes that Bell’s ‘British Theatre does not print a list of subscribers. The public appears to have generously supported the British Theatre, if we may judge by the reprints which later became necessary’ (1981: 93). 11. By this point in the exchange, the World recognises the importance of Della Crusca’s and Anna Matilda’s energy as a focal point for the second wave of Della Cruscan poetry and promises to gather the individual pieces into an anthology: Above Anna Matilda’s poem a brief epigraph reads ‘We pay no compliment to the Poems which have appeared under the signatures of Arley, Della Crusca, and Anna Matilda, in saying, that when the different pieces which have occasionally honoured this paper, shall be collected together – those Poems will form its happiest part’ (World 14 Aug 1787). 12. In 1695, Dryden publishes De Arte Graphica: The Art of Painting, By C. A. Du Fresnoy with Remarks. Translated into English, Together with an Original Preface containing A Parallel betwixt Painting and Poetry. By Mr. Dryden. (Dryden 1969: 37). 13. Benedict also quotes Pat Rogers’s claim that ‘advertising did much to create taste’ and was (this is Benedict now) ‘recognised as a quasi-literary genre, crawling over walls and corners, eating into newspapers and books, absorbing the physical and mental space writers might have filled with their own language’ (2007: 195). 14. The combination was a powerful one that attracted audiences drawn by the elements of the theatre as well as the sentimental novels of the period and the result was phenomenal. Knowles stresses that Della Cruscan poetry, ‘at heart a poetry of sensibility’ was also ‘selfconsciously theatrical and spectacular’ and people loved it. She quotes Werkmeister that ‘the extent of The World’s success has no precedent in the history of newspapers’ and that ‘every newspaper felt obliged to have at least one Della Cruscan among its contributors’. Knowles notes that ‘The World sold between 3000 and 4000 copies of each edition’ but many people would have access to each copy sold (2009: 30). 15. Gray’s collection not only reveals the editing process it has undergone but pays tribute to famous bygone authors. 16. Benedict calls these ‘thing-poems’ in her discussion of the phenomenon throughout the Restoration and eighteenth century (2007). 17. Gifford’s canon-forming efforts are explicit in fact in his introduction to The Maeviad. He begins by remarking that the former satire was ‘received more favourably than I expected’ with the result too that ‘Della Crusca appeared no more in the Oracle’. His ultimate triumph is that Milton and Pope resumed their superiority’ (1797: 65).

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Works Cited Backscheider, Paula R. 2005. Eighteenth-Century Women Poets and their Poetry: Inventing Agency, Inventing Genre. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Benedict, Barbara. 1996. Making the Modern Reader: Cultural Mediation in Early Modern Literary Anthologies. Princeton: Princeton University Press. —. 2007. ‘Encounters with Object: Advertisements, Time, and Literary Discourse in the Early Eighteenth-Century Thing-Poem’. Eighteenth-Century Studies 40.2: 193–206. Caldwell, Tanya M. 2012. ‘Hannah Cowley, the Dilemma of the Female Playwright, and the Pseudonymous Prelude to Which is the Man?’ Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research 27.1: 25–53. Cowley, Hannah. 1776. The Runaway. London. Dodsley; Becket and Cadell; Longman; and Carnan and Newbery. —. 1788. The Poetry of Anna Matilda. London: John Bell. —. 1795. The Town Before You. London: T. N. Longman. Dryden, John. 1969. The Works of John Dryden. Ed. Earl Miner and Vinton A. Dearing. Vol. 3. Berkeley: University of California Press. —. 1989. The Works of John Dryden. Ed. George R. Guffey, Alan Roper, Vinton A. Dearing, and A. E. Wallace Maurer. Vol. 20. Berkeley: University of California Press. Gamer, Michael. 2003. ‘“Bell’s Poetics”: The Baeviad, the Della Cruscans, the Book of The World’. The Satiric Eye: Forms of Satire in the Romantic Period. Ed. Steven E. Jones. New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 31–53. Gifford, William. 1797. The Baviad and the Maeviad. London: J. Wright. Gray, Thomas. 1840. The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray. London: William Pickering. Knowles, Claire. 2009. Sensibility and Female Poetic Tradition, 1780–1860. Aldershot: Ashgate. Morison, Stanley. 1981. John Bell, 1745–1831: Bookseller, Printer, Publisher, Typefounder, Journalist, &c. Introd. Nicolas Barker. New York, London: Garland. Old Whig, or Consistent Protestant. 1735–8. London. Ovid. 1977. Heroides. Amores. Trans. Grant Showerman. Rev. G. P. Goold. Harvard University Press: Loeb Classical Library. Powell, Manushag N. 2012. Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Russell, Gillian. 2007. Women, Sociability and Theatre in Georgian London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Smith, Carrie and Sarah Werner. ‘John Bell: Bibliographic Nightmare’ (last accessed 1 Dec 2016). The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure. 1747–1814. London. Werkmeister, Lucyle. 1963. The London Daily Press 1772–1792. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. The World, or Fashionable Gazette. 1787–97. London.

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8 The LADY’S POETICAL MAGAZINE and the Fashioning of Women’s Literary Space Octavia Cox

Too long has Man, engrossing ev’ry art, Dar’d to reject the Female’s rightful part Lady’s Poetical Magazine 1 (1781)

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he LADY’S POETICAL Magazine; or, Beauties of British Poetry (hereafter LPM) ran to four volumes, 1781–2, and was edited by James Harrison. The Harrison publishing house was a family affair: James’s uncle, Thomas, established the company in 1750; his father, also James, was involved in its running, as was his mother, Mary. The whole family’s livelihood depended on the commercial success of their ventures, including LPM; making money was paramount. According to the family record, James Harrison II was born in 1765, and died in 1847 (Harrison 1950: 6), making him only fifteen or sixteen years old when LPM was first published. He may have been precociously young, but Harrison clearly had his finger on the pulse of the market. The judgement of the House of Lords, of 22 February 1774, in the case of Donaldson v. Beckett, effectively ended perpetual copyright for British authors, meaning that publishers such as Harrison could take advantage of all the material which thereby became available.1 Selling collections of work previously published, whose popularity was already established, was now a relatively quick and easy way of turning a profit.2 ‘In the vast majority of cases’, Suarez notes, ‘poetical miscellanies were created as moneymaking endeavours’; ‘Miscellanies were an attractive, because potentially very profitable, product for booksellers at every level of the market’ as ‘there was usually no need to pay fees to any of the authors whose work was being used’ (2001: 218; 223–4). Harrison was one ‘of the first persons who embarked, with much spirit and upon such an extensive scale, in such a mode of publication’ (Rees 1896: 21). His first venture into this sphere was to edit the Novelist’s Magazine (1780–8), which ran to twenty-three volumes and was, according to Rees, ‘published weekly, at sixpence each’ (1896: 21). Apparently an ebullient character, Harrison determinedly went on to publish British Magazine and Review (1782–3) and Harrison’s British Classicks (1785–7). Evidently buoyed by the success of LPM, in the subsequent decade Harrison produced another magazine ostensibly aimed at women, Lady’s Pocket Magazine (1795–6?). Harrison has been called a ‘barometer’ of popular late eighteenth-century ‘taste’ (Gamer 2008: 173–4; Taylor 1993: 638), and his endeavours evidently were financially rewarding (the Harrison publishing company continued into the late twentieth century). His editorial agenda in LPM, however, broke with normal convention; he included more

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poetry by women than was standard in contemporary miscellanies, as well as a high proportion of original poetry by women. In this essay, I first interrogate the physical space that women writers occupy in LPM; compare LPM to other contemporary publications, in terms of creating a space for women writers (and readers); and consider LPM’s contribution to the canonisation of eminent women writers in the late eighteenth century. In the second part, I consider the poetry itself. I examine Harrison’s own poetic contributions in order to establish, in his own words, what ‘species of poetry he wishes to see cultivated’ (LPM 2 (1781): 1). I turn to the authoresses to explore how these writers define themselves, their voice, their space – both in familiar poems that had already been published extensively before LPM, and in the poetry original to it. I elucidate ways in which these women perform self-circumscription and attempt self-liberation. While financial prosperity was a real and pressing concern, Harrison did not allow commercial anxieties prevent him from fashioning a space for women writers to contest and challenge conventional authorial female-ness.3

LPM vs Contemporary Publications The 13–16 January 1781 issue of the London Chronicle advertised the first edition of ‘A New Magazine for the Ladies’ (issue 3764: 53). The material would be ‘Selected in the manner of Mr. Dodsley’s celebrated Collection.’ It cost one shilling per number, published monthly, with six numbers making up each volume (London Chronicle issue 3976 (23–5 May 1782): 499). Harrison states that it was called LPM for two reasons: first, ‘because it will not contain a single article improper for the perusal of the fair sex’; and second, crucially, ‘because it will include the productions of the Ladies, which are wholly omitted in all the editions of the Poets, though many of them would obtain infinite honour to the most distinguished writers of the other sex’ (issue 3764: 53). Harrison might have had in mind compendious anthologies such as William Creech’s British Poets (1773–6) or Samuel Johnson’s recent Lives of the Poets (1779–81), which only included male authors. It was not strictly true, however, that women were ‘wholly omitted’ from poetical collections: Robert Shiells’s Lives of the Poets (1753), for instance, contains several women; and James Elphinston’s Collection of Poems, From the Best Authors (1764) includes poems by Anne Finch and Judith Cowper/Madan. Harrison wanted to plug the gap, and remedy female exclusion from the literary sphere; or, at least, he wanted to advertise LPM as filling a perceivable gap in the market, by promoting it as rectifying a dearth. Overall, ‘The whole [of LPM will] comprehend . . . a complete library of entertaining poetry’; thus, Harrison makes it clear that women’s poetry must be included in order to have ‘a complete library’. The implication of the assertion that female authors rank alongside ‘the most distinguished writers of the other sex’ is that male readers should read their poetry too. The LPM ‘is therefore equally calculated for the amusement of the Ladies, and of all such Gentlemen as are rational enough to prefer the elegant and entertaining, to the dull, licentious, and uninteresting parts of poetry’. An appeal to male readers was not in itself unusual. The first issue of Jasper Goodwill’s Ladies Magazine: or, the Universal Entertainer (1749–53), for example, declared itself a ‘profitable Entertainment for young Masters and Misses’ (1 (18 Nov 1749): 1). However, the later Lady’s Magazine; or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex – which was first published a

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decade before LPM and outlived Harrison’s publication (1770–1832) – was targeted explicitly at female readers. Its ‘Address to the Fair Sex’ noted that: ‘The press groans with monthly collections calculated for the peculiar entertainment or improvement of men . . . it is something surprising that no periodical production should at present exist calculated for your particular amusement’ (1 (Aug 1770): 2). Perhaps to distinguish LPM from the Lady’s Magazine, or perhaps so as not to discourage potential male purchasers, Harrison stressed that the LPM was ‘equally calculated’ for both sexes. Further evidence that Harrison wanted to emphasise LPM as a collection of poetical beauties comes from the way in which its subtitle, Beauties of British Poetry, appears more prominently throughout than the title’s first half: at the top of each page of the body of LPM is, written in capitals, ‘BEAUTIES OF POETRY’; and the layout on the title page has the second half emboldened to a much greater extent, and in a clearer font, than the first half. Those who contributed to LPM viewed its remit in similar terms. In the preface to her Letters and Essays, Moral and Miscellaneous (1793), Mary Hays wrote that ‘The Invocation to the Nightingale has been inserted in Harrison’s Collection of British Poetry’ (1793: ix–x). Hays’s poem was original to LPM, and her first published item (Walker 2006: 23–4). Clearly, she viewed herself as having contributed to a publication that emphasised collecting ‘British Poetry’ above poetry only for ‘Ladies’; she does not refer to it as a magazine specifically for women. So why affix ‘Lady’s Poetical Magazine’ to the title at all? Harrison may have had a commercial motive, given the ever-expanding market of female readers; Johnson had remarked on 29 April 1778, rather disparagingly, that ‘all our ladies read now, which is a great extension’ (Boswell 1980: 979). Harrison was nothing if not ‘economically astute’ (Taylor 1993: 637). Other previous publishers had used the idea of branding collections as being for ‘ladies’ as a marketing ploy. Despite its title, for instance, the Ladies Miscellany, dated 1718, contains only one poem by a woman – ‘Ode to Hygeia’ by ‘Mrs [Susanna] Centlivre’ – and seems merely to have been a ruse for repackaging and eking out a profit from Edmund Curll’s unsold stock, and an advertising platform for other books he had recently published.4 Harrison might also have promoted his production as a ‘Magazine’ to tap into the growing demand for publications with the title: having plateaued between 1760 and 1780, the number of publications entitled ‘Magazine’ increased by half again in 1790, and doubled in 1800.5 Harrison differentiated LPM from other productions on the market in numerous ways: for instance, he set out to demarcate women’s space in LPM by attributing the author and her/his sex to each and every contribution, which was not standard practice at the time. In Collection of the Best Modern Poems (1771), for instance, no authors are ascribed, only each poem’s title, including poems that are also in LPM (such as Elizabeth Carter’s ‘Written at Midnight in a Thunder Storm’ and David Mallet’s ‘Edwin and Emma’). Elsewhere, the sex of authors was not plainly delineated. In Dodsley’s Collection of Poems, for example, ‘Town Eclogues’ (1748, vol. 3: 274–98) is listed as ‘By the Right Hon. L. M. W. M.’, so attention is not drawn to the fact that she is female. This contrasts with LPM (4 (1782): 182–200), which states that the poem is ‘By Lady Mary Wortley Montague [sic].’ Harrison ascribes a gendered identity to the poem’s author, whereas Dodsley does not. The vast majority of poems contributed to miscellanies during the long eighteenth century were not attributed: of the 40,000 poems entered into the Digital Miscellanies Index, 16006 (40 per cent)

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are unattributed. By contrast, the name, and gender, of all contributors to LPM is explicit.6 In providing gendered attributions for all the selected poems, Harrison is making a decided statement: both that women merit space in such collections, and that their identities deserve to be celebrated publicly. In his ‘Postscript’, Harrison explains, rather mealy-mouthedly, the reason behind his decision: From a conviction that the Publick are in general desirous to be acquainted with those who endeavour to contribute to their entertainment, the Editor of this Collection has as much as possible gratified a curiosity . . . by affixing to each production the NAME of its respective Author[.] (LPM 4 (1782): 479) In a review of LPM that appeared in Harrison’s British Magazine for May 1783 (2: 357–9), the writer, probably Harrison himself, remarked that LPM, by affixing to each production the name of its respective author, was ‘Contrary to all other collections we have hitherto seen.’ Harrison might have been rather disingenuous in claiming that LPM differs from ‘all other collections’, but he continues the tone of the advertisement by maintaining his conviction that the public should be acquainted with female authors. Although trailblazing to some extent, then, Harrison was not the first male editor to proclaim that women deserved an equal literary status with men. In 1755, George Colman and Bonnell Thornton had produced a poetical anthology, Poems by Eminent Ladies (hereafter PEL-1755), which was the first substantial collection of women’s poetry (Lavoie 2009: 55). In the preface, the editors stated that they wanted the compendium to be ‘proof that great abilities are not confined to the men’ and that ‘genius often glows with equal warmth . . . in the breast of a female’ (1 (1755): iii). Not everyone welcomed the innovation. In its only known review (Forster 1990: 69), an anonymous response in the Monthly Review for June 1755 was dismissive: the entire review reads: ‘As the materials that compose these volumes are collected from books, &c. formerly printed, and most of them very common, we need say nothing more of them’ (12: 512). As its name suggests, PEL-1755 only included poetry ‘by’ women. The editors claim the ‘remarkable circumstance, that there is scarce one Lady, who has contributed to fill these volumes, who was not celebrated by her contemporary poets . . . [the all male] . . . Cowley, Dryden, Roscommon, Creech, Pope, or Swift’ (1 (1755): iii). The implication is not so much that it should be a ‘remarkable circumstance’ that women poets were ‘celebrated’ by renowned, male, poets; but that ‘celebrated’ authoresses should now have to be reintroduced to the public. Of course, however, using the authority of eminent men to judge the worth of the poetesses still works to enshrine the standard that men and their approbation measure poetry and its success. PEL-1755 grouped all poems alphabetically by author, and included a biography of each author at the beginning of every section. Perhaps the reason for affixing biographies was to expand knowledge of these authors beyond the limited coterie of ‘contemporary poets’, into the wider sphere of the reading public. In contrast, LPM does not group its entries together by author – or, seemingly, any other organised structure – and neither does it include a biography for any author, either female or male, whether previously unpublished or a household name. Lavoie argues that Colman and Thornton used organisation by surname, introductory paragraphs, and exegetic footnotes (all revolutionary editorial choices in 1755) to raise the status of the

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women poets they included and, concomitantly, themselves (2009: 64–7). Harrison’s omission of biography, on the other hand, suggests that he was less concerned with the lives of the individual authors per se, and was more interested in fashioning a space in which poetry by women and men visibly sat alongside each other, thus equalising their status. The editors of PEL-1755 and LPM may have had a financial motivation for marketing their books to women, but this does not mean that they were not also attempting to fashion a literary space for women writers and readers. Not all editors of poetical collections targeted at ‘ladies’ evinced any such concern. We might, for instance, compare a work that appeared roughly in between these two: Oliver Goldsmith’s Poems for Young Ladies (1767; hereafter PYL). Goldsmith divides the poems into three parts, ‘Devotional, Moral, and Entertaining’, the order of which is telling in ‘comprehending the three great duties of life’ (iv). The book is ‘for’ young ladies, and definitely not ‘by’ young ladies. Indeed, women are completely denied a literary space in Goldsmith’s anthology: its title proclaims it to be ‘a Collection of the Best Pieces in Our Language’, yet not a single one is by a woman. The Monthly Review, which had been so sniffy about PEL-1755 only including poems ‘formerly printed’, had no such qualms about Goldsmith’s collection. Rather, the opposite was the case. The Monthly’s review of PYL, in March 1767, happily lists several of the wellknown poems included, and promotes them as ‘pieces as innocence may read without a blush’ (36: 240). Despite billing themselves as for women, PYL, Curll, and their ilk, underplay writing by women. Harrison seems to be unusual in insisting more than most contemporaries that women readers should be able to experience good work composed by others of their sex. Goldsmith sets out his agenda for PYL in the preface: he claims that an unwitting young lady will read the volume seduced by the idea of being amused, but will be duped into acquiring knowledge; ‘while she courts only entertainment, [she will] be deceived into wisdom’ (iii). The preface opens by stating: Doctor Fordyce’s excellent Sermons for young women in some measure gave rise to the following compilation. In that work, where he so judiciously points out all the defects of female conduct to remedy them, and all the proper studies which they should pursue, with a view to improvement, Poetry is one to which he particularly would attach them. (iii) Fordyce’s Sermons to Young Women had been published in the previous year (1766). Goldsmith follows Fordyce’s prescriptions precisely in including only male writers. ‘Your business chiefly is to read Men’, Fordyce instructed, ‘in order to make yourselves agreeable and useful’ and ‘lead to your principal ends as Women’ (1766, vol. 2: 11). Making oneself ‘agreeable and useful’, presumably to men, was what Fordyce considered the majority of women’s reading should encompass. ‘Poetry of all kinds’ is recommended, but only ‘where a strict regard is paid to decorum’ (1766, vol. 2: 16). We might guess how Jane Austen felt, a generation later, about Fordyce’s Sermons from her decision to have the pompous and sanctimonious Mr Collins, in Pride and Prejudice (1813), read it aloud to provide ‘instruction’ to the Bennet daughters (2004: 52). Although Austen elsewhere admired Goldsmith’s own work, in editing PYL he might well be among those against whom she railed in Northanger Abbey (1818), as

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‘the man who collects and publishes in a volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator’, and imagines that he should be ‘eulogized by a thousand pens’ (2003: 23). John Milton and Alexander Pope are included in PYL, and three Joseph Addison poems that Goldsmith includes were originally from the Spectator (1711–12; 1714).7 Perhaps rather surprisingly, given his palpable hostility to female authorship, Goldsmith was sometime editor of the Lady’s Magazine; or Polite Companion for the Fair Sex (1759–63). One should also point out, however, that Harrison’s collection hardly represents a radical departure in its choice of male authors. LPM includes more than a quarter of the poems, and most of the authors, featured in PYL. Of the thirty poems in PYL, eight are included in LPM; of the nineteen men in the former, sixteen also appear in the latter. There is also overlap between the contents of PEL-1755 and LPM: of the eighteen poetesses featured in PEL-1755, exactly one-third (six) feature in LPM. In total, the authors who had appeared in PEL-1755 contribute nine poems to LPM. Lavoie argues that Harrison ‘borrowed older materials from the first edition of PEL to include in LPM’ (1999: 279). That is unfair to Harrison, though, since he only re-used three poems from PEL-1755, all of them well known and popular.8 If anything, Harrison’s choices suggest that he was trying to create a space for female writers different from that established in PEL-1755. This is further evidenced by the fact that there are a number of original poems contributed by women writers to LPM: of the thirtythree poems by women included overall, I deduce that seven of them were original (or, at least, seldom or scarce enough printed that they would be unfamiliar to readers), which is over a fifth. Unlike PEL-1755, which aimed to include poetry by relatively ‘celebrated’ authors (1: iii), originality was one of Harrison’s stated aims. In the London Chronicle advertisement for 13–16 January 1781, he had promised that LPM would include ‘a great variety of original pieces’ (issue 3764: 53). In calling it a ‘Magazine’, Harrison highlights LPM’s inclusion of ‘original pieces’ alongside reprinted content (a characteristic of most magazines of the period). Although in some ways Harrison broadly adhered to standard contemporary editorial practices, then, he was unusual in situating original poetry attributed to women alongside celebrated, well-known poetry by men; implying, albeit obliquely, that contemporary female poets should be considered as equals to, and aspire to the reputations of, well-established male authors. A poem I surmise is original to LPM, titled ‘On A Supposed Slight from A Friend’ by ‘Miss Roberts’ (2 (1781): 189–90), for example, appears in the same volume as Pope’s ‘Universal Prayer’ (2 (1781): 15–16) and Milton’s ‘Lycidas’ (2 (1781): 410–16).9 Of course, in some ways providing a space for women authors in which they are seen to stand shoulder to shoulder with men can be seen as proto-feminist in implying equality between the sexes; but, on the other hand, it again supposes that poetry by men is the standard by which women poets should also be measured. LPM influenced subsequent volumes aimed at women, which capitalised on the space forged by Harrison. In the mid-1780s, an expanded edition of PEL-1755, Poems by the Most Eminent Ladies of Great Britain and Ireland, which claimed to have made ‘considerable Alterations, Additions, and Improvements’, was ‘RePublished’ (hereafter PEL-c.1785).10 PEL-c.1785 clearly used LPM as a template. Only five poems by women in LPM did not appear in PEL-c.1785 (and all the poems in LPM which appear to be original are transposed into PEL-c.1785). There is only one female author in LPM who does not also provide material for PEL-c.1785 (Elizabeth

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Tollet). If it were not clear from the content of the two publications that PEL-c.1785 lifted material from LPM, then it would be evident from their shared typographical idiosyncrasies. Both, for example, attribute ‘Invocation to the Nightingale’ to ‘Miss Heys’ (LPM 2 (1781): 464–5; PEL-c.1785, vol. 1: 109–10). She would go on to publish various works as ‘Mary Hays’, of which the most radical was an Appeal to the Men of Great Britain in Behalf of Women (1798). Additionally, both have peculiar attributions of Mary Whateley/Darwall.11 LPM, therefore, helped to fashion a space for women’s poetry distinct from that of previously established, ‘eminent’, women, in part by containing voices unheard of before. This space was later colonised by the offspring of that mid-century publication; PEL-c.1785 attracted 396 subscribers, including ‘cultural luminaries’ such as Joshua Reynolds and Horace Walpole (Suarez 2001: 225). Ezell has identified that the two PEL ‘volumes prepare the way for the later nineteenth-century critics’ and anthologists’ demarcation of a “feminine” literary sphere’ (1993: 117). LPM was foundational, then, in contributing to the canonising of ‘eminent’ women writers at the end of the eighteenth century. In highlighting women’s right to share public literary space with men, Harrison might have had noble aims, but the content did not entirely match the rhetoric.12 In the first volume (1781), ten of the eighty-four poems are by women (11.9 per cent). Of the 474 pages on which poetry appears, poetry by women appears on only thirtyseven of them (7.8 per cent). In contrast, Mallet’s ‘Amyntor and Theodora’ covers more pages than all the women’s entries combined (1 (1781): 218–58 and therefore forty-one pages or 8.6 per cent). In the second volume (also 1781), six of the sixty-one poems are by women (9.8 per cent). Of 476 pages on which poetry appears, poetry by women appears on only fourteen of them (a miniscule 2.9 per cent). Harrison’s own poem, ‘Albina and Lothario’, covers the same number of pages (2 (1781): 1–14), despite claiming in its ‘Advertisement’ that it was merely a ‘little piece’. Along with Harrison, there are six other male authors whose poems cover the same, or a greater, number of pages. In the third volume (1782), a paltry three of seventy-eight poems are by women (3.8 per cent). Of 474 pages on which poetry appears, poetry by women appears on only eleven of them (an even more miniscule 2.3 per cent). Volume 4 (also 1782), however, is better in terms of female inclusion: fourteen of sixty-four poems are by women (21.9 per cent). Of 474 pages on which poetry appears, poetry by women appears on eighty-one of them (17.1 per cent). Perhaps the space afforded women is greatest in the final volume because Harrison was, by then, more sure of his readership. Or, perhaps Harrison had, by then, included most of the men he felt he had to incorporate; an impression also created by his Novelist’s Magazine (1780–8). A similar pattern emerges from the content of the Novelist’s Magazine, of which Rees estimates that ‘at one time 12,000 copies of each number were sold, weekly’ (1896: 22). There, no contribution states it is by a woman until Vol. IX (when Sarah Fielding’s David Simple (1744) makes an appearance). In the final volume, however, four of the six novels are by women.13 In LPM, the overall percentage of poems by women is 11.9 per cent. In each of the four volumes of the LPM, the percentage of pages covered by the writing of a female poet is less than the number of poems contributed by women, which means that Harrison chose shorter contributions by women. There are over 140 male authors, but only twenty-three women authors in total; which means that there are almost six male authors for each female one. That might look like lopsided representation, and indeed it is, but one must consider the context. Of the

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3,984 different authors whom the Digital Miscellanies Index has so far identified as having contributed to eighteenth-century miscellanies, 302 writers are known to be women (7.6 per cent). In other words, Harrison allotted in LPM a larger space (by almost one-third) for women’s poetry than seems to have been the norm.

Women and their Writing within the Lady’s Poetical Magazine Perhaps Harrison also chose to call his production a ‘Magazine’ as a signpost for how readers should engage with its contents. In a poetical ‘Magazine’, the meaning of individual poems is re-mediated by their juxtaposition with those that precede and succeed them. How do the poems across the volumes of LPM speak to each other, and what are we to take from these engagements? The May 1783 review of LPM, in Harrison’s British Magazine, determines to leave it to readers to ‘judge of [Harrison’s] claim to a place in the Temple of the Muses from . . . The four introductory poems’, affixed to the beginning of each volume (2: 357). This review, despite the writer’s protestations against any ‘suspicion of . . . partiality’, was a puff piece designed to advertise Harrison and LPM. The British Magazine claims that ‘The first of these poems at once points allegorically to the nature of the Collection’ (2: 327). LPM’s ‘Introductory Address’ (1 (1781): 1–4) opens by stating that women have been denied their ‘rightful’ place as creatures who have valuable minds: Too long has Man, engrossing ev’ry art, Dar’d to reject the Female’s rightful part; As if to him, alone, had been confin’d, Heav’n’s greatest gift, a scientifick mind. (1 (1781): 1) Harrison explicitly inserts his production into the discussion that had raged throughout eighteenth-century publications: whether or not women were inherently different from men in what they were capable of mastering, and, as a corollary, whether or not literature for and by women should therefore be confined to particular ‘sexed’ spheres. The question at stake, in other words, was whether women should write about putatively ‘masculine’ topics, such as matters ‘scientifick’. In Tatler no. 172 (16 May 1710), Richard Steele had written: I am sure, I do not mean it an Injury to Women, when I say there is a Sort of Sex in Souls . . . the Soul of a Man and that of a Woman are made very unlike, according to the Employments for which they are designed. (2: 444) The term ‘Sex in Souls’ was subsequently taken up by other periodicals when discussing women and writing (Shevelow 1989: 93–101, 155–9, 173–4). Thus, Harrison is directly opposing himself to Steele when he writes, ‘let the smooth and tranquil paths to [poetic] fame . . . Be, as the soul, to neither sex confin’d.’ Provocatively, he continues: ‘Where is the wretch’ who would ‘deny’ that ‘female skill with boasted man’s may vie!’, daring readers to repudiate this claim. ‘Then why’, he asks confrontationally, ‘refuse them [women] to an equal share?’ In using ‘them’, women are still othered; the voice is male, speaking to men. While Harrison’s assertion that past treatment

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of women was ‘Unjust’, and should be regarded with ‘shame’ suggests that he promotes a female-friendly agenda, nevertheless he retains the traditional model, of active masculinity and passive femininity, in suggesting that men should ‘let’ women ‘share the road to fame’ (1 (1781): 1–2). This refrain, that women should be allowed – ‘let’ – to do things by men, is repeated throughout LPM in poetry authored by both sexes.14 It is perhaps most peculiarly played out in Anna Laetitia Aikin’s/Barbauld’s ‘The Mouse’s Petition’ (1 (1781): 423–5), which includes the lines: ‘Let not thy strong oppressive force / A free-born mouse detain’ (1 (1781): 423). Even in this call to recognise living creatures as ‘free-born’, the speaker still entreats, in a supplicatory, submissive tone, to ‘Let’ the ‘free-born’ be free (see Ready 2004). ‘Happy for England’, Harrison continues, ‘were each female mind, / To science more, and less to pomp inclin’d’ (1 (1781): 2). Here Harrison again uses language that had long been part of the discussion about what is desirable in women. A decade later, in Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) Mary Wollstonecraft would also lament that ‘cumberous pomp supplied the place of domestic affections’, believing that ‘it is not the enchantment of literary pursuits, or the steady investigation of scientific subjects, that leads women astray from duty’ (1995: 232, 265). Harrison holds up Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, as an exemplar of ‘the flame of virtue’. Charlotte was a prolific, wide-ranging reader: her library eventually numbered more than 40,000 volumes, in various languages, and in subjects including theology, philosophy, travel, history, belles-lettres, and science (Campbell Orr 2002). Harrison then declares of the Queen, ‘Behold, in HER, a scientifick wife!’ (1 (1781): 2). So, while the poem opens by boldly stating that ‘a scientifick mind’ should be ‘to neither sex confin’d’, it justifies this by reference to traditional gendered roles. As Hansen notes, Harrison reintroduces the concept of gender, the importance of which had been denied in the previous lines (2013: 54). But he was not unusual, for his time, in advocating female advancement while concomitantly assuming gender stereotypes: Wollstonecraft also promoted female education on the grounds that it would make women better wives and mothers. Harrison’s approval of women’s capability in scientific fields is supported by his inclusion of Tollet’s ‘Microcosm’ (4 (1782): 431–8), with its scientific references; for example, to Robert Hooke’s illustrations of insects in Micrographia, 1665, ‘in the microscope thou canst descry / The gnat’s sharp spear, the muscles of a fly’ (4 (1782): 435; see Fara 2002). Harrison closes the ‘Introductory Address’ by self-consciously referring to the ‘Great . . . task’ that he has ‘assign’d’ himself in creating LPM: he describes the ‘task’, of plucking up all the best poetry without leaving anything that could be potentially corrupting, as being like weeding a garden; he must ‘traverse Nature’s garden all around’, and not ‘leave a single flow’r . . . Which owns a scent less fragrant than the air; / Least it’s foul breath contaminate the whole, / And . . . poison of the soul’ (1 (1781): 3). Using lapsarian imagery, he promises there will be no devilish snakes in the grass, so that ‘howev’r incautiously she tread’, the female reader cannot ‘place her foot upon the adder’s head’ (1 (1781): 4). With self-congratulation, Harrison exhorts his readers, to ‘view’ his ‘skilful’ work ‘With rapture’ and ‘deem’ it to be ‘a blessing to the Fair!’ (1 (1781): 4). As elsewhere, traditional imagery is reinforced; female readers will be chaperoned through the ‘garden’ of LPM, and will not be permitted the – potentially dangerous – freedom of an Eve.

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Harrison’s poem anticipates John Duncombe’s ‘Feminead; Or, Female Genius’ (4 (1782): 463–74), the final poem in LPM’s final volume – the two acting like bookends – which is an encomium in praise of women poets, and criticises ‘lordly man’, the ‘Tyrant of verse’ who denies ‘the female right’ to ‘the Muse’s tributary bay’ (4 (1782): 463). The way Duncombe suggests that men should ‘Admire’, ‘praise’, and ‘Tell’ women that they ‘charm’, ‘shine’, and are ‘divine’ (4 (1782): 463) is, however, couched in decorous, objectifying terms. Duncombe insists that we do not need to ‘rove’ ‘from our own Britain’ to find female ‘genius’, although he praises Sappho, the Ancient Greek poetess, for her ‘tuneful lyre’ (4 (1782): 466). Sappho is also the only female poet mentioned in Madan’s ‘Progress of Poetry’ (1 (1781): 135–43), which the Monthly Review for April 1783 judged to be ‘a muster-roll of some of the principal poets in chronological order, from Homer down to [George] Granville and [Nicholas] Rowe’ (68: 355–6). The review does not question that ‘the principal poets’ of the country do not include a single woman. Duncombe expressly approves Madan’s ‘polish’d taste’, noting that ‘Praise well-bestow’d adorns her glowing lines’ (4 (1782): 469). Cowper/Madan was obviously proud of Duncombe’s comments; she transcribed his lines about her into her commonplace book (MS.Eng. misc.d.636). It is worth noting here that LPM also includes a poem, ‘Verses Addressed to Mrs Digby’ (2 (1781): 461–3), by ‘Mrs Collier’, seemingly original, which celebrates another British woman’s poetry.15 Echoing Duncombe’s praise of Madan’s ‘polish’, Collier aspires to ‘reach’ Elizabeth Carter’s ‘polish’d’ and ‘charming line[s]’: ‘O Carter! could I reach thy polish’d verse’ (2 (1781): 463). At the close of ‘Feminead’, Duncombe meets a ‘maid’ who praises him for writing the first poem to champion the female poet’s ‘cause’: be this thy praise and pride, That thou, of all the numerous tuneful throng, First in our cause hast fram’d thy gen’rous song. (4 (1782): 474) He thus implies that women should be grateful for the attention he has shown them. Jones argues that ‘Duncombe’s Feminiad . . . though celebratory, contributes to an aesthetic orthodoxy’ (1990: 141). While it, too, celebrates female writers, Harrison’s poem, likewise, ultimately propounds a conventional view of gender relations. As Bonnell has noted, Harrison’s poems in volumes 2 to 4 describe the traditional arc of a woman’s life, from premarital, to connubial, to maternal concerns (2008: 323). In its prefatory ‘Advertisement’, Harrison remarks that ‘Albina and Lothario; Or, The Fatal Seduction. A Moral Tale’ is ‘a specimen of that species of poetry he wishes to see cultivated by persons of superior genius and learning’. Note the gender neutrality of ‘persons’. Albina’s is a cautionary tale for female readers, ‘Approach your Poet—fain would he relate, / (To guard from ills like her’s) Albina’s fate’, equally, it is a cautionary tale for male readers, ‘But, to compleat the purpose of these rhymes, / And shun Lothario’s woes—avoid his crimes!’ (2 (1781): 2). Lothario seduces, impregnates, then abandons, Albina; presented as a thoughtless cad, he wastes his time and money on women, wine, and gambling. In describing Lothario as unable to ‘see . . . the latent thorn beneath the flow’rs’ (2 (1781): 7), Harrison harks back to his own ‘Introductory Address’, in which he claimed that in LPM ‘each fair-one may adorn / Her brow with roses, fearless of the thorn’ (1 (1781): 3), because potential ‘thorn[s]’

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have been expunged. Thus, Harrison rates men and women as equally susceptible to being pricked by a hidden ‘thorn’ among flowers. In this poem, Harrison counters the implication within his ‘Introductory Address’ that only Eves are susceptible to nasties hidden in gardens. Within his own poems, then, Harrison encourages readers to read across volumes in order to challenge apparent meanings. In ‘Conjugal Felicity’ (3 (1782): 1–13), Harrison describes parents educating their children. The wife, with conventional feminine meekness and admiration: with mute attentions sits, And hears her little family receive The seeds of virtue and of science mix’d, Instructive, by the skilful father’s care[.] (3 (1782): 6) Although ‘mute’ during this lesson, elsewhere, she does not ‘neglect to give advice, / Such as she can’ (3 (1782): 6). Harrison qualifies her abilities in teaching: she gives guidance ‘Such as she can.’ The poem also describes how Britons should be proper patriots, and revere the: firm protectors of their country’s rights, When despots would have made a heavy yoke, And bow’d them to the earth! (3 (1782): 4) ‘Dunnotter Castle’ (1 (1781): 200–3) is attributed to ‘Miss Scott’. She has been mistakenly identified as Mary Scott (Holladay 1984: x (f.2)), but it is in fact by Susan Scott, later Carnegie (1743–1821). It had been published in another collection, Lessons in Reading (1780) only a year before it appeared in LPM.16 The poem recounts a moment of triumph in the castle’s history, when, during the Civil War, Ogilvie of Barras, Dunnottar’s lieutenant-governor, refused to surrender to Cromwell’s forces. Illustrious Caledonians, patriots bold! With joy your heroism I rehearse, And give your mem’ry all I can—a verse. (1 (1781):201) Scott/Carnegie celebrates those who are ‘patriots bold’; but instead of doing something heroic herself, she does ‘all I can’, which is ‘rehearse’ the ‘heroism’ of others in ‘verse’, insinuating that the way young women can be ‘patriots’ is to live vicariously through the ‘mem’ry’ of such ‘heroism’. When she invokes to her ‘aid’ the ‘Muse’ of ‘flowing verse’, Scott/Carnegie adopts a traditional feminine passivity in describing her writing. Scott’s/Carnegie’s poem celebrated, in verse, past glories; in his poem in the final volume – ‘A Monody to the Memory of the Seven Innocents . . . Who Were Consumed by Fire . . . January 18, 1782’ (4 (1782): 1–5) – Harrison laments present distress through alluding to past verse. This fire actually occurred, so this poem would have felt very contemporary to readers. The poem opens, ‘Ah! whither, “goddess of the tearful eye,” / Sadly mournful dost thou stray’ (4 (1782): 1). The quotation might

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be from James Grainger’s poem, ‘Solitude’, which appeared in the previous volume (3 (1782): 436–44; 441). Harrison may also be alluding to Joseph Warton’s wellknown ‘Ode to Fancy’, which referred to ‘matron Melancholy, / Goddess of the tearful eye’ (Dodsley 1748, vol. 3: 78–84; 80–1). Melancholy was often characterised as feminine in eighteenth-century poetry – another example is ‘Black Melancholy’ in Pope’s ‘Eloisa to Abelard’, 1717 (Twickenham, vol. 2: 333 (l.165)) – hence, in referring to Melancholy as ‘goddess’, Harrison’s poem is in keeping with the predominant gendering of this affliction, which continues into, for example, John Keats’s depiction in ‘Ode on Melancholy’ (1820). ‘Effusions of Melancholy’ (1 (1781): 443–4) by ‘Miss Roberts’ (which appears to be original to LPM), reverses this with melancholic ‘black Despair’ characterised as a male ‘tyrant’, to whose ‘will’ she is ‘Obedient’: That gloomy tyrant now resumes his seat, O’er my sad soul extends his racking sway; Obedient to his will my pulses beat[.] (1 (1781): 443) Roberts is oppressed by masculine Melancholy; the only respite she foresees is death, where she will ‘Reach the bright mansions of eternal rest’ (1 (1781): 444). Despite this reversal, however, both poems ultimately reinforce traditional gender stereotypes: Harrison’s feminine Melancholy is a ‘Dear Sympathetick maid’ (4 (1782): 2); Roberts’s masculine Melancholy is aggressive and overbearing, and leaves her feeling ‘suppress’d’ (1 (1781): 443). More generally speaking, in LPM, conformist, conventional rhetoric is not confined to male writers. Sally Carter’s ‘Hymn to Prosperity’ (3 (1782): 257), which seems to be an original contribution, is a banal catalogue of the qualities she aspires to possess: O bless me with an honest mind, Above all selfish ends; Humanely warm to all mankind, And cordial to my friends. (3 (1782): 257) Meanwhile, Elizabeth Rowe’s popular ‘Love and Friendship’ (4 (1782): 298–300) stages a dialogue in which two women discuss whether female friendship or romantic love should be one’s muse. That these two women have a right to, and are perfectly capable to write, poetry is taken as read; and yet still, Rowe’s poem would circumscribe women’s poetic space. That women’s poetry might encompass other topics, like politics or war, is ostensibly inconceivable. Other contributions, however, explicitly push against acceptance of conventions, such as Wortley Montagu’s ‘Town Eclogues’ (4 (1782): 182–200), which was ironically described as ‘too womanish’ by Horace Walpole (Grundy 1999: 417).17 This poem jousts with Pope’s ‘Rape of the Lock’ (LPM 3 (1782): 192–215) – and, while Wortley Montagu was less censorious than Pope was of women who lived with double binds she understood, nevertheless, she was equally as sharp a critic of the society in which they lived (Grundy 2006: 184–96). In ‘Rape of the Lock’, Thalestris rages against the futility of the labour that Belinda has put into her toilette in the famous lines:

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Was it for this you took such constant care The bodkin, comb, and essence to prepare? For this your locks in paper durance bound? For this with tort’ring irons wreath’d around? For this with fillets strain’d your tender head, And bravely bore the double loads of lead? (3 (1782): 208–9) Wortley Montagu alludes to these lines, when Roxana, a rebuffed member of ‘the court’, asks: ‘Was it for this, that I these roses wear, / For this new-set the jewels for my hair?’ (4 (1782): 183). Her poem is a satire on those who seek preferment at the expense of their own sense of self, ‘For thee, ah! what for thee did I resign? / My pleasures, passions, all that e’er was mine’ (4 (1782): 183). In ‘Rape of the Lock’, Pope plays with eighteenth-century conventions of Virgilian epic translation in the construction ‘Was it for this’ – the same convention that William Wordsworth later developed in the opening line of his two-part Prelude (Hodgson 1991). There was, by the eighteenth century, a convention in English translations of the Aeneid to formulate Anna’s exclamation at her sister Dido’s suicide thus. In the popular eighteenthcentury translation by Joseph Trapp, for instance, Anna asks ‘Was it for This, / My Sister?’ (1731, vol. 2: 274 (bk IV, ll. 895–6)). Pope undermines Belinda by linguistically comparing her plight with Dido’s.18 Pope draws on eighteenth-century conventions of language for epic translation, in order to stretch the play of his ‘mock-heroick’; similarly, Wortley Montagu uses the same formal construction to riff on Pope’s mockery in her mock-georgic poem. Wortley Montagu shows off her poetic credentials by manipulating ‘high’ literary forms and engaging in politics. Other writers within LPM might not be as overt as Wortley Montagu, but their commitment to contesting gender-norms should not be overlooked. Frances Greville’s ‘Prayer for Indifference’ (LPM 1 (1781): 183–5) was, according to Lonsdale, ‘the most celebrated poem by a woman in the period’ (1989: 190); and yet it challenged one of the fundamental aspects of accepted femininity: sensibility (see McGann 1996: 50–4; and Ingram 2011: 79–80). The eighteenth century saw the two become inextricably linked (see Ellis 1996); as, for example, when Fordyce enjoined women to exercise ‘virtuous sensibility on your part’ (1766, vol. 1: 53). Greville’s poem is sometimes described as a response to her difficult relationship with her husband (Burney 1889, vol. 1: 26). She examines the deep paradox of sensibility: that those ‘who have most to love have most to lose’ (in Hannah More’s words, in Sensibility (1782: 281), in response to Greville’s poem). Instead, Greville resolves: ‘Half-pleas’d, contented will I be, / Content but half to please’ (1 (1781): 185). This couplet breaks in half, with each line serving to highlight the injustice of a woman’s position: the first half concerns a woman being pleased, the second with a woman pleasing others. The first line shows the position that many women have to put up with – that they must choose to accept being ‘contented’ with what makes them only ‘Half-pleas’d’. The second, more controversial statement, is saying that from now on she will be ‘Content . . . to please’ others only by ‘half’ (especially her husband). Fordyce extols in woman ‘an example equally unexceptionable and pleasing’ (1766, vol. 1: 50); Greville subverts the idea that women should seek fully ‘to please’. Together these lines challenge the double standard contained in the inequality of society’s expectations about giving and

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receiving pleasure. Greville herself seems to have projected, perhaps even cultivated, a ‘masculine’ aura: her god-daughter, the novelist Fanny Burney, remarked that ‘Her understanding was truly masculine’ (1832, vol. 1: 56). Greville rejected oppressive femininity, as can be deduced from her unpublished, semi-autobiographical novel, in which Mrs Castletown defends female rationality, in a dialogue with the unpleasant Sir James Saville. Saville opines that he ‘hate[s] Sensible Women, & learned Women . . . Their learning is always inferior to that of a School Boy, & their Sense answers no purpose but to make them presumptuous and dogmatical. They have nothing to do but to be pretty, clean & good humoured.’ Castletown retorts: ‘Obedient you would have added’ (Rizzo 1994: 242). Todd argues that ‘Prayer for Indifference’ is not ‘questioning . . . sensibility’s worth or even . . . [expressing] . . . genuine uneasiness at its connection with femininity, but simply an elegant expression of the very quality it decried’ (1986: 61). More than this, however, Greville attempts to repudiate sensibility, to critique its dangers, even as she acknowledges that she struggles to do so. In questioning sensibility, Greville is de facto questioning femininity; and thus unsettling those who wished femininity to remain unquestioned. Isabella Howard responded to Greville with her own poem, ‘Fairy’s Answer to Mrs Greville’ (1 (1781): 186–8), which Harrison placed immediately after ‘Prayer for Indifference’. In Lonsdale’s words, Howard ‘stressed the positive aspects of “sensibility”’ (1989: 190). By including Grenville’s poem in LPM, Harrison opens up possibilities for his female readers to think about the way in which society conditions their ‘sensibility’; but, in directly following it with Howard’s response, he seems almost immediately to close them down again. The ‘spirit’ in Howard’s poem retorts: why she sends a prayer so new I cannot understand . . . No grain of cold Indifference Was ever yet ally’d to Sense . . . I obey, as others must, Those laws which Fate has made . . . [otherwise] what might be the horrid end[.] (1 (1781): 187–8) The spirit concludes: I dare not change a first decree, She’s doom’d to please, nor can be free! Such is the lot of Beauty. (1 (1781): 188) At first reading, this poem seems to endorse the status quo and to refute Greville’s questioning of a woman’s duty ‘to please’. Yet the tone somehow pulls against this, the resignation in ‘She’s doom’d to please . . . Such is the lot of Beauty’ problematises whether this statement is necessarily true. Moreover, by using the word ‘Beauty’ as a synonym for women, Howard is on one level poking fun at people who see women’s only role as adhering to artificial notions of ‘Beauty’, or that women must be viewed

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as a collective entity. The poem’s final lines have the narrative voice remark that the spirit’s ‘words . . . Imprinted on my mind’ (1 (1781): 188), suggesting that the poet wishes to make a similar impression on readers, who, like Oberon, are left to reflect on whether they agree with the spirit. Hence, while Lonsdale is correct to say that the spirit, with ‘His little voice’, might emphasise ‘the positive aspects of “sensibility”’, it is not clear that the poem as a whole straightforwardly endorses that view. In fact, the poem ‘dare[s]’ readers to push against such ‘a first decree’. Greville’s and Howard’s poems stand in contrast to Thomas Pennant’s ‘Ode to Indifference’ (LPM 4 (1782): 446–7), which does not dare to challenge the idea that ‘Indifference’ is incompatible with proper femininity: ‘Indifference’ is ‘insipid maid’, ‘hated maid’, ‘wanton maid’ (4 (1782): 446). Harrison’s encouragement to readers to scrutinise poems’ meanings extended beyond LPM itself. Toward the end of LPM’s final volume is Elizabeth Sophia Tomlins’s ‘Connal and Mary’ (4 (1782): 385–8), apparently original to LPM, which seeks to urge readers to dissect assumptions about gender roles and subjectivity in writing and reading poetry. The male lover Connal believes he has been betrayed by Mary: this appears to be a standard tale of the ‘wound[ed] . . . faithful lover’ (4 (1782): 387) who has been betrayed by a fickle woman. But the poem was subsequently extended; with what is printed in LPM becoming the first part, and a second poem, ‘Mary and Connal. A Sequel to Connal and Mary’ (1783), detailing Mary’s response to Connal’s criticisms. The latter was printed in Harrison’s British Magazine (3 (July 1783): 49), along with a plug for ‘Harrison’s Collection’ (that is, LPM; note, again the ungendered presentation).19 Perhaps Tomlins apprised Harrison of her plans for a sequel when the first poem was published in LPM; in any event, the second poem undermines the complacency shown by Connal in the first, and suggests that readers should interrogate the views put forward there. Despite any financial pressures he was under, in creating LPM Harrison fashioned a space for women writers that aspired to a greater level of equality than was usual; to grant ‘the Female’s rightful part’ alongside ‘Man’ (1 (1781): 1). It is true that there are ways in which LPM espoused the conventional. Nonetheless, it was above the average for miscellanies in the amount of women’s poetry it included. Moreover, 21 per cent of the poetry by women appears to have been original; in some cases, such as that of Hays and Tomlins, these are the first-time publications of women who would go on to become established writers. Harrison provided a space for female voices unheard before; which was unlike publications, such as PEL-1755, which preferred already ‘celebrated’ authoresses. These previously unheard voices were then incorporated into the ‘eminent’ writers of PEL-c.1785, a significant publication in terms of women’s writing anthologies. Both sexes visibly contribute to the ‘BEAUTIES OF POETRY’. The attributions, moreover, imply that women deserve a public voice and identity, and should not have to be hidden behind the anonymous sobriquet ‘By a Lady’. The divergent views conveyed, across the wide range of poems thrown together cheek by jowl, encourages readers to read them in dialogue with each other, and so compare, assess, agree, or disagree with the disparate stances on display. LPM fashions a space that encourages readers, of whichever sex, to read across the volumes to appraise competing ideas of ‘female-ness’, to evaluate disparate perspectives on what women should write about, and, ultimately, allows them the freedom to draw their own conclusions.

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Notes 1. See Rose 1993; Saunders 1992; and Woodmansee and Jaszi 1994. 2. Except where explicit, I use ‘magazine’, ‘miscellany’, ‘anthology’, ‘compendium’, ‘collection’ etc. interchangeably; although I acknowledge the distinctions between them, that is not my focus (see Benedict 1996: 3). 3. Claire Knowles, elsewhere in this volume, examines how newspapers provided sympathetic editorial support likely to encourage women, especially, to pursue literary careers. 4. Despite the title’s claim to originality, it was in fact a collection of works already separately issued (1716–17) bound together, as testified by the non-linear pagination. It includes four pages that list ‘Poetry Lately Published’ ‘All Printed for E. Curll’ (1718: approx. 240–3). 5. In 1760, twenty-two British publications were published called ‘Magazine’; in 1770, nineteen; in 1780, eighteen; in 1790, thirty; and in 1800, forty-three (data from Crane and Kaye 1979). 6. Gender can be identified either through titles (‘Miss’, ‘Mrs’, ‘Mr’ etc.), or through the suffix ‘Esq’, or through the given qualifications that were only available to men (‘Dr’, ‘LLD’, ‘MA’, etc.). Although Mallet’s ‘Amyntor and Theodora’ (1 (1781): 218–58) does not have a specified author, its dedication ‘To Mrs Mallet’, who the first line refers to as ‘faithful partner’ (1 (1781): 218), makes his identity and gender clear. 7. ‘Providence’ is from Spectator no. 441; ‘Gratitude’ is from no. 453; and ‘Creation’ is from no. 465. 8. Laetitia Pilkington’s ‘Trial of Constancy’, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s ‘Town Eclogues’, and Carter’s ‘To a Gentleman’. 9. It is uncertain who ‘Miss Roberts’ is. Lavoie suggests it might be ‘Rachel Roberts’ (1999: 319). Ashfield has suggested one ‘Elizabeth Roberts’, as well as contributing, actually edited LPM, although he provides no evidence for this; Ashfield also suggests that Mary Hays may have co-edited LPM, although again, he provides no evidence for this (1997–8, vol. 1: 29). Another possibility is Radagunda Roberts, who wrote for various magazines, including the Lady’s Magazine in the 1770s (see DiPlacidi 2016). 10. The PEL-c.1785 title page has no publication date, but does state that it was printed by W. Stafford, known to have been active in the publishing trade in 1784–5 (Suarez 2001: 247 (f.12)). The ESTC assigns a date of ‘1785?’ Ostensibly ‘A New Edition’ of PEL was published in 1773, although this was actually a reissuing of remaining sheets from 1755 (Suarez 2001: 224). 11. Ode, both ascribe to ‘Mrs Darwall’; Ode to May, both to ‘Miss Whately’; and, Pleasures of Contemplation, LPM attributes to ‘Mrs Darwal, formerly Miss Whatley’, PEL-c.1785 simply to ‘Miss Whately’; perhaps the spelling mistake meant that the connection was not made. The division is particularly odd in PEL-c.1785, which lists her as two separate authors. 12. My counting differs from Bonnell’s (2008: 322). He counts Wortley Montagu’s ‘Town Eclogues’ as six poems, for example, whereas I consider it as one. Likewise, I count William Collins’s ‘Oriental Eclogues’ as one poem. This is because Harrison treats them each as one item in the indices (4 (1782): 476; 2 (1781): 477). 13. Of sixty contributions overall, ten are novels by women (16.7 per cent), and one is a translation of a female writer (1.7 per cent). Thus, contributions by women total 18.4 per cent. 14. See, for example, Whateley’s/Darwall’s ‘Hymn to Solitude’: ‘Then let me range the shadowy lawns’ and ‘Let me invoke the Pastoral Muse’ (1 (1781): 311–13). See also William Shenstone’s ‘Pastoral Ballad’: ‘Nay, on him [a rival lover] let not Phyllida frown; / —But I cannot allow her to smile’ (1 (1781): 148–55). 15. Evidence to support the idea that Mrs Collier (and Mary Hays) was personally known to Harrison comes from Harrison’s British Magazine. In March 1783 appears ‘Verses on the

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17. 18. 19.

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Birth-Day of Miss Hays. May 4, 1781. By Mrs. Collier’ (2: 218). I have been unable to find this poem published elsewhere. The poem was later published in the Auguest 1796 Aberdeen Magazine (143–5), in which it was attributed to ‘Miss Scott of Benholm, (Now Mrs Carnegie of Charlestown)’, that is, Charleton House, in Montrose. It does not seem to have been widely printed; the letter prefixed to the poem reads ‘the following beautiful Poem is now become very scarce’. The attribution is corroborated by Mackie’s assertion that the poem emanates ‘from the pen of the pious and accomplished Mrs Carnegie of Charlton’ (1849: 292). From Mackie we learn ‘The date of the original MS. is 1763.’ See also Cormack (1966: 34). It is not clear how Harrison found the poem, given that Lessons in Reading was published in Aberdeen. Perhaps Scott/Carnegie was helped by James Beattie, with whom she corresponded as Arethusa. Beattie’s Retirement appears in the same volume of LPM as Scott’s/Carnegie’s poem (1 (1781): 215–8). Alternatively, it could be that Harrison himself read Lessons in Reading; the title page states it was ‘sold’ by ‘J. Bew, No. 28, Paternoster Row, London’, the Harrisons were based at No. 8 Paternoster Row. Authorship disputed: see Grundy (1999: 104–7). Compare Griffin (1995: 105–6). Tomlins’s contribution to LPM could well have been her first publication in print. Previously it has been thought that the novel Conquests of the Heart (1785) was her debut in print (see ODNB). Both poems, renamed, were later reprinted in Tributes of Affection (1797): ‘Connal’, attributed to ‘S. 1782’ (103–5); and ‘Mary’, attributed to ‘S. 1783’ (106–8).

Works Cited The Aberdeen Magazine; Or, Universal Repository 1796–8. Aberdeen. Addison, Joseph and Richard Steele. 1965. The Spectator. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Ashfield, Andrew, ed. 1997–8. Romantic Women Poets. Rev. 2nd edn. 2 vols. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Austen, Jane. 2003. Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon. Ed. James Kinsley and John Davie. Oxford: Oxford University Press. —. 2004. Pride and Prejudice. Ed. James Kinsley. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Benedict, Barbara M. 1996. Making the Modern Reader: Cultural Mediation in Early Modern Literary Anthologies. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Bonnell, Thomas. 2008. The Most Disreputable Trade: Publishing the Classics of English Poetry 1765–1810. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Boswell, James. 1980. Life of Johnson. Ed. R. W. Chapman. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Burney, Frances. 1832. Memoirs of Doctor Burney: Arranged from his Own Manuscripts, from Family Papers, and from Personal Recollections. 3 vols. London: Edward Moxon. —. 1889. The Early Diary of Frances Burney, 1768–1778. Ed. Annie Raine Ellis. 2 vols. London: G. Bell & Sons. Campbell Orr, Clarissa. 2002. ‘Queen Charlotte: Scientific Queen’. Queenship in Britain, 1660–1837: Royal Patronage, Court Culture and Dynastic Politics. Ed. Clarissa Campbell Orr. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 236–66. Collection of the Best Modern Poems. 1771. London: n. pub. Cormack, Alexander Allan. 1966. Susan Carnegie, 1744–1821: Her Life of Service. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. Cowper/Madan, Judith. ‘Commonplace Book’. Bodleian Library. MS.Eng.misc.d.636. Crane, R. S., and F. B. Kaye. 1979. A Census of British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1620–1800. London: Holland Press.

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Creech, William, ed. 1773–6. The British Poets. 44 vols. Edinburgh: A. Kincaid and W. Creech, and J. Balfour. Curll, Edmund, ed. 1718. Ladies Miscellany. Consisting of Original Poems, by the Most Eminent Hands . . . To which are added, Court-Poems, on Several Occasions. London: E. Curll. Digital Miscellanies Index. University of Oxford. (last accessed 16 Dec 2016). DiPlacidi, Jenny. 29 February 2016: (last accessed 16 Dec 2016). Dodsley, Robert, ed. 1748. A Collection of Poems in Three Volumes, By Several Hands. 3 vols. London: J. Hughs for R. Dodsley. Ellis, Markman. 1996. The Politics of Sensibility: Race, Gender and Commerce in the Sentimental Novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Elphinston, James, ed. 1764. A Collection of Poems, From the Best Authors. London: James Bettenham. Ezell, Margaret. 1993. Writing Women’s Literary History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Fara, Patricia. 2002. ‘Elizabeth Tollet: A New Newtonian Woman’. History of Science 40.2: 169–87. Fielding, Sarah. 1744. The Adventures of David Simple. 2 vols. London: A. Millar. Fordyce, James. 1766. Sermons to Young Women. 2 vols. London: A. Millar and T. Cadell, J. Dodsley, and J. Payne. Forster, Antonia, ed. 1990. Index to Book Reviews in England, 1749–1774. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Gamer, Michael. 2008. ‘Select Collection: Barbauld, Scott, and the Rise of the (Reprinted) Novel’. Recognizing the Romantic Novel: New Histories of British Fiction, 1780–1830. Ed. Jillian Heydt-Stevenson and Charlotte Sussman. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. 155–91. Goldsmith, Oliver, ed. 1767. Poems for Young Ladies. In Three Parts. Devotional, Moral, and Entertaining. The Whole Being a Collection of the Best Pieces in Our Language. London: J. Payne. Griffin, Robert. 1995. Wordsworth’s Pope: A Study in Literary Historiography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Grundy, Isobel. 1999. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: Comet of the Enlightenment. Oxford: Oxford University Press. —. 2006. ‘Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Six Town Eclogues and Other Poems’. A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry. Ed. Christine Gerrard. Oxford: Blackwell. 184–96. Hansen, Mascha. 2013. ‘Scientifick Wives – Eighteenth-Century Women Between Self, Society and Science’. Discovering the Human: Life Science and the Arts in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries. Ed. Ralf Haekel and Sabine Blackmore. Göttingen: V&R Unipress. 53–68. Harrison, Guy. 1950. Harrison: A Family Imprint. London: Harrison & Sons. Harrison, James, ed. 1780–8. The Novelist’s Magazine. London. —. 1781–2; 91. The Lady’s Poetical Magazine; Or, Beauties of British Poetry. London. —. 1782–3. The British Magazine and Review; Or, Universal Miscellany of Arts, Sciences, Literature, History, Biography, Entertainment, Poetry, Politics, Manners, Amusements, and Intelligence Foreign and Domestick. London. —. 1785–7. Harrison’s British Classicks. —. 1795–6? The Lady’s Pocket Magazine; Or, Elegant and Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex. London. Hays, Mary. 1793. Letters and Essays, Moral, and Miscellaneous. London: T. Knott.

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—. 1798. Appeal to the Men of Great Britain in Behalf of Women. London: J. Johnson and J. Bell. Hodgson, John. 1991. ‘“Was It for This . . .?”: Wordsworth’s Virgilian Questionings’. Texas Studies in Literature and Language 33.2: 125–36. Hooke, Robert. 1665. Micrographia; Or, Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses: With Observations and Inquiries Thereupon. London: Jo. Martyn and Ja. Allestry. Ingram, Allan. 2011. Melancholy Experience in Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century: Before Depression, 1660–1800. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Johnson, Samuel. [1799–81] 2006. The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets; with Critical Observations on their Works. Ed. Roger Lonsdale. 4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Jones, Vivien, ed. 1990. Women in the Eighteenth Century: Constructions of Femininity. London: Routledge. Keats, John. 1978. The Poems of John Keats. Ed. Jack Stillinger. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. The Ladies Magazine: Or, The Universal Entertainer. 1749–53. London. The Lady’s Magazine; Or, Polite Companion for the Fair Sex. 1759–63. London. The Lady’s Magazine; Or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated Solely to Their Use and Amusement. 1770–1832. London. Lavoie, Chantel. 1999. ‘Poems by Eminent Ladies: A Study of an Eighteenth-Century Anthology’. PhD thesis, University of Toronto. —. 2009. Collecting Women: Poetry and Lives, 1700–1780. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press. Lessons in Reading; or, Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose and Verse, Selected from the Best English Authors. 1780. Aberdeen: Joseph Taylor. The London Chronicle. 1757–1800. London. Lonsdale, Roger, ed. 1989. Eighteenth Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. McGann, Jerome. 1996. The Poetics of Sensibility: A Revolution in Literary Style. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Mackie, Charles. 1849. The Castles, Palaces and Prisons of Mary of Scotland. London: C. Cox. Monthly Review. 1759–89. London. More, Hannah. 1782. Sacred Dramas: Chiefly Intended for Young Persons: The Subjects taken from the Bible. To which is added, Sensibility, A Poem. London: T. Cadell. Poems by Eminent Ladies. 1755. Ed. George Colman and Bonnell Thornton. 2 vols. London: R. Baldwin. Poems by the Most Eminent Ladies of Great-Britain and Ireland . . . Selected, with an Account of the Writers, by G. Colman and B. Thornton, Esqrs. A New Edition. 1773. 2 vols. London: T. Becket & Co. and T. Evans. Poems by the Most Eminent Ladies of Great Britain and Ireland. Re-Published from the Collection of G. Colman and B. Thornton. With Considerable Alterations, Additions, and Improvements. c.1785. 2 vols. London: W. Stafford. Pope, Alexander. 1961–9. Twickenham Edition of the Poems of Alexander Pope. Ed. John Butt et al. 11 vols. London: Methuen. Ready, Kathryn. 2004. ‘“What then, Poor Beastie!”: Gender, Politics, and Animal Experimentation in Anna Barbauld’s The Mouse’s Petition’. Eighteenth-Century Life 28.1: 92–114. Rees, Thomas. 1896. Reminiscences of Literary London, from 1779 to 1853. With Interesting Anecdotes of Publishers, Authors and Book Auctioneers of that Period, &c. &c. With Extensive Additions by John Britton. Edited by a Book Lover. London: Suckling & Galloway. Rizzo, Betty. 1994. Companions Without Vows: Relationships Among Eighteenth-Century British Women. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

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Rose, Mark. 1993. Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Saunders, David. 1992. Authorship and Copyright. London: Routledge. Scott, Mary. 1984. The Female Advocate; A Poem. Occasioned by Reading Mr. Duncombe’s Feminead. (1774). Ed. Gae Holladay. UCLA, LA: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. Shevelow, Kathryn. 1989. Women and Print Culture: The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London and New York: Routledge. Shiells, Robert. 1753. The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland, to the Time of Dean Swift. Compiled from Ample Materials Scattered in a Variety of Books. 5 vols. London: R. Griffiths. Steele, Richard. 1987. The Tatler. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Suarez, Michael. 2001. ‘The Production and Consumption of the Eighteenth-Century Poetic Miscellany’. Books and their Readers in Eighteenth-Century England: New Essays. Ed. Isabel Rivers. Leicester: Leicester University Press. 217–51. Taylor, Richard. 1993. ‘James Harrison, The Novelist’s Magazine, and the Early Canonising of the English Novel’. Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 33.3: 629–43. Todd, Janet. 1986. Sensibility: An Introduction. London: Methuen. Tomlins, Elizabeth Sophia. 1785. The Conquests of the Heart. 3 Vols. Dublin: Price, S. Watson, Moncrieffe, Jenkin, Walker, Burton, Burnet, White, Byrne, H. Whitestone, Parker, Marchbank, Colbert, and W. Porter. Tomlins, Elizabeth Sophia, and Thomas Tomlins. 1797. Tributes of Affection: with The Slave; and Other Poems. By a Lady; and Her Brother. London: H. and C. Baldwin. Trapp, Joseph, trans. 1731. The Works of Virgil: Translated into English Blank Verse. With Large Explanatory Notes, and Critical Observations. 3 vols. London. J. Brotherton, J. Hazard, W. Meadows, T. Cox, W. Hinchliffe, T. Astley, S. Austen, L. Gilliver, and R. Willock. Walker, Gina Luria, ed. 2006. The Idea of Being Free: A Mary Hays Reader. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press. Wollstonecraft, Mary. 1995. A Vindication of the Rights of Men; with A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and Hints. Ed. Sylvana Tomaselli. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Woodmansee, Martha, and Peter Jaszi, eds. 1994. The Construction of Authorship: Textual Appropriation in Law and Literature. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Wordsworth, William. 1977. The Prelude, 1798–1799. Ed. Stephen Parrish. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

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Part III Periodicals Nationally and Internationally

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Periodicals Nationally and Internationally: Introduction

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ürgen Habermas’s thesis (1991), that in the eighteenth century a literary public sphere gave rise to a bourgeois, democratic public sphere, has of late been regarded with a scepticism that places it somewhere between heavily qualified and a canard; most models now posit at a minimum multiple overlapping public spheres – and yet it is impossible to regard the modern landscape of periodical studies without giving the important role Habermas’s model played in shaping their prominence some due. The essays in Part III engage, both implicitly and explicitly, how periodicals think about their (and their authors’) role in national and transnational public spheres. To begin with, despite the ubiquitous tendency on the part of periodical authors to claim theirs is a studied and genteel neutrality, the role of partisan politics in providing reasons for periodicals to write is hard to overstate, and, crucially, this is true for women as well as for men. When Delarivier Manley silently took over the Tory Examiner from Jonathan Swift in 1711, she may very well have become the first woman to edit a major English periodical – and she did so much less for feminism than on behalf of Harley’s ministry. But as Rachel Carnell shows, this does not mean that she approached her editorship in the same way as the faux-cordial Swift or their rival Medley (1710–12) editor, Arthur Maynwaring. Rather, Manley channels the position of partisan outsider that is her default as a political woman writer to bring into relief a ‘public sphere that included exchanges not merely between educated male “Friends” but among a broader set of voices’ that included those like her own. Denied access to major masculine public sphere venues like the coffee house, Manley effectively found other routes to serve her ambitions, using wit and gossip in place of the old boys’ network. From the other major political party, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wrote her first periodical essay in secret for the Spectator (no. 573: 28 July 1714) and later launched her own (mostly) pro-Walpole vehicle, the Nonsense of Commonsense (1737–8). Isobel Grundy delivers a masterful long view of Montagu’s surprisingly diverse, and successfully secret, periodical writing career; the vision of Montagu that emerges from her readings shows a thoughtful combination of patriotism and independentmindedness. We are used to imagining Montagu as outspoken even in the face of male castigation; but it is only through periodical writing that we can also see her as a bona fide professional writer. Periodical writing is always hyperaware of its professional, reader-dependent status. Even without a pointed political topic like those that helped provoke Manley and Montagu, English periodicals are always cognisant that theirs is an English – occasionally British – audience. But this English readership does not exist in exclusion of, or opposition to, the rich Continental print culture; rather they are very much in conversation. In a typical example, while referencing some lauded French conduct writers, the Young Lady’s (1756) Euphrosine laments the lack of ‘perspicuity in their argumentations’, such that it is a ‘great pity that those gentlemen whose opinion . . .

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gives laws to almost all the polite courts of Europe, should not take care to be more explicite [sic] in the rules they lay down’. Interestingly, ‘all the polite courts of Europe’ seems to include the English one, for, Euphrosine notes, the English belles and beaux ‘are liable to fall into very gross mistakes on . . . account’ of French imprecision – that is, the essay is not contrasting French with English writing; it is worrying about the effects of French style on English and other readers (Haywood 2001, no. 2 (13 Jan 1756): 279). Nor was French the only important intertext for anglophone periodicals. Alessa Johns explains that German women writers were very consistently covered in English periodicals. Importing German books was arduous business, but periodical notice (though it was not always positive) meant that mainstream English audiences could still be conversant with German literary trends, including the work of at least a dozen women. While German women authors were, like English women authors, treated differently from male counterparts, still most periodical treatments ‘stressed connection and the cultural illumination that translation can accomplish’. Part of the turn to German subjects stemmed from the problem that war with France somewhat dampened the appetite for and accessibility of French writing. And yet European war, such a frequent event across the eighteenth century, as a general rule served to fuel periodical writings’ engagement with the Continent. As Catherine Ingrassia reminds us, Haywood’s major periodical writing was all undertaken during wartime, and is highly conscious of that fact: her work, rather than enforcing a separation between women and matters military, serves to ‘illustrate how England’s military engagements shape the British character and the construction of gender’. Even and especially for women, there is no attempt to interrogate a national identity kept isolated from an international one, though there is a sense that the sexes may engage national questions differently. In Chapter 13 of this volume, JoEllen DeLucia memorably explains, ‘globalism in the eighteenth century was scaled differently for different audiences’, with the magazine acting as an innovator in finding new ways to remediate and transculturate between global texts and the gendered reading publics they served. If the Lady’s Magazine might seem to make the world ‘a smaller and more delicate place’, it simultaneously extended the reaches of women’s sphere far beyond domestic borders. All of these essays together show periodicals trying to shape national taste and character by engaging the question of who is authorised to speak and write publicly, and why. Most importantly these chapters make absolutely clear that periodicals are not reactive, but productive forces in such debates.

Works Cited Habermas, Jürgen. 1991. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Haywood, Eliza. 2001. The Young Lady. The Selected Works of Eliza Haywood, Set 1. Vol. 3. The Wife, the Husband, and The Young Lady. Ed. Alexander Pettit and Margo Collins. London: Pickering & Chatto.

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9 Protesting the Exclusivity of the Public Sphere: Delarivier Manley’s EXAMINER Rachel Carnell

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s the narrator of the Spectator opines in the inaugural issue of 1 March 1711: ‘I have observed that a reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure until he knows whether the writer of it be a black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition, married or a bachelor’ (Addison (1711) 1987, vol. 1: 1). The author behind this voice, Joseph Addison, like many periodical writers of his era, provides clues about himself but not a complete or accurate description, nor even full disclosure that there was more than one author writing as ‘the’ Spectator. The seemingly authentic voice of the first-person narrator is, as Manushag N. Powell terms it, an ‘eidolon’ that gestures toward ‘the existence of an author, but it does not follow that [it is] meant to disclose the truth of the author’ (2012: 26). This type of eidolon, Powell suggests, is a performance that both reveals and conceals the actual author and creates ‘gaps between object and ideal’ (26). Such gaps thus may call attention to differences between the ostensibly universalising humanism of the eighteenth-century public sphere, as theorised by Jürgen Habermas, and the de facto limits to such ‘universality’ that many other scholars have identified (Wilson 1995: 75–7; Derrida (1994) 1997: 279–81).1 As Jacques Derrida observes in The Politics of Friendship, the ideal of equality at the ground of civic engagement resides in a notion of friendship and equality between citizens: ‘We would not be together in a sort of minimal community . . . speaking the same language or praying for translation within the horizon of the same language, if only to manifest disagreement, if a sort of friendship had not already been sealed before any other contract’ (1997: 236). Writers like Richard Steele and Joseph Addison, in the voices of their eidolons, address their readers as if they might be friends chatting together at Will’s Coffee-house. In underscoring the bond of ‘friendship’ that is at the heart of the public sphere, Derrida also acknowledges the ‘double exclusion we can see at work in all the great ethico-politico-philosophical discourses on friendship, namely, on the one hand, the exclusion of friendship between women, and, on the other hand, the exclusion of friendship between a man and a woman’ (1997: 278–9). Perhaps because of these exclusions, eidolons could be violently at odds with their creators (Powell 2012: 26). Eliza Haywood, for example, took on the eidolon of a green parrot in her Parrot (1746), adopting a perspective that allowed her to emphasise her many-faceted exclusion as a woman and a Jacobite sympathiser concerned about the executions of those involved in the 1745 Rising (Carnell 1998: 205–6). When the Tory secret historian Delvarivier Manley in June 1711 replaced Jonathan Swift as author of the Examiner – which ran as a propaganda vehicle for Robert

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Harley’s ministry from September 1710 through July 1711 – she was no longer writing from the position of partisan outsider (as she had been in 1709 and 1710 when writing against the Whig ministry in her political secret histories), since the Tories had just retaken control of Anne’s Ministry and won a majority in Parliament. Nevertheless, by ventriloquising the eidolon developed by Jonathan Swift over the previous six months, Manley entered anonymously, but as an outsider, the public (male) sparring match that Swift, as the (Tory) Examiner, was engaged in against Arthur Maynwaring (and sometimes John Oldmixon), author of the (Whig) periodical, the Medley – which ran from October 1710 through July 1711, as a response and rebuttal to the Examiner. Although Manley adopted the eidolon of the implicitly male Examiner, she resisted the assumption that there was a tacit bond of friendship between her and her political opponent, probably because she knew she did not have the same classical education or access to the same political clubs and coffee houses as either her opponent at the Medley or her predecessors at the Examiner. Like Swift and Maynwaring, Manley regularly addresses her partisan opponent as ‘Friend’ in an ironic acknowledgement that they are not partisan friends, but political opponents. However, she pushes against the category of friend more intensely than Swift and Maynwaring had previously done. Through her focus on the falseness of this use of ‘Friend’, Manley underscores the sameness even among partisan opponents in the public sphere, as well as the difference between norms of male friendship – which allowed public sparring and self-serving ambition – and those of female friendship – which demanded more self-effacement. When we compare her eidolon in the Examiner with the eidolon in her earlier epistolary work Letters Writen [sic] by Mrs. Manley (1696), we see how Manley’s vision of a public sphere included exchanges not merely between educated male ‘Friends’ but among a broader set of voices, including those – like herself – writing from the margins of polite society and at the gendered edge of public political discourse.

The Examiner and his ‘Friends’ As a gentlewoman and daughter of a royalist military commander, yet excluded from polite society because of her personal life, Manley was, by 1711, also something of a celebrity as the author of the bestselling Memoirs and Manners . . . from the New Atalantis (1709), a gossipy secret history that targeted the most prominent members of the social and political elite. Writing in the format of a political secret history – an anecdotal and fragmentary genre that undermines the grand narratives of those in power – Manley related steamy gossip about powerful Whigs that she had gleaned from former royal mistresses and friends from the theatre. Yet she did not deploy an authorial eidolon outside of her dedicatory prefaces, but instead muted her own voice, probably as a strategy (albeit unsuccessful) to avoid a charge of libel for The New Atalantis (Carnell 2015: 12). Instead, Manley used the narrative frame of the travelogue in which the visiting deity Astrea returns to Earth to take a tour of the corruption at the heart of the New Atalantis (England) and in particular Angela (London); Lady Intelligence and others relate court gossip to Virtue and Astrea. Manley produced her brilliant political satire through multivocal framing rather than through the voice of a single Swiftian eidolon – whether the ‘“personated” narrator’ of ‘the Grubian Sage of A Tale of a Tub’ or ‘the gentleman-astrologer Isaac Bickerstaf Esq.’ (Ellis 1985: xxxiv).

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In the first issue of the Examiner that Manley authored (no. 7), written in September 1710 (before Swift began his stint as Examiner), she was still writing in the mode of a Tory secret historian calling attention to the Whigs’ falseness to Queen Anne, whom she represents as the King of Sweden imprisoned by the Turks. In an issue designed as propaganda before the upcoming parliamentary election, Manley explains in the voice of the Examiner that the King of Sweden (Queen Anne) has escaped from Bender to return to ‘His old and true Friends’ (7–14 Sep 1710: 3), i.e. the Tories – as Queen Anne did metaphorically by dismissing the powerful Whig ministers Robert, Earl of Sunderland and Sidney, Earl of Godolphin earlier that year.2 In this passage, Manley’s use of the word ‘Friend’ does not function in the universalising sense that Derrida understands but in the more partisan sense of political ally. She then finishes the issue in the voice of the ‘correspondent from Bender’ in an ostensible first-hand account of the King of Sweden’s escape. Here she again demonstrates her skill at producing satire through the voice of someone other than her own eidolon. In June 1711, with the Tories securely in control of Parliament, Manley formally took over responsibility for the Examiner from Jonathan Swift, possibly at the request of Robert Harley (Herman 2003: 134), who had just been made Earl of Oxford. Manley concludes no. 46 (understood to have been started by Swift) by observing ‘how little those Writers for the Whigs were guided by Conscience or Honour, their Business being only to gratify a prevailing Interest’ (7–14 June 1711: 7). In this issue she again turns to the voice of a fictitious persona, this time the author of a ‘humble Petition’ of the Whig pamphleteers now out of work, who offer ‘to write in Defence of the late Change of Ministry and Parliament, much cheaper than they did for your Predecessor, which your Honours were pleas’d to refuse’ (8). She then insults ‘the Author of the Medley’ as ‘a Dunce out of his Element, pretending to intermeddle with Raillery and Irony, wherein he has no manner of Taste or Understanding’. As she explains, ‘His Irony consists of the Words MY FRIEND.’ She adds, ‘Does he think that when he says, my impious Friend, my stupid Friend, and the like . . . that it is either Wit, Humour, or Satyr?’ (9). While the phrase ‘MY FRIEND’ had been used ironically by both Swift and Maynwaring during the previous six months of their political sparring, their exchange was nevertheless marked by civility. Maynwaring may refer to the Examiner as having ‘little Wit, and less Judgment’ and claim that he has ‘never heard one Person of his own side speak the least kind word of him, or his Performers’ (Medley no. 12 (18 Dec 1710): 106), but he was probably aware of the popularity of the Examiner and the frequency with which it was cited (Ellis 1985: xlviii).3 In other words, even when Swift and Maywnwaring seem to be calling each other ‘Friend’ ironically, there remains an underlying ground of friendship between these two classically educated men. They moved in some of the same circles (both were friends of Richard Steele) and were familiar with the rhetoric on both sides of the partisan divide: Maynwaring had started life as a Jacobite and then converted to the Whig cause, while Swift had initially identified as a Whig until Robert Harley (who had also begun his career as a Whig) persuaded him to take up his pen for the Tory ministry in the fall of 1710 (viewing themselves less as Tories than as Old Whigs). When Maynwaring teases Swift for expressing the desire that his ‘Papers, reduc’d into a more durable Form, shou’d live till our Grandchildren are Men’ (Medley no. 12 (18 Dec 1710): 106), he is also acknowledging the desire that both of these

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men shared: that their satire and their reputations as writers might outlive them. Maynwaring, of course, is taking Swift’s phrase out of context, since Swift had merely speculated that ‘if these Papers . . . should happen to live ‘till our Grandchildren are Men’, he hopes they would ‘consult Annals, and compare Dates’ (Examiner no. 19 (7 Dec 1710): 84–5, emphasis added) to make sure they understood which party was correctly using facts in their cause.4 Maynwaring’s irony seems heavy when he refers to the ‘durable Form’ of the Examiner that Swift hopes might be correctly contextualised by future generations of readers: ‘What a Present is here intended for the future Republick of Letters!’ (Medley no. 12 (18 Dec 1710): 106). However ironically weighted, this comment nevertheless acknowledges a truth of what both men clearly understood they were attempting to create: a rational ‘Republick of Letters’, an idealised exchange of ideas, which Jürgen Habermas would subsequently describe as part of the bourgeois public sphere (1991). They also knew that a reprinting in ‘durable Form’ of periodicals such as theirs was a definite possibility: the Tatler, which Steele had recently discontinued, was already being reprinted in a four-volume set during the winter and spring of 1710 to 1711. Delarivier Manley herself, a friend of Jonathan Swift (who regularly dined with her and her printer, John Barber, at Barber’s home and printing house – where Manley lived from about 1709 until her death in 1724) had been a close friend of Richard Steele in the late 1690s and might well have known Maynwaring through the world of the theatre (Manley had produced plays in 1696 and 1707 and Maynwaring was the lover of the actress Anne Oldfield). Manley had at least once sought patronage from the Whig Montagu family (Carnell 2008: 147), so she would seem to have been well positioned to take up her voice as an oppositional ‘Friend’ who understood both sides in this Whig-Tory sparring match being played out by Swift and Maynwaring. However, when she took up the pen of the Examiner, Manley was not armed with the same classical education as Swift. She was well read and fluent in current political affairs; she also knew how to give the appearance of more classical learning than she possessed by strategically drawing from Politeuphuia, Wits Commonwealth. Or a Treasury of Divine, Moral, Historical, and Political Admonitions, Similes, and Sentences (Carnell 2008: 61). Nevertheless, the tacit epistolary friendship that was at the heart of the civil exchange of details about the ‘facts’ of the late Whig ministry was not something that she could take for granted as someone who was neither male, nor classically educated, nor welcome as a writer and a wit in the coffee houses that her male peers frequented. Derrida’s point that women have long been excluded from the male-male friendship at the heart of the public sphere is strikingly illustrated in Manley’s case. When Swift was writing his issues of the Examiner, he was invited to attend the meetings of the ‘Saturday Club’ at Robert Harley’s home. Manley was supposed to write as if informed by the same position of insider knowledge although her only access to it would have been through the gossip provided by the printer John Barber, with whom she was living (Carnell 2008: 206). In other words, Manley’s access to the male world of political gossip that she was expected to spin into a periodical occurred mainly through her relationship with Barber, born into a lower social rank than she, although well connected with the Tories whose works he printed. Maynwaring, writing the Whig Medley, was a member of the Kit-Cat Club, like Richard Steele; moreover, Swift and Maynwaring had long moved within the same literary circles, even if they were

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not members of the same partisan club in 1711. Meanwhile Manley was excluded, by her gender, from membership in any political club. In Examiner no. 47, Manley compliments Queen Anne’s recent speech and then offers a critique of the moral evil of ‘Avarice’, praising God that the Queen is now ‘free’ of the influence of her avaricious ministers and favourites. Manley also disparages the former Ministry’s fiscal policies, and its dependence on expensive ‘Publick Credit’, as well as the late excessive Growth of Infidelity, Heresy and Profaneness (14–21 June 1711: 12–13). Manley alludes to earlier numbers of the Examiner in which she claims to have ‘formerly . . . touched upon the nature of this Synod, and their Divisions’ (14–21 June 1711: 13), referring to issues authored by Swift. Overall, however, no. 47 reiterates previous points rather than offering fresh satire. Manley’s particular skill as a satirist lay in her ability to imagine a scene and to depict the thought process of the figures she was satirising, either through a first-person narrator or through shifts into free indirect discourse. She might put herself inside the head of a victim of Whig avarice – as she does in the New Atalantis when recounting the stories of young women seduced and deceived by powerful politicians. She could just as easily voice the thoughts of an ambitious Whig minister; she succinctly expresses in a passage in The New Atalantis both the pleasure and the still unsatisfied ambition that William Bentinck must feel after he has been made Duke of Portland: ‘’Twas Glorious to be a Sovereign Prince, tho’ but of a Petty State!’ (Manley 2005, vol. 2: 36; Carnell 2015: 13). Yet in the issues of the Examiner in which she narrates from a single eidolon, Manley’s satire is less sharp than when she ironically takes on the voice of opposing political position. In the next issue of the Examiner (no. 48), as if realising that the single didactic narrator did not best suit her satirical talent, Manley introduces other narrators through the means of letters ostensibly written to her periodical, observing that there was a ‘Fashion’ among those with ‘Wit’ and ‘Leisure’ to write to ‘us Weekly Writers’ (21–8 June 1711: 17). One of her putative correspondents is a Whig whose letter she includes in full, as she explains, so that he will not ‘charge me with unfair Quotation’ (19). In this letter, the Whig advises her to ‘renounce the Tories, and come over to Us’ (19). The Examiner’s first foray into writing for the Whigs, this Whig advises, should be to ‘write a Treatise which will be very fashionable and useful, call’d The Art of shifting Sides’ (19). He provides a rough draft of a dedication, addressed ‘To all Honest WHIG Gentlemen, and virtuous WHIG-Ladies, in and about the Cities and Liberties of London and Westminster’ (19). Here, as in her earlier secret histories, Manley takes the reader inside the head of one of her political opponents. In this case, her ever-pragmatic (and clearly fictitious) Whig correspondent points out that ‘the Tories [have] as Many Interests, as there are Persons’ while ‘we [the Whigs] have but One’ (19). Her correspondent insists that ‘the many unanswerable Steps you have taken for the Good of the Nation’ may be explained by simple avarice: ‘your Concern for the Publick Credit, and your Readiness to advance Mony [sic] upon great Emergencies’ (20). In suggesting that the Whigs’ main concern has been advancement of their own financial interests, under the guise of public credit and the public good, Manley emphasises the narrowness of their positions in contrast to the ‘many Interests’ the Tories represent. Ruth Herman has suggested that Manley’s task, when taking over as author of the Examiner, was probably to try to unify and appease the multiple different factions of the Tory party (2003: 149). As a secret historian, recounting anecdotes

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in the voices of multiple narrators, Manley had long been appealing to different Tory factions: she had dedicated her New Atalantis to a known Jacobite Tory (the Duke of Beaufort) but had been ambiguous as to which young prince – James Edward Stuart or George of Hanover – the visiting goddess Astrea had come to Earth to educate as the nation’s future leader (Carnell 2008: 169). Jean McBain suggests, in analysing Manley’s inclusion of letters in the Examiner, that the epistolary structure permitted Manley to play between ‘external, often unknown or anonymous correspondent . . . alongside a simultaneous positioning of the editor or writer as disinterested intermediary’ (2017: 13). And yet, for Manley, the narrator is never disinterested, but always writing as a Tory trying valiantly to represent the multiple voices of the Tory party in opposition to what she describes as the simple avarice and self-interest of her Whig opponents. Manley’s narrator also slyly nods to the perspective of those whose voices are excluded from both the Whig and the Tory public spheres. In addressing herself, through the voice of her pragmatic Whig correspondent’s suggested dedication to the ‘virtuous WHIG-Ladies’ (in addition to the ‘Honest WHIG Gentlemen’), Manley observes, ‘Were your Plea to Vertue and Beauty less evident, you might stand more in need of a Champion’ (21–8 June 1711: 19). This dedication ironically reminds readers that many beautiful, wealthy Whig ladies – no doubt including Queen Anne’s quondam friend the Duchess of Marlborough – had long wielded more than their share of influence with the Queen. Yet this satirical dedication also reminds readers that those ladies purported to be virtuous may not be any more virtuous than those who, like Manley herself and many of the women she describes in her secret histories, had been seduced by rising political figures. While the implicit premise of the public sphere is that everyone speaks from the sameness and equality of a platonic friendship, Manley continues to remind readers of the very real differences between subject positions: between Whigs who are self-interested and Tories who hold a variety of political views; but also between men and women, and between women deemed virtuous and those who lost their reputation in intrigues that ruined the reputation only of the woman, not the man involved. In the next issue (no. 49), Manley writes only two sentences in the voice of the Examiner, devoting the rest of the issue to the epistolary voice of the writer from Bender ostensibly in the retinue of Charles XII of Sweden – again a political standin for Queen Anne. The correspondent alludes to the ‘Unanimity’ of the ‘Assembly’ (i.e. Parliament, which had been controlled by the Tories since the elections in November 1710), through which the ‘Abuses now discover’d’ will be corrected (28 June–5 July 1711: 24). Although Manley herself had long celebrated the different voices of the Tory party, it is clear that she thought they might be aligned, with Unanimity, in their delight at the possible downfall of the Marlboroughs. When Manley returns to the eidolon of the Examiner in the final two issues of the periodical, she focuses less on the unanimity of the Tories than on her own defence against the Medley’s accusations in the previous week’s issue (no. 40, 2 July 1711) of becoming ‘insipid and contemptible . . . so flat and low, that all the World agree he has the least Wit they ever knew’ (quoted in Manley 2005, vol. 5: 247 n. 3). Manley responds that while it ‘sometimes happens that I am either Sick, or Lazy, or Splenetick’, it also the case that ‘sometimes, perhaps, like other Authors of great

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Reputation, I am Dull by design’ (Examiner no. 50 (5–12 July 1711): 25). She protests that she would gladly respond to ‘this Person, who will be my Friend whether I will or no’, if he would only ‘cavil with me, Paper by Paper’ so that their duel is ‘this Medley contra that Examiner’ rather than ‘every Medley against all the Examiners’ (26). Grudgingly accepting that he would be her ‘Friend’ (or public sphere sparring opponent) whether she wants the friendship or not, Manley insists that they spar by a consistent set of ground rules. Manley then refutes the Medley’s accusation that she has been including letters putatively by actual correspondents but which she herself probably authored. She responds by claiming to be citing lines from five different letters on topics of interest to the Tories, resulting in a list of concerns rather than a compendium of satirical anecdotes. Manley was talented at developing different full-length anecdotes and stringing them together in the diffuse form of secret history. Yet, it would not be possible to achieve the satirical sting of all those varied anecdotes in the narrow confines of a single periodical issue. She acknowledges something of this impossibility in her penultimate issue (no. 51) of the Examiner when she writes: ‘I knew my Paper would insensibly dwindle into the thing himself and his Party desired, and my time be lost in managing a Dispute fruitless to the Town and insignificant even to our selves’ (12–19 July 1711: 29). Manley devotes most of no. 51 to a single secret history-style anecdote, echoing the mode of her New Atalantis (ostensibly translated from the Italian) in its claim to be a ‘Translation’ from a ‘very scarce Manuscript out of certain Library’, concerning Mark Antony’s wife Fulvia, ‘going to the House of Pride’ (12–19 July 1711: 29–30). Here she again takes on the well-known avarice and pride of the Duchess of Marlborough, as well as her ‘Ingratitude’ (31). In reminding readers of the Marlboroughs’ ingratitude to Queen Anne, by whose favours they had risen to power and wealth, Manley also implicitly alludes to the character of Monsieur Le Ingrate in her New Atalantis, a figure for her former friend Richard Steele, editor of the (then Whig controlled) governmental journal of record, the London Gazette (begun in 1665 and still published today). Manley’s resentment of her former friend was also the resentment of her marginal position as a bestselling Tory satirist who had yet to be acknowledged or paid anything by the Earl of Oxford (Carnell 2017: 23–4). Steele – male, Whig, and a member of the Kit-Cats – had not struggled as Manley had. Despite his own affairs and illegitimate children and occasional financial insolvency, Steele was able to marry twice to his financial advantage, while Manley had been forever ‘ruined’ after having been seduced at a young age by her already married first cousin. Moreover, Swift’s friend Arthur Maynwaring, currently sparring in the Medley against Manley’s Examiner, had helped Swift secure the editorship of the Gazette, which paid £300 per annum (Aitkin 1899: 8 n. 2). Such a paid position would have given Manley the financial security that had long eluded her and perhaps a sense of tacit equality or friendship with her political opponent at the Medley. In the final issue of her Examiner, Manley responds again to those who complain that she has not been adequately entertaining, that her ‘Business was to Instruct’ and she ‘would not descend to Divert’ (no. 52 19–26 July 1711: 35). As Herman has argued, Manley appeared to be tackling multiple topics, trying to reach a broader Tory readership than Swift had reached with his single-topic approach; Herman

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suggests that ‘this multioptic approach makes Manley’s Examiners appear to be more superficial than Swift’s and perhaps less polished’ (2003: 149). These issues, as Manley appears to acknowledge, may be less diverting than Swift’s – in part because of her attempt at covering a broader ranger of topics than Swift had done and in part because she does not have the space in which to develop the multivoiced narrative framing that marked her earlier secret histories. Nor does she appear to feel the confidence of tacit friendship and equality with her political opponent that Swift clearly felt when he wrote in the eidolon of the Examiner. In a letter of 2 October 1711, a few months after having given up the Examiner, Manley wrote to the Earl of Oxford: ‘had I either Instruction or incouragement I might succeed better’ (quoted in Carnell 2008: 206). She suggests that she could be of more use to him if she were included at the table of the ‘club’ that was writing for his ministry. In fact, by the time she sent that letter, Manley had already demonstrated how effective she could be as a satirist when she was given the official party line that she was expected to convey. In A True Narrative of What Passed at the Examination of Monsieur de Guiscard the Cock-pit the 8th of March 1710/11, a pamphlet published in April 1711, Manley offered a version of Guiscard’s stabbing of Harley that showed Harley and the Queen in more heroic colours than Swift had managed to in his Examiner of 15 March (no. 33). Although it appears from the tone of her October letter that Manley had not yet had any direct contact with Oxford by 1711, it was also clear that someone in the government had managed to convey to her that Swift’s narrative of the Guiscard stabbing needed to be corrected. In September 1711, also without direct communication from Oxford – but with an understanding of the angle that would best please the ministry – she wrote her two most admired pamphlets, The Duke of Marlborough’s Vindication, written as a defence of the Examiner and in response to a pamphlet by Maynwaring, Bouchain: In a Dialogue Between the Late Medley and Examiner. In her Vindication, Manley vigorously defends the Examiner’s eidolon, both hers and Swift’s, as she responds to Maynwaring’s spirited defence of the Duke of Marlborough (Herman 2003: 168). Apparently recognising that she was not able to be as diverting as she would like in speaking to a broad spectrum of Tory concerns in the Examiner, Manley knew that she could be both diverting and instructive in the single eidolon of the satirical pamphleteer, especially when informed of the angle the government most wanted her to emphasise. Writing as an outsider whose skill was in the ironic double-voicing of a secret historian, Manley may have failed to divert her readers in the Examiner, although she would impress them as the author of Bouchain, in which she effected the satire through a dialogue between two political opponents. Less well known as a periodical writer than her friends Jonathan Swift or Richard Steele – because of the paucity of her production in this genre and the indifferent reception of her issues of the Examiner – Manley nevertheless began her career with an epistolary publication that, while not a periodical, augured the confidant conversational tone adopted by Addison and Steele a decade letter in the Tatler and the Spectator. In Letters Writen by Mrs. Manley (1696), Manley manages to challenge the confines of the male friendship that shaped public sphere debate by writing as both a woman and a political exile in her epistolary travelogue describing a stagecoach journey from London to Exeter.

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The Eidolon of a Satirical Stagecoach Rider The daughter of a royalist military commander who found military employment on the Continent during the Protectorate and on Jersey after the Restoration, Manley was born during her father’s exile from mainland Britain, an exile that he spent decades trying to remedy by pulling strings at court that were ultimately only powerful enough to bring him as near to London as Landguard Fort, on the Suffolk coast. After her father’s death in 1687, Manley’s sense of exile and estrangement was furthered by James II’s flight from England during the Revolution of 1688–9, which dashed her dreams of getting to court as a maid in waiting for Mary of Modena; instead she and her younger sister were exiled to the countryside with an elderly relation, their only diversion volumes of French romances. Manley finally managed to get herself to London only by her illicit ‘marriage’ to her (bigamous) cousin, John Manley, sixteen years her senior and subsequently a Tory MP. After bearing a son and separating from her cousin, Manley lived thereafter in quasi-exile from polite society and was obliged to make her way in the world in the company of court and royal mistresses, actresses, playwrights, and theatre managers. Her lifelong sense of ‘exile’ thus continued (Carnell 2008: 10–18), shaping the tone of the eidolon she would adopt in her first published work: that of a witty, politically astute female (‘Mrs. Manley’) who demonstrates the confidence of Swift’s Examiner without the pretence of being a classically educated male or the concerns that she may not be an equal sparring partner with the Medley. Nor is she held back, at this juncture, by the concerns about libel that probably inspired her to veil her own authorial voice through multiple narrative frames in The New Atalantis. Published in February 1696, Letters Writen by Mrs. Manley begins with Manley lamenting her need to leave London. She describes herself as taking the stagecoach ‘with Mr. Granvill’s Words in my Mouth’; she then cites from her friend George Granville’s as yet unpublished translation of Seneca’s Thyestes: ‘Place me, ye Gods, in some obscure Retreat: / Oh! Keep me innocent: Make others Great . . .’ (Manley 2005, vol. 1: 59). Seneca’s (Granville’s) speaker, in lines Manley does not cite, describes his desire to save himself from the ‘Factions’, ‘Wars’, and ‘Crowns usurp’d’ of life in the capitol (quoted in Manley 2005, vol. 1: 270 n. 9). Manley alerts her readers that she is ventriloquising the sentiments of her friend Granville, who was himself a staunch enough Tory that he stayed out of politics under William and Mary, only pursuing a seat in Parliament after Anne was crowned in 1702 (Manley 2005, vol. 1: 270 n. 9). In leaving London with Granville’s words in her ‘Mouth’, Manley speaks in a voice simultaneously her own and that of her male friend and, she suggests, fellow political exile. She establishes her authorial voice as female (signalled by the name ‘Mrs. Manley’ in the title); she further acknowledges her sexual identity by suggesting that she is unwillingly leaving a lover (who had pleaded with her to stay) and by describing a young man in the stagecoach who flirts with her. At the same time, she frames her exile as a political retreat, echoing the voices of so many (male) classical satirists who wrote about their moral need for a pastoral retreat from the corruption and political factions of the capitol. Manley also establishes her credentials as someone who is widely read, citing not only Seneca but also works by Horace, Themisctocles, John Donne, John Cleveland, Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, and Abraham Cowley. Manley’s

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frequent literary allusions establish her education and credentials, while her tonguein-cheek observations on her fellow passengers establishes her self of humour. She describes a baronet’s son whose change of attire to a silver-brocade coat and vest she ignores. She sums up their exchange: ‘He perceiv’d by my Sullenness that I had a great deal of Wit; though I understood he had but little by his Remark’ (2005, vol. 1: 61). Presenting herself as an educated wit, whose reasons for leaving the capitol resemble Seneca’s, Manley genders her authorial eidolon here as more ‘male’ than the feminised baronet’s son who wants reassurance about his sartorial extravagance. She emphasises her moral seriousness and erudition when she announces in the seventh letter, after her arrival in Exeter: ‘My Study has fallen upon Religion’ (2005, vol. 1: 73). In contrast to the more defensive and more overtly female voice in the prefaces to her first two plays, also published in the spring of 1696, Manley’s eidolon in Letters Writen clearly anticipates the conversational, witty tone of Steele’s Tatler and other early eighteenth-century periodical eidolons. Unlike her assumed eidolon of the male ‘Friend’ and opponent of the Medley, Manley, in the stagecoach, must hold her own as a wit while accepting or rejecting the advances of a young man trying to flirt with her. Gender here defines her position in public rather than serving as mere domestic background for a male voice in the public sphere, for whom the sexual contract implicitly preceded the social contract (Pateman 1988: 15–16). The difficulty for Manley is that writing a periodical-like reflection in the eidolon of a confidant, witty, politically astute woman commenting on public events required a regular presence in a public place. During her six-day stagecoach journey, she was in the mixed company of men and women travelling together, dining in public inns in the towns they passed through. She enjoyed, during this brief journey, the vantage of a something like a coffee house gathering, where ideas are exchanged and new faces constantly pass through. Manley also apparently had money enough to cover her immediate travel expenses, yet she was leaving the city, possibly because she was looking for a less expensive way of living, or else perhaps because she was pregnant (Carnell 2008: 83). While she was in retirement in the country, she would not have access to the same sort of public gatherings from which she might continue to write her daily epistle to her correspondent in the city. In future years, Manley would likewise not have access to the coffee houses from which Steele would produce his Tatler, as he explains: either from ‘White’s Chocolatehouse’, when writing about ‘gallantry, pleasure, and entertainment’; or from Will’s Coffee-house, when writing about ‘poetry’; or from the ‘Grecian’ when discussing ‘learning’; or from ‘St. James’s Coffee-house’ when reporting on ‘foreign and domestic news’; or from his ‘own apartment’ when touching on ‘any other subject’ (Steele (12 Apr 1709) 1987, vol. 1: 16). Manley, by contrast, had the possibility of writing only from her own apartment. This was not always a disadvantage: in April of 1709, while Steele was busy inaugurating his public sphere reflections as the Tatler, Manley was in her own apartment busily turning decades of court gossip into what would become her bestselling New Atalantis. Moreover, despite her lack of access to court or coffee houses, Manley managed to convey enough gossip about the Tories’ schemes of breaking with the Marlboroughs and Godolphin that the Marlborough’s son-in-law, Lord Sunderland, would forcefully interrogate her, trying to discover the sources for her the court secrets she made public (Carnell 2008: 187–9).

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Recent scholarship has corrected the somewhat naïve presumption by twentiethcentury scholars that Manley – who was once friends with the playwrights Catherine Trotter and Mary Pix – would have held a feminocentric world view. In fact, as Victoria Joule has pointed out, Manley was ‘less concerned with collaboration and more with “Ambitious purpose”’ (43). She was not a good friend, according to the nurturing norms of female friendship, but instead followed a more male model of public friendship, which allowed for cut-throat competition and putting one’s own personal-political agenda above that of one’s friends. For example, the nineteenthcentury editor of an edition of Steele’s Tatler points out the ‘growing coldness between Swift and his old friends [Addison and Steele]’ by the autumn of 1710, and cites Swift who, in the eidolon of the Examiner, would refer to the ‘scurvy Tatlers of late’ (Aitkin 1899: xxiv). In other words, the competitive public-sphere friendship between men allowed for ambition and self-promotion at the expense of old friends, while models for female friendship required more self-sacrifice. Having begun her career with the eidolon of the female wit in Letters Writen, Manley disguised her own voice through multiple narrators taking turns revealing secrets in her New Atalantis and appealing to a broad range of Tory viewpoints. When ventriloquising the male eidolon of the Examiner, she emphasised the limits in perspective of the coffee house public sphere, even when the Tories controlled the government. Finally, in The Adventures of Rivella (1714), she returns to a male narrator, Sir Charles Lovemore, to tell her life story. Lovemore, ardently in love with Manley, relates the particular of her life in the most sympathetic terms to a visiting French courtier. This conversation, taking place in the public space of the gardens at Somerset House, emphasises simultaneously Rivella’s feminine allure and her (masculine) wit. Lovemore concludes that ‘If she had been a Man, she had been without Fault’ (Manley 2005, vol. 4: 10), thus underscoring the exclusion of voices like hers that match in wit yet contradict in gender the norms of male friendship that structured the eighteenth-century public sphere.

Notes 1. See also Downie 2003 and Mackie 2005 for interrogations of the accuracy, appropriateness, and relevance of the term to eighteenth-century British culture. 2. All references to Manley’s Examiner essays are taken from Manley 2005, vol. 5. 3. All references to Maynwaring’s Medley essays are taken from Ellis 1985. 4. All references to Swift’s Examiner essays are taken from Ellis 1985.

Works Cited Addison, Joseph and Richard Steele. 1965. The Spectator. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Aitken, George. 1899. Introduction to The Tatler. Ed. George Aitkin. 4 vols. London: Duckworth, vii–xxvii. Carnell, Rachel. 1998. ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green: Gender and Friendship in Eliza Haywood’s Political Periodicals’. Eighteenth-Century Studies 32.2: 199–214. —. 2008. A Political Biography of Delarivier Manley. London: Pickering & Chatto. —. 2015. ‘Slipping from Secret History to Novel’. Eighteenth-Century Fiction 28.1: 1–24.

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—. 2017. ‘The Adventures of Rivella as Political Secret History’. New Perspectives on Delarivier Manley and Eighteenth-Century Literature: Power, Sex, and Text. Ed. Aleksondra Hultquist and Elizabeth J. Mathews. New York: Routledge. 15–28. Derrida, Jacques. 1997. The Politics of Friendship. Trans. G. Collins. London: Verso. Downie, J. A. 2003. ‘How Useful to Eighteenth-Century English Studies is the Paradigm of the ‘Bourgeois Public Sphere?’ Literature Compass 1.1: 1–19. Ellis, Frank, ed. 1985. Swift Versus Mainwaring: The Examiner and The Medley. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Habermas, Jürgen. 1991. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Herman, Ruth. 2003. The Business of A Woman: The Political Writings of Delarivier Manley. Newark: University of Delaware Press. Joule, Victoria. 2013. ‘Feminist Foremother? The Maternal Metaphor Present in Feminist Literary History and Delarivier Manley’s The Nine Muses’. Women’s Writing 20.1: 32–48. McBain, Jean. 2017. ‘Examined in Manley Style: Epistolary Modes in the Periodical Writings of Delarivier Manley’. New Perspectives on Delarivier Manley and Eighteenth-Century Literature: Power, Sex, and Text. Ed. Aleksondra Hultquist and Elizabeth J. Mathews. New York: Routledge. 188–200. Mackie, Erin. 2005. ‘Being Too Positive about the Public Sphere’. The Spectator: Emerging Discourses. Ed. Donald J. Newman. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. 81–104. Manley, Delarivier. 2005. Selected Works of Delarivier Manley. Ed. Rachel Carnell and Ruth Herman. 5 vols. London: Pickering & Chatto. Pateman, Carole. 1988. The Sexual Contract. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Powell, Manushag N. 2012. Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals, Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Steele, Richard. 1987. The Tatler. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Wilson, Kathleen. 1995. ‘Citizenship, Empire, and Modernity in the English Provinces, c.1720–1790’. Eighteenth-Century Studies 29.1: 69–96.

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10 ‘A moral paper! And how do you expect to get money by it?’: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Journalism Isobel Grundy

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ady Mary Wortley Montagu left her mark at several points in the history of women and periodicals. She wrote a paper for the Spectator (1711–12; 1714) which remains its only identified female-authored issue (no. 573: 28 July 1714); she made a vituperative contribution to the masculine territory of public debate in the Flying-Post; or, The Postmaster in 1722; and in 1737–8 she became almost the earliest woman to launch and run a periodical in English: the single-author, nine-number, progovernment journal titled the Nonsense of Common-Sense.1 Her forays into journalism are seldom as well remembered as her letters, her poetry, her smallpox inoculation, or even her feud with Alexander Pope. Yet her periodical contributions, like her fiction, deserve more attention than they have received. They deserve it both for their style and substance, and also as probably the only ones among all her writings that reached print through her own agency. The periodical press was the only part of the book trade that offered her the freedom to move ‘in the element of Printing’, as Elinor James put it (1715: n. p.). The precise spur for publishing in each case is hidden. Nor do we know whether Montagu wrote, or submitted, or even printed other periodical essays besides the eleven listed above. Each of these is identifiable only because a holograph manuscript survives; how many other drafts of periodical pieces might she have failed to preserve over her years of peripatetic and sometimes harried living? However unusual her career may be among women writers, it is typical in the way that unanswered questions spring up from any examination of what is known. She began writing, as the adolescent Lady Mary Pierrepont, in poetry and fiction that inhabits a romance world of love, idealism, and friendship. When her pieces address the topic of writing itself then writing means poetry, an assertion of skill and of values, a claim to respect and a bid for fame. Poetry is the young writer’s ‘dear my darling choice’; the default poet is male, unworldly, and morally superior: ‘haughty in rags, and proudly poor’, contemptuous of the nobleman who returns his contempt.2 If the proudly poor poet was an unlikely role model for a female sprig of nobility, the writer for hire was more awkward still. Montagu’s class background aligned her with the nobleman. Her courtship letters insist that she cares nothing for material things and is uncomfortable with her family’s wealth; she would rather be merely a gentleman’s daughter than a duke’s – but the wish places her still above the need for earnings. She later patronised needy writers, but pitied her cousin Sarah

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Fielding for needing to write for money, assuming that this was an expedient that Sarah despised. Montagu’s surviving writings never acknowledge a desire to see her own work in print, and frequently express regret that it was. Print was linked with payment, and the journalist was more deeply embedded in the commercial world than the novelist, since from the Tatler (1709–11) onwards most periodicals (including eventually Montagu’s own) incorporated advertisements cheek by jowl with social or philosophic writings. On the other hand, Steele and Addison were gentlemen who moved in her own social circles; her future husband, when at odds with her father over the hypothetical marriage settlement, published his views on the custom of entail in two Tatler papers. The periodical might finesse its commercial links, as it finessed its party political links, by obliquity (as in the Spectator’s Tory squire Sir Roger de Coverley, who is presented as lovable but as politically clueless). The question quoted in my title, written in 1738, is part of a scenario in which the naïve author, seeking to print a paper on the value of friendship, finds nothing is valid tender but the commodity of political propaganda, whether pro- or anti-government. Here a high-minded periodical writer, confronting a corrupt market, conforms to the ideals of the young Lady Mary. The newly married Montagu had associated herself with periodical writing not as a trade but as a cultured pastime. From involuntary rustic retirement she wrote to her husband on 8 December 1712: ‘If I was as qualified all other ways as I am by idleness, I would publish a daily paper called the Meditator. The terrace is my place consecrated to meditation, which I observe to be gay or grave, as the sun shews or hides his face’ (Montagu 1965–7, vol. 1: 175). Meditation outdoors (in December!) and journalising were to be a relief for eyes exhausted by serious study, an outlet for introspection and for thinking about natural philosophy (the effect of weather on the mind). The passage comes in a correspondence centred on personal politics and money (her husband was in London negotiating for rapprochement with her powerful family). But her periodical is to engage not with allegiance or patronage but with processes of the mind. Lady Mary’s writing had already moved away from romance toward satirical comment on transactions involving money and power. Her earliest extant letters, from her teenage and early twenties (to female friends, not to Edward Wortley Montagu), are deeply engaged with social, ephemeral, merely entertaining texts: oral gossip, ‘a cargo of lampoons’, as she wrote to Frances Hewet in October 1709 (Montagu 1965–7, vol. 1: 17), fiction and scandal-memoirs including the successive instalments of Delarivier Manley’s New Atalantis (1709). Her own confections of the latest news and scandal emanate from the same milieu as her early adult poetry, a competitive world of ambition, consumerism, and display. This world, just as much as philosophic meditation, is that of the emerging periodical essay. When Manley was arrested for the New Atalantis, Lady Mary Pierrepont wrote (8 Nov 1710): ‘Miserable is the fate of writers; if they are agreeable, they are offensive; and if dull, they starve.’ This does not associate her with published authors as the Meditator passage does; starving authors are ‘they’. Lady Mary regrets the loss of the further Atalantis instalments, which may now remain unwritten, and regrets, in a letter to Frances Hewet (12 Nov 1709), that Manley’s ‘faint essay’ will now not provoke ‘some better pen to give more elegant and secret memoirs’ (Montagu 1965–7, vol. 1: 18). Damage to the genres written by Manley seems more regrettable than damage to the author herself. Lady Mary may even have fancied succeeding Manley as that

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‘better pen’ (18). Still unmarried, not yet committed to pleasing Edward Wortley Montagu, she might well have contemplated writing ‘elegant and secret memoirs’. In any case she now applauds secret history, which exposes vice, while condemning ‘that vile paper The Tatler’, which bedaubs its subjects with flattery (Montagu 1965–7, vol. 1: 19). Flattery was in question because Steele’s attack on scandal-writers had elevated the practice of eulogy as against lampoon. Libellers, says Tatler no. 92 (10 Nov 1710) are a ‘low race of men’, ‘the worst of mankind’, who would rather pull down ‘extraordinary merit’ or fasten on its only flaw than attack the thoroughly vicious, as real satirists do (Steele 1987, vol. 2: 74). This exemplifies a habit of celebration (or complacency) in the Tatler, especially in matters of gender and in contrast to the New Atalantis. In no. 92, Steele acts as cheerleader not only to great men but also to the practice of reverencing great men; he maintains that ‘love of praise dwells most in great and heroic spirits’, and that tributes to great men are ‘the business of every man of honour and honesty’ (76, 77). Tatler 90 (5 Nov 1709) offered brief eulogies of William III and Queen Anne, and no. 81 (15 Oct 1709) an apotheosis of ancient heroes both military and intellectual. Lady Mary’s condemnation of the Tatler as sycophantic (sent not to a husband but to a witty friend) predates her fantasy about writing the Meditator. For her husband she approves periodical support for the status quo. Her first letter to him (22 Oct 1712) wonders how to begin, being ‘perfectly unacquainted with a proper matrimonial stile’ (Montagu 1965–7, vol. 1: 168). She solves this problem by using a Spectator paean to married life. Through allusion to no. 500 (3 Oct 1712), on the patriarchal pleasures of a large family (written by her husband’s close friend Joseph Addison), she conjures up a future of happy, complacent parenthood for herself and her spouse. In celebrating Addison’s ideal of companionate marriage, rational domesticity, and tender patriarchy, she allies herself with the social prescriptivism of the periodicals. The Spectator helps her to her proper matrimonial style (Montagu 1965–7, vol. 1: 168). These early references recalibrate expectations about Montagu’s view of the groundbreaking, genre-forming Tatler and Spectator, papers which are generally read as satirical and reformative. She knew both Steele and Addison socially, and deeply admired Addison’s non-periodical works. Her own periodical writings follow the footsteps of these two canonical titles. Yet in her iconoclastic youth she read them as forerunners of An Essay on Man (1733–4) or Pangloss: celebrators of whatever is right in the England of Queen Anne. When she made her presumably first foray into periodical publication, in Spectator no. 573 (28 July 1714), she was replying to Addison’s no. 561 (30 June 1714).3 That number uses an invented Widows’ Club to expose stereotypically female bad behaviour. Addison’s paper is not without complexity, since its account of sexually or financially insatiable widows is mediated through the voice of an equally deplorable, equally rapacious male, ‘a tall, broad-shoulder’d, impudent’ fortune hunter, a wouldbe predator on widows (Addison 1965, vol. 4: 515). Nevertheless, each member of Addison’s Widows’ Club embodies a well-worn joke: one is mercenary, others sexually voracious; some get drunk and others ‘manage’ their husbands (Montagu 1993: 69).4 This satire focuses on individuals and on oft-repeated female failings, not on the social system or its treatment of women. Montagu’s reply seeks to demonstrate, through a series of satirical sketches of unappetising husbands, that widows cannot be blamed

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for not mourning these men. This picks up and reverses direction of the gendered satire on individuals, but more significantly it targets women’s status in marriage. Her protagonist-narrator, President of the Widows’ Club, is sold into her first marriage as a child, and is later reminded the hard way (by his selling it) that her husband owns her property. This essay sharply highlights society’s injustice to women. It also targets the prevalence in fiction of women being depicted as angels, victims, or monsters. Montagu’s protagonist (once a victim) becomes a ruthless woman who not only exploits men, but delights in discomfiting them. She is just what Steele imagined in Tatler no. 85, which reproves women for a ‘meanness of spirit’ that takes ‘pleasure in your power to give pain’ (1987, vol. 2: 39).5 As a young, first-time widow she revels in taking revenge ‘out of pure Malice’ on the Honourable Edward Waitfort and treats him ‘like a Dog for my Diversion’ (Montagu 1993: 70). (He, meanwhile, despises her as a person and expects to get his hands on her fortune with the least possible effort or inconvenience to himself.) Montagu mounts no defence, but seems to say: So she behaves badly. Get over it. The running joke of Waitfort, whose only failing is exploiting and disregarding women, and who reappears for re-rejection whenever Madame President becomes available, makes a serious point about the cliché of the courtship plot. He falls in love with our heroine’s fortune, but repeatedly loses out by assuming superiority and the expectation of marital authority. She often comes close to choosing him, but he cannot resist behaving like a husband, and she cannot resist jilting him again. This plotting seems designed to resist even the possibility of marriage as happy ending. Addison’s essay (Spectator 561) often mentions the tender age at which women are consigned to marriage: ‘She was a Widow at Eighteen. . . . She was married in the 15th Year of her Age to [a septuagenarian] by whom she had Twins nine Months after his Decease. . . . broke her first Husband’s Heart before she was Sixteen’ (Addison 1965, vol. 4: 516, 517). Montagu approaches this from the viewpoint of a fourteen-year-old who knows her uncle and guardian receive kickbacks from the sale of her, and that her husband reckons on acquiring ‘a meer Child, whom he might breed up after his own Fancy. . . . poor Thing. . . . how should I know . . . I was too great a Coward to contend, but not so ignorant a Child to be thus impos’d upon’ (Montagu 1993: 69–70). Some defence of the child bride is implied here, but the essay does not defend women as a sex. Admirable ladies (as enumerated in the Female Tatler on 20 February 1710 and in other periodicals) are irrelevant to this social world. The former victim is never reasonable, always capricious, indulging in anarchically bad behaviour which elicits the reader’s amusement without condemnation. Having lived with the impotent Sir Nicholas Fribble she chooses potency: ‘John Sturdy Esq . . . just Five and Twenty, about six Foot high, and the stoutest Fox-hunter in the County.’ Yet she is not sex-obsessed: Sturdy’s lifestyle makes her wish ‘Ten thousand times for my old Fribble again’ (Montagu 1993: 71). Her next bad choice after Sturdy is a rakish officer who has ruined several women – whom she marries ‘out of pure spite’ to Waitfort and his ‘insolent Lecture upon the Conduct of Women’. Her new husband nearly bankrupts her (a different kind of ruin), but is instead ‘deliciously killed in a Duel’ (71). Having reached the stage of finding a husband’s death delicious without, I believe, incurring the reader’s censure, she makes two more marriages (to a hypochondriac nobleman and to a miser) which yet more clearly result from her need to snub the ever-hopeful

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Waitfort and to show ‘the young Flirts about Town, it was yet in my Power to give pain to a Man of Sense’. Her treatment by men has shaped her into what men fear in women (72). Montagu’s portrait of her widow, like the young Jane Austen’s of Lady Susan, depicts the female villain triumphant, very much as a misogynist might draw her though with more self-awareness and more humour. Presenting her marriage to a miser as mortal combat, Montagu’s widow takes up spending as a programme of self-defence. She ‘appeared before him in a two thousand Pound Diamond Necklace; he said nothing, but went quietly to his Chamber, and, as it is thought, composed himself with a Dose of Opium. I behaved my self so well upon the Occasion, that to this Day I believe he died of an Apoplexy’ (italics added). She is now a murderess, but her censoring of her own thought-processes (see no evil, hear no evil) is pure fun (73). With this brief tale, one of her most virtuoso pieces, Montagu not only eschewed eulogy, but learned how the periodical essay can combine satire with idealism and strong social critique with irresponsible fun. Her Spectator essay occupies the centre of Spectator territory: character sketches, gender relations, humour. Only the attitudes are extraordinary – the acceptance and dramatisation of stereotypes of women as parasites upon men; the airy avoidance of poetic justice; the unsparing presentation of customs like child weddings, male sexual licence, women’s sexual vulnerability, wives’ lack of property rights. It is remarkable that Addison accepted this highly unusual Spectator contribution, and odd that it seems to have aroused no contemporary comment. Montagu’s next known foray into journalism aimed not at amusement or social satire but the promotion of inoculation against smallpox, a reform much more concrete and specific than overhaul of marriage law and customs. She chose a very different outlet, The Flying-Post; or, The Post-Master, whose editor in 1722 – her essay appeared in the paper of 11–13 September of that year – was George Ridpath (one of Pope’s dunces). Though the database Eighteenth-Century Journals lists its contents as ‘Religion, Politics, Satire, Humour, Poems, Advertisements’ (which also describes the Spectator), religion and politics predominate here. The paper’s overall purpose is news, not literature. After the blatantly fictional widow, Montagu here adopts the guise of a ‘Turkey Merchant’, designed for the reader to believe in. This solid citizen, who earns his livelihood by trade, is too upright to make money for writing. ‘I shall sell no drugs, nor take no Fees . . . ’Tis no way my Interest (according to the common Acceptation of that word) to convince the World of their Errors, that is, I shall get nothing by it, but the private satisfaction of having done good to Mankind, and I know no body that reckons that Satisfaction any part of their Interest’ (Montagu 1993: 95). Idealism leads directly to attack. The merchant follows a factual and measured account of smallpox inoculation in Turkey with denunciation in the grossest terms of English doctors who escalate the procedure and endanger lives, all because they care more for their fees than their patients. The ‘Murders that have been committed on two unfortunate Persons that have dy’d under this operation, has been wholly occasion’d by the preparatives given by our Learned Physicians, of whom I have too good an Opinion not to suppose they knew what they did, by weakening Bodys that were to go through a distemper’ (Montagu 1993: 96). Gashes instead of pinpricks, massive doses of infectious matter, cordials (that is alcohol)

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may put an end to their Lives; and after some few more Sacrifices of this kind it may be hop’d this terrible design against the Revenue of the College may be entirely defeated, and those Worthy members receive 2 guineas a day as before, of the wretches that send for them in that distemper. (96–7) ‘Gentlemen’, members of the high-status College of Physicians, whose Hippocratic Oath promises disinterestedness, are accused by a businessman of deliberate murder to protect income. The advocate for integrity implies a continuity between professional and trading profits (96). If not proudly poor he is proudly non-profiteering, and holds an Enlightenment commitment to benefiting humankind. The same spirit informs Montagu’s most extensive periodical writing (and publishing): the Nonsense of Common-Sense, which ran weekly, with some gaps, for nine numbers from 16 December 1737 to 14 March 1738. Montagu remained anonymous and unidentified: the first of her two surviving notes to her journal’s trade publisher, James Roberts, appears (though it is in part purposely obliterated) to be seeking reassurance that her anonymity would be preserved (Montagu 1965–7, vol. 2: 114). Here she sets out to do something new for her. Her title identifies a party loyalty even while she denies party bias, since it pits her periodical against Common Sense, or, The Englishman’s Journal (1737–44), which, says the ODNB under Robert Walpole, this year became ‘the leading opposition journal’ (Taylor 2004). The Nonsense of Common-Sense claims party neutrality, paying allegiance only to reason and the common good. But its neutrality is transparently a cloak, since it maintains that reason and the common good are on its side. In no. 7 (14 Feb 1738) it argues that the distinction between ‘Court’ (the Opposition’s insulting label for the government) and ‘Country’ (the government’s insulting label for the Opposition) is absurd. The Court can have no interest separate from the country – and the country’s interest lies ‘in the support of the present Government as by law established’ (Montagu 1993: 135). As to the political allegiance behind the statements of principle, Montagu’s editor Robert Halsband cites her loyalty to Robert Walpole and his ruling Whigs (Montagu 1993: 3); Shawn Lisa Maurer agrees with Halsband and adds that Montagu was responding to the ‘woman-hating attitudes’ in Common Sense that were becoming ‘increasingly prevalent in male-authored periodicals’ (Maurer 2010: 163). More specifically, the moving spirits behind Common Sense, Lords Chesterfield and Lyttelton, were each notorious for dismissiveness toward women. Chesterfield’s letters to his son were still in the future, but Lyttelton had published the poem Advice to a Lady (1733), which Montagu had skewered in a two-line summary ending: ‘In short, my dearee, kiss me and be quiet’ (Montagu 1993: 264). As Halsband observes, just a week before her periodical debut, Common Sense (on 10 Dec 1737) had featured the goddess Nonsense claiming to have ‘the Ladies, the Poetasters, and the M[inistry] on my Side’ (Montagu 1993: 105). But the Nonsense did not always back Walpole. Its second number argues for reducing interest rates to benefit trade, though the scheme for reducing the interest on the national debt, when proposed by the prominent merchant Sir John Barnard a few years before, had been squelched by Walpole for fear of ‘disobliging the moneyed men in the House of Commons’ (Sedgwick under Sir John Barnard). Here the Nonsense argues against Walpole. On specifics of party policy, it seems, Montagu retained some independence, making up her own mind issue by issue.

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A specific uncertainty attends her periodical: her identifying note on her manuscript of the first issue: ‘all these wrote by me M.W.M. to serve an unhappy worthy man’. This is first and foremost an assertion of authorship, parallel to that in the album which is now Harrowby MS 256: ‘all the verses and Prose in this Book were wrote by me, without the assistance of one Line from any other. Mary Wortley Montagu’ (Montagu 1993: 172). But it is also a statement of purpose, and the ‘unhappy worthy man’ resists certain identification. The phrase has a note of condescension inappropriate for Walpole, the most powerful man in the country. But if Montagu wrote this three months or more after ending her periodical then she wrote it, too, after the death of Walpole’s beloved second wife, the former Maria Skerrett. For the recent widower of an intimate friend, ‘an unhappy worthy man’ would be fitting despite his political power.6 Montagu’s explicitly male eidolon presents himself as, like the Turkey Merchant, indifferent to personal gain. His disinterestedness is unusual for a hack writer living in, as described in no. 9 (14 Mar 1738), a ‘humble Cell, (vulgarly called a Garret)’ (Montagu 1993: 148); most periodical writers who claim indifference to profit also claim a genteel unearned income (Italia 2005: 54). He is closely attentive to economic issues and to the way they impinge on relations between the classes and sexes. Though he evinces great respect for what might be seen as conservative (gentlemanly and scholarly) as well as Enlightenment values, he nevertheless consistently favours trade. He often backs middle-class virtues against upper-class corruption, yet also supports the industrious poor against their profiteering employers. It is his propensity to side with the underdog which makes him alert to conflict between male and female interests, as revealed in no. 6 (25 Jan 1738): ‘as I profess my selfe a protector of all the oppressed I shall look upon [women] as my peculiar care’ (Montagu 1993: 131). Rational benevolence, that is, necessarily makes a man a male feminist. He expresses this in different ways: he opens his second essay (of 27 Dec 1737) ‘I have allways been an Humble Admirer of the Fair Sex’, and his sixth ‘I have allways (as I have allready declar’d) profess’d my selfe a Freind thô [sic] I do not aspire to the character of an admirer of the Fair sex’ (Montagu 1993: 109, 130). Either way, enlightenment ideals commit a man to caring about women in the same non-partisan way that they induce him to care about trade and politics, in the course of seeking, like the Turkey Merchant in the Flying-Post paper, ‘the private satisfaction of having done good to Mankind’ (Montagu 1993: 95). The periodical form offered Montagu, uniquely, the opportunity to engage with topics like labourers, tradespeople and investors, interest rates, and the freedom of the press. A periodical essay had carte blanche to skip from one topic to another, pursuing connections which might not be immediately obvious. And whatever the topic under discussion, the questions of how best to write about it, and how much difference writing can make, are never far from Montagu’s mind. The Nonsense of Common Sense takes issue from time to time with particular issues of Common Sense; it is continuously self-referential, full of critique of periodical writing and its place in public life. Her first number (16 Dec 1737) aligns her paper not with critique but with acceptance of things as they are. It is Common Sense, it maintains, that breathes doom and gloom, offering its readers the opportunity to indulge their spleen; The Nonsense of Common Sense will on the contrary encourage good humour and defend ‘any reasonable attempt I see’ on the part of government to govern (Montagu 1993: 106).

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Montagu energetically supports the mourning decreed for the recently deceased Queen Caroline, on the grounds that it will benefit the wool trade (whose products are necessary and useful rather than luxurious). But this defence of the ministry’s measures slides into fierce attack on cartels that keep wages down, on employers and monopolisers who ‘without mercy grind the Faces of the Poor’ (Montagu 1993: 108). No. 2 (27 Dec 1737), the argument for lower interest rates, puts forward the fiction that it is women, not the government, who have insisted on keeping rates high, and attributes this mistaken policy to their exclusion from education in how the world works. The writer deplores the way that women are shut out from learning and from ‘every part of Government in the State’, yet ‘his’ argument is thus couched in a context of regretting the influence exercised by unenlightened women. This sympathiser with women is shocked to see ‘them’ using arguments ‘in opposition to Reason, Justice, and the common Welfare of the Nation’ (Montagu 1993: 109). It is unusual at any time before Wollstonecraft to see such bold assertion of women’s subjection coupled with such unforgiving diagnosis of the way subjection produces ignorance and pig-headedness in the oppressed. Montagu’s mouthpiece at least hints at stereotypical jokes about women: wives, he remarks, carry no weight with husbands, so women exercising influence through men are ‘Mothers, sisters, and mistrisses’ (Montagu 1993: 109). But he also approaches the mainstream-political or economic issue of interest levels first and foremost through its impact on women. The ability to subsist on investment alone means that shopkeepers’ daughters will live genteelly and uselessly instead of being apprenticed to ‘honest Trades’ (Montagu 1993: 110); women of higher rank will dream of a grand marriage and be left on the shelf, instead of wedding an ‘Honest Merchant’ (Montagu 1993: 111) and contributing to population growth. The argument concludes by likening a government enforcing unpopular measures to a mother forcing necessary medicine on a resisting baby; this female metaphor for the exertion of political power must have irked Montagu’s printer, since he added the metaphor of a lover forcing himself on a woman (a rape joke, in fact), a use of ‘Bawdy’ over which she had no control (Montagu 1993: 112, 127). After interest rates, it seems that Montagu decided her paper needed more levity. Numbers three and four deal with the replacement of opera singers by automata and the custom of holding levees. Each brings a streak of originality to familiar periodical territory. Montagu’s comments on the levee (a custom introduced to save precious time which has evolved into a time-waster) bring in not only the fashionable Hogarth but the relations between Horace and Maecenas. Balducci, who signs the fictional correspondent’s letter in Nonsense no. 3 (3 Jan 1738), is a not untypical projector, whose proposal defies logic to build fantasy on fantasy, while scattering topical jokes about castrati and prima donna catfights. Though he never reveals just how he will capture the authentic tones of some actual singer for each of his singing machines, he would need to travel to the singer’s native land to hear the voice for himself before constructing the machine. And though he needs to hear a voice with his own ears before reproducing it, he is confident that ‘if the Pope should turn Christian’ and the supply of castrati dry up, he could somehow reach back in time to bring Orpheus himself upon the stage (Montagu 1993: 129). After these two, the five final numbers hunt bigger game: freedom of the press, relations between the sexes, periodical writing itself, the class system, and finally (a subject

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frequently touched on already) the moral standards of authors. The multiple targets of every paper often include topics pigeonholed under women’s issues, but these are not the focus as they are in the Female Tatler or later Female Spectator (1744–6).7 The Nonsense does not share the Female Tatler’s enduring interest in famous women, gendered personality traits, recipes for successful marriage, or sexual issues like chastity or rape. No. 5 (17 Jan 1738), on the liberty of the press, seems to be taking the same line that Montagu had censured in Steele a quarter of a century earlier. The writer says he had always supposed that the liberty of the press was secure, if only from the observable flourishing of outrageous and often unjust raillery that sacrifices truth to easy laughs and popularity. ‘’Tis very easy to be witty in marking out the Frailties of particular men’ (Montagu 1993: 125). ‘He’ had therefore supposed that ‘his’ moral papers were safe from censorship; the worst that could befall them was to be accounted tedious. He found, however, that ‘the combination of the Booksellers, printers, pamphlet sellers, Authors, etc.’ operates a stronger censorship than parliament could, so that an upright author finds it ‘as impossible . . . to express his thoughts to the public as it would be for one honest Fishmonger to retail Turbots in a plentiful season below the price fix’d on them by the Company’ (Montagu 1993: 129). Montagu knew plenty about combinations (not of workers in a trade union but of entrepreneurs for the purposes of supply management and price-fixing), since her husband was a leader in the Grand Alliance of coal magnates, established in June 1726, which managed the production and marketing of coal from the all the mines in the Tyne and Wear district (Grundy 1999: 184). In this essay the mature Montagu returns to the conundrum at the heart of printing and publishing: how to reconcile a commercial business with the service of truth? The writer seeking an audience cannot opt for being ‘proudly poor’ and despising money; readership is accessible only through a money-making system. The gatekeeper – the printer – will reject copy that fails to follow the tried-and-true recipe of partisanship and coarse jokes (plagiarised or not), and he sees the author who is indifferent to money as simply non compos mentis. After this essay on the silencing of minority views comes the most markedly protofeminist essay in the series, no. 6 (24 Jan 1738). Its spur is an issue of Common Sense in which Chesterfield wrote, in tones of light-hearted jocularity, that society must require women to be sexually pure but can tolerate their being ornamental, empty-headed, and conformist. Montagu’s persona opens his essay by appealing to male readers; only at the end does he ringingly and uniquely address himself to female readers. As usual he enlists Reason against the force of ‘vulgar prejudices’, but, also as usual, his analysis uncovers economic causes for social behaviour or ideological beliefs. Treating women with contempt, he says, does public as well as private damage since it makes them ‘useless members of the common wealth’ (Montagu 1993: 131). He then links this argument back to that of the previous essay: periodicals, that is the media, cater to vulgar prejudice against women because that sells papers. And misogyny sells papers because ordinary male individuals have financial interests which clash with those of their womenfolk. Dowries for sisters ‘are to run away with the money that would be better bestow’d’ in gambling; a jointure must be paid to ‘an old Mother good for nothing’; a wife persists in ‘remain[ing] alive to hinder his running away with a great Fortune’ (Montagu 1993: 132). It is the financial dependence of a sister, a mother, a wife, that makes her a burden and makes her hated.

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Again the feminist attitudes in all this are an aspect of broader socially progressive attitudes: those of a social commentator, not an activist with an agenda for reform. If the writer employed footmen, he says (another indication that his social rank is below Montagu’s, or even that of Mrs Crackenthorpe of the Female Tatler), he would not tell them that servants are naturally liars and cheats, but ‘that Birth and Money were accidents of Fortune . . . that the real Distinction between Man and Man lay in his Integrity’ (Montagu 1993: 133). This fictitious male journalist rejects the belief of many of his sex that ‘as they are men all the Reason that has been allotted to Humankind has falln to their share’ (Montagu 1993: 133). On the contrary, he believes that Reason animates the domestic virtue of women, and that such women’s virtue is purer than that of a philosopher who has his eye on the reward of public fame. This may sound like the kind of separation of spheres that is portrayed and accepted by the Female Tatler and Female Spectator, by the person in the street and by a mouthpiece for his age: ‘Our bolder Talents in full view display’d, / Your Virtues open fairest in the Shade’ (Pope ‘Epistle to a Lady’ 1735: 11). This Nonsense essay does not challenge the economic status quo (dowries, jointures, fortune hunters, and all). Imbalance of power between men and women, like imbalance of power between masters and servants, is here to stay. But the essay does challenge the foundations of this imbalance in principle or theory, rebuking opinions like Chesterfield’s which throw women ‘below the Dignity of the Human Species’ (Montagu 1993: 134). The next essay, about periodical writing itself, gives more attention than usual to attacking Common Sense. The latter’s number for January 1738, written by Chesterfield, begins with an earlier Opposition victory in the defeat of Walpole’s Excise Bill (presented as a victory for a free press). Freedom of speech is identified in a patriotic and eulogistic rant as a British, or English, characteristic: Liberty is ‘our Boast, and the Envy of our Neighbours, the Source of that Virtue, Courage, Capacity, and Science, in which you, to whom I am now writing, so much excel the rest of Mankind’ (Common Sense 1 (21 Jan 1738): 350).8 Walpole’s recent Licensing Act, 21 June 1737, is ‘that masterly Invention of the Inquisition, chief Support of the Papal Throne, and sworn Devourer of all true Piety, Liberty and Virtue’ (Common Sense 1 (21 Jan 1738): 353). This number of Common Sense moves on from politics to long and tediously elaborated jokes based on double entendres about penises. Montagu’s answer, in no. 7 of 14 February (which appeared after an unprecedented three-week gap), begins with a statement of her own political neutrality (condemning ‘their puns and ordures’ (Montagu 1993: 134) but condemning, too, the inanities of official government publications) and turns to concentrate on the issue of indecency in public debate. Even in this context she maintains her habit of considering both sexes. Puerile dirty jokes are too stupid to corrupt either boys or girls; the dim-witted author who chooses to specialise in indecency may need help from a kept mistress who doubles as a writer of smut. In considering clean language Montagu also considers the dignity of literature, high-principled in the previous generation, dragged down by party hacks with plagiarised anti-feminist jokes. This gives a smooth transition to the next number, which returns to the question of liberty but which considers this Opposition shibboleth in a philosophical light. A ‘free people’ (Montagu 1993: 141), it suggests, is not a people liberated from the Gin Act but a people free from pride, envy, and other vices which enslave their hosts; liberty depends on moral choices. Lastly, the writer demonstrates his own freedom of opinion by approving a number of Common Sense.

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This is the closest the Nonsense comes to a simple ‘moral paper’. Like the passage in praise of invisible female virtues, it is almost a moralists’ cliché: it is not riches but integrity that brings happiness. Montagu seeks to free her readers from envy by pointing out the predisposition of the rich to idleness, luxury, and therefore disease, the higher survival rate among those unable to afford a doctor, the likelihood that professions of friendship to the rich and powerful will be insincere, and the certainty that slanders will stick to them more persistently than to others. She writes, from the middling status of her mouthpiece, of the rich man (italics added): ‘His Hours are now past in the Mist rais’d round him by his Money, through which allmost all Objects appear false to him, and none clear’ (Montagu 1993: 143); these ideas ‘ought to make us thankfull to the providence that has plac’d us in an Industrious or Laborious course of life’ (Montagu 1993: 145). The final essay (no. 9 (14 Mar 1738)), which follows this, is equally moral in tone. It deplores the modern vice of impudence (exhibited in lampoon and scandal-mongering), expresses nostalgia for the gendered virtues of old – bravery and chastity – and laments the state of literature: ‘I cannot help looking upon Poetry (the Mistress of my Youth) with the same Compassion and Abhorrence, the Angel in Milton does on Lucifer, / How chang’d! How fall’n!’ (Montagu 1993: 148). This sounds valedictory, though the writer promises to fight on with praise of virtue. ‘I will save as many as I can from Oblivion, I will praise, though with the peril of being insipid; nay, I will praise a first Minister . . .’ (149). This no doubt caught her readers’ attention, though the minister turns out to be Fleury in France, not Walpole in Britain. Nevertheless, the final number of the Nonsense carries an air of capitulation. It is shorter than usual; its nostalgia verges on the reactionary; its dispraise of lampoon seems to leave no space of approval for satire; and its policy of lauding the great and good has just that potential for insipidity which Lady Mary had once deplored in the Tatler. The reader is left wondering: was her exit from the print arena willing or unwilling? Only three sets of Nonsense are known to survive (at Victoria and Yale Universities, listed in OCLC WorldCat, and at the Bodleian, listed in ESTC), which suggests a fairly restricted circulation. Montagu evidently did some circulating herself, since she requested half a dozen copies of the first issue (Montagu 1965–7, vol. 2: 114). The paper’s legend, ‘To be continued as long as the Author thinks fit, and the Publick likes it’ (Montagu 1993: 109), asserted her freedom from political or commercial pressure: the freedom of an amateur writer to make her own rules. The venture was a success in that three of its nine issues were re-used, in whole or in part, by the London Magazine (1732–97) or by that and the Gentleman’s Magazine (1731–1922). Her public voice, then, may have been stilled for purely personal reasons – by free choice, as it had begun. This does nothing to explain why she went public at all. Non-periodical printing had always been thrust on her: Curll had published her Court Poems in 1716 (through James Roberts, incidentally); letters and poems by her had ended up in periodicals; Pope himself may have engineered the printing of her attack on him in the 1733 Verses Address’d to the Imitator of Horace (McLaverty 1998: 184). There is no solid reason to disbelieve her statement that she never printed a line (of verse) (Grundy 1999: 516–17). Her periodical ventures are her sole intentional publications. Their circumstances remain largely unknown: whether Addison requested a Spectator essay or she volunteered

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one; how either of them regarded the transaction; how she arranged to enter the inoculation fray in print as well as by private action. Her two surviving notes to James Roberts, who printed the Nonsense of Common-Sense, make it clear that, despite her comic complaints of power-struggles with her printer, she was in charge. He was apparently accustomed to business meetings at her house. She specified how many copies she required for her own use, and that the original copy should, contrary to common practice, be returned to her. This is the only glimpse that history affords of Montagu moving in the world of the professional author, quite unlike the solitary space in which she had imagined composing the Meditator. She remains an outsider in the Augustan periodical world, unlike such battling women as Manley, Susanna Centlivre, or Eliza Haywood, and equally unlike such aristo politicians as Lyttelton and Chesterfield. The high-minded hack who speaks in the Nonsense of Common-Sense imagines a different climate of journalism, perhaps a fantasy but with some resemblance to a later, actual climate: that in which, for instance, the Society of Women Writers and Journalists was founded in 1894 – a world in which a garret writer can seek to benefit humankind, can find an audience, and perhaps can even see her or himself as living by an honest trade.

Notes 1. As female author or editor of a periodical she was preceded only by Delarivier Manley (the Examiner, 1711, which Manley took over from Jonathan Swift with at least mostly male contributors), and possibly Centlivre or some other actual female hand behind the Female Tatler, 1709–10. Italia (2005) discusses Montagu’s own periodical in Chapter 4. 2. Her youthful albums survive as volumes 250 and 251 in the Harrowby MSS Trust, Sandon Hall, Stafford (Harrowby MS 250, fol. 3). 3. On Montagu’s periodical writings, see also Powell (2014: 85–90). 4. Apologies for some inevitable overlap with Grundy (1999: 7–12, 217–18, and 371–8). 5. Montagu’s widow perhaps owes something to Female Tatler no. 14, the tale of Clarissa, who loves Cynthio but is married by her parents to Senorio. After Senorio dies, Clarissa scorns Cynthio and marries someone else. She, however, is left after a second widowhood still repenting her loss of Cynthio, so ‘poetic justice’ is served. 6. Italia assumes that the unhappy worthy man is Walpole; I have formerly expressed doubt (Italia 2005: 95; Grundy 1999: 371). 7. Italia points out that when Emilia in the Female Tatler says that but for male tyranny ‘we had sat in Parliament long before this time’ (8 Mar 1710) it seems uncertain whether readers are meant to agree or to laugh (Italia 2005: 61–2). 8. References to Common Sense (which ran intermittently from early 1737 to late 1743) are taken from the two-volume compilation published by Purser and Hawkins (1738–9).

Works Cited Addison, Joseph, and Richard Steele. 1965. The Spectator. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Common Sense: or, the Englishman’s Journal. 1738–9. London. J. Purser and G. Hawkins. Grundy, Isobel. 1999. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Comet of the Enlightenment. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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Italia, Iona. 2005. The Rise of Literary Journalism in the Eighteenth Century. Anxious Employment. London and New York: Routledge. James, Elinor. 1715. Mrs. James’s Advice to all Printers in General. London. McLaverty, James. 1998. ‘“Of which being publick the Publick judge”: Pope and the Publication of Verses Address’d to the Imitator of Horace’. Ed. David L. Vander Meulen. Studies in Bibliography 51: 183–204. Maurer, Shawn Lisa. 2010. ‘The Periodical’. The History of British Women’s Writing 1690–1750. Ed. Ros Ballaster. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 156–72. Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley. 1965–7. Complete Letters. 3 vols. Ed. Robert Halsband. Oxford: Clarendon Press. —. 1993. Essays and Poems. With Simplicity, a Comedy. Ed. Robert Halsband and Isobel Grundy. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Pope, Alexander. 1735. Of the Characters of Women: an Epistle to a Lady. London: Lawton Gilliver. Powell. Manushag N. 2014. ‘Women Readers and the Rise of the Periodical Essay’. A Companion to British Literature, Vol. III: Eighteenth-Century Literature 1660–1837. Ed. Robert DeMaria, Jr, Heesok Chang, and Samantha Zacher. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. 78–94. Sedgwick, Romney, ed. 1970. ‘John Barnard (c. 1685–1764), of Mincing Lane, London, and Clapham, Surr.’. The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1715–1754. Oxford: Boydell and Brewer. (last accessed 2 July 2017). Steele, Richard. 1987. The Tatler. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Taylor, Stephen. 2004. ‘Walpole, Robert, first Earl of Orford (1676–1745)’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. (last accessed 18 Jan 2017).

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11 Eliza Haywood’s Periodicals in Wartime Catherine Ingrassia

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he index to Eliza Haywood’s Female Spectator (1744–6) does not include an entry for ‘war’. Battles, casualties, and munitions do not appear in the two alphabetised columns of topics and episodes. Haywood’s narrative persona, the Female Spectator, states ‘it is my business, as a Spectator, to let as little as possible escape me’. Since evidence of Britain’s involvement in global conflicts as well as a violent domestic rebellion would have been undeniable to all but the most inattentive observer, war becomes an inevitable topic for the periodical.1 The Female Spectator describes how ‘—our Fields are cover’d with Tents;—our Streets swarm with Soldiers;—in every Quarter we hear Drums beating—Trumpets sounding—nothing but military Preparations going forward’ (book 2 (24 May 1744): 70).2 The markers of war are pervasive, a physical, indeed sensory (‘we hear . . .’) presence. In book 2, Haywood specifically foregrounds England’s involvement in multiple military conflicts: ‘We are now engag’d in three Wars— threaten’d with Invasions—Popish Pretenders—Plots, and what not;—great Fleets are equipping;—huge Armaments getting ready;—pressing for Land and Sea Service’ (24 May 1744: 70). Published during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–8), the Female Spectator (twenty-four issues between April 1744 and May 1746) seamlessly weaves descriptions of soldiers, military commanders, military equipment, and battles into discussions of cultural issues, social events, and personal relationships. The integration of the martial and the domestic, the global and the local, evinces the persistence of war and its presence in print culture. War seeped into the cultural consciousness and contemporaneous literary texts, whether through newspaper accounts, returning veterans, or national fast days. Haywood’s readership arguably normalised what Mary Favret terms ‘wartime’, the everyday state of war (2009: 2). Our ability to recognise the presence of war in Haywood’s periodical has, perhaps, been obscured by the periodical’s simultaneously immediate and enduring readership. Clara Reeve, praising Haywood’s ‘labours to the service of virtue’ later in her career describes the Female Spectator as one of ‘those works by which Haywood is most likely to be known to posterity’, suggesting the perceived timelessness of the text (1785, vol. 1: 121). On the one hand, monthly publication inherently claims a certain topicality with its commentary on contemporary social mores, treatment of current events, and integration of letters from readers, creating the illusion of immediate dialogue within a community of contemporaries. But on the other hand, the text’s appeal to subsequent generations and its iteration as a bound periodical – complete with index – screens that immediacy, even in an era when ‘news’ moved at a slower pace. The values it endorses align with the norms of the emergent British identity in an increasingly global environment.

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While Haywood refers to specific wartime incidents in the Female Spectator, her objective is not to relay details about the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–8), but to illustrate how England’s military engagements shape the British character and the construction of gender. The periodical has often been read as an example of the new ‘reformed Haywood’, an approach persuasively debunked by scholars such as Eve Tavor Bannet (2006) and Kathryn R. King (2006). Rather, the text’s urging for modulated behaviour stems in part from Haywood’s sensitivity to the environment in which she wrote. The sustained condition of wartime prompts, indeed requires, reflection upon the appropriate behaviour for the civilian and the soldier, for men and for women. The pressures war places on a culture, or a couple, intensify their fundamental elements. The Female Spectator seeks to engender moderation, attentiveness, and contemplation in its readers. The Female Spectator herself makes repeated laudatory comments about those in military and naval service, emphasising their importance in maintaining the commercial and political interests of the nation. These sentiments, aligned with a more conservative Patriot perspective, insist readers understand – and reflect upon – the chain of economic and institutional relationships underpinning consumer culture. If the Female Spectator eschews minute details about battles and military strategy, Haywood’s follow-up project, the Parrot, is long recognised as a periodical that more actively engages specific current events. During its brief run of only nine titles (roughly weekly from 2 August to 4 October 1746), the Parrot directly discusses global and domestic military situations. Detailed descriptions of the European conflict recount specific battles, casualties, and treaty negotiations, while the discussion of the aftermath of the Jacobite Rebellion focuses on the trials and punishments of the rebels. With the ‘Compendium of the Times’ that follows the body of the periodical, Haywood creates an implicit dialogue between the information her readers gather in contemporaneous newspapers and what she herself provides. As the subtitle describes, the compendia take the well-known form of ‘A Letter to a Friend in the County’ and seek to communicate ‘a little Summary of such Occurrences as appear worthy of Attention’ (no. 1 (2 Aug 1746): 189).3 Each letter is dated, heightening the sense that the Parrot is conveying ‘news’. The compendia appeared in only numbers 1–5 and again in number 9. Nos. 6 through 8 have only a ‘truncated note’, and, as Christine Blouch suggests, perhaps relaying recent news and current events ‘proved difficult to sustain’ (Haywood 2001b: 175). The Parrot, true to his name, distinguishes himself as ‘the Reporter’ not the Author, drawing his ‘Intelligence’ from ‘whatever either the public Prints, or such Private Correspondence as I am let into’ (no. 1 (2 Aug 1746): 189). The compendia’s epistolary form within the Parrot makes the entire periodical a more personal, less contemplative narrative poised to generate emotion not just reflection. The somewhat less polished, arguably more hurried prose also conveys the sense of immediacy that haunts the text. Despite the difference in purpose and narrative form, the two periodicals share a continuity in their representation of behaviour during wartime. In discussing war in both periodicals, Haywood touches on some fundamental organising principles of eighteenth-century culture – the construction of gender, national identity, and the connection between the political and the personal. Private actions shape the public good. Yet, as always, Haywood is also keenly aware of the marketplace and the commercial value of the discourse of war. During the 1740s, the specific military events Haywood’s

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texts engage – the Battle of Dettingen and the Jacobite Rebellion – became the subject of myriad popular cultural venues, ranging from songs and prints to re-enactments of the battles in theatres and pubs. Writers, whether publishing in newspapers, periodicals, broadsides, or volumes, found a willing audience and such texts complemented the other commercial elements of war; as Kathleen Wilson details, mugs, plates, teapots, medals, and other tokens of military victory were desirable consumer goods (1998: 146–7). Even though Haywood is not marketing the war exclusively, its presence increases her texts’ topicality and appeal. This essay discusses Haywood’s representation of war in the Female Spectator and the Parrot. The Female Spectator advocates that female readers gain knowledge of England’s military efforts in the face of inevitable war and advises a modulated, rational response both from those readers and the English nation at large. It warns of the dangers of myopic zeal in the soldier and the civilian. Through her narrative about the effects of the Battle of Dettingen on one couple, Haywood details the consequences of failing to achieve a balance between the martial and the domestic. More emotional and narratively raw, timely rather than timeless, the Parrot graphically illustrates the consequences of excessive passion – whether in the Rebels or the punishing Duke of Cumberland. Passion, for good or for ill, fuels strong political allegiance, national identity, or personal attachments – all the stuff of which wartime is made. Both periodicals urge regulated behaviour for the soldier, the coquette, and the national leaders alike. However, the Female Spectator constructs those behavioural norms as enduring, regardless of context, while the Parrot, published in a crisis moment, shares those norms but examines their situational relevance. Exploring the discourse of war in these two Haywood periodicals enriches our understanding of Haywood as an author, her strategies for those publications, and the domestic effects of war on mid-century British culture.

The Female Spectator and the Parrot The Female Spectator admits she does not address the specific details of military conflict at all, claiming some topics come not within the Province of a Female Spectator—such as Armies marching,— Battles fought,—Towns destroyed,—Rivers cross’d, and the like:—I should think it ill became me to take up my own, or Reader’s Time, with such Accounts as are every Day to be found in the public Papers. (book 8 (4 Dec 1744): 295) That distinction between the daily ‘public Papers’ and a periodical like the Female Spectator marks the difference between the immediate gratification offered by ‘news’ and the more reflective practice her monthly periodical seeks to engender. As the narrator reminds readers from the beginning, she wants to satisfy their ‘reigning Humour’, ‘Curiosity’, in a fashion that simultaneously makes her ‘as universally read as possible’ and teaches readers to ‘regulate their own’ behaviour (book 1 (24 Apr 1744): 18). Regulation results from cultivating a community of informed, engaged female readers who will, with the Female Spectator as a guide, gain an understanding of the effects of global conflicts on domestic life, effects they see all around them. Although most often away from the battlefield, women regularly witness the products of war if not the particulars of the military action.

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As the Female Spectator notes, ‘many of my readers were spectators’ to the events she describes. Her perspective and commitment to be an ‘ear witness’ provides a foundation for women’s action. Such guidance is particularly urgent in a culture where women are ‘most fond of military gentlemen’ (book 2 (24 May 1744): 77). For such women, the highest priority should be preserving their spouse’s ‘Fame’. The periodical exemplifies this ideal with a public moment the Female Spectator claims to have witnessed wherein the audience of that theatre spontaneously erupts in applause and huzzahs ‘when the Wife and two Sons of a great Admiral came into the Box’ (77). As ‘the Voice of the People is the best Trump of Fame’, this episode is a testament to his success. Public adoration in his absence, Haywood suggests, not only compensates for that absence but, in fact, exceeds the pleasure he himself could provide his wife: ‘his Glory, dearer to her than all the Satisfaction his Presence could have bestow’d, dearer to her than even his Life, since it was so to him, enabled her to take a Pleasure even in the Sufferings by which he purchased it’ (77). Her pleasure and identity, completely drained of self, is the obverse of the narcissism that, as Haywood details, increasingly plagues military men. The Female Spectator focuses on the constructions of masculinity the absence or presence of war produces, valuing men who align with the norms of civic humanism. As King notes, the periodical shares the general feeling that England under Walpole was slipping into ‘weakness, effeminacy, and national shame and that nothing short of a reassertion of military might would restore the nation’s moral fiber’, a sentiment consistent with the Patriot argument (2003: 10). Book 2 vividly presents the dangers of highly effeminate men unmoored from the responsibilities or insights appropriate to a citizen. The Female Spectator reflects upon the claim by ‘a lady’ who observes the ‘long Peace’ produces an abundance of ‘Coxcombs and Finikins’ who are too easily seduced by ‘softening Luxuries’ (24 May 1744: 70). Predictably, such ‘fine Gentleman’ remain ‘as calm and unconcern’d as ever’ during wartime – except when ‘the Interruption of our Commerce prevents from being imported’ those commodities central to their personal appearance including clothes of ‘the French cut’, ‘fresh Orangeirie and Beramot’, and ‘Vermillion Paste’ (70). This consumer mentality presents ‘an insuperable Difficulty’ for such men ‘to bring themselves to that Hardiness and Neglect of personal Ornaments, which suits with the Life of a Soldier’ (71). However, even ‘the military Gentlemen’ are ‘infected’ with this ‘Over-Delicacy’ (71). Soldiers have adopted the personal grooming habits of the fop. The Female Spectator produces a copy of a bill from one ‘Cornet Lovely’, ‘a Gentleman now in the Army’ (71). The invoice for £38 9s 6d – notably dated 6 June 1743, exactly three weeks before the Battle of Dettingen – includes items such as ‘a Riding Mask to prevent Sunburn’, ‘12 Pots of cold Cream’, and ‘30 Pounds of perfum’d Powder’. Men like Lovely are the inevitable product of a consumer society that seduces men away from their civic and military interests. The narcissistic preoccupation with appearance and self-presentation runs counter to the esprit de corps that should characterise a soldier. The soldier’s loss of the items listed in the invoice – ‘Ammunition’ for this ‘Doughty hero’ (71) – ‘would have given him more concern than the rooting of the whole Army, provided his own dear Person had escaped without a Scar’ (72). The valuing of self over unit, personal appearance over national interest, marks the failure of the male citizen and of the principles of civic humanism. Such ‘effeminancy’ borne of ‘the softening Luxuries of their Silken Youth’ must be cast aside before these ‘new-fledg’d Warriors’ can ‘Soar to Glory’ (72).

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Although persistent effeminacy threatens to erode the effectiveness of the British soldier, the other extreme – a military man who neglects ‘all Decencies of Life to prove his Attachment to his Vocation’ – is an equally narcissistic ‘Affectation’. Eschewing a tent and choosing to ‘lie on the bare Earth, exposed to all the Inclemencies of the Air’ has ‘an equal share of Vanity’ as adorning a pavilion with ‘velvet and Embroidary’ (72). The theatre of war becomes the site for the performance of hypermasculinity. ‘Bravery’, when purely symbolic and ‘of no service’, becomes a form of idleness, as dangerous as Syrena Tricksey’s performative ‘virtue’ in Haywood’s Anti-Pamela (1741). Cunningly, Haywood identifies in the compromised military man the faults eighteenth-century culture most frequently ascribed to women – vanity, narcissism, idleness – problems the Female Spectator attempts to eradicate in its female readers. Notably, the Female Spectator privileges the importance of modelling ‘emulative’ behaviour among military men. She notes that ‘the Example of Others’ during ‘Frequent Campaigns’ will teach ‘new-fledg’d Warriors’ how to ‘wear off’ this effeminacy. The role of the community in the shared reinforcement of behavioural norms replicates in a masculine, martial sphere the stated objective of the Female Spectator in the feminine domestic sphere: to regulate behaviour through the creation of meaningful communities. This irregular behaviour by military men has consequences beyond the field of battle, however. The army’s masculine, homosocial environment threatens to erode more appropriately modulated behaviour of men when they return to society. Military action can create a sense of self-importance that completely skews a man’s self-awareness and connection to others. ‘Having done a gallant Action in the Field’, a man may look ‘upon himself as a little Deity’ and as a result ‘dispense with all other Obligations’ (72). That word ‘obligation’ encompasses both the domestic responsibilities one might have toward tenants, creditors, or employers, and emotional commitments and reciprocal relationships within a romantic context. The Female Spectator’s concern that the military causes men to privilege male homosocial relationships (which, in the extreme, are narcissistic) above private, heterosexual bonds, extends to a consideration of the specific effects battle has on individual men and, in turn, the women to whom they are attached. The narrative of Aminta and Amaranthus illustrates these concerns, potentially shared by many readers. Prior to embarking on the Continental campaign that culminates in the Battle of Dettingen, Amaranthus proposes to his beloved Aminta. Although military glory ‘till now had been the darling Idol of Amaranthus’s soul’ (73), his love for Aminta initially makes a soldier’s life less appealing. However, their inevitable separation produces very different reactions. After Amaranthus departs for the Continent, Aminta becomes preoccupied with military actions: ‘all the Conversations she coveted was such as inform’d her concerning the Army’ (73). Although her interest is prompted by an awareness of ‘the Dangers to which a Life . . . must inevitably be exposed’ (73), it results in her acquiring knowledge at a detailed level about the actions of the British army. Whether gaining knowledge through conversation or news, Aminta ‘was only pleas’d or sad according as she heard they were near, or at a Distance, from the Enemy’ (73). She follows, to the degree possible, the actual troop movements. The romantic love that prompts Aminta’s interest causes her to be a more engaged and informed British subject with a clear-sighted ability to sustain interest in one topic, and one person, over a long period of time, a desirable quality in a female civilian.

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By contrast, Amaranthus reveals his vacillating nature during his deployment. Although his commitment to Aminta has always been marked as temporally contingent – he ‘loved with the utmost Passion at that Time’ (73, emphasis Haywood’s) – his experience at the Battle of Dettingen fundamentally changes him. A pivotal encounter during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–8), also known in England as King George’s War, the Battle of Dettingen (27 June 1743) is of importance in British history almost solely because of the sovereign’s presence on the battlefield. The ‘Pragmatic Army’, a force of roughly 37,000 British soldiers and 13,000 allied troops consisting of Austrian and Hanoverian soldiers confronted French troops in excess of 70,000, who actually had the British surrounded. George II himself led in the field of battle, with the Horse Guards allegedly playing ‘Britons, Strike Home!’ as they charged. The French lost between 4,500 and 6,000 men while the alliance casualties were between 2,000 and 3,000 in total, with British casualties only about 850 by most estimates. This battle generated fierce popular cultural coverage. For example, in the two months following the battle the Gentleman’s Magazine (1731–1922) published four poems celebrating the victory. Handel wrote a Te Deum in celebration of the victory, poet Elizabeth Boyd penned a hymn (‘Glory to the highest, a thanksgiving poem. On the Late victory at Dettingen’), and James Worsdale composed a rousing song, ‘The Routing of the French Forces’. The particulars of the battle were so widely known that it even became fodder for a joke that appeared in the 1745 publication The Whet-Stone: or the spawn of puzzle. Being a fresh collection of conundrums, never before publish’d (‘Why is Admiral M. like the English at Dettingen?’).4 Haywood’s choice of Dettingen as the site of Amaranthus’s actions in the field underscores the popular (and marketable) knowledge of the battle, making this a recognisable, translatable moment for many readers. Although Amaranthus’s Regiment ‘suffer’d greatly, and he himself was wounded in many Places’, he refused to leave the field of battle; ‘he behaved with the utmost Intrepidity’. These wounds ‘purchased him immortal Honour’, giving his family ‘greater Reason to congratulate than condole them’. Only ‘an unlucky Blow upon the Head’ stops him; he appears to be dead and ‘for some Hours discover’d no Symptoms of Breath’ (74). Haywood details the fragile lines of communication, the likelihood of misinformation, and the disorder of war. ‘In the Confusion everyone was after the Battle’ it is understandable ‘that in the Accounts transmitted of it, this young Hero’s Name should be inserted in the List of those who were Kill’d’ (74). Such mistakes, also a common trope in dramas and fictional narratives, might affect anyone with a loved one in military service. On the home front, this erroneous information throws Aminta into ‘Grief and Despair . . . too violent to endure long Continuance.’ When Amaranthus does return alive, however, he is ‘no longer the same person’ (76). Dettingen fundamentally changes him; he experiences an ‘Alteration of his Behaviour’ (75) that ultimately prompts a rejection of Aminta and causes her to leave society altogether. This conclusion is a key departure from the romance trope where the couple ends up united despite the misinformation. A twenty-first-century perspective might mark this alteration, Amaranthus’s ‘fundamental change of temper’, as a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. For Haywood, however, it is evidence that ‘Love and Glory are things incompatible’ for some men. Buoyed by his military success (or perhaps his own survival), Amaranthus has become as narcissistic as the foppish Cornet Lovely, with ‘Eyes that seem intent rather on Things within himself, than any thing he can find without’. His slightly

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feminised mannerisms, ‘a scornful Toss of the head, a careless Fling of the Arms’, mark the new Amaranthus, a man ‘full of Self-sufficiency’ (76). Rejecting the once-prized romantic relationship with Aminta, Amaranthus now ‘seems to think what he has done commands as his Due, the Love and Respect of all who see him’. It is ‘beneath him even to regard, much less imagine himself oblig’d by’ anyone (76). Service to country within a military context confers a form of masculinity achievable only within hierarchical male homosocial relationships. Yet, when that service supplants all other relationships and ruins the capacity to interact meaningfully with a broader culture, the solipsism drains such dedicated service of all value. Amaranthus ‘now thought no woman worthy of the serious Passion of a Man like himself’, believing ‘a tender Intercourse with the Ladies took up too much of a Soldier’s Mind’ (75–6). While patriotic fervour is to be applauded, it, ‘like all other virtues, degenerates into Vice, by being carried to an Extreme’ (72). When ‘Zeal for the Service of his King and Country’ supplants his affections for Aminta, making country, not another woman her chief ‘Rival’, that rejection marks Amaranthus as more ‘savage’ than ‘true hero’ (76). It fractures the civilising bonds of a domestic relationship and denies Aminta the ability to contribute to the public good as a supportive and adoring spouse. In using such personal narratives as the basis for moral education, the Female Spectator invites the kind of criticism levelled by ‘Curioso Politico’ in book 9: that despite promises of relaying a ‘perfect Account of the most momentous Actions’ she has instead offered only ‘Home-Amours, Reflections on Human Nature, the Passions, Morals, Inferences, and Warnings to your own Sex’ (3 Jan 1745: 293). Haywood’s reply, borne out by her treatment of the Battle of Dettingen, locates national values primarily in personal actions: ‘the better we regulate our Actions in private Life, the more we may hope of public Blessings, and the more we shall be enabled to sustain public Calamities’ (296). The applicability of that approach crosses gender, pertaining as powerfully for the wife at home as it does for the soldier for whom she waits. While the Parrot ultimately espouses a similar message, it assumes a different method for presenting it. The immediacy of the weekly periodical, the inclusion of news items, and dated compendia, results in a more current if less polished text. The main body of the Parrot discusses the domestic and global situation in general, often philosophical terms, while the compendia offered more detailed information. The discussion of international events, though more frequent, is less personalised, more remote. The Parrot recounts ‘the most dismal Scenes of war and Devastation’. (‘A Body of Five Thousand Men, commanded by M. Mirepoix, has been three Times repulsed by the King of Sardinia’s Troops’ (no. 1 (2 Aug 1746): 189)). He shares shifting public opinion about the strategic value of hard-won colonial outposts: You will be surprized, I believe, to hear that Cape Breton, a Place of so much real Importance to our Trade, and which to be possest of has cost so much Blood and Treasure, is now beginning to be insinuated in some of our News-Papers, as of much less Consequence than it has been represented. (no. 4 (23 Aug 1746): 236) And he details negotiations that raise ‘Hopes of an Approaching Peace’ in the War of Austrian Succession while lamenting the unreliability of the ‘Plentipotentaries’ responsible for making it happen: (‘. . . in all Human Contingencies there is always, and ever will be a Danger of some unlucky if, that throws every thing back into its former

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Channel’ (no. 3 (16 Aug 1746): 223)). While these accounts navigate the fine line between critique and reportage, they generally remain more purely factual and less narratively engaging. However, the cultural fascination with the Jacobite Rebellion and its aftermath, arguably the kind of ‘Public Calamity’ to which Haywood refers, demanded Haywood meaningfully and consistently address that crisis moment since the Parrot emerged during the height of coverage. The Rebellion (1745–6), though failed, represented a legitimate attempt by Stuart loyalists to reclaim the crown of England. Capitalising on the British commitment of troops in Europe to the War of the Austrian Succession, the Jacobite army, led by Charles Edward Stuart (or ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’), invaded Scotland in July 1745. Gathering 6,000 men, the Jacobite army moved south, entering England in November and ultimately coming within 120 miles of London. Although at that point the army returned to Scotland, its numbers nearly doubled as it headed south again in January 1746. Hampered by a lack of funds, the Jacobite army ultimately confronted the alert, organised, and well-fed British troops led by the Duke of Cumberland, ending with the disastrous Battle of Culloden on 16 April. The trials of the captured rebels in the summer months captivated London. The London Evening-Post of Thursday 31 July to Saturday 2 August 1746, the week the Parrot was first published, demonstrates the cultural preoccupation with rebellion and all its participants. For example, on the front page, that issue features news stories about raising money for the Pretender, the ‘Disposition and Cantonment of his Majesty’s Troops now in Scotland, consisting of 16 Regiments’, and details of the Duke of Cumberland’s visit to York. On the following page, the advertisement for the Parrot sits adjacent to a text addressing the legal ramifications of treason: the second edition of Some Considerations on the Law of Forfeiture, for High Treason. Occasion’d by a Clause, in the late Act, for making it Treason to correspond with the Pretender’s Sons, or any of the Agents, &c., ‘corrected and much enlarg’d, with an Appendix, concerning Estates-Tail in Scotland’. Questions of loyalty, political affiliation, and national identity literally surround the Parrot; to not deal directly with the rebellion would have been commercially unwise and journalistically out of touch. Throughout the compendia, Haywood conveys information about the rebels, their trials, and their executions, seeking to remain a kind of news aggregator, the ‘reporter’ she claims to be from the start. For example, she describes the pursuit of rebels or ‘Runaways’ by Captain James Campbell, acknowledging ‘Some of the News Papers give a very particular Account of this skirmish’ which to repeat ‘would be too tedious for a Letter’. However, she does see fit to provide a body count (‘all were very much wounded, and all their private men killed, except three’ (no. 2 (9 Aug 1746): 208)), and a commentary on the quality of the Highlander’s munitions: ‘On our side, none were so much as touched, though the Balls went through the Cloaths of several.— Their Powder or their Shot, I have observed, has been always extremely defective’ (no. 2 (9 Aug 1746): 208). The familiarity of terms, names, and movements signals the broader cultural knowledge. Haywood uses a number of different strategies for presenting this domestic war and its aftermath to her readers. Sometimes Haywood taps into already sensationalised, already circulating accounts related to the rebels. For example, in a postscript to Compendium no. 1 ‘Saturday, Aug. 2, 1746’ she recounts the romantic story and ‘sad Catastrophe’ of rebel James Dawson whose beloved dies upon his execution when

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she sees ‘the Fire kindled, which was to consume that Heart she knew so devoted to her’ (no. 1 (2 Aug 1746): 193). Haywood withholds a prolonged narrative with ‘any Repetition of what she suffered’, insisting ‘none, excepting those utterly incapable of feeling any sort of generous Emotions, but may easily conceive her Agonies’ (no. 1 (2 Aug 1746): 193). Although the narrator shares her own reaction – ‘the Story very much affected me, as I doubt not but it will you, and all who hear it’ – it compels the reader to seek other sources for a fuller accounting of the day. Haywood’s strategic inclusion of that tale – ‘Just as I had finished the Above, I received the following Account, . . . [and] opened my Letter again on purpose to insert it’ (no. 1 (2 Aug 1746): 192) – might betray a capitulation to market pressures. Alternately, Haywood reiterates the bodily violence done to the punished Highlanders. Listing the names of nine Highlanders ‘executed at Kennington-Common’ (no. 1 (2 Aug 1746): 191), the Parrot recounts how ‘They suffered the Death of Traitors, their Hearts and Bowels burnt by the Common Hangman, and I hear their Heads are to be set up as a Memento on the Gates of London, Manchester, and Carlisle’ (191–2). The identification of the specific places within London, and within the kingdom, where readers can actually see either executions or ‘mementos’ of the same heightens the material reality of the war’s aftermath. Yet Haywood observes that she does ‘not find that the gay World are enough affected with the Troubles of the Times, to deny themselves any Part of their usual Diversions’. That wilful indifference prompts her to demonstrate that violence is not limited to victims of war, or perhaps, that wartime produces unanticipated victims. ‘[U]gly Casualties’ also include domestic ‘casualties’ of ‘some particular Families’: ‘Two have cut their Throats, one hanged himself, three have been drowned by Accident, and two by their own Design’ (no. 1: 192). These domestic casualties of unspecified cause (disappointed Jacobites? despondent individuals?) should remind readers that the ‘Troubles of the Times’ in fact always already surround them. By pointing to both the public and the domestic evidence of violence, Haywood lays bare the persistence presence of wartime in its multiple forms. Throughout the treatment of the Jacobite Rebellion and its aftermath the maxim articulated in the Female Spectator – private actions shape the public good – guides the advice offered in the main body of the periodical. The narratives range from meditations on foreign troop movements and diplomatic policy to stories harvested from the ‘very choice Collection of Curious Pieces’ the Parrot has ‘treasured up in [its] Mind’ (no. 1 (2 Aug 1746): 186), readily familiar to Haywood readers. However, when such narratives sit between accounts of Scottish rebels and a compendium with detailed information from their trials, they assume a different meaning. For example, Parrot no. 3, published 16 August 1746, includes two seemingly unrelated narratives: an examination of the motives of two Scottish peers condemned to death and the story of the ‘celebrated Toast’ Climene. First, the Parrot explores the rationale and defence of two Scottish peers in the Tower under the sentence of death. The Parrot engages them in a kind of ad hoc dialogue, as though he were cross-examining them, while also humanising their series of unfortunate decisions. The rebels’ plea in court for leniency, their language italicised, is interspersed with the Parrot’s commentary: They urge, as an Alleviation of their Crime, That they entered into a Service so contrary to their Allegiance, without Thought, without Consideration; —that, indeed, I am very ready to believe was the Case: —That they had no sooner

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engaged themselves, than they repented of what they had done; —that may be, yet they returned not to their Duty: —That they fought, yet were not desirous of Victory; —that appears a little incredible, but if true it is an undeniable Argument, that what I alledged was just: —That they prevented all the Mischief they could; —yet still they persevered in Measures, which it was easy to foresee would be the Ruin of their Country: —That after the Defeat at Culloden, they might easily have escaped the King’s Forces if they had been so minded, but chose rather to be made Prisoners than preserve their Liberty; —which it is ten to one but they have also repented them of since. (no. 3 (16 Aug 1746): 212) The passage highlights the iconic words of the rebellion (crime, mischief, Culloden) and the key concepts of citizenship: allegiance, liberty, and duty. However, the vacillation the rebels’ narrative presents – the provisional nature of their actions (‘they had no sooner engaged themselves, than they repented’) and the inconstancy of thought (‘they fought, yet were not desirous of victory’) – mark their failure as subjects, resulting in their treasonous activities. This vacillation also compromises their masculinity. The sequence of their actions – thoughtless decision, repentance, complaisance, rationalisation – anticipates the progression of Climene’s narrative that follows, underscoring the rebels’ feminised position. The narrative of Climene shares that thoughtlessness and indecision, although the Parrot initially withholds commentary. Too easily seduced by Lysander, Climene is subject to a complex series of deceptions by which he pretends to be married to ‘an old creature’ (no. 3 (16 Aug 1746): 216) in order to avoid any marital entanglements with her. While Climene ends up happily married to another, the narrative reminds the reader that ‘Human Nature is frail’, prompting the Parrot to advise that ‘the Ladies, as well as the Men, well weigh the Consequences of everything they are about to do, before they bring it to Action’ (no. 3 (16 Aug 1746): 219). Climene, like the rebels, acts on passion with no thoughtful regard for the ramifications of her actions. Climene’s punishments seem minor, even non-existent: she must live with the personal knowledge of her failing and deception, but it’s never revealed to the community as a whole. Similarly, the fate and identity of the peers is withheld within the Parrot, until revealed in the Compendium, creating the illusion that the Parrot shares that information only with his designated recipient, not with the world at large. There, the Parrot unceremoniously states: ‘Last Monday the Earl of Kilmarnock and the Lord Balmerino were beheaded on Tower-Hill, before the greatest Concourse of People that were ever seen together on such Occasion’ (no. 4 (23 Aug 1746): 237). The latter ‘died a Scotchman; then laid down his Head and immediately bid the Executioner to do his Office, whose Hand I am told trembled in such a Manner, that is was not without three Blows the Head of that unhappy Lord was severed from his Body’ (237). The juxtaposition of these narratives reminds readers of the shared motivations of soldiers, rebels, patriots, and lovers. Actions have consequences for all.

Implications of Wartime Within these periodicals’ preoccupation with regulating behaviour, Haywood also expresses concern for more overtly political aspects of war. Which nations should assume responsibility for funding martial efforts? What was England’s obligation

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to its allies on the Continent? Should foreign policy really be determined by shifting domestic politics and leaders? Haywood offers some veiled opinions but drives her readers to newspapers and other accounts that will give them insight into these issues. Haywood wants her female readers, though excluded from the larger conversations about military actions, taxation, and foreign policy, to be knowledgeable of such things and admonishes those who feel otherwise. For example, in a letter to the Female Spectator, Bellemonte complains of a suitor who entertains her only with talk of current events: ‘some grave Reflections on that uncertain Element,—the unhappy Fate of Brave Admiral Balchen,—and the Loss the Navy and whole Nation had of him’ (book 8 (4 Dec 1744): 286). Bellemonte dismisses this approach: ‘as if I had any thing to do with the Admiral, the Navy, or the Nation’ (286). Looking at the sea should summon images of Venus, not the navy. Haywood recognises that many other readers ‘may equally stand in need of that Advice she alone has vouchsafed to ask’ (291), but she is swift and unequivocal in her endorsement of this particular suitor. His ‘Reflections’ should serve to prompt hers and the recognition that, in fact, Bellemonte has everything to do with ‘the Admiral, the Navy and the Nation’. They make her way of life possible. In suggesting that Haywood’s periodicals are ‘at the centre of a cultural matrix addressing important larger questions’, Manushag Powell identifies Haywood’s motivations for incorporating war into her periodicals (2012: 76). She not only wants to delineate appropriate behaviour for both genders – and suggest strategies for communities to subsequently monitor themselves – she always wants her readers to recognise the implications of their own behaviour on character, national identity, and the public good. While that recognition is crucial at any time, it assumes renewed importance during wartime.

Notes 1. As Alexander Pettit reminds us, ‘it is impossible to determine whether Haywood herself compiled the index’. Nevertheless, as he goes on to note, ‘[t]he original indexes are unavoidably interpretive, noticing certain passages and ignoring others’ (Haywood 2001a, vol. 2: 79). That interpretative element is, I’m suggesting, what is important. The indexes are not completely without the mention of the military, although those references occur primarily in connection with social behaviour: e.g. ‘Women, why fond of Military Gentleman’; ‘Wife of a late General, her Behaviour’; or ‘Effeminancy in Army censur’d’. 2. All quotations from the Female Spectator are taken from Haywood 2001a. Part 2. Vol. 2. The number after FS indicates the relevant book number. 3. All quotations from the Parrot are taken from Haywood 2001b. Part 2. Vol. 1. 4. ‘Because he was ill-seconded.’ Admiral M is Admiral Thomas Mathews (1676–1751) who was the subject of a parliamentary inquiry and court martial following his retreat at the 1744 Mediterranean naval Battle of Toulon. Richard Lestock, the ‘second’, abandoned his pursuit of fleeing Spanish ships at, he said, Mathews’s command. Lestock was acquitted and given another position; Mathews was dismissed from the navy (The whet-stone 1745: 11). Boyd’s hymn, like Worsdale’s song, refers to the French generals (Francois-Marie, first Duke de Broglie and French marshal Adrien-Maurice, third Duke de Noailles) by their familiar names ‘Broglio’ and ‘Noailles’. This shorthand suggests the deep familiarity with this battle. Interestingly, Worsdale’s satiric song points to the same effeminacy of the French as Haywood does. For example, in stanza VII, Worsdale writes, ‘There Noailles the Hero, thunders / All his Captains, threat’ning Wonders; / Impatient, long’d to give their Foes, / A Sample of their—fine lac’d Cloaths’. (Cibber 1743: 79).

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Works Cited Bannet, Eve Tavor. 2006. ‘Haywood’s Spectator and the Female World’. Fair Philosopher: Eliza Haywood and The Female Spectator. Ed. Donald J. Newman and Lynn Marie Wright. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. 82–103. Cibber, Theophilis. 1743. Cibber and Sheridan: or, the Dublin Miscellany. Dublin. Favret, Mary. 2009. War at a Distance: Romanticism and the Making of Modern Wartime. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Haywood, Eliza. 2001a. The Female Spectator. The Selected Works of Eliza Haywood. Part 2. Vols 1–2. Ed. Kathryn R. King and Alexander Pettit. London: Pickering & Chatto. —. 2001b. The Parrot. The Selected Works of Eliza Haywood. Part 2. Vol. 1. Ed. Christine Blouch, Alexander Pettit, and Rebecca Sayers Hanson. London: Pickering & Chatto. 179–320. King, Kathryn R. 2003. ‘Effeminate Pacifists and War-Mongering Women: Thoughts on War and Peace in the Long Eighteenth Century’. 1650–1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquires in the Early Modern Era. 9: 3–21. —. 2006. ‘Patriot or Opportunist? Eliza Haywood and the Politics of The Female Spectator’. Ed. Donald J. Newman and Lynn Marie Wright. Fair Philosopher: Eliza Haywood and The Female Spectator. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. 104–21. Powell, Manushag N. 2012. Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Reeve, Clara. 1785. The Progress of Romance, through Times, Countries, and Manners. 2 Vols. Colchester: W. Kaymer. The whet-Stone: or the spawn of puzzle. Being a fresh collection of conundrums, never before publish’d. 1745. London. Wilson, Kathleen. 1998. The Sense of the People: Politics, Culture and Imperialism in England, 1715–1785. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wright, Lynn Marie and Donald J. Newman, eds. 2006. Fair Philosopher: Eliza Haywood and The Female Spectator. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press.

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12 German Women’s Writing in British Magazines, 1760–1820 Alessa Johns

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ritish readers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries could enjoy the latest Continental European literature translated and reviewed in the magazines. While French literature dominated, interest in German offerings increased throughout the period and became popular as political conflicts with France reduced British gusto for French fare. Scholarly attention has focused, in the past half-century, on canonical male authors. However, German women writers consistently received notices in British periodicals. This essay seeks to draw attention to some of these neglected female authors by bringing their contributions to light; it explains their inclusion in the British magazines, reconstructs their reception, and assesses their significance. Ultimately, an understanding of German women’s writing in British magazines in the period conveys the substantial profit of studying transnational trends in gender socialisation. Scholarship undertaken on German literary influence in Britain has concentrated on central figures of the Romantic period: the travels and studies of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William and Dorothy Wordsworth in Germany from 1798 to 1799, for example; Henry Crabb Robinson, who lived in Germany from 1800 to 1805, studied at the University of Jena for three years, and wrote a series of influential articles about German philosophy published in the Monthly Register (1802–3); the remarkable popularity of the dramas of August von Kotzebue, whose play Lover’s Vows (trans. 1798) was incorporated by Jane Austen into her novel Mansfield Park (1814). Setting the stage for these figures were earlier exchanges, however, which – aside from the popularity of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, particularly The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774, trans. 1779), and Friedrich Schiller’s play The Robbers (1781, trans. 1792) – have not received thorough academic consideration.1 The limited attention to pre-Revolutionary foreign literary influences overall has been paid mostly to French contributions.2 These productions did still dominate the market for translations in the mid-eighteenth century, and a good number of the German works available were actually translated via French versions, as was the case with the first English publication of Werther. (Other translations of Werther from the original German appeared in 1786, 1799, 1801, 1802, with another from the French in 1789 (Stockley 1929: 138).) In addition, an argument continues to hold sway that the scant interest that existed in German literature before the French Revolution was entirely squelched by reactionary criticism in the 1790s; German writings were tainted by radical ideology and rejected. While some notices in the periodicals do disparage the sensibility or doctrinal freedom displayed in German texts – examples of which will appear below – consideration of

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German literature in the magazines, while perhaps slowed, was in fact not interrupted during the Napoleonic era. Perhaps the market itself imposed the greatest limitations. Importing books was difficult and expensive, and sometimes the material condition itself of the German books, especially paper and print, was not good (Jefcoate 1996: 47; Brown 2005: 113). Even for those interested in and determined to read German literature by the early nineteenth century, it was hard to get their hands on German volumes. A ‘Sketch of Foreign Literature’ in the London Magazine (1820–9) lamented: While the Germans publish reprints and translations of the best English works at a fourth part of the price that we pay for the originals, we cannot afford to do the same with theirs; and even those who understand the German language are not able to purchase, as they would gladly do, on account of the high prices charged by the London booksellers, which are partly to be ascribed to the heavy duty on importation. (8 (Aug 1823): 210) As a consequence, periodicals played an important role in conveying to British readers events in the German literary world. Over twenty different British journals offered notices, reviews, extracts, and translations of German works in the period 1760–1820 (Morgan and Hohlfeld 1949). During the Seven Years War, for example, periodicals convey a fascination with Frederick the Great, the warrior and friend of the arts, and this whetted interest in what was happening generally in German letters; mideighteenth-century British readers were especially keen on finding out about such prominent religious figures as Nicolaus Zinzendorf, the Herrenhuters, or the Moravians. Popular interest in German literature continued to increase in the second half of the eighteenth century, with the interest in sensibility, horror, and the Gothic accelerating the rate and number of translations, especially in the 1790s, and then substantially from the 1820s on. As for German women writers, I have counted well over a dozen female authors who received attention in the British magazines in the years under review: Karoline Fouqué, Therese Huber, Amalie von Imhoff, Anna Luisa Karsch, Margarete Klopstock, Sophie von La Roche, Wilhelmine Lichtenau, Amalie Ludecus, Johanna Merlau, Benedikte Naubert, Karoline Pichler, Johanna Schopenhauer, Karoline Stahl, Rahel Varnhagen, Karoline von Woltmann, and Caroline von Wolzogen. The best known of these writers composed prose fiction, and because of the lively interest in such narratives – often disparaged as hackwork – some commentators felt that the best German writing was not making its way to Britain. In The Stranger in England (1807), the German traveler C. A. G. Goede explained: ‘Many English consider German literature immoral and dangerous; but they have formed their hasty opinion on some trifling German novels, which too easily find their way from circulating libraries to the toilet of beauty’ (vol. 2: 152).3 Indeed, women, prime customers of the circulating libraries, formed a significant part of the reading public, and the popular Gothic novels that offered toilet-table diversion were, it was feared by conservative commentators, vitiating their taste. But religious piety and moral themes also found favour. German author Salomon Gessner’s The Death of Abel (trans. 1761) and Christoph Martin Wieland’s Abraham (1764) were the best-known German works at mid-century; they ‘were specially popular with women readers, who, at that time, having much more leisure, read much more than men. It is worth noting also how

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many of the early translators were women’ (Stockley 1929: 6). Mary Collyer translated The Death of Abel (1761); she and her husband and co-publisher Joseph were among the most active purveyors of German material up until their deaths in 1763 and 1776 respectively. In addition to the fascination with Werther, there were in the magazines further translations of Gessner, for example; extracts and reviews of popular plays like Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Emilia Galotti (1772) and novels like von La Roche’s The History of Lady Sophia Sternheim (1771); examples of the poetry of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock and Gottfried August Bürger and Johann Gottfried Herder and Lessing; extracts from and discussions of the physiognomy of Johann Kaspar Lavater; examples of the medical and literary and religious work of Albrecht von Haller; travel writings by Johann Kaspar Riesbeck; philosophical works of Johann Georg Zimmermann; critical essays by Johann Joachim Winckelmann; and so forth – in short, a wide range of writings appeared, were discussed, and were often then reprinted in additional periodicals, which attests to the desire of publishers and readers to distribute and read this foreign material.4 However, despite the variety of German writings available in the journals, and despite a reading public consisting of both men and women, Bayard Quincy Morgan and A. R. Hohlfeld – the most active twentieth-century researchers on the subject – largely accepted a gendered valuation of the literature, with contributions deemed feminine misprized. In Morgan and Hohlfeld’s German Literature in British Magazines 1750–1860, gender becomes a way of explaining how non-canonical authors could be promoted in the journals: Attention paid to minor and even insignificant writers is often out of all proportion to the interest in really great German men of letters; compare for instance the ten references to Anna L. Dürbach (Karschin) with the five to Herder. . . . The great interpreter of Ossian, of Percy’s work, and of Shakespeare thus remains practically ignored during the eighteenth century. (Morgan and Hohlfeld 1949: 42) Anna Luisa Karsch’s popularity and representation in the periodicals, according to Morgan and Hohlfeld, demonstrates a failure of standards; British periodicals were catering to the faulty taste of a feminised readership, promoting the feeble productions of a woman writer at the expense of truly muscular, masculine literary achievement. But as we will see, Karsch was brought forward precisely because of her strength: she was seen as a natural genius, a kind of Ossian figure, which, whatever the perceived quality of her verse, may have rendered her at the time more interesting than Herder, the talented but derivative interpreter of Ossian. It would therefore seem important to inquire: what actually determined the inclusion and assessment of German women writers in British periodicals? Was their presence in periodicals similar to or different from that of their male counterparts? What does their presence tell us about British cultural preoccupations, gender expectations, and transnational aesthetic trends? It should be noted that both female and Germanist reviewers for the periodicals did exist, even though they were few in number. Such reviewers included, for example, the author and editor Anna Letitia Barbauld and William Taylor, the prolific translator from the German, both of whom wrote notices for the Monthly Review (1749–1844); Mary Wollstonecraft famously called herself ‘the first of a new genus’ for embarking on a career that included writing notices for

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Joseph Johnson’s Analytical Review (1788–99). Since the reviews were published anonymously it is hard to trace authorship precisely, but it is important to remember that reviewers were not generally, as is sometimes suggested, inexperienced or unqualified hacks (Waters 2004: 59–60). I will begin with the fascinating figure of Karsch, just mentioned, and I will then explore more broadly the British reception of a few of the German women writers in magazines between 1760 and 1820, with an occasional forward look to the late Romantic and Victorian era. While the British periodical reception of German women’s writing makes up only a part of foreign translation in the period, it underscores the increasing impact of transnational literary consumption and production and points to suggestive areas for research. Significantly it reveals how, in evaluating a period of war, aesthetic shifts, revolutionary turmoil, and imperial expansion, scholars have consciously or unconsciously shaped a narrative that lopsidedly stresses national identity and thereby reinforces the language boundaries, state divisions, and gender differentiations that some of the periodicals in those tumultuous times actually challenged or sought to diminish. Engagement in a modern, international literary world allowed, through recognition of commonalities in addition to distinctions, a better understanding of Britain’s place among political allies, foes, and Continental neighbours.

Anna Luisa Karsch, Unlettered Genius Anna Luisa Karsch offers a notable example because of her status as an unlettered working-class poet with a knack for improvisation. She gained a certain celebrity in Britain: her work and biography were presented to readers, male as well as female, of the Annual Register (1758–), the Gentleman’s Magazine (1731–1922), the Scots Magazine (1739–1817), and the Court Miscellany: or Gentleman’s and Lady’s New Magazine (1765–71). The first notice of Karsch appeared in the Scots Magazine of December 1761, as an ‘Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Germany to his friend in England, Magdeburg, Nov 22. 1761.’ It focuses on Karsch as a low-born genius who excels especially in odes and tales and can compose remarkably quickly: ‘The most admirable ode only costs her a few minutes, and she one day made twelve in one evening on different subjects, all alike surprising.’ To establish her singularity and notability the account emphasises her unattractive appearance and poignant biography: She is a very disagreeable figure, was born in Silesia, of the lowest extraction, and had never any kind of education or instruction. Her parents forced her to marry a tailor, who treated her in a very barbarous manner; she composing verses, while he made suits. She is now separated from her husband, and lives at Berlin, from whence she came hither to see the court. Every body is curious to see her, and a volume of her poems will soon be published by subscription. She not only surpasses by far all our German poets, but even the ancients. (23 (Dec 1761): 637) In a period when the poems of Ossian were a sensation, finding a living poet who was truly a rustic autodidact or improvisational bard aroused great interest. The next, more extensive account of Karsch appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine three years later, submitted to Mr Urban by a correspondent who found her case

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especially noteworthy ‘as the person is a woman, and her condition such as made literary knowledge more difficult to her than it was either to the learned taylor, Magliabechi, or James Woodhouse’ (34 (Dec 1764): 558–9). These figures were themselves all autodidacts who had earlier gained notice in the Gentleman’s Magazine and elsewhere: the learned tailor, Robert Hill of Buckingham, interested in ancient languages; Antonio Magliabechi, a goldsmith’s apprentice who ultimately became librarian to the Grand Duke of Tuscany; and James Woodhouse, a shoemaker who published Poems on Sundry Occasions in 1764 (see Gentleman’s Magazine 29 (Feb 1759): 51–2; also Goodridge and Keegan 2004: 285). The account of Karsch draws on information from the newly published edition of her works, Auserlesene Gedichte (1764). It was then copied and expanded upon in the Annual Register and Gentleman’s Magazine of 1765, with an added segment on native poetic genius by the editor and including as well a prose translation of her extempore Ode ‘sacred to the memory of her deceased uncle, the instructor of her infancy’. One verse of that poem reads: ‘Under yon green arched roof, I used to repeat to thee twenty passages in praise of God supreme, tho’ they were much above my comprehension; and when I asked thee the meaning of many a dark sentence in the Christians sacred records—Good Man! Thou didst explain them to me’ (Annual Register 8.2 (1765): 42–5, quotation 45; Gentleman’s Magazine 35 (1765): 5–6). So the biographical account of Karsch in the British periodicals shifted. She began as an unlettered, natural genius, and three years later – depicted as gaining instruction at home from a generous uncle – her story became that of an exceptional working-class female figure. The poem dedicated to her uncle demonstrates a becoming gratitude, filial devotion, obligation, piety, and sensibility. Consequently, the verses appealed as well to readers who would see in Karsch’s words a young woman’s proper deference to age and masculine authority. In England she took a place among the group of working-class poets who had gained celebrity, for example Stephen Duck, Mary Collier, William Vernon, Mary Leapor, Ann Yearsley, and others, who became objects of fascination among philanthropists and patrons. Aficionados of ancient and rustic verse-making took interest in peasant poets who seemed to come from another world, whether it was the English countryside, Scotland, Wales, or Germany (Kord 2003). But Karsch fitted into another category too; readers of the Annual Register were shown two of Karsch’s odes about Anglo-German royal ties that appeared later in the same volume of the journal and were translated into verse (8.2 (1765): 274–7). The first of these satisfied a curiosity about the new British queen recently arrived from Germany: ‘the departure for England of her Serene Highness the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz, betrothed to his Britannic Majesty’, which in part reads: Elbe’s banks are crowded, while his flood With ships is cover’d o’er; She, with a look benign and good, Departing, views the shore. Her smiles, whene’er she passes by, Amidst our grief impart Delight to each admiring eye, And rapture to each heart.

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With gold the burnish’d galley glow’d All gorgeous to the view, Which Egypt’s queen down Cydnus row’d, The Roman to subdue. Yet she, tho’ fair, deserv’d far less The homage of mankind; Humanity and nature dress Our Charlotte’s fairer mind. (275) Readers learn of the pride felt by Germans in sending their young and honourable princess to become Britain’s queen. Karsch’s second poem interested British subjects in the Continental aristocrats who supported British military interests; it described the ‘death of Prince Henry of Brunswick, killed in Westphalia, July 20, 1761’, an allied casualty of the Seven Years War: ‘Where is he? Where is Henry laid? My tears shall bathe his wound’; With these maternal cries each shade, Each hill, each vale, resound. Ah! In the thick-embattled plain, Where fame, where valour calls, Nor youth, nor danger can restrain His ardour—see! He falls! (276) Karsch’s glorification of aristocratic heroism and spectacle gained her favour among the elites as well as among readers of the middling ranks hoping to gain information and insight about the wider world through the journals. Consequently, British interest in Karsch’s poetry reinforces the period’s fascination with natural poetic aptitude, derives from the newsworthiness of her verses, and increases because of the unusual foreign perspective she offers on contemporary social and political events. It is noteworthy, however, that national difference plays no meaningful part in the poetry itself or in the commentary on the poet. There is no attempt to distinguish national character or to differentiate between German and British manners or customs. Such a contextual analysis thus allows a very different viewpoint from the dismissive one of Morgan and Hohlfeld, who, perhaps guided by mid-twentiethcentury American critical formalism, elevated the significance of Karsch’s (lack of) command of literary-aesthetic rules over any influence gender norms, national identity, or class limitations might have exercised on her work or its reception. In addition, Karsch’s example of a ‘celebrated German poetess’ improvising for court and salon audiences anticipates the heroine of Germaine de Staël’s Corinne (1807). The immediate model for Staël’s Anglo-Italian improvisatrice Corinne was the Italian female poet Corilla Olimpica, who, like Corinne was crowned at the Roman Capitol; however, the example of Karsch, welcomed to court by Frederick II, emphasises that the improvisatrice was a transnational and to some extent a transhistorical phenomenon lending impetus to the developing figure of the public female poet. It

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enables us to draw comparative international conclusions broader even than the ones suggested by Staël’s travel novel. Indeed, in Women Peasant Poets in Eighteenth-Century England, Scotland, and Germany, Susanne Kord (2003) sees a transnational parallel between the critical attitude toward peasant poets like Karsch and toward women writers in general. She points to the focus on biography, the denigration of artistic merit, the consequent shift of attention to their literature for social and national rather than artistic ends, and the cult of unlettered genius. She then posits a hypothesis: that bourgeois art came to be defined by its exclusion of women’s and non-bourgeois literature, and that art, now defined as masculine and bourgeois, determined which works became canonised. By contrast, women’s and peasants’ literature was assessed as the unexpected but laudable effusions of nature or as unskilful attempts to mimic bourgeois art. This would certainly seem to account for Morgan and Hohlfeld’s reaction to the poetry of Karsch. However, while a survey of German women authors in British periodicals reinforces Kord’s supposition in some cases, it also suggests that the very diverse group of female writers who appear in British magazines were introduced to British readers for a variety of reasons, some depending on the novelty or interest of their texts and some on the ideological aims of the journal. Certainly different genres contributed to varied foci. German women writers’ appearances in British magazines in the period 1760–1820 take the form of reviews, extracts, full translations, notices of translations into English with commentary, biographical accounts, and letters. It is clear that the British magazines from the mid-eighteenth century onward were concerned to bring interested cosmopolitan ‘readers’ and ‘fair readers’ up to date on international literary trends. The Monthly Magazine, for example, offered an article on the Weimar ‘Musenhof ’ or ‘Court of the Muses’, titled ‘Anecdotes of German Authors and Authoresses residing at Weimar in Saxony’ (11 (1801): 40–3 and 145–50), which included short biographies of such male authors as Johann Gottfried Herder and Jean Paul Richter alongside those of Caroline von Wolzogen and Amalie von Imhoff. Imhoff is singled out for having her poem The Ghosts of the Lake ‘set to music by the celebrated composer Wölf l of Vienna’ (150), and the poem itself was translated the next year in the same journal (13 (1802): 45–6). Particular emphasis is laid on Imhoff’s having as a child ‘resided with her parents in England’ so that she still ‘writes and speaks English like her mother-tongue’ (11 (1801): 150). In a similar vein the ‘German Reviews’ in the Scots Magazine of 1820 conclude with an ‘Account of Mrs Caroline Pichler’, called ‘the Madame de Stael of Germany’ even though she lacks ‘so masculine an understanding as the lamented Baroness. She was not cradled amidst those storms of political revolutions which seem to have called forth the manly energies of the French woman’ (ns 86 (Dec 1820): 499–504, quotation 503). So by 1820, comprehensive, comparative literary-historical accounts about foreign authors confidently set the puzzle pieces of European literary history in place for readers of both sexes, and they appear consistently to have included female writers. The same cannot be said for Thomas Carlyle’s later, magisterial review article on ‘The State of German Literature’ for the Edinburgh Review (92 (Oct 1827): 304–51), a journal that forewent broad coverage intended for a wide audience and instead offered longer, analytical review articles on focused topics for readers keen on critical treatments of learned subjects (Butler 1993). The market for accounts of foreign literary productions in the magazines appears to have grown substantial enough to be divided into interested lay and specialist readers.

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Women Mistaken for Men: Sophie von La Roche, Benedikte Naubert, and Johanna Schopenhauer Despite women’s inclusion in the earlier reviews, male authors were given preference, as can be seen in the cases where German women writers were mistaken for men. Under such circumstances their treatment, perhaps unsurprisingly, was more extensive and their value generally heightened. Sophie von La Roche’s novel The Adventures of Sophia Sternheim, translated in 1775, was thought to be written by her renowned cousin and editor Christoph Martin Wieland. His great reputation ensured that the novel received careful attention. Both the Hibernian Magazine (1771–1811) and the Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure (1747–1814) reprinted extended (and identical) translated extracts that continued through several issues. Their introductory paragraph trumpets the appeal of the novel’s didactic message: The following Memoirs are sketched from a new Work, which has been greatly celebrated Abroad. The Author in his Writings seems to have made Mr. Richardson his Model. In all his Productions he has evinced himself to be an able and warm Advocate for VIRTUE; he every-where exhibits to the Reader the Amiableness, the Pleasure, and Dignity of a virtuous Life; and all the ingenious and all the instructive Writings he hath published conspire to illustrate this great Truth, that VIRTUE, however oppressed and involved in temporary Calamities, appears great and glorious in the midst of them, will providentially emerge from them, and ultimately crown its Possessor with signal Honour and substantial Felicity. (Universal Magazine 59 (Nov 1776): 234; also Hibernian Magazine 6 (1776): 829) Not all the journals were as enthusiastic, however. The Monthly Review opined: If a Writer has genius sufficient to rise above the barrenness and insipidity of modern novels, it requires no small share of good sense and taste to avoid extravagance and improbability. The present work, like the former production of Mr. Wieland, is faulty in this respect. We observe many just and striking sentiments; much boldness of colouring; and a great variety of characters and incidents; but we every where meet with violations of nature and propriety. The virtuous characters are elevated to a degree of perfection, and the vicious sunk to a depth of villainy, scarcely to be supposed: incidents are related too extraordinary to be credited; and events are brought about, which though they surprise by their novelty, evidently appear to be the creation of fancy. (55 (Aug 1776): 157) The third sentence of the first Monthly review was copied verbatim by the Scots Magazine to form its notice of the initial Joseph Collyer translation (38 (Aug 1776): 447). But the novel enjoyed a second translation in the same year by Dr Edward Harwood and again received critical attention. The Monthly Review quipped: Dr. Harwood judged very properly in making choice of an agreeable Novel for his Exercise book, when he undertook the tedious task of learning German . . . but we are surprised to find that he has ventured to publish his Exercises, as Miss Sophy Sternheim has already appeared in an English dress, and therefore could

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not be expected to gain much additional notice from any embellishments which Dr. Harwood could give her. We must, however, allow the new Translator the merit of exhibiting this lady before his countrymen in a more pleasing form than that in which she first appeared; and to such of our Readers as are fond of German beauties, we beg leave to introduce her as an agreeable sentimental companion. (55 (Oct 1776): 319) The journal cannot ignore the importance of a second translation from ‘Wieland’, and, however cursorily, it must evaluate the quality of that work. Even so, the notice aims for a jocular tone as it focuses on the translator and the study of the German language more than on the text itself. Again, the Scots Magazine cribs the first half of the second sentence as its commentary on the new translation (38 (Oct 1776): 552). Consequently, despite these periodicals’ lukewarm reception of novels in general and their lack of warmth for Sophia Sternheim in particular, Wieland’s name on the title page means that they felt it necessary to repeat notices of the novel, in both its translations, in their pages. Another example of mistaken authorial identity comes with Benedikte Naubert’s 1788 novel Hermann von Unna, translated into English in 1794 as Herman of Unna, a Series of Adventures of the Fifteenth Century, in which the Proceedings of the Secret Tribunal under the Emperors Winceslaus and Sigismond are delineated. In 3 vols, written in German, by Professor Kramer. Why or even which Professor Kramer is credited with the story is not yet clear (Brown 2005: 113). This translation received long treatments in the Critical Review (1756–1817), the British Critic (1793–9), and the Monthly Review, all of which included extended extracts and an appended historical essay explaining the main feature of the novel, the account of the Vehmgericht, or secret tribunal. The story was so popular that a theatrical adaptation by James Boaden, The Secret Tribunal, appeared in 1795, and the novel then reappeared in abridged form under that same title. Hilary Brown explains the fascination of a secret court to readers who had received dreadful reports of the French Terror and Revolutionary Tribunal: ‘Britons were gripped by a proliferation of conspiracy theories, holding that foreign or even home-grown networks of Jacobins, Freemasons, or Illuminati were plotting the fall of the civilised world. It is unsurprising that the Vehmgericht [was] thrown into relief’ (2005: 115–16). The story offered ways for anxious readers to imagine the mysterious workings of a dark politics. But gender is significant in the reviews too. The British Critic judged that ‘Professor Kramer’s’ work ‘appeared to us in a higher light’ than the other novels, mostly by women, reviewed in the same issue (fictions of Mrs Holford, Mrs Parsons, Mrs Robinson, Mrs Smith, Mrs Roche, and male authors Mr Cazotte and Mr Cumberland): ‘We do not with peculiar warmth recommend the reading of these novels, because we think almost every other innocent species of reading more advantageous’ (3 (Jan 1794): xv–xvi). Yet, as with Ann Radcliffe’s novels, Naubert’s Herman of Unna offered a foreign setting, historical interest, the explained supernatural, and it ultimately reinforced norms that appeared to elevate the genre, and it has indeed been suggested that Radcliffe’s The Italian (1797) was influenced by Naubert’s work (Brown 2005: 125–8). In particular, the British Critic praised Herman of Unna for avoiding ‘violence to probability’, remaining within ‘the bounds of moderation’, and spurring thoughtful reflection ‘on the mysteries of political science, the gloom of bigotry, and the miseries of ignorance’ (3 (Mar 1794): 279). The Monthly Review saw in this work ‘the full force of originality’ (ns 15 (Sep 1794): 21),

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while the Critical Review enjoyed its ‘striking picture of the manners’ of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century (14 (May 1795): 69). Chances of receiving a positive review would appear to have increased substantially if you were, or appeared to be, a man and a professor. Johanna Schopenhauer was also mistakenly identified as ‘Johannes’ when the translation of her short story The Eagle’s Nest appeared in the Dublin University Magazine (12 (Sep 1838): 346–61). This is odd because Schopenhauer, having travelled in Britain in the years 1787 and 1803 and published an account in 1818, saw an 1827 book of stories reviewed and correctly attributed in the Monthly Review, which emphasised how prolific and familiar she was. Again, Schopenhauer was given a harder time as a female author in 1827, than when she had been taken for a male writer: Johanna Schopenhauer is the authoress of many works, good, bad, and indifferent; and we are afraid that the volumes before us cannot be ranked in the former class . . . [Readers], however, whose principal object is the excitement of curiosity, will find no fault with these tales, for it is absolutely impossible, until within the last page or two, to foretel [sic] how the affair will terminate. Imminent danger, hair-breadth escapes, death by usual and unusual means – from the sick bed to the falling of an avalanche – with the essential accompaniments of romance, love, and marriage, form the principal incidents. (ns 8 (May 1828): 132) This notice apparently failed to alert later editors to the author’s proper name and sex. Even though the misidentified Eagle’s Nest contains precisely those wild traits enumerated in the earlier review, the story is translated in full and praised as a narrative people ‘will read with pleasure’ (Dublin University Magazine 12 (Sep 1838): 346). In the tale a poor young woman’s newborn is stolen by an eagle; she climbs a sheer cliff to rescue it, and her astonishing heroism, witnessed by the townspeople, persuades the rakish father of the child to marry her. Perhaps the story was translated in the first place because it was framed by the memoir of a German man visiting Scotland and running into an English friend with whom he had attended the University of Göttingen; they, with the bride of the Englishman, witness the heart-stopping eagle scene on their mutual trip to the Scottish Highlands. The sex of the speaker and the focus on male friendship in the frame likely account for the assumption that the author was a man, and this mistake appears to have helped predispose the editor to commend the work. Moreover, the posthumous publication of Schopenhauer’s autobiography, including the account of her English travels, suggests that Continental women’s writing was more likely to pass critical muster if it took up such masculine subjects as political and social revolution. Schopenhauer’s autobiography became available in translation to British readers in 1847, edited by her daughter Adele and reviewed in the Spectator (20 (1 May 1847): 423–4) and the Eclectic Review (86 ns 22 (Aug 1847): 250). While the former reported that ‘as a life, there is not very much to be said of these volumes, owing to the deficiency of events in the heroine’s career’ (423), the latter by contrast characterised Schopenhauer’s life as ‘full of incident’, because she witnessed major upheavals (‘the dismemberment of Poland . . . Paris just prior to its fearful tragedy . . . the battle of Jena’), with the book as a result exhibiting ‘more than ordinary attractions’ (250). Increasingly stark gendering of speaker and incidents plays into the reception of a foreign woman’s writing.

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Margarete Klopstock, Model Wife If female authors profited from being reviewed as men or offering masculine subjects, nonetheless they could gain praise simultaneously for displays of feminine devotion and selflessness. Margarete Klopstock, wife of the German poet Friedrich Klopstock, procured a reputation in Britain as ‘Klopstock’s Meta’. She wrote three letters to Samuel Richardson, and these were included in the volume of Richardson’s correspondence edited by Anna Letitia Barbauld in 1804. An article about that volume, appearing in the Edinburgh Review (1802–1929), praised Margarete Klopstock’s letters as ‘very beautiful and interesting’; ‘they have pleased us infinitely beyond any thing else in the collection’, despite or perhaps because of the ‘lisping innocence of the broken English in which they are written’ (5 (Oct 1804; 3rd edn 1806): 39). In those letters Margarete Klopstock details, in raptures of love and religious piety seemingly inspired by Richardson’s epistolary heroines, how she met and eventually married the poet Friedrich Klopstock. ‘After having seen him two hours, I was obliged to pass the evening in a company, which never had been so wearisome to me. I could not speak, I could not play; I thought I saw nothing but Klopstock. I saw him the next day, and the following, and we were very seriously friends. But the fourth day he departed. It was an [sic] strong hour the hour of his departure!’ (39). And she then conveys how they gradually discovered their love for each other, the years they waited to gain her mother’s approval, and the happiness they found: ‘still I dote upon Klopstock as if he was my bridegroom’ (40). The kind of ardour expressed by Margarete would appear later to have become associated with German women, if Anna Jameson’s experience in the early 1830s is any indication. Jameson reports being ‘asked twenty times since my return to England, whether the German women are not very exaltée—very romantic?’ and concluding that, compared to British women, she simply found them ‘less calculating, less the slaves of artificial manners and modes of thinking’ (Jameson 1834, vol. 1: 174). Characterisations like that of the Klopstocks would appear to have spurred national notions of gendered identities. Indeed, the Klopstocks excited a popular following, something the critical journals sought to leverage for their own political ends, as later reviews of the Klopstocks’ Memoirs indicate. Inspired by Margarete’s direct and devout language, as well as with the ardour of Friedrich’s poetry, the evangelical writer Elizabeth Smith undertook a translation of the Memoirs of Frederick and Margaret Klopstock, Translated from the German. By the author of ‘Fragments in Prose and Verse’ (1808). This volume was given lengthy reviews in a diverse group of periodicals. The reactionary Anti-Jacobin Review (1798–1821) and the Christian Observer (1802–74) drew particular attention to Margarete Klopstock’s piety and homage to her husband. The Anti-Jacobin concluded that ‘the entire tendency of this publication is excellent; the perusal of it must tend to pacify and exalt the mind, and to leave upon it a glow of devotional feelings, most delightful and congenial to every well-trained soul’ (23 (June 1809): 156–8, quotation 158). The Christian Observer emphasised how Margarete Klopstock’s rapturous words offered a stark contrast to the other, impious German works so enthusiastically garnering attention in England: The evils which the productions of the German press have contributed to propagate during the last twenty years, have proved a fruitful topic of declamation . . .

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The sacrilegious boldness of the biblical critics, we have more than once had occasion to denounce . . . This spirit may be considered as a curious contrast to the sickly sensibility, which forms, as we apprehend, to our young men and misses, the most powerful attraction in the plays and novels imported from Germany and done into English; and which serves to varnish, and even to recommend, every thing that is profligate in sentiment and vicious in conduct. The extent of the mischiefs which German literature is believed to have produced, makes us more forward to notice any works proceeding from the same quarter, which may tend to counteract the evil. (8: 92 (Aug 1809): 512–21, quotation 512) It would appear that, to some reactionary journals, German works alone can inoculate against or serve as a proper antidote to unhealthful German literature. However, while the Christian Observer approves of Mrs. Klopstock’s adoration of her husband, it warns British girls not to copy her German ways: as it appears to us to be very characteristic of the German manner (certainly no English woman of our acquaintance would have written thus to a stranger whom she had never seen, and to whom she was writing only for the second time), we shall give it at length. We think it proper, however, to warn our fair readers, that while we are disposed to smile at Mrs. Klopstock’s simplicity, and while we admire, as they will believe, her devotion to her husband, we are far from recommending to their imitation, in similar circumstances, either the sudden determination of her affections to an unknown object, or the undisguised frankness of her present communication. (514) A similar caution applies to the husband Friedrich Klopstock’s poetry, which is clearly inspired by devotion and feeling; however, ‘we look in vain for any thing like that doctrinal precision which we of this country are accustomed to aim at, or like what is called religious experience’ (519–20). Nonetheless, and significantly, the focus on the ardour of the work should demonstrate that ‘we ought not to decide against his religious character because he may use expressions which we deem inaccurate’ (520). Medicine can taste bitter but remain salutary. Journals from a very different political angle wish to engage the socio-politics of criticism but still judge Margarete Klopstock in a way similar to that of the reactionary journals. The Monthly Review, which disagrees with Friedrich Klopstock’s being elevated to ‘The Milton of Germany’, still praises his wife, ‘who seems to have been a very accomplished woman’, whose style evinces a ‘natural and tender simplicity’, and who ‘after the model of Mrs. Rowe . . . composed some imaginary letters from the dead to the living; and we fully agree with their present editor that they greatly excel their original’ (ns 64 (Jan 1811): 76). Even the coarse and scoffing Satirist, or Monthly Meteor (1807–14), which finds Friedrich’s popular poem The Messiah unbearable – a ‘heterogeneous collection of all that is unintelligible in religion; tiresome in prose, and ridiculous in poetry’ (4 (1809): 294) – nonetheless concludes that Margarete’s letters possess merit: ‘The letters of Mrs. Klopstock to Richardson, are both entertaining and amusing, though much of their effect must be ascribed to the peculiarity of their idiom’ (297–8). Strictures of gender manage to span the vast political differences represented by these periodicals.

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Interestingly the reviews, whatever their ideological commitments, consistently address readers of both sexes in tandem even as they ponder the issue of appropriate, differentiated gender socialisation – that is, until the Victorian period. At that point the Ladies’ Pocket Magazine includes ‘Margaretta Klopstock’ in its series on ‘Traits of Female Character; Exemplified in Sketches of celebrated Women’ (1.1 (1838): 88–94). This sketch is evidently meant for women’s separate edification. It was compiled by one ‘Mrs. D. L. Child’ from the earlier books and reviews. It includes, for the first time in the periodicals, complete transcriptions of Margarete’s three letters to Samuel Richardson, and it dwells on her death following the birth of her son, and on her husband’s simultaneous deep grief and Christian forbearance. Margarete Klopstock becomes, not a strange German example, but a transnational gendered figure of feminine devotion and sacrifice. As a result, we see how the reception of the Klopstocks in the magazines – ranging from reactionary to liberal to radical to conservative – offers a telling example of cultural difference represented by the German couple. There is both a British popular embrace and a qualified approval of a German discourse of courtship and marriage, even as there is an uneven response offered to the wife’s distance from English norms on the one hand and her husband’s perceived remove from poetic ones on the other. The interpretation of national difference, especially as it is emphasised by the reactionary periodicals, corresponds with their ideological goals. And so the Klopstock example registers an early nineteenth-century interest in the construction of gender and nation and shows, in the subsequent Victorian period, the way norms are further reinforced via readers’ sexual separation.

Conclusion The examples of German women published in the British magazines suggest more than just an interest in philosophy, sensibility, or Gothic horror. Their inclusion appears to depend, to begin with, on the German women’s being exemplary in one way or another. First, the authors selected often convey a flattering sense of the importance of and fascination with things British; they stand apart because they know and appreciate British culture. Samuel Richardson is held up as an international celebrity imitated abroad, as in the notices about von La Roche and Margarete Klopstock. Stories like Johanna Schopenhauer’s, which introduce Scottish places and subjects, appear also to win favour, and Amalie von Imhoff’s command of the English language warrants attention. Second, German women’s writing provides ways of reinforcing gender socialisation as a transnational imperative, as in the praise of Karsch’s devotion to her uncle, the admiration of Margarete Klopstock’s life and letters from all ideological angles, and the attention to self-sacrifice displayed by Schopenhauer’s heroine in The Eagle’s Nest. Third, British readers appreciate the topical importance of and information provided by German women’s writing: for example, in the depiction of the secret tribunal in Naubert’s novel, Schopenhauer’s descriptions of political events, or Karsch’s poetry in praise of Anglo-German royals. The rationales for German women’s inclusion in British periodicals diverged. Sometimes their work fed British cultural preoccupations, sometimes it reinforced aesthetic trends, sometimes it solidified ideas about gender, sometimes it shed light on life and events abroad, sometimes it boosted national confidence. Noteworthy is the fact that most reviews, except for the most reactionary, did not dwell extensively on national

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or linguistic differences but in fact stressed connection and the cultural illumination that translation can accomplish. At the same time, underlying German women writers’ inclusion in British periodicals was the fact that their sex, whether commented upon or ignored, consistently made a difference in how they were reviewed, and it ensured evaluations distinct from those received by male authors. In this, reviews of German women’s work echo the reception experienced by many British women writers in the same magazines; they therefore reinforce for us the importance of studying gender as a transnational cultural force in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Notes 1. See Ashton 1980; Jefcoate 1996; Stark 1999; and Stokoe 1926. 2. See McMurran 2009; Hayes 2008; Cohen and Dever 2002. 3. Excerpts from this book appeared in the Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex 38 (Aug 1807): 428; 38 (Sep 1807): 458, 535; 38 (Oct 1807): 538. 4. The journals with the most notices of German material in the period under review were: Analytical Review; Anti-Jacobin Review; Athenaeum; Blackwood’s Magazine; British Critic; Critical Review; Edinburgh Review; European Magazine; Foreign Quarterly Review; Gentleman’s Magazine; Lady’s Magazine; Lady’s Monthly Museum; Literary Gazette; Monthly Magazine; Monthly Review; (Colburn’s) New Monthly Magazine; The Scots Magazine; Universal Magazine (Morgan and Hohlfeld 115–16).

Works Cited Analytical Review. 1788–99. (1st ser. 1788–98; 2nd ser. 1799). London. Annual Register. 1758–. London. The Anti-Jacobin Review. 1798–1821. London. Ashton, Rosemary. 1980. The German Idea: Four English Writers and the Reception of German Thought 1800–1860. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The British Critic. 1793–1843 (1st ser. 1793–1813; 2nd ser. 1814–25; 3rd ser. 1825–6; 4th ser. 1827–43). London. Brown, Hilary. 2005. Benedikte Naubert (1756–1819) and her Relations to English Culture. Leeds: Maney Publishing. Butler, Marilyn. 1993. ‘Culture’s Medium: the Role of the Review’. The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism. Ed. Stuart Curran, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 120–47. The Christian Observer. 1802–14. London. Cohen, Margaret and Carolyn Dever, eds. 2002. The Literary Channel: The International Invention of the Novel. Princeton: Princeton University Press. The Court Miscellany: or Gentleman’s and Lady’s New Magazine. 1766. London. The Critical Review. 1715–1817 (1st ser. 1756–90; 2nd ser. 1791–1817). London. The Dublin University Magazine. 1833–82. Dublin. The Edinburgh Review. 1802–1929. Edinburgh. The Gentleman’s Magazine. 1731–1922 (1st ser. 1731–1833; ser. 2–4 1834–68). London. Goede, C. A. G. 1807. The Stranger in England. 3 vols. London: Mathews and Leigh. Goodridge, John, and Bridget Keegan. 2004. ‘Clare and the Traditions of Labouring-Class Verse’. The Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1740–1830. Ed. Thomas Keymer and John Mee. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 280–95. Hayes, Julie Candler. 2008. Translation, Subjectivity, and Culture in France and England, 1600– 1800. Stanford: Stanford University Press. The Hibernian Magazine. 1771–85 (later Walker’s Hibernian Magazine). Dublin.

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Jameson, Anna. 1834. Visits and Sketches at Home and Abroad with Tales and Miscellanies Now First Collected and a New Edition of the Diary of an Ennuyée. 4 vols. London: Saunders and Otley. Jefcoate, Graham. 1996. ‘“Hier ist nichts zu machen”: Zum deutschen Buchhandel in London 1790–1806’. Literatur und Erfahrungswandel 1789–1830. Ed. Rainer Schöwerling, Harmut Steinecke, and Günther Tiggesbäumker. Munich: Fink. 47–59. Kord, Susanne. 2003. Women Peasant Poets in Eighteenth-Century England, Scotland, and Germany: Milkmaids on Parnassus. Rochester, NY: Camden House. The Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex. 1770–1832 (1st ser. 1770 –1819; 2nd ser. 1820–9; 3rd ser. 1830–2). London. London Magazine. 1820–9. (1st ser. 1820–4; 2nd ser. 1825–8; 3rd ser. 1828–9). London. McMurran, Mary Helen. 2009. The Spread of Novels: Translation and Prose Fiction in the Eighteenth Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press. The Monthly Review. 1749–1844. (1st ser. 1749–89; 2nd ser. 1790–1825; 3rd ser. 1826–30; 4th ser. 1831–44). London. Morgan, Bayard Quincy and A. R. Hohlfeld, eds. 1949. German Literature in the British Magazines. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. The Satirist, or Monthly Meteor. 1807–14. London. The Scots Magazine. 1739–1817. Edinburgh. Stark, Susanne. 1999. ‘Behind Inverted Commas’: Translation and Anglo-German Cultural Relations in the Nineteenth Century. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Stockley, V. 1929 (1969). German Literature as Known in England 1750–1830. Port Washington, NY and London: Kennikat Press. Stokoe, F. W. 1926. German Influence in the English Romantic Period, 1788–1818. With Special Reference to Scott, Coleridge, Shelley, and Byron. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure. 1747–1814 (1st ser. 1747–1803; 2nd ser. 1804–14). London. Waters, Mary A. 2004. ‘“Slovenly Monthly Catalogues”: The Monthly Review and Barbauld’s Periodical Literary Criticism’. Nineteenth-Century Prose 31.1: 53–81.

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13 Travel Writing and Mediation in the LADY’S MAGAZINE: Charting ‘the meridian of female reading’ JoEllen DeLucia

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n June 1784, the editor of the Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1770–1832) published an excerpt from Captain Cook’s Voyage to the Pacific Ocean (1784) entitled ‘A Description of the Natives of the Sandwich Islands’.1 The excerpt focused on native dress and featured ‘a capital high finished engraving of a man and woman of the Sandwich Islands’ executed by an eminent artist and commissioned by the magazine. The engraving and article competed with a regular feature entitled ‘Fashionable dresses for May and June’, an excerpt of a tour through Spain, a pattern for a handkerchief, and a brief history of English birds. The Cook excerpt proved popular, and the next issue of the magazine began with a letter to correspondents announcing in July 1784 that: THE great encouragement we have been favoured with, and the numerous thanks we have received, on account of the late elegant Plate, and the Extract of Captain Cook’s last Voyage, has animated us with a laudable ambition to preserve that esteem with which Female generosity has crowned our attempts, by farther exertions to enlarge, to improve, to adorn our plan. With this view, we have decorated the present month with a capital Engraving of a Lady of Otaheite carrying a present. And, as the original work is become scarce, and the first price so much increased, as to be too dear for the purchase of every one; we have thought it would be acceptable to our patronesses, to accommodate them with an abridgement, adapted to the meridian of Female reading. (15 (July 1784): 339) The editor continues to describe the abridgement as ‘adapted entirely to Female taste, and Female curiosity; enabling the Fair Sex to form a judgment between native sentiments, even with respect to Female virtues, and dress, and cultivated delicacy’ (339). The term ‘meridian’ used by the editor to describe the process of abridgement indicates that globalism in the eighteenth century was scaled differently for different audiences. In fact, the abridgement and its serial publication within the magazine suggest that gender produced new forms of mediation, what John Guillory has defined as the ‘hidden complexity of the representational process’, including ‘the material and formal qualities of cultural expression’ (2010: 346). In Clifford Siskin and William Warner’s work on Enlightenment as a major event in the history of media, they describe the magazine as generating ‘a new dimension to the very act of mediation

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itself in which each individual act came to be understood – and the result deployed – as working not only in its own terms, but as part of a cumulative, collaborative, and ongoing enterprise’ (2011: 285). Within the knowledge project of the Enlightenment, the magazine republished and remediated stand-alone texts and incorporated them into an ‘ongoing enterprise’ that altered and sometimes negated how a book might have been understood on its ‘own terms’. The remediation of travel narratives within early women’s magazines raises important questions about the gendered dimensions of mediation. As standard three-volume travel narratives are broken into bits and redistributed over months and even years in periodicals such as the Lady’s Magazine, what happens to the worlds they describe? How does the remediation of canonical travel narratives like Cook’s within women’s periodicals affect our understanding of the processes of transculturation and intercultural exchange staged and reported in these accounts? Representative of a larger trend in the Lady’s Magazine the Cook adaptation, which unfolded over the next five years, was one of several travel narratives repurposed to address the tastes of the magazine’s imagined female reader.2 In addition to regular accounts of domestic and European travel, readers encountered accounts of travel in South America, India, the Middle East, and China. The magazine’s remediation of these travel narratives points up the malleability of the worlds created by print, and the role mediation and magazine culture played in producing readers’ sense of women as both citizens of the world and self-interested members of the British Empire. The first section of this essay uses excerpts from George Leonard Staunton’s An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China (1797), republished in the magazine under the title ‘Account of the Embassy of Lord Macartney to China’, to explore the Lady’s Magazine’s remediation of the non-Western world for the ideal female audience it was designed to please. In the second part, I consider the relationship of the ‘Embassy of Lord Macartney’ to the other features it ran alongside over the course of its two-year serialisation (1798–9), arguing that attention to the popular magazine format challenges established understandings of travel writing’s contribution to the type of world-building typically associated with Enlightenment. This essay describes how the abridgement and reformatting of travel narratives within the Lady’s Magazine produced feminised vantages on globalism and empire; at the same time, it argues that the serialisation of travel narratives in the medium of the woman’s magazine alters the way we understand the scope of women’s culture in the late eighteenth century. The magazine’s remediation of travel accounts recharted distances, both between Britain, Europe, and the non-Western world and between readers and texts. Through the process of abridgement, the Lady’s Magazine made the world a smaller and more delicate place; at the same time, it pioneered a magazine format that mixed travel narratives, oriental tales, and fashion plates with discussions of global politics and theories of good governance, extending the parameters of the feminine sphere well beyond domestic and even commercial concerns. In remediating geographical space and renegotiating the relationship between gender and genre, the magazine makes plain that the mediation in which the travel narrative appeared shaped its reception and had the potential to alter the ideas it contained.

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Excerpting for Women Although Jacqueline Pearson does mention travel writing’s popularity in her important study of women’s reading in the later eighteenth century (1999: 55–7), less attention has been paid to women as readers of travel writing than to women as consumers of novels or history. Like magazines themselves, travel narratives have occupied an ambiguous status within literary studies; Ina Ferris has called travel writing ‘a quasi genre on the edge of the settled literary field, straddling the genres of entertainment on the one hand . . . and those of utility on the other’ (1999: 453). Fiction from the period often recommends it as an alternative to the more dangerous excitements of the novel and the theatre. In Maria Edgeworth’s moral tale Belinda (1801), the eponymous self-improving heroine avoids novels and instead reads moral philosophy and Moore’s Travels. In Mansfield Park (1814), travel writing acts as an antidote to the deleterious effects of theatre. After an uncomfortable conversation with Edmund about the family’s misguided theatrical aspirations, he leaves to return to the stage, commenting that ‘You in the meanwhile will be taking a trip into China, I suppose. How does Lord Macartney’s go on? – (opening a volume on the table and then taking up some others.) And here are Crabbe’s Tales, and the Idler, at hand to relieve you, if you tire of your great book’ (Austen 1990: 144). In other popular fiction, travel narrative appeared to be more appropriately consumed by men. One of the Lady’s Magazine’s competitors, John Bell’s La Belle Assemblée (1806–32), also incorporated the Embassy of Lord Macartney, but it did so more sparingly. Although the magazine features a brief description of the Lake Tsay-Vou-Cang in 1808, the sustained serialisation found in the Lady’s Magazine is absent. Most tellingly, the Embassy is mentioned in Catherine Hutton’s serial fiction ‘Oakwood House’ (later published as a novel in volume form under the title Oakwood Hall in 1819). In an excerpt of the fiction from February of 1811, the Embassy of Lord Macartney appears in a description of the lavish library of the heroine’s brother, ‘My brother’s library is all that an English gentleman or scholar . . . could desire. . . . All Voyages and Travels, from Columbus to Lord Macartney’ (3 (Feb 1811): 75). The mention of these travel narratives is certainly, as Gillian Hughes argues, an instance of this serial publication ‘effectively enfold[ing] many of the features of the magazine itself’ (2015: 475) – after all, the magazine featured many accounts of travel; however, unlike its competitor the Lady’s Magazine, it positions travel narrative within a masculine realm, a place women readers visit but do not comfortably inhabit. Despite the attention of these Romantic-era heroines to the Embassy of Lord Macartney and travel narratives more generally, contemporary critics of travel writing, when considering gender, focus almost exclusively on the female travel writer. Elizabeth Bohls and Nigel Leask have studied the work of eighteenth-century and Romantic-era women travel writers from Lady Mary Wortley Montagu to Maria Graham, both of whom were also published serially in the Lady’s Magazine. These critics contrast female writers with their male contemporaries (Bohls 1995; Leask 2002), and many of their conclusions fit neatly into conventional histories of gender and literature. In Bohl’s view, women writers trouble the abstract and disinterested stance of the male travel writer and instead bring an embodied and more emotionally engaged perspective; similarly, Leask extends arguments about separate spheres to travel, suggesting that women’s relationship to the domestic enabled them to document private spaces in ways that often escaped their male counterparts.

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The Lady’s Magazine’s adaptation and serialisation of popular travel narratives does much more than document a woman’s first-person perspective on the non-British world; the magazine’s remediation of travel writing by men and women feminised the problems introduced by the extension of trade and British political economy to non-European parts of the world, channelling debates on the moral and economic progress of civilisation through discussions of dress, fashion, and luxury goods. The reformatting of George Leonard Staunton’s An Account of the Voyage and Embassy of his Excellency the Earl of Macartney to China in the Lady’s Magazine exemplifies remediation’s impact. Like Cook’s Voyage, the Embassy of Lord Macartney was abridged for the magazine and published in monthly segments from January 1798 to the Supplement of 1799. Staunton wrote his account after he returned with Lord Macartney from Britain’s ‘first diplomatic embassy to Qing China’ (Kitson 2013: 8). Peter Kitson has argued that the Macartney embassy was central to ‘the production of new knowledge about China’ and ‘should be seen as a crucial part of the processes of knowledge exchange and cultural translation between Britain and China’ as well as a ‘major event in the formation of Romantic sinology’ (2013: 129). As Kitson recounts, Sir Joseph Banks helped organise and staff the embassy, ensuring that the party included botanists, scientists, and members of the pottery trade – observers who could return with additional knowledge of the cultivation and production of tea, silk, and porcelain. The first excerpt in the Lady’s Magazine covers much of this territory. It provides an overview of the mission, including the embassy’s commercial and intellectual objectives, which were to ‘promote and regulate the commercial intercourse between that great country and Great Britain’ (29 (Jan 1798): 28). The initial extract cites as the primary motive for the expedition the British appetite for tea, which Staunton claims has grown in the eighteenth century from a habit of ‘fifty thousand pounds weight’ annually to one nearing ‘four millions of pounds’ (29 (Jan 1798): 32). This growth argued for the necessity of establishing ‘a connection with the court of Pekin as might, in its consequences, tend to place the British trade to China upon a less precarious footing’ (29 (Jan 1798): 33). Macartney and his fellow travellers hoped to open up trade with China beyond Canton and correct Chinese perceptions of the English. The Chinese perceived the English as excessively violent and obsessed with trade and expansion; Staunton describes the Chinese people’s dismissive attitude toward the English who they ‘long distinguished only by the contemptuous appellation of Hoong-ow-zkin, which as nearly as can be translated, may answer to that of carrotty-pated race’ (29 (Jan 1798): 30). The narrative also explains that ‘Besides the considerations of policy and commerce, a view to the improvement of knowledge was entertained by the promoters and patrons of this undertaking’ (29 (Jan 1798): 33). His Majesty’s letter to the Chinese emperor, which appeared in February, concluded with this sentiment: ‘no views were entertained except those of the general interests of humanity, the mutual benefits of both nations, and the protection of commerce under the Chinese government’ – according to the king, the expedition was not for conquest but for ‘the sake of increasing knowledge of the habitable globe’ (29 (Feb 1798): 72). The first few entries set out familiar British commercial and intellectual rationales for expansion, but the excerpts that followed seemed chosen, at least in part, to satisfy feminine tastes, including accounts of hairstyles and dress in the ports the expedition visits, such as Rio de Janeiro and later Batavia (present day Jakarta). Women’s position

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as arbiters of taste and consumers of imported luxury goods has been well documented and described as a shaping force in the ideology of empire by Laura Brown (1993) and others. These existing narratives help make sense of the excerpts on tea, fashion, hairstyles, and even the theatre productions staged by merchants and rulers encountered by the embassy. The excerpts also engage with what E. J. Clery has called ‘the feminisation debate’ (2003), which she describes as an ongoing eighteenth-century conversation about the feminising effects of capitalism and commercial development, the parallel progress of women, and the potentially deleterious influence these economic and social developments had on British morals. As Chi-ming Yang has argued, China presented a unique challenge to these emerging British theories of development. Perceived as both commercially and morally advanced, China disrupted narratives of British progress and became a landscape upon which to project British anxieties about ‘overconsumption’ and ‘moral and financial ruin’ (2011: 169). The uncertainty the abridgement conveys about the status of women in Chinese society reflects a larger anxiety about the relationship between commercial and social progress and the relationship between Britain and the Far East. The magazine’s excerpts of Staunton return repeatedly to the advanced state of Chinese society, particularly the superior learning, refinement, and delicacy of the Chinese, described in an account of court manners as an ‘Asiatic grandeur, which European refinements have not yet attained’ (30 (July 1799): 308). In European thought, excessive refinement and delicacy often resulted in an elevation of feminine sentiments that led to an increased mixing of the sexes and greater social and public roles for women. Interestingly, the court’s superior delicacy served to both erase and exacerbate the differences between the sexes. The paradoxes of gender the expedition confronted raised questions about the relationship between the mission’s commercial objectives and social progress and Britain’s own position within larger schemas of development. Examples of delicacy and refined manners in Chinese society did not always graft easily onto British narratives of progress: The sentiment to which is given the name decency, as pointing out what is becoming to do, increases generally with the progress of civilization and refinement, and is carried no where perhaps so far as among the Chinese, who hide, for the most part, in their loose and flowing robes, the bulk and form of their limbs. In this respect, there is scarcely any differences between the dresses of the two sexes. Even the imitation, by art, of the human figure, either naked, or covered only with such vestments as follow and display the contour of the body, is offensive of Chinese delicacy; a delicacy which has retarded the progress of painting and sculpture, as far; at least, as relates to such subjects, in this country. (30 (June 1799): 272) In this instance, delicacy gauges an uneven progress. Although it blurs visual distinctions between the sexes, it interferes with the progress of the arts. In addition, extreme delicacy (at least at court) does not contribute to mixed sociability or a blurring of the separate spheres. For instance, Staunton describes a magnificent reproduction of Pekin in the lady’s garden of the palace, ‘where the scenes of common life, and the transactions and confusion of the capital are faithfully represented’ (30 (July 1799): 308).

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He regrets being barred from it because of his sex, but concedes, ‘The ladies of the palace, shut out from the world, would no doubt be delighted by such a representation of what passes in it; and the emperor could feel no reluctance in gratifying their curiosity, and, in some instances, his own’ (30 (July 1799): 311). The delicacy and refinement of the court in this instance traps the women of the palace, who are only able to gaze on a mediation of a world that will remain out of their reach – a situation that mirrors that of most of the women readers of travel narratives like Staunton’s. This uncanny doubling suggests that, despite the relative power women exert in the social sphere, British society also imposes limits on women’s mobility. In the Chinese court, which is clearly scientifically and culturally advanced (Staunton often concedes its superiority to the British world), he discovers an extreme delicacy, which both blurs sartorial distinctions between the sexes, delays the progress of art, and physically separates the men and women of the court. Such mixed observations call into question delicacy as an effective gauge of social development as well as the relationship between cultural and commercial development and the progress of women. Notably, footbinding becomes another means of gauging the Chinese empire’s complex relationship to social development and Britain’s own relationship to the Far East. The magazine tracks footbinding throughout China. In April of 1799, the magazine describes the northern frontier, including the Great Wall, and notes that ‘In the villages beyond the wall there were yet to be seen several Chinese families, and women with little feet. It is not said that any of a Tartar race have imitated the Chinese in the mutilation of their limbs; though they frequently have in other respects’ (30 (Apr 1799): 173). The purportedly less culturally and economically developed ‘Tartar race’ has adapted to much of Chinese society, but – curiously – they have refused the fashion for footbinding. As the embassy returns to Canton, Staunton notes that in ‘the province of Kiang-fee which lay by the river-side abounded with plantations of bamboo.—the feet of the women here were not crippled, being left in their natural state’ (30 (Dec 1799): 550). Staunton’s longest meditation on footbinding appears in a 1798 excerpt. Soon after arriving on the mainland, the embassy visits Ting-hai, which Staunton describes as reminiscent of the refined and fashionable ‘Venice, but on a smaller scale’ (29 (Oct 1798): 451). Despite his lengthy description of the ‘torment’ girls and women must undergo to achieve this ‘artificial diminutiveness of the feet’ (452), the conclusion he arrives at works to undermine any sense of superiority British readers might feel: Opinion, indeed, more than power, governs the general actions of the human race; and so preposterous a practice could be maintained only by the example and persuasion of those, who in their own persons, ha[ve] submitted to it. Men may have silently approved and indirectly encouraged it, as those of India are supposed to do that much more barbarous custom of widows burning themselves to death of their husbands. But it is not violence, or the apprehension of corporeal suffering, but the horror and disgrace in consequence of omitting, and the idea of glory arising from doing, what is considered to be an act of duty, at the expense of life, which leads to such a sacrifice. In that influence ages must have past to ripen prejudices of a consequence so dreadful; but the pride of superiority, and the dread of degradation, have been frequently found sufficient to surmount the common feelings of nature; and to many women voluntary

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constraint upon the body and mind is, in some degree habitual. They who recollect the fashion of slender waists in England, and what pains were taken and suffering endured to excel in that particular, will be somewhat less surprised at the extraordinary efforts made in other instances. Delicacy of limbs and person has, no doubt, been always coveted by the fair sex, as it has been the admiration of the other. (29 (Oct 1798): 453) It would have been easy for Staunton to align the expedition’s commercial ambitions and Britain’s native humanity with the greater relative freedom of British women. In general, it was thought that an openness to trade corresponded with a more progressive attitude toward women’s role in society. Staunton could have linked China’s more isolationist approach to commerce with the extreme delicacy that results in footbinding and the separation of sexes that he observes at court. For the most part, he resists this. Remarkably in this last example, footbinding links women from China, India, and Britain, and invites us to consider delicacy as operating outside an imperial narrative that merely reinforces British exceptionalism. The excerpt on footbinding fosters a transnational sense of identity for its readers, many of whom not only remember the ‘fashion for slender waists’, but also would have worn the stays, hoop skirts, and panniers of the 1770s and 80s. The magazine shortens the Embassy of Lord Macartney, resizes it for a female audience; in doing so, it highlights a complex conversation about gender and development.

Women’s Worlds While the excerpts of the Embassy of Lord Macartney chosen for the magazine draw attention to delicacy and the feminine elements of imperial and commercial discourse, the magazine format embeds the travel narrative within a larger intercultural and transnational dialogue that includes China, Britain, Peru, and Germany. Although the abridgement might be understood as downsizing or feminising the scope of the narrative, the format of the magazine has the opposite effect. A cursory glance at the table of contents over the course of 1798 and 1799 shows that the world of the magazine included British and European literature, fiction, and politics and a number of sources that are more difficult to classify. The table of contents provides one means of understanding the way in which the act of excerpting the Embassy of Lord Macartney can be understood as a part of the ‘cumulative enterprise’ of the Lady’s Magazine itself, an enterprise that – to borrow from Siskin and Warner’s more general discussion of eighteenth-century magazines – ‘changed the possibilities and expectations for what mediation could accomplish’ (2011: 285). For most of 1798, the Embassy of Lord Macartney ran alongside excerpts from the ‘Memoirs of the Life and Reign of the late Empress of Russia, Catherine II’ and ‘Royal Evening Entertainments; or, Lessons on the art of Government, by the late Frederic III, King of Prussia’. It also frequently appeared in 1798 and 1799 with an anonymous translation from the German of Christoph Martin Wieland’s oriental tale, ‘The Golden Mirror; or the King of Schesschian’, which in the spirit of Montesquieu’s Persian Letters uses an oriental setting to explore the principles of good government. In addition to the fictional and idealised Chinese ruler encountered in the Wieland translation, readers also encountered instructions for good government from the ambitious and expansionist Prussian

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king as well as the most powerful female ruler of the Enlightenment. These fictional and real sovereigns act as foils or counterparts to the leaders found in the Embassy of Lord Macartney, setting the British king and his commercial ambitions alongside the Chinese emperor’s careful and sceptical treatment of Macartney and his men. The dialogues about just political rule and imperialism initiated by these regular features were often magnified in particular issues by single features or essays. For instance, in the February 1798 issue, the Embassy ran alongside two other travel accounts that had been remediated for the magazine’s audience. The ‘Description of the Ruins of Balbec’ was an excerpt of Constantin-Francois Volney’s Travels Through Syria and Egypt, in the years 1783, 1784. The magazine also commissioned an engraving made specifically for its readers illustrating Volney’s work. The excerpt and engraving introduced the magazine’s audience to Volney’s account of the great civilisations of the Middle East and Egypt and may have acted as an advertisement for the first English translation of Volney’s Travels, which was published by George Robinson, who also published the Lady’s Magazine. Robinson issued the first English translation of Volney’s Travels in 1787, and published another edition in 1788 and one in 1805. In addition to Volney’s European perspective on the Middle East, the issue also included an entry entitled ‘A Curious and Interesting Description of Peru’, which was a translation of an article from El Mercurio Peruano (A Peruvian Journal), an early Peruvian newspaper published in Lima. Notably, within this single issue, readers could find segments of Volney’s Travels and the Embassy of Macartney beside a South American newspaper. By renaming this news article a ‘Curious and Interesting Description of Peru’, the magazine obscures its origins and transforms it into a curiosity, distancing it from its birth in contemporary Lima and binding it to the oriental tales and travel narratives regularly featured in its pages. Despite this, the magazine preserved the stated aim of the article, which was to challenge European travellers’ observations of Peruvian life and culture: ‘The principal object of our periodical paper is to convey a better knowledge of the country we inhabit, – a country respecting which foreign writers have published so many fictions and absurdities’ (29 (Feb 1798): 57). After citing some of the most troubling European authored descriptions, the unnamed authors state: From such loose materials as above . . . almost all the histories, reflections, charts, geographical tracts, and compendiums, which have been published respecting Peru on the banks of the Seine and of the Thames, have been compiled. The spirit of system, national prejudices, ignorance, and caprice, have by turns so much influenced the greater part of these productions that the Peru which they describe to us, appears to be a country altogether different from the one which we are practically acquainted. (29 (Feb 1798): 57) Alluding to the fantastic flora and fauna often included in European accounts and the equally outrageous descriptions of the native inhabitants, the Peruvians who authored this essay call into question the methods and devices that organised the knowledge project of Enlightenment, specifically the natural histories, maps, charts, and histories produced by travel narratives like Volney’s Travels and Macartney’s Embassy and used to organise a Eurocentric world as Mary Louise Pratt and others have argued. In fact, since Mary Louise Pratt’s Imperial Eyes, scholars of travel writing have had to consider the ways in which

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travel writing contributed to ‘the construction of a global-scale of meaning’ and the ways in which this new scale supported a Eurocentric ‘planetary consciousness’ (Pratt 2007: 15). The magazine’s remediation of these travel narratives suggests that this ‘global-scale of meaning’ or ‘planetary consciousness’, although overwhelmingly Eurocentric, was much less stable or even totalising than Pratt suggests. Despite the magazine’s renaming of this piece in an effort to suture it to the more typical fare of the magazine, the Lima excerpt contests this totalising view. The authors survey a country with which they are ‘practically acquainted’ and conclude by suggesting that improving Peruvian agriculture and infrastructure would guarantee national autonomy. As the authors write, ‘Agriculture might, generally speaking, be made to supply our wants, insomuch that our subsistence ought not to be so precarious as it is, nor so dependent on foreign aid’ (29 (Feb 1798): 60). Significantly, the authors not only reject material aid from Europe but also the importation of knowledge, concluding with a description of Lima’s Royal University at St Mark’s and other Peruvian universities that provide centres for literature and diffuse an ‘abundant light to the whole of the circumference’ (29 (Feb 1798): 61). The authors add that, ‘Knowledge is general throughout Peru . . . on account of the natural quickness and penetration of its native inhabitants [and] through their fondness of study’ and even claim that ‘the fair sex has commonly the advantage over ours’ in ‘whatever does not require a meditated combination of ideas’ (29 (Feb 1798): 61). Despite the backhanded nature of this compliment, the article’s comments on women gesture toward a progress of women that does not seem to depend wholly on European gauges of development (29 (Feb 1798): 61). This account of Peru, which did not continue in the magazine, momentarily undercuts the commercial and intellectual arguments that underwrote expeditions like the one recounted in the Embassy of Macartney and reveals a globe filled with contested ideas surrounding development and gender. Although there does not appear to be a direct reaction to the Lady’s Magazine’s remediation of the Embassy of Lord Macartney, in the September 1798 issue, the magazine published a dialogue between a Chinese emperor and his subjects, taken from Priscilla Wakefield’s Leisure Hours or, Entertaining Dialogues (1794). Wakefield’s engagement with good government and economics makes it possible to read the excerpt as a form of response. Originally published by the Quaker author as an educational device, Leisure Hours was designed for ‘the protection of those, who are engaged in the education of children’ and who know ‘from experience the utility of presenting the same object, to their lively imaginations, under different points of view’ (Wakefield 1794: i). She goes on to suggest that the dialogues ‘would afford an excellent opportunity to the Preceptor of giving a useful lecture on history, by requiring the Pupil, if sufficiently informed, to point out what country, age, and nation that story then under consideration referred to’ (Wakefield 1794: ii). The interactive nature of the dialogue was intended to provide ‘an agreeable and useful method of acquiring a considerable acquaintance with the histories of different nations’ (Wakefield 1794: ii). The excerpt of Leisure Hours printed in the Lady’s Magazine ‘The True Nature of Riches’, took the form of an imagined dialogue between the Chinese emperor, a mandarin, a merchant, a manufacturer, and a farmer. Competing for a prize for the best invention in science and art, the three men present to the emperor their discoveries. The manufacturer offers a machine for producing finer yarn, the merchant a

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method for finding the ‘hidden wealth of mines’, and the farmer an irrigation system that allows for the watering of rice grounds (29 (Sep 1798): 409). Although the merchant believes he has won, the emperor bestows the prize on the farmer, stating ‘the utility of your pursuits elevates you above the rank of your equals’ (409). He makes the farmer a mandarin and scolds the merchant, claiming that increasing the appetite for diamonds would only ‘corrupt the morals of the people, by converting that labour which should procure bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, into useless toil, for the glittering toys of pride and ambition’ (409). Within the September issue, Wakefield’s dialogue ran right before the Embassy excerpt, which was followed by the ongoing translation of Wieland’s ‘Golden Mirror’. In this instance, the magazine elevated Wakefield’s dialogue, stripped it of its association with the nursery, and put it in conversation with Staunton’s official account of China and Wieland’s oriental political allegory. Wakefield participates in the magazine’s ongoing conversation about imperialism and global politics, and, in this case, Europe’s relationship with the Far East. Her dialogue, presented as a brief moral tale, serves as an important caveat to the Embassy of Lord Macartney’s commercial ambitions, which are not structured around utility but luxury goods such as tea, porcelain, and silk. Interestingly, Wakefield’s economic advice in the Lady’s Magazine appeared in the same year as her only book for adults, Reflections on the Present Condition of the Female Sex (1798), which has been described as a ‘feminist critique of the economic and social role of women that was presented as a response to Smithian political economy’ (Dimand 2003: 195). The magazine anticipates and reinforces Wakefield’s contribution to political economy and her resistance to a Smithian economics predicated on the idea that fostering commerce, trade, and expansion would ultimately result in not only the economic but also the moral improvement of humankind. Wakefield’s dialogue signifies differently when excerpted alongside the Embassy of Lord Macartney, Wieland’s oriental tale, and Frederic III’s advice to his nephew. The Lady’s Magazine not only generated abridgements that feminised the globe, but also positioned women writers and readers within larger conversation about empire and politics. These magazine excerpts pointed out the centrality of gender to imagining Britain’s place in a new global order and raised questions about women’s status both inside and outside of the British Isles. The reader is left wondering how to define the type of world-building done by the magazine. Srivinas Aravamudan has suggested that travel narratives and oriental tales, which were also a popular feature in the Lady’s Magazine, might be considered an ‘alternative to the genre of the domestic novel’, which has dominated critical accounts of prose narratives in the eighteenth century. If the domestic novel ‘support[s] the same old story of the nation and modernity triumphing over the rest of the world’ (a story made familiar, as Aravamudan recounts, by Ian Watt, Michael McKeon, and others), then the travel narrative evokes an alternative ‘global comparativism’ (2012: 7). I suggest here that the Lady’s Magazine adds a new and gendered dimension to the ‘global comparativism’ Aravamudan describes. In addition, it challenges perceptions of the woman reader, whose pleasures and desires are typically linked in our imaginations to the small interior worlds of the domestic novel. The Lady’s Magazine bills itself as an ‘entertaining companion for the fair sex, appropriate solely to their use and amusement’. The sheer number of travel narratives within the Lady’s Magazine forces us to rethink the scale of the desires and pleasures of the women reader in the eighteenth century. Although the imagined female readers of the magazine are not the ‘mobile bodies’ of travel narratives that Susan

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Lanser describes as ‘troubling in a world in which women are (supposed to be) legally and socially anchored to men who “own them,”’ the magazine’s remediation of travel texts allowed female readers to circumnavigate ‘norms and structures’ that dictated everything from appropriate reading for women to national and cultural hierarchies that placed Britain on the top (Lanser 2014: 52 and 59). In the Lady’s Magazine, the hypothetical woman reader’s desires are often not directed toward the home or even nation but fuelled by dreams of distant places and global politics. It even offers glimpses of a potential global identity for all women that fosters horizontal identifications between nations and cultures instead of hierarchical and imperial arrangements that reinforce British exceptionalism. In this way, travel writing in the Lady’s Magazine presents a much-needed alternative to the well-worn scripts we have developed about women readers that revolve around the domestic and often very English novel.

Notes 1. In 1823 the magazine’s subtitle changed to The Lady’s Magazine; or, Mirror of the BellesLettres. 2. See Jennie Batchelor’s ‘“Connections, which are of service in an advanced age”: The Lady’s Magazine, Community, and Women’s Literary Histories’ for a discussion of the tension between the magazine’s ‘disingenuous’ address to an entirely female audience and the actual male and female readers of the publication (245–6). Her definition of the magazine as a ‘female-oriented and female-dominated mixed sex literary community’ is particularly useful (250). For more on the magazine, see also her Leverhulme project blog The Lady’s Magazine (1770–1818): Understanding the Emergence of a Genre. (last accessed 10 Sep 2016).

Works Cited Aravamudan, Srivinas. 2012. Enlightenment Orientalism: Resisting the Rise of the Novel. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Austen, Jane. 1990. Mansfield Park. London: Penguin Classics. Batchelor, Jennie. 2011. ‘“Connections, which are of service in an advanced age”: The Lady’s Magazine, Community, and Women’s Literary Histories’. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 30.2: 245–67. Bohls, Elizabeth. 1995. Women Travel Writers and the Language of the Aesthetics, 1716–1818. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Clery, E. J. 2004. The Feminization Debate in Eighteenth-Century England. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Dimand, Robert. 2003. ‘An Eighteenth-Century English Feminist Response to Political Economy: Priscilla Wakefield’s Reflections (1798)’. The Status of Women in Classical Economic Thought. Ed. Robert Dimand and Chris Nyland. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 194–205. Edgeworth, Maria. [1801] 2008. Belinda. New York: Oxford University Press. Ferris, Ina. 1999. ‘Mobile Words: Romantic Travel Writing and Print Anxiety’. Modern Language Quarterly 60.4: 451–68. Guillory, John. 2010. ‘Genesis of the Media Concept’. Critical Inquiry 36: 321–62. Hughes, Gillian. 2015. ‘Fiction in the Magazines’. The Oxford History of the Novel in English, vol. 2: English and British Fiction 1750–1820. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 461–77. Hutton, Catherine. 1811. ‘Oakwood House’. La Belle Assemblée 3 (ns): 73–7. Kitson, Peter. 2013. Forging Romantic China: Sino-British Cultural Exchange 1760–1840. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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The Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex. 1770–1832 (1st ser. 1770 –1819; 2nd ser. 1820–9; 3rd ser. 1830–2). London. Lanser, Susan. 2014. The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic, 1565–1830. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Leask, Nigel. 2002. Curiosity and the Aesthetics of Travel Writing, 1770–1840. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pearson, Jacqueline. 1999. Women Reading in Britain, 1750–1835: A Dangerous Recreation. New York: Cambridge University Press. Pratt, Mary Louise. 2007. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, 2nd edn. New York: Routledge. Siskin, Clifford, and William Warner. 2011. ‘If this is Enlightenment then What is Romanticism?’ European Romantic Review 22:3: 281–91. Wakefield, Priscilla. 1794–6. Leisure Hours; or Entertaining Dialogues. London: Darton and Harvey. Yang, Chi-ming. 2011. Performing China: Virtue, Commerce, and Orientalism in EighteenthCentury England, 1660–1760. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.

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Part IV Print Media and Print Culture

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Print Media and Print Culture: Introduction

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he periodical’s – and particularly the literary periodical’s and Review’s – selfdeclared role as a standard-bearer of literary taste and quality has long been recognised in eighteenth-century and Romantic studies. It was a mantle that the medium wore proudly, and its adoption had far-reaching implications for the reception of individual authors, works, and genres, as well as for literary history – over whom, what, and how we remember. Reviews and magazines in this period presented vast quantities of imaginative and non-imaginative literature to large reading audiences that often dramatically eclipsed in size those for works published in volume form. These periodicals attempted to create cultural consensus about good writing and good writers among this substantial readership in various ways, but their two principal mechanisms were: descriptive and evaluative notices of works lately published; and their prioritisation of particular genres and writers above others in their wide-ranging contents lists. The result was the creation of a hierarchy in which attention to the vibrancy of the contemporary literary marketplace served ultimately to elevate a select group of writers above the many, and great works above what was deemed mundane or even deleterious. As each of the contributors to Part IV documents, the criteria upon which these supposedly qualitative, aesthetic differentiations were made in fact betray formal, political, and gender biases. It has long been a truism of periodical scholarship – and not without justification – that in its attitude to the literary, the periodical (and most especially the Review) was, ultimately, a masculine domain, the cultural authority of which was inextricably tied to its denigration of genres such as the novel, which were closely associated with women. So effective was this manoeuvre, according to Clifford Siskin (1998: 197), that the periodical’s rise was not simply complicit with, but instrumental in, what he terms the ‘Great Forgetting’ of the eighteenth-century woman writer at the turn of the nineteenth century. This volume as whole complicates such narratives and speaks back to literary histories that have enshrined them by revealing women’s agency as readers, authors, and editors of periodicals; their formative role in the genre’s development; and the periodical’s reliance upon and celebration of women’s learning, as well as their literary and cultural achievements. In Part IV, contributors hone in more specifically on the complexity of the periodical’s mediation of the genres and works they reviewed and contained, as well as the women who read and authored them. Chapters by Rachael Scarborough King, Megan Peiser, and Pam Perkins each show how reviews in the famous quarterlies and monthlies, as well as more general magazines, engaged in a richly textured debate about women’s reading and women’s writing that was not always as uneasy or as combative as has been commonly argued. Nor were women passive observers of this conversation. While the majority of reviewers in the period were men, several women, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Hays, Anne Grant – whose career is the subject of Perkins’s essay – and Anna Letitia Barbauld and Elizabeth Moody – whose anonymous reviews for the Monthly are illuminated by Peiser’s chapter – worked as literary critics for prominent periodicals, and used their position

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to establish their own cultural influence and to challenge any kind of anti-feminist consensus about the literary, in general, or about women’s writing or the woman writer, in particular. Indeed, as Jenny DiPlacidi’s, Evan Hayles Gledhill’s, and Hannah Hudson’s essay contend, the very notion of consensus on such matters is undermined by close examination of the content of eighteenth-century serial publications. If periodicals have always had a vexed relationship to a literary canon structured around particular authors and a very select group of genres, then this is in part because their form and content are often eclectic, unashamedly popular, even defiantly non-canonical. Collectively, the essays in this section demonstrate three important principles: that periodicals did much to institute a literary hierarchy that prioritised certain novels (many the work of notable women) above most other writing; that despite this hierarchy, periodical writing, which included a great deal of narrative fiction, remained popular and culturally powerful; and that periodical versions of popular genres such as the novel, what we would now call genre fiction, and biography were especially sensitive to gender because of the unique pressures of periodical publication.

Works Cited Siskin, Clifford. 1998. The Work of Writing: Literature and Social Change in Britain 1700–1830. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 193–209.

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14 ‘[L]et a girl read’: Periodicals and Women’s Literary Canon Formation Rachael Scarborough King

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ane Austen in Northanger Abbey (1818) provides three successive lists of acceptable and unacceptable literature for female readers. First, in a narrative aside that has been the subject of extensive scholarly debate, Austen contrasts a shopworn volume containing ‘some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter of Sterne’ to ‘the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them’: Frances Burney’s novels Cecilia (1782) and Camilla (1796), and Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda (1801). Just a few paragraphs later she offers another list: one of the Gothic novels that fill Isabella Thorpe’s pocketbook – The Castle of Wolfenbach (1793), Clermont (1798), Mysterious Warning (1796), Necromancer of the Black Forest (1794), Midnight Bell (1798), Orphan of the Rhine (1798), and Horrid Mysteries (1796) – all, like those in the first group, real novels in circulation at the time. The reader’s task is to distinguish between the lists; to learn to value novels with ‘the most thorough knowledge of human nature . . . conveyed to the world in the best chosen language’ over Gothic novels and, Austen adds, over the Spectator, with its ‘improbable circumstances [and] unnatural characters . . . and their language, too, frequently so coarse as to give no very favourable idea of the age that could endure it’ (Austen 2006: 30–1). The reader is put in the position of the ‘young lady’ being interrogated about her choice of reading material and having to admit, ‘with affected indifference, or momentary shame’, that it is ‘“only a novel”’ (31). She must decide whether to adopt or reject this indifference and shame. Austen was combating critical truisms that favoured the ‘masculine’ periodical or anthology over the ‘feminine’ novel; almost as soon as the Spectator appeared it was hailed a model of polite letters, while the novel in the late eighteenth century remained a debated, denigrated form. But in doing so, she employed a technique that was also a favourite of periodical writers discussing women’s reading material: listing. In the second half of the century, the literary periodical and critical review emerged as vital venues for popular consideration of a wide range of belles-lettres, which had generally been excluded from earlier summary periodicals like the Gentleman’s Magazine (1731–1922) or the History of the Works of the Learned (1680–1740) (Percy 2009: 123). As extra-academic sites for the discussion of literature – and with the antinovel debate raging – periodicals took as one task the dissemination of literary standards for women. The associations of the novel with female readers and writers were an ever-present source of anxiety, indignation, and what we might now call ‘concern trolling’ – magnifying worry to generate controversial and eye-catching essays. To

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supplement articles detailing the dangers of novels or, much less frequently, defending the form, writers often reverted to supplying lists of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ works: either a non-novelistic group of preferable alternatives or a select few novels. The author of a Weekly Miscellany essay ‘recommend[ed] the Guardians, Spectator, the Rambler’ (6 Nov 1775: 137–8), while the conveyer of ‘Advice to a Sister’ noted, ‘let a girl read with attention the works of our most celebrated poets and dramatic writers, not forgetting the Spectator, Tatler, &c. avoiding as much as possible the licentious wit of our comic writers’ (Town and Country 4 (June 1772): 317). And the spokeswoman for a self-described group of ‘Female Literati’ assured the publisher of the Morning Chronicle: we often meet with more entertainment in the perusal of one page of your paper, than we do in one hundred barren leaves of a modern novel; and we hope to see the day when some ingenious gentleman will undertake a daily series of letters upon the plan of the Spectator, Guardian, &c. (21 Apr 1775: 2) Periodical authors used the form of the list, piling up edifying examples, to endorse the reading of other periodicals as an alternative to the morally and literarily suspect novel. Austen seized on the convention as a vehicle for ironic commentary. Mid- to late-century periodicals repeated a set of clichés about the novel genre. However, as I will show, this tactic in the period’s culture wars had the paradoxical effect of introducing the novel into the canon of literature. John Guillory has highlighted the syllabus as the site of canon formation, writing: the canon is an imaginary totality of works. No one has access to the canon as a totality. . . . What does have a concrete location as a list, then, is not the canon but the syllabus, the list of works one reads in a given class, or the curriculum, the list of works one reads in a program of study. (Guillory 1994: 30) The canon can only materialise in the form of syllabi: lists of particular works. Taking up Guillory’s focus on the institutional spaces that disseminate such lists, this essay examines an early moment of syllabus- and thus canon-formation in the eighteenth-century periodical’s persistent interest in the status of the novel genre. As Guillory writes, ‘the distinction between the canonical and the noncanonical can be seen . . . as an effect of the syllabus as an institutional instrument, the fact that works not included on a given syllabus appear to have no status at all’ (30). The lists that reviewers included alongside their considerations of novels shaped an emerging consensus about the genre. Over and over, authors concerned with women’s reading moved from condemning ‘the generality of novels [which] are positively pernicious’ (Universal Magazine 93 (Sep 1793): 164) to making exceptions for certain novels; initially comprising Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett, and Laurence Sterne, this list would expand to include ‘some other modern novels, the productions of ingenious ladies, which are I believe less objectionable than many others; as the Evelina, Cecilia, and Camilla of Miss Burney. The Emmeline and Ethelinda of Charlotte Smith; Inchbald’s Simple Story; Mrs Brook’s Emely [sic] Montague; and the Female Quixote’ (Scots Magazine 59 (Sep 1797): 664). The periodicals’ lists offered the beginnings of a canon of eighteenth-century novel writing.

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Furthermore, once such exceptions to the general anti-novel sentiment had been made, the battle was essentially lost, as the debate could then revolve around an individual novel’s merit rather than upon the novel genre as a whole. In order to justify their own attention to novels, periodical writers had to acknowledge positive exceptions to ‘all the wretched productions under which the press has groaned for the destruction of precious time’ (Critical Review 21 (Feb 1766): 157). Austen in Northanger Abbey satirises the lists along these lines, critiquing both periodicals and Gothic novels as she offers a male protagonist, Henry Tilney, who judiciously enjoys a wide range of fiction and non-fiction and teaches the heroine Catherine Morland to do likewise. Examining periodical articles and reviews by both men and women in the second half of the eighteenth century, I will argue that the periodical was an important location for the discussion of women’s reading material and, ultimately, the elevation of the novel. A nearly invisible tool in this process was the syllabus or list, which condensed arguments into easily digestible form – much in the way of the present-day ‘listicle’ – and produced easy copy as writers reinforced and repeated emerging standards. Periodicals’ interest in women’s reading was not a question solely of sexism or gender ideology, but also of competition between evolving print genres in the increasingly crowded marketplace of the second half of the eighteenth century. The critical review was, in fact, an even newer genre than the novel, so that reviewers ‘tended to project onto novels the very traits – popularity, ephemerality, disposability – that they most wished to deny about themselves’ (Gamer 2015: 536). As periodical authors offered negative generalisations alongside prescriptive lists of novels, novelists pushed back against such constraints with their own syllabi, a process that played an important role in the ongoing incorporation of the novel into the literary canon.

Forging ‘Justness of Distinction’ in the Critical and Monthly Reviews The understanding of the periodical as a site of extra-academic literary instruction began almost with the genre itself; the preface to the first volume of John Dunton’s Athenian Mercury (1690–7) noted the journal’s purpose ‘to communicate Knowledg [sic] more generally and easily than has formerly been done’ (1.1), while twenty years later, Mr Spectator in Spectator no. 10 set the agenda for his paper when he wrote, ‘I shall be ambitious to have it said of me, that I have brought Philosophy out of the Closets and Libraries, Schools and Colleges, to dwell in Clubs and Assemblies, at Tea-Tables and in Coffee-Houses’ (Addison 12 Mar 1711, vol. 1: 39). But early periodicals paid little attention to the yet-inchoate novel genre, focusing instead on their own kind – other serials and newspapers – as well as on natural history, philosophy, scientific experiment, and, in the literary realm, poetry and theatre. It was in the postRichardson decades following the ‘Pamela media event’, which ‘help[ed] to inaugurate a shift in media practices’ (Warner 1998: 178), that the novel became both increasingly associated with women and increasingly important to larger cultural discussions. In the 1750s, Samuel Johnson, in no. 2 of the Rambler (1750–2), dated 31 March 1750, assumed a male novel reader, employing masculine pronouns in his discussion of the genre while at the same time declaring that such works were ‘written chiefly to the

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young, the ignorant, and the idle’ (1969: 29). But over the second half of the century, often in periodical venues, the association between women and novels cemented. The proliferation of repetitive periodical essays attacking novel reading and policing women’s choices intersected with the spread of review magazines, beginning with the Monthly Review in 1749 and Critical Review in 1756. While earlier scholarly periodicals rarely included discussion of popular fiction, these forums began considering a wider range of material; they also began offering opinion and summary in addition to long extracts (Percy 2009: 120, 123; Forster 2003: 644). As Joseph Bartolomeo points out, prior to mid-century commentary on the novel genre had taken place in the prefaces and other paratextual materials of the novels themselves, but the reviews ‘foreground[ed] a systematic and professional approach to judging fiction’ (Bartolomeo 1994: 20, 11). Review journals provided multiple tiers of discernment: books were first judged worthy of inclusion and then divided between the main article section, comprising ten to fifteen essays, and the catalogue list of short reviews and summaries, a sorting that constituted ‘a value judgement by the editors’ operating upon a ‘principle of selectiveness’ (Forster 2003: 634). As Frank Donoghue writes, ‘The pages of the Monthly and the Critical were an important battleground on which the war to determine refined taste in a consumer society was waged’ (1996: 4). The inclusion of novel criticism in the reviews was a signal of the genre’s new status, even as many of the articles condemned novel reading and writing in increasingly gendered terms. The Monthly and Critical reviews began the process of making the novel a constant object of interest for periodicals, repeatedly criticising novels for their supposedly repetitive, hackneyed characters and incidents, subpar style and grammar, and improbable events. These elements were also connected to female writers and readers, as women were depicted as lacking the education to write correctly or to distinguish between good and bad literature. Reviews therefore elevated the genre by considering it alongside works of history, science, religion, biography, and politics, but at the same time continued to give it a secondary status. Neither periodical ever devoted copious space to reviews of novels: in the first full year of the Critical and Monthly, novels comprised 5 and 6.5 per cent of all reviews, respectively. Even as both magazines added catalogue sections with shorter notices of publications, novels generally made up less than 10 per cent of titles; in the Monthly, novels rose from 5 per cent of the catalogue in 1760 to 10 per cent in 1770, before falling to only 3 per cent in 1780 – when the magazine complained of ‘an uncommon dearth of this kind of food’ (62 (Mar 1780): 244) – and increasing again to nearly 8 per cent in 1790.1 In the Critical, novels made up 2 per cent of articles and 8.5 per cent of the catalogue in 1760 and nearly 10 per cent of articles and 8 per cent of the catalogue in 1770, before dropping to just 4 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively, in 1780, and then levelling out at around 1 per cent of articles and 10 per cent of catalogue reviews in 1790 and 1800. While the critical reviews together surveyed 76 to 95 per cent of all new novels produced (Gamer 2015: 539), they gave greater prominence to works of politics, poetry, and history. This numerical discrepancy was mirrored in the language of the reviews. Discussions of individual novels were, for the most part, critical, condescending, and dismissive. The notices tended to be shorter than those for other genres, and made clear that novels were interpreted as part of a class rather than on their own terms. As a Critical reviewer wrote of The Old Maid in 1770, ‘If we had a desire to inflict

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a punishment upon those that hate us, we could not think of any more severe than to oblige them to go through the drudgery of reading the wretched writings which pass under the name of Novels’ (30 (Dec 1770): 478).2 In the same year, the Monthly branded The Unhappy Wife – like The Old Maid, a female-authored novel in ‘a series of letters’ – ‘[a]nother scandalous catchpenny’, adding, ‘Of all the worthless productions of this kind which have been imposed upon the public, we never perused any so totally uninteresting and unentertaining as the present; which, at the same time, into the bargain, is, in a great measure, unintelligible also’ (42 (Mar 1770): 250). In addition to such scathing denunciations, backhanded compliments were the norm: in 1756 the Critical wrote of The Life and Surprising Adventures of Crusoe Richard Davis, ‘Of all the innumerable pieces of the novel manufacture which have proceeded from the warehouse of Mr. Noble, this production seems to be of the least flimsy texture’, while a decade later it noted of The History of Miss Harriot Fitzroy, and Miss Emilia Spencer, ‘Amongst the numerous imitations of Richardson’s Clarissa, we think this novel is far from being the most contemptible. The style is at least easy if not elegant, the sentiments chaste if not sublime, and the characters mostly natural if not new’ (2 (Nov 1756): 351; 22 (Nov 1766): 354). The feminine genre of the novel was held to a low standard, but also treated more harshly than masculine histories, biographies, and poetry. Women were berated for producing and consuming such fare as the increasing quantity and popularity of novels was held up as evidence of women’s lack of literary ability and taste. Repeatedly, the reviews and other periodicals called out the repetitive nature of novels, often using the metaphor of industrial manufacturing to criticise their similarities in plot, character, and style. At a time when the status of the author was accelerating toward its Romantic-era apotheosis, these articles depicted women as entering – or being forced into – the literary marketplace solely for remuneration and therefore producing derivative imitations, thus denying female novelists originality or imagination. As a writer for the Universal Magazine wrote, ‘From the workman-like facility, with which modern novels are composed, and from their increasing number, it is not, perhaps, too ridiculous to suppose that, in a case where genius is so little consulted, the operation might be performed by a machine’ (93 (July 1793): 8). While this trope stressed mechanised production, in discussions of novels’ reception women’s bodies were the source of concern; in either case, women were not rational, thinking writers and readers, but rote, physical beings. Critics of novels frequently employed the metaphor of digestion: in an extract from Thomas Gisborne’s Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex (1797), the Monthly Visitor (1797–1800) noted of the habit of novel reading, ‘The appetite becomes too keen to be denied; and in proportion as it is more urgent, grows less nice and select in its fare. . . . The produce of the bookclub, and the contents of the circulating library, are devoured with indiscriminate and insatiable avidity’ (1 (Feb 1797): 132). Or, as the Critical’s review of Female Friendship, or the Innocent Sufferer (1770) noted, ‘Those who devour books of this kind, without digesting them, may . . . fall to with a good appetite to dishes which would turn our stomach. Such feeders have ideas too gross for a literary entertainment’ (29 (Feb 1770): 148). Women writers and readers, by implication, were either mindless machines or irrational bodies. In the process of condemning novels, however, such articles paradoxically established the importance of the genre, granting it a power beyond that of other forms.

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As the Universal Magazine noted, ‘This is not a subject of trivial importance. That which has such visible effect on the manners and sentiments of the age, demands our attention’ (93 (Sep 1793): 163). To address the apparent problem of the novel’s growing influence, therefore, periodical authors employed the ‘principle of selectiveness’ that was the motivating standard of the critical reviews. They asserted the necessity for good alternatives, or a select few acceptable novels, that could constitute a canon of ‘improving literature’. In a typical construction, the Universal Magazine author allowed: it is by no means the intention of the writer to throw indiscriminate blame on all novels, as if all were equally destitute of pure entertainment and just morality. There are no doubt a few, which may be read with advantage by young persons, and which will greatly entertain, and may in some degree instruct, by interesting their imaginations, and engaging their affections on the side of virtue struggling with temptation and distress, and finally crowned with success. But the number of the novels which may be so recommended is small, and to the best of them objections may be offered, although I still would not include them in the list of trash, against which these letters are principally directed. (93 (Sep 1793): 163) Likewise, the Critical Review noted in 1780: Novel-writing, it has been contended by many, is too often attended with fatal and destructive consequences, more especially to the younger part of the fair sex. . . . We have always, notwithstanding, been of opinion, that this species of writing, if well executed, may afford both innocent amusement, and profitable instruction. (50 (Sep 1780): 168) And the Berwick Museum summed up the sentiment by noting, ‘’Tis the excess I blame . . . Novels and romances are to be met with, where the best and truest pictures of human life are delineated, and which tend to inculcate the most amiable virtues, and best lessons of morality’ (3 (Jan 1787): 19). Paradoxically, these authors laid the groundwork – in diction as well as content – for Austen’s defence, but they rarely praised the novel in absolute terms. But periodical authors did not only assert the need for selective taste; they also provided lists of select examples. The reviews, which often included long summaries and extracts, began by comparing the particular novel under consideration to its predecessors, generally focusing on the models of Richardson and/or Fielding. In September 1780 the Critical wrote of Margaret Minifie’s The Count de Poland, ‘we may venture to recommend the piece before us, which, though far inferior to the compositions of Richardson and Fielding, may boast no inconsiderable share of real merit’, while two months later it commended The Parsonage House, advertised as ‘by a young lady’, in almost identical language: Though we shall not . . . say that this performance can boast of that perfect knowledge of the human heart which appears in Clarissa, or Sir C. Grandison, or the inimitable humour of Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews, we shall readily acknowledge that the Parsonage House is possessed of no inconsiderable share of real merit. (50 (Sep 1780): 168; 50 (Nov 1780): 373)

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In a more negative vein, a 1770 Critical review of The Prediction: or the History of Miss Lucy Maxwell observed, ‘The perusal of these volumes, written by a lady, cannot afford great entertainment to readers who are capable of relishing the writings of a Sheridan, a Montague, a Lennox, and a Brooke; those, however, who take up a new book merely to kill time, will not be disappointed’ (30 (Oct 1770): 306). While making an unusual exception for a group of exemplary female authors, this list confined comparison of women writers to each other, suggesting that a novel ‘by a lady’ was not in the same category as one by Richardson or Fielding. Periodicals identified the problem with novels as one of oversupply and a resulting deficiency of discrimination, a skill that young women lacked but that reviewers would provide for them through their syllabi. The practice of listing dovetailed with the review magazines’ physical make-up, where novels, sometimes with little more information than their titles, were more likely to appear in the back catalogue of twenty to forty brief summaries than in the front section of longer articles. In the advertisement to the first issue of the Monthly Review, editor Ralph Griffiths noted that the problem of choosing between an apparently overwhelming number of new books could only be solved with ‘a periodical work, whose sole object should be to give a compendious account of those productions of the press, as they come out, that are worth notice’, a process that would operate by ‘justness of distinction’ (1 (May 1749): 9). Including a work in the periodical’s list of titles was the first step toward creating such distinctions. The review articles expanded upon this tendency by forging an early consensus of primarily male ‘good’ novelists to whom the current, growing group of ‘ladies’ was compared.

The Expanding Canon in Late-Century Periodicals The selective practices of the Critical and Monthly reviews, which first gave sustained attention to novels, expanded in more essayistic periodicals as the novel genre, rather than individual works, became a topic of discussion. Here, too, the repetitive nature of the articles is striking, as they use similar language to critique ‘common novels’ – particularly those found in circulating libraries – for their corrupting influence on young women’s minds and morals, while at the same time making allowances on grounds of virtue or literary quality. Writers continued to complain about the excess of amusing, seductive novels and to provide an increasingly standard list of exceptions. In 1794, the Town and Country Magazine declared, ‘this is a reading age’, as evidenced by ‘the continued swarms of new publications, the increase of circulating libraries, and the establishment of book-clubs in every part of the kingdom’. However, the author would allow novels only tenuous entrance into the category of ‘literature’, writing in opposition to such ‘vehicles of amusement’, ‘Works of deep and refined erudition are as seldom published as they are inquired after or read’ (26 (Mar 1794): 114). Similarly, the Weekly Magazine (1768–79) decried the ‘nauseous trumpery as are now imposed upon us from circulating libraries and booksellers with wide consciences’, but continued, ‘The works of Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, and Smollet, are sufficiently diffused, of easy purchase, and might be rendered signally serviceable in the sweetning [sic] way’ (37 (21 Aug 1777): 183). This list – Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, and Smollett – was repeated throughout the second half of the eighteenth century.

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At the same time as this grouping represented a rarely contradicted critical consensus, many periodicals began to add to it, a process that, as Katherine Binhammer points out, ‘paradoxically asserted the novel’s centrality to literary production and ultimately had the positive effect of differentiating certain kinds of novels from others and certain scenes of reading from others, thereby promoting a new literary critical paradigm for valuing literature’ (2003: 3). For example, in 1778 the Weekly Miscellany offered both positive and negative lists of the ‘[n]ovels and plays [which] have been injurious to thousands’, noting, ‘the impious buffoonery, false wit, and indelicacy of a Rochester, a Haywood, a Behn, a Pilkington, a Congreve, and others, of the last and present ages, are the delight of the gay, the volatile, and the inconsiderate’, while the works of ‘an Addison, a Milton, a Steele, a Tillotson, a Pope, a Foster, a Fordyce, a Young, a Blair, a Melmoth, a Hawkesworth, a Langhorne, a More, an Aikin, &c.’ offered ‘manly eloquence and sublimity of sentiment’. Meanwhile, ‘Few novels, except those written by that shining ornament of human nature, the late S. Richardson, and the ingenious author of Sir George Ellison, can properly lay claim to substantial merit and classic elegance’ (11.274 (28 Dec 1778): 298).3 Likewise, The Bee (1790–4) observed in 1792, ‘after reading the works of Feilding [sic], Richardson, and Smollet, instead of being either amusing or instructive, it becomes a grievous task to proceed with patience to the end of almost all our modern novels’ (8 (28 Mar 1792): 126). William Lane’s Polite Repository presented its entire purpose as making selections for readers; consisting of excerpts from newly published ‘Novels and little tracts of Entertaining History’ and featuring the title-page motto ‘We cull the choicest’, its goal was to ‘extract the sweets’ and avoid the need to ‘drudge through a numerous collection, some heavy, uninteresting, and insipid, and others of such dangerous tendency, that they only mislead the Judgment, and vitiate the taste’ (1 (1791): i). By the close of the eighteenth century, a canon of ‘choice’ works had solidified as reviewers repeatedly compared a novel under discussion to the top tier of Richardson and Fielding and second tier of Smollett and Sterne. Women authors who were working their way onto the ‘good’ list, often through comparison with Richardson and, less commonly, Fielding, merited special treatment in the magazines and reviews. This group, which grew to include Frances Burney, Sarah Scott, Maria Edgeworth, Charlotte Turner Smith, Charlotte Lennox, and later Jane Austen, did not receive the same broad critiques as many of their contemporaries. In a 1790 review of Smith’s Ethelinde, the Monthly Review acknowledged this tendency, writing that the novel ‘is possessed of such particular merit, that we are unwilling to dismiss it by general terms, as is, frequently, our practice with this class of productions’. The author added that a review was hardly necessary, as ‘the character of Mrs. Smith, both as a poet and as a novelist, is so firmly established’ (2 (June 1790): 161). An article a few months later reviewing Lennox’s Euphemia similarly observed, ‘We have been better pleased with Mrs. Lennox’s Novel, than with many others of the same class, which have lately passed under our review; though indeed there is no prodigality of commendation in this sentence, as most of them have excited our displeasure.’ Lennox, like Smith, was in a separate class of novelists from the generality: We always imagined, with respect to the literary abilities of this Lady . . . that it was impossible for a writer endowed with so much genius, to offer any

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performance to the public, that would prove unworthy the perusal of readers who have any pretensions to praise of discernment and taste; – and we are still of the opinion. (3 (Sep 1790): 89–90) Such reviews appeared in the main section of articles, rather than the catalogue list, so that they offered certain works or authors entry into the realm of ‘polite literature’. By giving some novels more sustained attention, periodical authors began to distinguish a primarily female group that could be favourably compared with Richardson and Fielding. As both novel readers and writers became increasingly gendered as feminine over the second half of the eighteenth century, therefore, women made their way onto the syllabi of ‘improving’ novels.4 Periodical articles from the mid-century period do not necessarily assume the feminine status of the novel; for example, in 1753 a letter to the editor of the World instructed, ‘as a censor, you ought to take notice, and should assure our young men and young women that they may read fifty volumes of this sort of trash, and yet, according to the phrase which is perpetually in their mouths, know nothing of life’, continuing that the only unobjectionable novels were those ‘stampt Richardson or Fielding’ (1.19 (10 May 1753): 114–15, 120). But by the end of the century, periodicals took novels’ connection to women for granted and, as E. J. Clery has argued, they used this association to locate conservative social anxieties about gender and class roles within ‘the scope of an individual woman’s choice of reading’ (1995: 100). As the Monthly Visitor noted in a discussion of novels, ‘There is one species of writings which obtains, from a considerable proportion of the female sex, a reception much more favourable than is accorded to other kinds of composition more worthy of encouragement’ (1 (Feb 1797): 131). The New Annual Register (1781– 1826) praised magazines as a ‘means of diffusing a variety of general knowledge’, while allowing for a very few exceptional novels: Smollet [sic] came next to Fielding; and Richardson has been the most happily imitated by ladies. As for the common trash of Novels, under which the press has groaned, which have introduced so wretched a taste of reading, and have been so hurtful to young minds, particularly of the female sex, they are unworthy to be named, excepting in the way of censure. (2 (1781): xviii, xxv) In 1790, the Monthly Review went further in gendering the genre, writing that of the ‘various species of composition . . . there are none in which our writers of the male sex have less excelled, since the days of Richardson and Fielding, than in the arrangement of a novel. Ladies seem to appropriate to themselves an exclusive privilege in this kind of writing’ (3 (Dec 1790): 400). In the pages of periodicals, women became the readers, writers, and subjects of novels, which therefore necessitated greater oversight and circumspection. But in the process, some female authors were able to claim a place in the expanding canon, even as the overall primacy of Richardson and Fielding – as the above quotation indicates – remained taken for granted. Many novelists responded to the periodicals’ sweeping condemnations and lists of exceptions by offering their own analyses of the genre and associating themselves with the ‘good’ examples. Late-century authors incorporated periodicalists’ language and technique of listing into their own works, and in doing so further contributed to the

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emerging novel canon. Such metacritical commentary appeared in both paratextual materials, such as prefaces and advertisements, and in the bodies of novels themselves. Burney dedicated her first, anonymous novel, Evelina (1778), to ‘The Authors of the Critical and Monthly Reviews’. In the work’s preface, she adopted the language and syllabus of the reviewers, noting of the novelist, ‘among the whole class of writers, perhaps not one can be named of which the votaries are more numerous but less respectable’, but adding that while in the annals of those few of our predecessors, to whom this species of writing is indebted for being saved from contempt, and rescued from depravity, we can trace such names as Rousseau, Johnson, Marivaux, Fielding, Richardson, and Smollett, no man need blush at starting from the same post. (Burney 2008: 9) Here Burney describes an author generally as ‘a man’ and adds herself to an allmale list. Edgeworth, meanwhile, used the advertisement to Belinda to attempt to class the work as a ‘Moral Tale’ rather than a novel, and wrote of a largely female canon, ‘Were all novels like those of Madame de Crousaz, Mrs. Inchbald, Miss Burney or Dr. Moore, she would adopt the name of novel with delight’ (2008: 3). Attempting to associate The Man of Feeling (1771) with such exemplars, Henry Mackenzie wrote in the introduction to his ‘found’ manuscript that ‘had the name of a Marmontel, or a Richardson, been on the title page – ’tis odds that I should have wept’ (1967: 5).5 By adopting the technique of comparison through listing, but offering a more varied group, novelists adapted periodicalists’ means of allowing newer works entry to the ‘improving’ list. Austen both continues and ridicules this tendency in Northanger Abbey, bringing the paratextual commentary of authors like Mackenzie, Burney, and Edgeworth into the body of her novel. She eschews both reviewers’ and novelists’ practice of attempting to distance themselves from the genre, writing, ‘I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom, so common with novel writers, of degrading, by their contemptuous censure, the very performances to the number of which they are themselves adding’, and continuing, ‘Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans’ (30). But at the same time as she argues against engaging with the review magazines’ ‘threadbare’ tropes, she employs the standard one of syllabus creation, offering the negative list of an abridged history of England, a poetry anthology, and the Spectator in contrast to the positive one of Cecilia, Camilla, and Belinda – the latter group being works ‘in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language’ (Austen 2006: 31). Turning the periodicalists’ criteria against the founding text of the periodical genre – although, admittedly, one that rarely mentioned novels – she critiques the Spectator for ‘improbable circumstances’ and ‘unnatural characters’, precisely the problems reviewers identified in ‘common novels’. Austen defends the novel genre by responding to the reviewers’ clichés, but in doing so she employs the common technique of listing to attempt to establish her own new hierarchy.

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Canon Wars from Periodicals to Books The back-and-forth interaction between periodicals and novels forged an emerging consensus around an early, extra-academic syllabus of ‘good’ or ‘improving’ novels that could be considered as part of the realm of literature alongside poetry, history, and the classic periodical essays of the Tatler, Spectator, and Rambler. In many ways, this consensus remains with us today, revealing the periodicals’ decades-long consideration of the novel genre as an important step in the creation of an eighteenthcentury novelistic canon. Toward the end of the century, this canon began to move also into educational treatises, which were often excerpted in periodicals and thus worked alongside them to cement new ideas about the novel genre. Educational works directed toward young women almost always included discussions of novel reading. Charles Allen’s The Polite Lady: Or, A Course of Female Education (1760) was unusual for its wholesale defence of novels and romances, a ‘large field of reading . . . in which you may employ your time with great pleasure and delight’, and it offered a list not of selected novels but of periodicals, which were held up not as amusing, like novels, but edifying: ‘the Spectators, Guardians, and Tatlers, which will serve to give you a notion of the fashions and foibles of the last age; as also the Rambler, Idler, Adventurer, and Connoisseur, which will let you into the prevailing humours of the present’ (1760: 119). Many other educational treatises continued the periodicals’ anti-novel language and separated works by genre rather than title, preferring history and philosophy to fiction: John Aikin recommended ‘strengthening the mind with the dictates of a masculine and high-toned philosophy’ (1796: 12–13), while William Alexander’s The History of Women noted, as the generality of the fair sex . . . spend many of their idle hours in poring over novels and romances, which greatly tend to mislead the understanding and corrupt the heart, we cannot help expressing a wish, that they would spare a part of this time to look into the history of their own Sex. (1779: n. p.) In The Progress of Romance, Clara Reeve – who was occasionally afforded entry onto the ‘good’ novel list for her work The Old English Baron – noted, ‘The learned men of our own country, have in general affected a contempt for this kind of writing, and looked upon Romances, as proper furniture only for a lady’s Library’ (1785: xi). Her treatise’s dialogues offered extended considerations of a broader range of authors than generally appeared in periodicals, including Aphra Behn, Delarivier Manley, Eliza Haywood, Daniel Defoe, and Sarah Fielding in addition to Richardson, Fielding, Lennox, Smollett, Rousseau, and Sterne. By tracing an extensive genealogy for the novel – while the male antagonist in the dialogue, Hortensius, only allows for the status of Richardson and Fielding – and establishing Behn, Manley, and Haywood as mothers of the novel even as she condemned them for immorality, Reeve offered a new understanding of the role of women in the novel’s critical rise. In both periodicals and treatises, then, there was an ongoing instability in the supposedly feminine nature of the novel genre, as new novels by and for women were compared to those of an existing canon of male authors. While women were added to the list, the original grouping remained surprisingly stable. However, the commentary

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of ‘real’ women on their own reading material reveals both an interest in genre and a more heterogeneous literary landscape. The group of correspondents around Elizabeth Montagu, including novelist Sarah Scott and poet Elizabeth Carter and now known as the Bluestocking Circle, frequently discussed their reading and writing practices. And while the women often read fiction, their commentary tended to follow the generic ranking put forward by the periodicals, even when surveying their own works. The letters of this admittedly exceptional group of women show both support for the review magazines’ gendered hierarchy of genres, and continual subversion of such norms through their own varied reading and praise of female authors engaging in a range of genres. In 1762 and 1763, Montagu and her sister, Scott, considered Scott’s recently published novel, A Description of Millenium Hall and the Country Adjacent. Scott professed a purpose in writing the novel that accorded with the reviewers’ moralising dictates, noting, ‘shou’d it bring into any persons mind & inclination the means of doing one benevolent action I shall be very happy’ (Nov 1762: MO 5299). However, she later wrote that this effort did not satisfy the reviewers, who had ‘abused it more than ever they did the Lady of Pleasure, or any of those infamous Books’. Compared to her History of Gustavus Ericson or a planned volume of geography, she saw Millenium Hall as one of ‘those light things for which one has no where to search but in ones own brain’ (31 Jan 1763: MO 5300). A few months later, she expressed wonder ‘at my Father’s liking Millenium Hall . . . You may if you please tell him in confidence that he bears the same Relation to Gustavus, for I am surprized he does not feel some apprehensions, lest I apply myself only to Novels’ (Apr 1763: MO 5301). Montagu apparently agreed with this genre hierarchy, writing to William Pulteney, Earl of Bath, ‘I have sent you Millenium Hall. . . . I beg your Lordship not to read longer than you are amused. I think you will see the writer has talents above her subject, & I hope she will employ them on something of a higher rank in les belles lettres than novel writing’ (1762?: MO 4554). Montagu’s letters surveyed a wide range of genres, from history and biography to magazines, criticism, letters collections, and translations of the classics. She frequently expressed a preference for such ‘masculine’ genres while praising women who practised them; she wrote of Sarah Fielding’s translation of Xenophon, ‘Her genius points to the Portico & academic groves, never let it saunter in the tuilleries translating les amours & amourettes of Mr Le Marquis de – or les memoires d’un homme de qualité retiré du monde’, while she praised Carter’s introduction to Epictetus’ discourse as ‘one of the finest things in our language. How unlike the flimsy stuff and feeble phrase of our modern writers!’ (Feb 1762: MO 5787; 29 Oct 1792: MO 1423). Montagu and her correspondents often employed similar language to that of periodical writers, even as they showed women directing a wide variety of literary practices. In the late eighteenth century, as these periodicals, treatises, and letters show, the novel remained a source of contention, outrage, and debate. Whether or not women actually constituted the majority of novel readers,6 particular genres became increasingly gendered in the second half of the century, and the periodicals’ approbation of history and essays over novels was a key element of what Jacqueline Pearson has more broadly described as ‘a rearguard battle to preserve established literary forms from contamination from the new, especially the novel, and a

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desire to preserve male hegemony over a print culture in which female writers and readers were becoming increasingly central’ (Pearson 1999: 19). The overlooked technique of listing, creating categories of good and bad works and genres, was a practical means by which the burgeoning review and magazine form asserted precedence over its similarly expanding, ephemeral, and entertainment-oriented rival, the novel. But by making the novel, unlike any other genre, a point of such profound cultural concern, the periodicals not only initiated an eighteenth-century novelistic canon but also raised the status of the form as a whole. As Guillory has written of the twentieth-century canon wars, ‘The canon debate signifies nothing less than a crisis in the form of cultural capital we call “literature”’ (Guillory 1994: vii, viii). Likewise, eighteenth-century periodicals’ repetitive, apparently excessive condemnation of the novel and the female novel reader offers a window into the period’s changing literary hierarchies and struggle over grand categories of literary value such as imagination, realistic representation, and relatable characterisation. The interplay between novels and periodicals generated not only a nascent syllabus of the eighteenth-century novel, but also an emerging critical consensus about the features of good and bad writing. I would like to thank Nazanin Keynejad for her assistance with research for this essay.

Notes 1. James Raven points out that, while the print marketplace grew at an overall average rate of 2 per cent per year from 1740 to 1800 and 3.5 per cent per year in the 1780s, there was a steep decline in novel production that ‘lasted from about 1775 to 1783, coterminous, it seems, with the American War of Independence’ (Raven 2015: 5, 7). 2. The reviewer was referring not to the more famous work of that name, Frances Brooke’s periodical Old Maid (1755–6), but to Ann Skinn’s The Old Maid; or, History of Miss Ravensworth (1771). 3. While members of the Bluestocking circle were aware that Scott was the author of The History of Sir George Ellison, the novel was published anonymously and the author was often assumed to be male in contemporary reviews. This list is therefore ambiguous as to gender. 4. Scholars have debated whether novel readers and writers were in fact predominantly female. Peter Garside writes that while author counts indicate a higher percentage of male novelists, women were more productive and dominate in title counts. As late as the 1770s about 31 per cent of new titles were written by men, compared to 22 per cent by women and 46 per cent unknown, but a shift began in 1785; titles by women outnumbered those by men in every year from 1785 to 1789 and overall in the 1790s (Garside 2015: 41–5). However, the high proportion of anonymous and/or unattributed titles makes definitive conclusions about sex difficult. 5. As these examples show, the canon also included a number of European authors. Rousseau was commonly compared with Richardson, having published the epistolary Julie. However, like the female exceptions/additions to the initially male-dominated list, the reviews treated foreign authors as supplements to a primarily English genre. 6. As Pearson writes, ‘women readers are paradoxically both the most visible in the literature and the most invisible in the historical record’, making it difficult to know what proportion of a novel’s audience was female, or how much women read on average (1999: 12).

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Works Cited Addison, Joseph, and Richard Steele. 1965. The Spectator. Ed. Donald F. Bond. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Aikin, John. 1796. Letters from a Father to His Son. 3rd ed. London: J. Johnson. Alexander, William. 1779. The History of Women, from the Earliest Antiquity, to the Present Time. London. W. Strahan. Allen, Charles. 1760. The Polite Lady: Or, A Course of Female Education. 2 vols. London: J. Newbery. Austen, Jane. [1818] 2006. Northanger Abbey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bartolomeo, Joseph F. 1994. A New Species of Criticism: Eighteenth-Century Discourse on the Novel. Newark: University of Delaware Press. The Bee: Or Literary Weekly Intelligencer. 1790–4. Edinburgh. The Berwick Museum, or, Monthly Literary Intelligencer. 1785–7. Berwick. Binhammer, Katherine. 2003. ‘The Persistence of Reading: Governing Female Novel-Reading in Memoirs of Emma Courtney and Memoirs of Modern Philosophers’. Eighteenth-Century Life 27.2: 1–22. Burney, Frances. [1778] 2008. Evelina. Oxford: Oxford World’s Classics. Clery, E. J. 1995. The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, 1762–1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The Critical Review. 1756–1817 (1st ser. 1756–90; 2nd ser. 1791–1817). London. Donoghue, Frank. 1996. The Fame Machine: Book Reviewing and Eighteenth-Century Literary Careers. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Dunton, John, ed. 1690–7. The Athenian Mercury. London. Edgeworth, Maria. [1801] 2008. Belinda. Oxford and New York: Oxford World’s Classics. Forster, Antonia. 2003. ‘Review Journals and the Reading Public’. Books and Their Readers in Eighteenth-Century England: New Essays. Ed. Isabel Rivers. London: Continuum International Publishing. 171–90. Gamer, Michael. 2015. ‘Assimilating the Novel: Reviews and Collections’. The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume Two: English and British Fiction 1750–1820. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 532–49. Garside, Peter. 2015. ‘Authorship’. The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume Two: English and British Fiction 1750–1820. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 29–52. Guillory, John. 1994. Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Johnson, Samuel. 1969. The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson. Ed. W. J. Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss. Vol. 5. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Mackenzie, Henry. [1771] 1967. The Man of Feeling. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Montagu, Elizabeth (Robinson). 29 Oct 1792. Letter to George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton of Frankley. Box 42, MO 1423. Elizabeth Robinson Montagu papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. —. Feb 1762. Letter to Sarah (Robinson) Scott. Box 42, MO 5787. Elizabeth Robinson Montagu papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. —. 1762? Letter to William. Box 42, MO 4554 Elizabeth Robinson Montagu papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. The Monthly Review. 1749–1844 (1st ser. 1749–89; 2nd ser. 1790–1825; 3rd ser. 1826–30; 4th ser. 1831–44). London. The Monthly Visitor. 1797–1800. London. The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser. 1769–1862. London. The New Annual Register, or General Repository of History, Politics and Literature. 1781–1826. London.

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Pearson, Jacqueline. 1999. Women’s Reading in Britain, 1750–1835: A Dangerous Recreation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Percy, Carol. 2009. ‘Periodical Reviews and the Rise of Prescriptivism: The Monthly (1749–1844) and Critical Review (1756–1817) in the Eighteenth Century’. Current Issues in Late Modern English. Ed. Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade and Wim van der Wurff. Bern: Peter Lang. 117–50. The Polite Repository; Or, Amusing Companion 1791–2. London: William Lane at the Minerva. Raven, James. 2015. ‘Production’. The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume Two: English and British Fiction 1750–1820. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 3–28. Reeve, Clara. 1785. The Progress of Romance. 2 vols. Colchester: W. Keymer. The Scots Magazine. 1739–1817. Edinburgh. Scott, Sarah (Robinson). Nov 1762. Letter to Elizabeth (Robinson) Montagu. Box 46, MO 5299. Elizabeth Robinson Montagu papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. —. 31 Jan 1763. Letter to Elizabeth (Robinson) Montagu. Box 46, MO 5300. Elizabeth Robinson Montagu papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. —. Apr 1763. Letter to Elizabeth (Robinson) Montagu. Box 46, MO 5301. Elizabeth Robinson Montagu papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. The Town and Country Magazine; or Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Entertainment. 1769–96. London. The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure. 1747–1814 (1st ser. 1747–1803; 2nd ser. 1804–14). London. Warner, William B. 1998. Licensing Entertainment: The Elevation of Novel Reading in Britain, 1684–1750. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. The Weekly Magazine, or Edinburgh Amusement. 1768–79. Edinburgh: Wal. Ruddiman. The Weekly Miscellany: or, Instructive Entertainer. 1773–82. Sherborne: R. Goadby. The World. By Adam Fitz-Adam. 1753–6. London: R. Dodsley and M. Cooper.

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15 Reviewing Women: Women Reviewers on Women Novelists Megan Peiser

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n her first review of a novel for the Monthly Review (1749–1844), Elizabeth Moody, her female voice hidden behind the anonymous, genteel, masculine one of the periodical, stated that: Of the various species of composition that in course come before us, there are none in which our writers of the male sex have less excelled, since the days of Richardson and Fielding, than in the arrangement of a novel. Ladies seem to appropriate to themselves an exclusive privilege in this kind of writing; witness the numerous productions of romantic tales to which female authors have given birth. . . . We, though of the harder sex, as men, and of a still harder race as critics, are no enemies to an affecting well-told story: but as we are known not to be very easily pleased, it may be imagined that those performances only will obtain the sanction of our applause, which can stand the test of certain criteria of excellence. (3 ns (Dec 1790): 400)

Moody, cross-dressing in her role as reviewer, claims for the voice of her review not only that of ‘the harder sex’, as opposed to the fair sex she actually shares with the many novelists she praises, but also more specifically that of the ‘harder race’ of ‘critics’. Reviewers had a reputation for abrasively criticising the novel in the late eighteenth century. This broad censuring tendency, and Moody’s specific wariness toward ‘the numerous productions of romantic tales to which female authors have given birth’, take on additional weight when we consider that the decades from 1790 to 1820 was the first period in history when more British women published novels than men.1 Although Moody’s first novel review was of a man’s work, the Rev. James Thomson’s The Denial; or, the Happy Retreat (1790), she focuses on the prowess of female novelists during this period. Moody goes on to outline what makes a good novel, and how those characteristics influence readers – effectively delineating what Thomson’s novel does not do, while also highlighting both how her knowledge of these characteristics qualified her as a reviewer, and how female authors’ inclusion of these features made them superior novelists. Moody’s review, although outwardly presenting as authored by an anonymous male critic, critiqued her fellow women writers precisely at the moment when they were excelling in establishing the literary value of the novel. All reviews in the Monthly were unsigned and published under the guise of anonymous, communal authorship, following the periodical’s extended title which

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claimed to be ‘by several hands’. Yet we know that forty-three of 721 reviews of novels published between January 1790 and December 1820 (that is, 17 per cent) were authored by female reviewers. There is evidence of only three female reviewers writing for the Monthly Review and two were writing during this period: the aforementioned Elizabeth Moody, and well-known poet and education author Anna Letitia Barbauld.2 Moody’s and Barbauld’s criticisms of the novel, hidden behind the mask of masculine anonymity, offer a rare opportunity to uncover a crossroads where scholars of the novel and of periodical book reviews have until now seen only a binary: female novelists on one side, male critics on the other. Periodicals have historically been largely overlooked by scholars of literature because they do not fit the single-author heroic narratives that structure conventional literary history, a circumstance that underscores accounts like Margaret Ezell’s of the until-recent scholarly neglect of women’s writing (1993: 1–13). Because periodicals’ voices are collaborative, often anonymous/pseudonymous, because they are published serially, stretching articles and stories across multiple volumes, they require readers to chase their commitment to these publications through multiple issues rather than declaring completeness and authority through a single accessible printing. In the recovery projects of women’s literary history, periodicals authored by women and titularly targeting female readerships, such as Eliza Haywood’s Female Spectator (1744–6) and Charlotte Lennox’s Lady’s Museum (1760–1), have been paid attention, but we are left to wrestle with what we are to do about periodical work by women authors that seems overtly aligned with masculine standards? This chapter asks: What is the place of women writers in literary history, and the history of women’s print media? Because the Review presented an authoritative voice on the period’s literature, and British readers consumed such publications in attempts to elevate their literary tastes, it is certainly significant that female critics contributed to the genre’s authority, albeit invisibly.3 As Jennie Batchelor argues of collaboratively written periodicals during the late eighteenth century, ‘contributors . . . did not always speak with one voice, or even necessarily with harmony’ (2011: 256). In light of this, I want to claim that it is not because Moody or Barbauld were straying from the official, collective voice that the Monthly had established that they deserve closer study; rather it is because, as women, their adherence to the Monthly’s voice and reviewing traditions means something different. As literary critics of a genre associated strongly with women and in asking what their responsibility was as critics, Moody and Barbauld represent the past selves of this volume’s contributors. This chapter takes up these two female literary critics, and analyses their reviews of novels to establish how these writers manipulated their own invisible presence to bolster the work of other women writers from the period. I first provide a short history of the Monthly Review and Moody’s and Barbauld’s careers. I then read Moody’s and Barbauld’s novel reviews, marking the significance of their adherence, as female critics, to wider reviewing trends and comparing their style to the Monthly’s corpus of over 700 novel reviews during this period. This largescale comparative review reading is done using Megan Peiser’s Novels Reviewed Database, 1790–1820 (NRD) (Peiser 2016), which enables me to read Moody’s and Barbauld’s reviews in context of the Monthly’s novel-reviewing tradition to uncover the ways that these female critics posed in their reviews as critical authorities who were also hyperaware of their sister authoresses’ dominance on the novel-writing scene. The NRD catalogues all reviews of novels published in the Monthly Review and its

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competitor, the Critical Review, from January 1790 to December 1820 – spanning both Moody’s and Barbauld’s critical careers for the journal. Cataloguing 1,641 review articles of 1,215 novels and 445 identified authors, the NRD most significantly includes only reviews of works that the Reviews themselves identified as novels in the work’s subtitle, by using the word ‘novel’ in the review, or by classing it under the heading of ‘Novels and Romances’ in the Monthly Catalogue, a section of the Reviews described below. Therefore, the reviews by Moody and Barbauld that I read here provided English readers with criticisms of the novel as it was then understood, a vision that often differs from that of modern scholars whose sense of the genre is inevitably inflected by its story in the Victorian period and beyond. The NRD also functions as a tool to help us see how Moody’s and Barbauld’s reviews compare to the work of their colleagues thanks to its data on publishing, cost, format, length of works, as well as location and length of review article, etc. In sum, we can tease out both what is standard and what is exceptional about their work with respect to contemporary and modern trends. As Derek Roper notes, Reviews ‘have for the most part remained unread except by scholars seeking particular articles; and the articles have sometimes been misunderstood through inadequate knowledge of the Review’ (1978: 28). Scholarship focused on Review periodicals has been largely limited to three realms: (1) histories of the Reviews, much indebted to the indexing and textual history contributions of Antonia Forster (1990, 1997, 2001); (2) establishing the role of the Reviews in influencing England’s literary taste (Downie and Corns 1993; Donoghue 1996); and (3) uncovering the authorship of single review articles to add to their author’s literary corpus. This third area of enquiry advances a project begun by Benjamin Christie Nangle’s index to contributors of the Monthly Review (1934, 1955), and continued by articles uncovering authorship of individual article contributions to the Critical and other Romantic periodical reviews.4 Mary A. Waters, the only scholar to work on Moody’s and Barbauld’s contributions to the Monthly, has shown how it was communities of religious dissenters that made Moody’s and Barbauld’s positions as professional critics possible at the Monthly, and illustrates elsewhere how dissenting communities supported other such important literary critics as Mary Wollstonecraft (2004a: 12; 2004b; 2004c: 60–1). Review articles, and Reviews in general have been largely left out of recovery work on women writers because they are so highly contextual – depending for their value and interpretation on the work under review, the Review’s tone and intention, and even other articles within an issue.5 Because Moody’s and Barbauld’s sex was invisible to their contemporary readers, and is still invisible to scholars who pluck reviews out of journals on the basis of the author or work under review, it is easy to overlook the ways that these two critics were carving a space for women writers. Ezell called on feminist critics to observe carefully what assumptions they brought to the writing of women’s literary history, that we might then ‘analyse the angles through which [women writers] have been lost, using an approach that intentionally seeks to make the literary past unfamiliar through a steady questioning of the ways in which we have previously organised and categorised it’ (1993: 7). Studies of book review periodicals have overwhelmingly categorised the short, often terse, reviews of novels published in the aforementioned Monthly Catalogue section as negligible. Waters, however, reminds us that even these short reviews ‘offer a rare glimpse of a woman writer’s role in one of the most professional

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forms of Romantic-era literary work’ (2004a: 122). Following Waters’s work, this chapter will focus mainly on Moody’s and Barbauld’s Monthly Catalogue reviews. I forego the Review’s own organisation structure that represented these reviews as less valuable, and seek to demonstrate how women writers navigated this space, even and especially because they did so under the Monthly’s guise of collective, anonymous authorship. Skilled and professional critics, Moody and Barbauld produced attentive novel reviews that adhered closely to the Reviews’ mission and traditional methods for evaluating literature. In the process, they demonstrated that they were perhaps more qualified than their male colleagues to review novels during this period because they were women. Contemporary critics, readers, and writers were all acutely aware of women’s majority authorship among novelists, and were watching and critiquing this pivotal moment in women’s literary history as it was happening. Carefully attuned to the politics of this moment, Moody’s and Barbauld’s reviews are also thoughtful criticisms, which illustrate their conflicted position as professional female writers imparting evaluations of women’s novel-writing reign during their ascendancy.

A Short History of the Monthly Review In 1749 London publisher Ralph Griffiths sought to fill a void in England’s book market by publishing the Monthly Review, the country’s first periodical devoted exclusively to reporting on Britain’s literary output. By the time Moody began reviewing for the journal in the 1790s it had been in operation almost fifty years. The Monthly was followed quickly by its competitor, the Critical Review (1756–1817). Launched by Tobias Smollett ‘with bombastic advertisement’, the Critical would eventually come to align itself with Tory politics as opposed to the Whiggish Monthly (Roper 1978: 20). Both Reviews originally intended to offer excerpts and short commentary on recently published literature, giving a dispassionate account of the book market. Both eventually leaned away from their attitude of reviewing everything objectively. Whereas their original intention had been to supply excerpts from the text indicative of its whole character, slowly the reviews began to offer judgement on works, and to use those excerpts to support their criticism. They also moved swiftly into a two-tiered review system. Works on the top tier – those assumed to be more valuable by the Reviews’ standards – were reviewed in 10- to 12-page articles in the front section of the Review, with long critical discussions and multiple pages of excerpts. Lesser texts in this twotiered system appeared in the Monthly Catalogue attached to the back of each number. These catalogue reviews were short. Each included a couple of sentences about the text listed, sometimes condemning it for its subject matter or the quality of its writing. The catalogue was where the bulk of the Reviews’ novel critiques were located.6 Siv Gøril Brandtzæg shows that the two-tiered review system created a high- versus low-literature dichotomy that particularly victimised novels – relegating the formulaic productions of the Minerva Press and the like to the Monthly Catalogue, while ironically providing formulaic evaluations of them (2015: 172). Contemporary readers of the Reviews could use the location of a work’s review to evaluate its quality: the elevated or important in the front section, versus those poor works that were ‘consigned to the catalogue’. The two-tier structure was powerful because it provided a guiding system for the Reviews’ many readers, indicating a work’s importance. The Reviews had a large

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reading audience by the end of the eighteenth century. C. H. Timperley put the Monthly’s 1797 annual sales figures at 5,000, and 3,500 for the Critical (1842: 795). Derek Roper estimates that these sales figures indicate ‘one-sixth of the contemporary reading public’ purchasing one of the two leading review periodicals. He goes on to note that each of these copies sold was probably read by several if not dozens of readers due to some of their locations in lending libraries, book clubs, and coffee houses (Roper 1978: 23–5). Furthermore, the Reviews circulated outside of London, reaching readers and libraries far removed from the daily happenings of the metropolis’s book market. Considering this circulation, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the average reader would regularly encounter a Review periodical, and would consider the trends in reviewing as part of their knowledge of the English book market. This puts a large portion of English population reading Moody’s and Barbauld’s reviews, which were circulating far beyond the print runs of either of their own literary productions. Indeed, it is likely that more contemporary readers read their criticism than their writings in other genres, albeit without the knowledge of the articles’ authorship. In the introduction to Women Critics 1660–1820, the first collection of textual criticism by women in the eighteenth century, the editors of the Folger Collective on Women Critics argue that female critics’ ‘consciousness of [their] gender and its attendant social contradictions’ meant that they ‘give significantly more attention than do their male colleagues to women writers’, but that that ‘by no means precluded harsh judgements’ (1995: xvii). The novel reviews in the Monthly, then, provided the perfect opportunity to engage with works by women, since it was only in its novel criticism that the Review was open to works that were new, anonymous, and/or poorly written alongside more established and celebrated titles. Its comparative openness when it came to selecting novels for review meant that women were better represented in the genre than elsewhere, and so Moody and Barbauld, in choosing to write on novels, were also making an opportunity for themselves to write about other women writers. It was marked even more so in their case because by writing what was often seen as the official criticism of England’s literature for the Monthly, a periodical with a collective masculine voice, Moody and Barbauld participated in ‘a domain potentially unsettling to their traditional subordination and to the construction of letters as a male preserve’ (xvi). Both Moody and Barbauld were well-qualified reviewers, and Griffiths was shrewd to take advantage of their literary talent when he had the chance. Three scholars have studied the life and works of Elizabeth Moody: Jan Wellington’s dissertation (an edition of Moody’s collected works), an article by Adeline Johns-Putra on Moody’s poetry, and a chapter by Waters on Moody as a reviewer. Moody was herself a published poet, and regular contributor of letters, poems, and miscellaneous materials to the St James’s Chronicle (1788–1803), a weekly newspaper in which her husband, Christopher Moody, had a share. Christopher Moody began contributing to the Monthly in 1787; his connection with Griffiths came from their both having shares in the Chronicle, and both being part of the dissenting community (Wellington 1997: 18). Two years later, Moody’s first review for the Monthly appeared. An eight-year gap in Moody’s reviewing for the Monthly, between August 1791 and January 1800, can possibly be explained by a slight of her work when Griffiths forgot that he had sent Moody Elizabeth Inchbald’s A Simple Story (1791) to review, and so reviewed it himself.7 Heated letters were exchanged between Christopher Moody and Griffiths about the error, resulting in Griffiths

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apologising to Moody (Wellington 1997: 18). It is also, however, possible that Moody’s poetic occupations kept her from reviewing during these years. She published her Poetic Trifles in 1798 with the prestigious publisher Thomas Cadell. Despite her poetic success, however, her obituary in the Gentleman’s Magazine (1731–1922) claimed ‘her prose was above all power to admire it enough’ (84 (Dec 1814): 613). Aside from her correspondence (occasionally published in the St James’s Chronicle), Moody’s only known prose works are her reviews for the Monthly. Anna Letitia Barbauld had a more mainstream writing career, publishing poetry, educational texts, and essays. She had a varied periodical publishing career as well. Barbauld not only wrote for the Monthly, but also for the Analytical Review (1788– 99); the Monthly Magazine (1796–1825), edited by her brother John Aikin; the Annual Review (1804–9), edited by her nephew Arthur Aikin; and likely also the Athenæum (1807–9) and the Gentleman’s Magazine (Waters 2004a: 127).8 Barbauld began reviewing for the Monthly in July 1809, just after Moody left, suggesting that Griffiths had grown accustomed to having a female critic on staff. She was still working on her famous British Novelists series (1810) when she began. Barbauld reviewed other genres in the Monthly Catalogue as well: poetry, plays, children’s literature, translations, educational texts, and more (Waters 2004a: 128). She was well qualified to review these works, as she herself was an educator, having previously run Palgrave School, and was also a poet and author of educational texts (Brown et al. 2006). The bulk of Moody’s and Barbauld’s novel reviews for the Monthly appeared in the Monthly Catalogue section of the periodical. As already noted, most such reviews were short, ranging from a paragraph or two of plot summary to a few lines outlining the reviewer’s disapproval. The NRD shows that the average length of a Monthly Catalogue review in the Monthly during this period was two-fifths of a page. Both Moody’s and Barbauld’s Catalogue reviews were longer than the Monthly’s average, however: Barbauld’s average half a page, and Moody’s span to four-fifths of a page and both managed to stretch some articles to one and a quarter pages.9 They used this extra space not only to establish their knowledge of reviewing practices, but also to highlight the strong contributions of women novelists to the genre. In short, we can see Moody and Barbauld participating in the ‘larger pattern of oscillation encouraged imaginative, prospective, and confrontational judgements’ described by Bartolomeo when he discusses how texts are treated across the Reviews by reviewers clearly aware of each other’s pronouncements (1994: 134). Their adaptations illustrate a negotiation of their responsibilities as critics, with their respect for and desire to recognise the dominance of women writers of the novel.

Women Reviewing Women Moody and Barbauld adapt criticisms of poor writing that the Monthly traditionally volleyed at women novelists, highlighting such infelicities in novels by male authors, and laying the blame for mechanical and ridiculous plot elements in novels equally at the feet of both sexes. Both Moody and Barbauld use their first novel review to chastise a male novelist who has overstepped his authorial bounds to criticise the Reviews. By recognising women writers’ majority among novelists, Moody and Barbauld then argue for the significance of their fiction by establishing that the works by these female novelists’ male counterparts are unsound. In these first reviews Moody and Barbauld

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announce both their knowledge of their genre, and judiciously outline the ideal object for review: the perfect novel. In doing so the Monthly’s female reviewers build a careful recognition of women novelists’ work, contributing, albeit invisibly under the guise of the Reviews’ collective masculine identity, to the high- versus low-genre division of the novel. It is this high/low distinction, as Brandtzæg argues, that legitimises the novel as an imaginative literature – if there is a low, there must perforce be a high (2015: 2). And Moody and Barbauld show that ‘high’ is the arena of women writers. Moody’s first review, of Thomson’s Denial, was published in the front section of the Review in December 1790, rather than in the Monthly Catalogue. In many ways Moody’s review is typical of the style of the Monthly’s articles in that it provides: a summary of the novel, a discussion of its merits, and linguistic and grammatical shortcomings (common Review criticism). As we have seen, Moody’s evaluation is striking in that she begins it by pointing out that contemporary women are the ones dominantly and most successfully authoring the novel: ‘Ladies seem to appropriate to themselves an exclusive privilege in this kind of writing’ (3 ns (Dec 1790): 400). This is even more striking because she is, as Jan Wellington calls her, a ‘cross-dressing double agent, . . . acutely aware of and much amused by her situation’ (1997: 23). Though the focus of her article should be Thomson’s work, she begins by working through how remarkable it is that women were dominantly authoring the novel at the time, and that they were doing it well. Moody’s review of Thomson claims a great void in good novel writing by men: none ‘since the days of Richardson and Fielding’ some forty years earlier (3 ns (Dec 1790): 400). Before launching into her criticism of Thomson’s work Moody proceeds with ‘a sketch of what a novel should be to please us’: The story of a novel should be formed of a variety of interesting incidents; a knowledge of the world, and of mankind, are essential requisites in the writer; the characters should be always natural; the personages should talk, think, and act, as becomes their respective ages, situations, and characters; the sentiments should be moral, chaste, and delicate; the language should be easy, correct, and elegant, free from affectation, and unobscured by pedantry; and the narrative should be as little interrupted as possible by digressions and episodes of every kind: yet if an author chuses [sic] to indulge, occasionally, in moral reflections, in the view of blending instruction with amusement, we would not wish, altogether, to frustrate so good a design:—but, that his precepts may obtain the utmost efficacy, we would recommend them to be inserted in those periods of the history, where the reader’s curiosity can most patiently submit to suspense. (3 ns (Dec 1790): 400–1) The list that Moody provides for a pleasing novel is the foundation for her ensuing criticism. Though she concedes that ‘it would be a great injustice to the sensible writer, if we did not speak of his performance as entitled to a considerable degree of distinction above the common crowd – the cantabile of modern romances and novels’, Moody goes on to judge Thomson’s novel unfavourably against the criteria she outlines above. As to the charge that a novel includes a ‘variety of interesting incidents’, Moody regrets that The Denial features only textual events that reflect ‘a beaten path, which has been trodden by almost every novelist and dramatic writer’. With regards to her requirement that ‘the narrative should be as little interrupted as possible by digressions and episodes

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of every kind’, Moody regrets that in Thomson’s ‘the volumes abound with pious and moral reflections, not unworthy the pen of a clergyman: but we should have admired this piety and this morality still more, had the language (especially of the earlier letters,) been less verbose, and the style less stiffened with hard words’. With these careful words Moody enters the Monthly’s rank of novel-reviewers, always sure to cite her evaluative methodology. It advocates for her fellow female writers – valorising female novelists by recognising that not only are they authoring more novels, but that they are also superior novelists. Moody’s advocacy for female novelists also uses the space afforded to her rare front-section review to negotiate her own space as a female critic – navigating a delicate, and possibly contradictory, role of bearing witness to her fellow sex’s accomplishment. She uses her critical occupation to record women novelists’ ascendancy in a place where it would receive attention and be preserved: connected to a man’s novel in a periodical voiced by men, that recorded England’s literary history. Moody’s long reviews take the time to outline clearly examples that support her critiques, whereas, as we shall see, Barbauld falls in more with the Review’s tradition of short evaluations. In addition to addressing review trends, and outlining her evaluative process, Moody makes a dramatic show of participating in the Monthly’s traditional criticism of language and grammar. Whereas Moody argues that in a high-rate novel ‘the language should be easy, correct, and elegant, free from affectation, and unobscured by pedantry’, she critiques The Denial’s style: ‘Terms of the same signification are frequently coupled together*: a mode of writing rather suitable to an indenture than a book of entertainment; and peculiarly inconsistent with the natural ease and freedom of the epistolary style.’ Moody’s comment is accompanied by a footnote that takes up half of the Review’s printed page, which catalogues exhaustively such errors from the novel, even noting their page numbers: ‘For instance, “black criminality”, pref. p. 7.; “Wanton lasciviousness”; p. 9.; “mutual reciprocation”, ib. p. 16 . . .’ (3 ns (Dec 1790): 400–1). Carol Percy’s study of the Reviews’ policing of authors’ language and grammar indicates that ‘reviewers’ invocation of an ideology of standardisation . . . helped them establish their own new roles in the print-culture of the period’ (2010: 56). Moody’s extensive criticism of linguistic infelicities – half an entire page of the Review – established her place in the invisible chorus of reviewers, illustrating that she could provide critiques that aligned with the Review’s conventional practices. Baker suggests that such extensive catalogues of errors in reviews served as extended errata of the works themselves, and so Moody’s criticism here can also be seen as another form of collaborative authorship, manifest in her feeling of a shared responsibility for ‘editing the text of eighteenth-century literature’ (1997: 328). Later editions that corrected language and grammatical errors noted by the Reviews silently folded review writers into that work’s textual history.10 In subsequent reviews in which she mentions women writers, however, Moody illustrates a difficulty in navigating between her responsibility as a reviewer and her recognition of her sex’s success as novel writers. Moody is not excessive in her praise of fellow female novelists: she provides her fair share of stinging evaluations of the often-formulaic Gothic romances turning from the presses. In her first novel review in the Monthly Catalogue, Moody again works through her difficult position. ‘If Reviewers are said to be liberal of their censures, let it not also be said that they are “niggards of their praise,”’ Moody proclaims. She goes on to provide the anonymously authored Semphorina (1790) with ‘a tribute of our approbation’ (4 ns (Mar 1791): 343). Garside

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et al. show that as many as 80 per cent of anonymously published novels from this period were authored by women (2000, vol. 1: 46–7; vol. 2: 73). The female pronoun that Moody ascribes to Semphorina’s author, then, when she declares that ‘she is capable of painting a good story with all its necessary embellishments’ is likely accurate. But Moody criticises women novelists too – even when such comments are unnecessary to her review. In critiquing Samuel William Ireland’s Rimualdo (1800), Moody continues to compare male novelists to their female counterparts, but states that ‘like some sister Novelists, he deals too profusely in poetic description, and the common operations of Nature are never detailed in common language’ (34 ns (Feb 1801): 204). This association is wholly unnecessary to Moody’s argument about Ireland’s dealing ‘too profusely in poetic description’, a statement of evaluation that Moody, as a professional reviewer, could have made without comparison to other writers. Her inclusion of female novelists here lays bare the conflicted nature of her work – that though some of her reviews take time to highlight the strength of women writers’ contributions to the genre during this period, she is not incapable of rehearsing common anti-women’s writing pronouncements in the Reviews by making this statement about her sister novelists. And, although Moody’s (and the Monthly’s) criticisms of women novelists were not always unfounded, Moody’s repetition of these common criticisms even when unneeded shows that these female critics were alone in building a process by which to write the reviews they were paid for, while acknowledging the successful work of other women, since their colleagues were entirely male. Moody’s reviews illustrate her both establishing her qualifications, fitting into the Monthly’s form and rhetoric by unnecessarily repeating criticisms of women novelists, while also acknowledging the strong contributions by them. That Moody was not a consistent champion for the writing of other women places her outside the expectations that, as Ezell notes, we bring to writing women’s literary history: that they should either support or censure other women writers, but not both. And, that Moody’s work lies in the too-often neglected space of the Review periodical compounds our neglect of her and Barbauld’s work as women in print media. Like Moody, Anna Letitia Barbauld takes time to establish her place in the Monthly by critiquing a work authored by a man in her first novel review. All of the reviews authored by Barbauld, a respected literary professional, featured in the Monthly Catalogue, a fact which gives the lie to conventional wisdom that such items were merely hack work.11 Though Monthly Catalogue reviews are short, they mirror the Monthly’s rhetoric about novels, as exemplified by Moody’s front-section review. Barbauld’s Catalogue reviews demonstrate her acute attention to reviewing practices, and her role as a professional critic. Barbauld’s first novel review, that of James Amphlett’s Ned Bentley (1808), published in the Monthly in September 1809, begins by recognising itself as the audience of the author’s prefatorial argument: ‘Mr. Amphlett adverts in his preface, with some acrimony, to the “slovenly monthly catalogue” in which novels are generally classed by Reviewers.’ Continuing in her ‘slovenly monthly catalogue’ review, Barbauld shrewdly notes that Amphlett’s preface pre-emptively attempts to situate him in the Review’s criticism by ‘affirm[ing] that “a novel writer enters the list of authors with his mind made up to receive every species of ill-usage.”’ Barbauld’s sharp critique moves from this ‘humble though sturdy declaration’ that ‘he is “content if his work be allowed to class among the least exceptionable ones of its kind”’ to follow along the same lines as Moody’s review: she asserts the required traits of a good novel and the current work’s failure to meet that standard (60 ns (Aug 1809): 94).

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Circling Ned Bentley with the traditional review element of summary, armed with a barb of critical discontent, Barbauld’s Monthly Catalogue review differs from others in that it does not mechanically perform one piece of the Monthly’s title: to ‘give an account with proper abstracts of, and extracts from’ all new books as they came out. Rather, she takes advantage of the space afforded her to perform her well-practised skills in literature reviewing, showing herself well equipped for her new position. In her first paragraph Barbauld declares, ‘If to contain nothing which can alarm the delicacy or offend the piety of the reader may constitute a novel “unexceptionable,” the history of Ned Bentley is intitled [sic] to the negative praise to which its author aspires’, effectively turning Amphlett’s falsified humility and acerbic criticism of the Review against him. Barbauld, like her predecessor, shows that she is keen to establish her authority as a reviewer within the context of the anonymous, masculine collective voice of the Monthly. She insists on behalf of herself and the entire Monthly tribunal that ‘though we feel some respect even for this sort of recommendation, we cannot allow a freedom from impurity to claim for it an exemption from criticism’. ‘We must state our opinion then’, Barbauld declares, ‘that the story is contradictory as well as improbable.’ She then launches into a plot summary that highlights such improbabilities. By noting that the main character was a boy ‘brought up as a servant till his seventeenth birthday, suddenly emerging from the kitchen, well acquainted with living manners and dead languages’, Barbauld folds criticism into her plot summary, maximising the small space of the ‘slovenly monthly catalogue’ (60 ns (Aug 1809): 94). Barbauld, like Moody, also shows close attention to language and grammar. She declares that ‘it is to be wished that all authors, who have previously been readers, would sometimes revert to the elementary and laudable exercise of Parsing; and, in imitation of Mr. Amphlett, we shall transcribe a definition of this word from Johnson’s Dictionary’, which she does immediately following, taking up significant valuable review space: To PARSE. To resolve a sentence into the elements or parts of speech. ‘Let scholars reduce the words to their original: to the first case of nouns or first tense of verbs, and give an account of their formation and changes, their syntax and dependencies, which is called parsing.’ This definition aligns Barbauld’s review with the Monthly’s tradition of policing novelists’ language, and gives her the foundation upon which her review concludes: ‘If Mr. Amphlett had examined his manuscript by this rule, he could hardly have left in it such a string of grammatical errors.’ She then goes on to transcribe a list of errors and gives only small praise, noting that the work ‘is written throughout with much spirit’ (60 ns (Aug 1809): 94). Barbauld’s later reviews would focus specifically on grammar; her entire review of Says She To Her Neighbour, What? (1812) is merely a list of errors and their page-marks. Laura Runge notes that as most reviewers were men, their sharp policing of female novelists’ grammar ‘directly conflict[ed] with gallantry, a highly rhetorical and standard code of behaviour for men in polite culture’ (2004: n. p.). Runge goes on to show that ‘the treatment of women writers in the Reviews can be seen as another important discourse in which to trace the negotiation of public and private expressions of gendered identity, especially as this process relates to disciplinary divisions that emerge within that genre’ (2004: n. p.). Thus, by taking up these reviewing

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practices traditional to the Monthly, especially in their first reviews of novels written by men, Moody and Barbauld negotiate expressions of their own gender identity as invisible female reviewers. They illustrate their ability to adhere to Review standards. They also establish themselves as part of the masculine, dominant voice in the Review/ novel-writer interaction by reviewing first male-authored novels. Perhaps in simultaneously writing reviews that so strongly adhered to the Review’s traditions, while also critiquing the work of a male author who underperformed when compared against his female counterparts, Moody and Barbauld reminded their colleagues at the Monthly that not only were they qualified, but that simply being male was not itself a qualifier for good writing. Barbauld further illustrates this position by reversing a Review tradition. Frequently when the authorship of a novel was not known, the reviewers assumed female authorship. Moody follows this tradition in her review of the anonymously published Semphorina: ‘from the writer’s style, that she is capable of painting a good story with all its necessary embellishments’ (4 ns (Mar 1791): 343). Attributing female authorship to anonymous works is not a practice the Monthly uses universally; the male pronoun is used to refer to anonymous authors of works in other genres. The NRD records twenty-five instances during the period of the Monthly that assume female authorship of an anonymous work. Barbauld, however, in one of her thirty-five novel reviews, assumes the author of Faulconstein Forest (1810) to be male, even though there is no evidence of this. The work had no name on the title page, and its dedication to Rev. W— B— featured an anonymous signature of ‘his sincere friend’ in asterisks (Faulconstein 1810: n. p.). Her stinging words claim that though ‘the author appears to possess considerable taste and genius’, ‘[h]e has, however, published this tale in a somewhat undigested state’ (62 ns (May 1810): 97).12 But Barbauld’s casting the author of Faulconstein Forest as male not only offers her another opportunity to reproach a male novelist; it also shows her shaping her authority as a literary critic in the same mould as her male colleagues by pointedly identifying authors in need of her aid so that they might learn to better themselves. She in the end gives Faulconstein Forest a favourable review. ‘We would not have dwelt so largely on the defects of this tale’, she tells its author and the readers of the Monthly, ‘if we had not been still more struck with its merit’ (97). Where she could have had the opportunity to praise a fellow female writer by casting the anonymous novelist as a woman, Barbauld instead proclaims that ‘we look forward to the future productions of the author as a source of amusement’ (98). Unlike Moody, whose reviews take care to bring up women novelists even when they are not the subject at hand, Barbauld’s method of negotiating her position as a female literary critic of a genre written largely by women was to enforce in her work a system of equality. While her male colleagues were reviewing novels by women and giving them, as Runge notes, advice for the improvement of their writing in a fatherly manner, Barbauld, a practised literary critic and experienced teacher, does the same for men. Moody and Barbauld expertly fit their novel reviews into the Monthly’s traditional review practices, showing their skill even though their articles blended seamlessly with the Review’s standard voice. Now that we can recover their articles, we can observe in them professional women writers who not only read the novels of their sister-authors, but also inscribed those novels’ place in literary history by recording them in the annals of the Reviews. Where the Monthly’s extended title promises to ‘give an account, with

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proper abstracts of, and extracts from the new books, pamphlets, &c. as they come out’, Moody and Barbauld take time to give an account of the unique moment they witness. Their account folds themselves, as women writers, into their writing of it, albeit invisibly behind the Monthly’s communal authorship. Moody’s and Barbauld’s criticism of the novel, and its majority female authorship during this period show their role in women’s print media: to ensure the writing of women’s literary history. For this volume, Moody and Barbauld illustrate that such writing took place even in masculine-voiced periodicals, even by invisible female contributors, expanding our definition of what it looked like to be a woman working in and writing for print media in eighteenth-century Britain.

Notes 1. Peter Garside and James Raven’s survey of prose fiction 1770–1829 shows women novelists outpaced men for the 30-year stretch from 1790 to 1820, when the novel’s dominant authorship was returned to men with Sir Walter Scott at its helm (Garside et al. 2000: vol. 1: 46–7; vol. 2: 73). 2. Benjamin Christie Nangle identified Griffiths’s shorthand attributions to articles by Elizabeth Moody marked alternately ‘Mrs. Moy’, ‘Mrs. Mo-y’, or ‘Mrs. Moo—’; those by Barbauld are identified with ‘Mrs. Bar’ (1955: 46–7, 5–6). The third female critic for the Monthly was likely Isabella Griffiths, wife of the periodical’s founder, Ralph Griffiths. See Betty Rizzo’s entry on Isabella Griffiths in Todd, ed. 1985. Isabella Griffiths died in 1764. No scholarship has yet studied her possible contributions to the Monthly Review. 3. Like Derek Roper, I use ‘Review’ in reference to the journal, and ‘review’ to indicate an article. 4. See for example, Jones 1946, or more recently, Wainwright 2014. 5. Some reviews have been reprinted in Nixon, ed. 2009; and Folger Collective on Early Women Critics, eds. 1995. Despite extensive scholarly work on Anna Letitia Barbauld’s British Novelists (1810) series, which she was working on just as she began her work for the Monthly, only Waters has explored Barbauld’s criticism for review periodicals. Waters’s is also the only scholarship on Elizabeth Moody’s Monthly contributions, which is much indebted to Nangle’s identification of Monthly contributors. His identifications of these female critics were left unnoticed and uncelebrated for almost fifty years until Waters told their stories. Some of Moody’s reviews have been reprinted in Waters 2009. 6. The Monthly and the Critical’s stinging reviews of novels especially set the stage for what would become a reviewing tradition of harsh criticism against that growing genre. This tradition depended on the craze for reviewing that grew as the eighteenth century progressed. By the end of the century the Monthly and Critical were joined by the Analytical Review, the Edinburgh Review (1802–1929), and the Quarterly Review (1809–1967). 7. Though it was not uncommon for reviewers to review the work of friends, readers perhaps received a less biased evaluation of the novel from Griffiths, as Moody and Inchbald were close friends. 8. Yet Broadview Press’s edition of Barbauld’s Selected Poetry and Prose (2002), which includes excerpts from the British Novelists series, provides none from her periodical criticism. 9. The longest Monthly Catalogue review of a novel in the Monthly during this period was the three-page review of Isabella Kelly’s Joscelina (1797) in the November 1797 issue, written by James Bannister. 10. Rev. James Thomson’s The Denial; or, the Happy Retreat 2nd edn (1792) corrects the errors that Moody lists in her review.

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11. For many novels from this period a Monthly Catalogue review is the only evidence of their existence, since no extant copies survive. It is also likely that some lesser-known novels were preserved because they were reviewed – the Reviews providing some indication that the work was once important enough for consideration. 12. It is possible that the reviewers had insider knowledge of the author’s identity. Griffiths’s hand is scrawled under the review of Dinarbas; a Tale: being a Continuation of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (1790) noting it was by ‘E. Cornelia Knight, daughter of Lord Knight’, for instance (8 ns (May 1790): 106).

Works Cited Baker, James. 1997. ‘Criticism and the Rise of Periodical Literature’. The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Ed. H. B. Nisbet and Claude Rawson. 7 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vol. 4: 316–32. Barbauld, Anna Letitia. Selected Poetry and Prose. 2002. Ed. William McCarthy and Elizabeth Kraft. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press. Bartolomeo, Joseph F. 1994. A New Species of Criticism: Eighteenth-Century Discourse on the Novel. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press. Batchelor, Jennie. 2011. ‘“Connections, which are of service . . . in a more advanced age:” The Lady’s Magazine, Community, and Women’s Literary Histories’. Tulsa Women’s Studies in Literature 2.3: 245–67. Brandtzæg, Siv Gøril. 2015. ‘Aversion to Imitation: The Rise of Literary Hierarchies in Eighteenth-Century Novel Reviews’. Forum for Modern Language Studies 51: 171–85. Brown, Susan, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, eds. 2006–16. ‘Anna Letitia Barbauld’. The Orlando Project. (last accessed 8 Dec 2016). Donoghue, Frank. 1996. The Fame Machine: Book Reviewing and Eighteenth-Century Literary Careers. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Downie, J. A. and Thomas Corns. 1993. ‘Telling People What to Think: Early EighteenthCentury Periodicals from The Review to The Rambler’. Prose Studies: History, Theory, Criticism 16.1: 1–7. Ezell, Margaret. 1993. Writing Women’s Literary History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Faulconstein Forest, a Romantic Tale. 1810. London: Hookham Jr. Folger Collective on Early Women Critics. 1995. Ed. Virginia Walcott Beauchamp, Matthew Bray, Susan Green, Susan Sniader Lanser, Katherine Larsen, Judith Pascoe, Katharine M. Rogers, Ruth Salvaggio, Amy Cohen Simowitz, and Tara Ghoshal Wallace. Women Critics 1660–1820. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press. Forster, Antonia. 1990. Index to Book Reviews in England, 1749–1774. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. —. 1997. Index to Book Reviews 1775–1800. London: The British Library. —. 2001. ‘Review Journals and the Reading Public’. Books and their Readers in EighteenthCentury England: New Essays. Ed. Isabel Rivers. London: Continuum. 171–90. Garside, Peter, James Raven, and Rainer Schöwerling, eds. 2000. The English Novel 1770–1829: A Bibliographical Survey of Prose Fiction Published in the British Isles. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Johns-Putra, Adeline. 2010. ‘Satire and Domesticity in Late Eighteenth-Century Women’s Poetry: Minding the Gap’. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 33.1: 67–87. Jones, Claude. 1946. ‘Contributors to Critical Review 1756–1785’. Modern Language Notes 61: 433–41. The Monthly Review. (1st ser. 1749–89; 2nd ser. 1790–1825; 3rd ser. 1826–30; 4th ser. 1831–44). London.

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Nangle, Benjamin Christie. 1934. Monthly Review, first series, 1749–1789: indexes of contributors and articles. Oxford: Clarendon Press. —. 1955. Monthly Review, second series, 1790–1815: indexes of contributors and articles. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Nixon, Cheryl, ed. 2009. Novel Definitions: An Anthology of Commentary on the Novel, 1688–1815. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press. Peiser, Megan. 2016. The Novels Reviewed Database, 1790–1820. (last accessed 8 Dec 2016). Percy, Carol. 2010. ‘How Eighteenth-Century Book Reviewers Became Language Guardians’. In Social Roles and Language Practices in Late Modern English. Ed. Päivi Pahta, Minna Nevala, and Arja Nurmi. Amsterdam: Benjamins Press. 55–85. Roper, Derek. 1978. Reviewing before the Edinburgh, 1788–1802, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Timperley, C. H. 1842. Encyclopaedia of Literary and Typographical Anecdote; Being a Chronological Digest of the Most Interesting Facts Illustrative of the History of Literature and Printing. 2nd edn, London. Todd, Janet. M., ed. 1985. A Dictionary of British and American Writers, 1700–1800. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Allanheld. Waters, Mary A. 2004a. British Women Writers and the Profession of Literary Criticism, 1789– 1832. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. —. 2004b. ‘“The First of a New Genius”: Mary Wollstonecraft as Literary Critic and Mentor to Mary Hays’. Eighteenth-Century Studies 37.3: 415–34. —. 2004c. ‘“Slovenly Monthly Catalogues”: The Monthly Review and Barbauld’s Periodical Literary Criticism’. Nineteenth-Century Prose 31.1: 53–81. —, ed. 2009. British Women Writers of the Romantic Period: An Anthology of Their Literary Criticism. Basingstroke: Palgrave Macmillan. Wainwright, Valerie. 2014. ‘The Journalism of Tobias Smollett and Oliver Goldsmith: Attributions for the Critical Review’. Notes and Queries 61: 417–29. Wellington, Jan. 1997. The Poems and Prose of Elizabeth Moody. The University of New Mexico, PhD dissertation.

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16 Reviewing Femininity: Gender and Genre in the Late Eighteenth- and Early NineteenthCentury Periodical Press Pam Perkins

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n the spring of 1803, the Scottish writer Anne Grant was awaiting, with some anxiety, the publication of her first book, a volume of poetry. As she explained in a letter to a friend, she was nervous about how the birth of her career would be affected by the intervention of ‘those rough nurses, the critics, whose hands do not spare nor their eyes pity’ (Grant 1807, vol. 3: 176). Some years earlier, her contemporary and acquaintance Elizabeth Hamilton had been even more negative in her characterisation of the impact of literary critics on the works and the writers they reviewed. In a periodical essay that remained unpublished during her lifetime, she described critics as ‘the murderer[s] of reputation’, differing from the common assassin only in that critics wounded nobody but ‘those who voluntarily expose themselves to the blow’ (Benger 1818, vol. 1: 341). Grant and Hamilton were of course being playfully hyperbolic in their rhetoric, but as they imagine victimisation at the hands of sadistic or murderous reviewers, they underscore the uneasy relationship that women had with the culture of the literary reviews during the opening years of the nineteenth century. Looking back from the perspective of 200 years, it is easy to sympathise with that uneasiness: the notoriously harsh critical discourse of the day could be damagingly prescriptive about women’s writing, and toward the women themselves was often dismissive at best, hostile at worst. Yet that is not the full story. Whatever their anxieties about the critics, Grant and Hamilton received mostly sympathetic and relatively detailed reviews of their debut publications, which is noteworthy given that Grant’s poems and Hamilton’s novel were not typical examples of ‘ladies’ work in those genres. Especially when contrasted with the reception of similar works published around the same time, those reviews make clear that metaphorical violence was far from being all that late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century periodical critics had to offer their women subjects and readers. On occasion, they could also provide a productively complicated understanding of how female authors should write and what ‘feminine’ writing should look like. Inconsistencies in Romantic-era reviewers’ ideas about ‘feminine’ writing have not attracted a lot of attention, perhaps in part because the reception history of women writers around the turn of the nineteenth century has remained, until recently, a relatively under-studied area. Most of the work that has been done on the critical reception of women in those periodicals has tended to concentrate on a handful of major figures: Frances Burney, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, and, above all, Jane Austen. Yet as

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Ann R. Hawkins has noted, that focus on now-canonical writers has had a distorting effect on our understanding of the wider discussion of female authorship in the periodical reviews. The very limited contemporary critical response to Austen – only seventeen reviews in her lifetime – has, Hawkins argues, ‘inadvertently shaped our narratives . . . of how women writers fared within’ the literary reviews, fuelling an assumption that, among other things, women ‘were not frequently reviewed within the periodical press’ (2011–13, vol. 1: xv). Implicit or explicit challenges to that perception of critical indifference have tended to go to the opposite extreme and focus on the sort of outright hostility that, in another familiar narrative about the critical response to turn-of-the-nineteenth-century women, supposedly drove Barbauld and Burney into silence after their sprawlingly ambitious and uncharacteristically political late works, Eighteen Hundred and Eleven (1812) and The Wanderer (1814). While more recent critics have questioned stories about the destructive impact of those reviews on the writers themselves – Orianne Smith suggests that Eighteen Hundred and Eleven was ‘the last poem Barbauld published because it was meant to be just that: a final warning’ (2013: 189) – disputing the individual impact of reviewers’ hostility does not, in itself, complicate narratives about the wider critical climate that women faced in the periodicals of the day. What does complicate that narrative is re-examining the relationship that women had with the reviews both as readers and as writers. One can begin doing that not just by exploring women’s reactions to individual articles but also by recognising the sheer quantity of material about women’s writing that was being published in the literary press in the years around 1800. There is in fact a substantial body of criticism of books by women: Hawkins’s recent edition of reviews of Romantic women writers covers only the four years from 1789 to 1793 but nonetheless stretches to nine volumes. Paying attention to some of the range and variety of that material is important because the periodicals played a vital role in shaping ideas of what the work of a woman writer – or, even more specifically, a woman poet or novelist – might look like. As Manushag Powell has argued, it was the periodicals that ‘invented a space . . . to think out loud about what it meant to be a professional writer’ (2012: 3), and while Powell is referring specifically to the periodical essays of the earlier eighteenth century, others have made overlapping arguments about the quarterly or monthly literary reviews that became more prominent in the second half of the century. Frank Donoghue, for one, has claimed that by mid-century, understandings of what constituted ‘authorship’ were becoming ‘increasingly defined in popular criticism’, with the result that ‘from 1750 onward, literary careers were chiefly described, and indeed made possible, by reviewers’ (1996: 3). The effect that those periodical debates about authorship had on women writers has generally been perceived as being uniformly negative. Donoghue himself observes that the tendency of ‘[t]he major Reviews’ to ‘evaluat[e] women’s writing by a different, less demanding standard’ established ‘a double standard that all but disabled the hopes any woman author might have of achieving a level of success comparable to that enjoyed by the best male writers’ (1996: 6, 161). Moreover, while Donoghue sees this ‘programmatic condescension’ (1996: 161) of the literary reviews fading by the end of the century, as women (following in the footsteps of Mary Wollstonecraft) began to establish themselves as reviewers, other critics have argued or implied the opposite, suggesting that the situation was rapidly getting worse. For one thing, relatively few

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Romantic-era women followed Wollstonecraft into reviewing; as Alexis Easley (2004) and Joanne Wilkes (2010), among others, have shown, it was not until the 1830s that women began establishing a fairly solid place for themselves as reviewers. In addition, the articles that can be identified by earlier female contributors to the periodical reviews were far from uniformly welcoming to other women writers. Anne Grant is representative: in a March 1821 review of Joanna Baillie’s Metrical Legends published in the Edinburgh Magazine (and identifiable only because a fragmentary draft manuscript in Grant’s handwriting survives in the Edinburgh University Library), Grant takes a gratuitous swipe at Jane Porter’s immensely popular Scottish Chiefs (1810), dismissing it as an ‘absolutely sickening’ work that turns William Wallace into an implausibly sentimental ‘swain of Arcady’ (8: 261). Mary Hays, who wrote the Analytical review of Elizabeth Hamilton’s debut novel, Translations of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah (1796), was more measured in her dislike of Hamilton’s work than Grant was of Porter’s, but perhaps even more devastating in her assessment, attacking Hamilton for both her politics and her style. When Hamilton discovered the identity of the author, she used much the same language in a letter breaking off her friendship with Hays as she had in her evocation of masculine critical violence in her earlier periodical essay. ‘You, in the dark, and with a muffled dagger’, Hamilton writes furiously, ‘aimed the blow which was to fix, as far as it is in the power of a review to fix, the fame and character of the person you saluted as a friend!’ (Walker 2006: 174). As her rhetoric makes clear, Hamilton did not see women as being any less likely than men to use the power of an anonymous review to silence or sideline writers whose views they disliked. More generally, and notwithstanding these scattered contributions by women, the perception has been that women were being erased from the more serious critical discourse emerging around the turn of the nineteenth century, with no place in it except, perhaps, as readers. In his pioneering work on the Romantic-era review, John O. Hayden set out to provide ‘a reliable representation of reviewing practices’ in the years following the 1802 founding of the Edinburgh Review, but he apparently took for granted that those ‘practices’ could be studied without thinking at all about how women were affected by them, as he not only excluded women from his list of authorial case studies but also omitted any reviews of fiction, the one genre in which women were proportionately represented and at least relatively welcome (1969: 2).1 Likewise, when later critics of the Romantic-era periodical have turned their attention to women, the focus has tended to be on explaining their absence, with the blame usually going to the new style of reviewing exemplified by the stern elitism of the Edinburgh Review. With its decision to forego capsule reviews and to limit its attention strictly to ‘works that either have attained, or deserve, a certain portion of celebrity’ (‘Advertisement’. Oct 1802: n. p.), the Edinburgh notoriously sidelined women, both as reviewers (no woman wrote for it before the 1830s) and as subjects, contributing to what Clifford Siskin has called ‘the great forgetting’ of female authors (1998: 193–209). Even Stuart Curran, who has provided a detailed study of Francis Jeffrey’s sympathetic reviews of Madame de Staël and Maria Edgeworth, acknowledges that, despite this sprinkling of serious critical engagement with two prominent women writers, the Edinburgh was notable in its early years mainly for its ‘dismissive treatment of women authors’ (2002: 198). Given this focus on the reviews’ tendency to either ignore or condescend to women writers, it might seem that Grant’s and Hamilton’s concerns about critical violence

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were overblown, even allowing for the (later) cautionary examples of Burney and Barbauld. Yet as Mark Parker has noted, ‘almost no aspect of periodical study is unproblematic’ (2000: 4), and generalising about what Hawkins has demonstrated is the vast body of periodical criticism of women, much of which still remains uncollected, is obviously impossible. As it turned out, Grant and Hamilton did not have any need to worry about the critics, but that was not because they were dismissed or ignored. At a time when most novels or poems, especially those by previously unknown and unpublished women, could expect at best a paragraph or two, their debut works were met with a flurry of surprisingly detailed reviews, many stretching over several pages and, in one case for Grant, over two numbers of a journal. Moreover, both attracted these detailed, generally sympathetic reviews with books – a novel and a volume of mainly occasional poems – that could be seen as conventionally feminine in terms of genre but that at the same time overtly displayed their authors’ strong intellectual and political interests. Even while it is true that, as Amelia Dale has observed, ‘[w]omen writers had to negotiate expectations that they conform to the laws of appropriate femininity’ in order win the approval of reviewers (2014: n. p.), the reception of Grant and Hamilton suggest that ideas of what constituted ‘appropriate’ modes of feminine writing could be more malleable than we might expect. That critical engagement with two previously unpublished women writers is all the more striking given that at the launch of their careers, both Grant and Hamilton were already in their forties and had spent most of their adult lives in rural Scotland: despite having cultivated some literary friendships in Edinburgh and London they were not in any sense insiders in the publishing world. Arguably, therefore, it was the seriousness with which they were treated by reviewers that helped them in developing their remarkably successful ‘professional life stor[ies]’ as writers (Donoghue 1996: 6). Grant quickly established herself, through collections of letters and essays, as a major contributor to the literature of the Scottish Highlands, while Hamilton became one of the era’s most popular writers of educational fiction and philosophy. Even though they vanished from the canon for much of the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries, overshadowed by Sir Walter Scott and Edgeworth, the degree of success that both women achieved during their lifetimes suggests that far from shutting down potentially unfeminine ambition or attempting to push them back into a narrowly feminised version of literary achievement, their initial reviews encouraged them in their literary careers. Studying the receptions of Grant and Hamilton can thus make clear that Romantic-era reviewers did not always limit their concepts of ‘feminine’ writing to the decorative or the unassuming. That said, late eighteenth-century women with literary ambitions would not have had any trouble finding material in the periodical press telling them that their work should look very different from men’s. Even female-centred publications such as the Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1770–1832) are full of offhand comments about gendered style. A letter writer who calls himself Telemachus assumes, for example, that the ‘justness and energy’ of a novel he admires means that it must be by a man, since women’s work is characterised by ‘delicacy and softness’ (28 (June 1797): 254). Yet even such apparently unambiguous statements can be slippery. Hedging his bets in case the novel in question, Vicissitudes in Genteel Life (1794), turned out to be by a woman (and it was; the author was Alethea Lewis), ‘Telemachus’ adds that it is possible for a woman of ‘rare and admirable endowments’

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to unite those qualities. The stylistic prescriptiveness of the periodical reviews could also be ambiguously gendered in a manner that potentially widened the literary scope for women authors. Matthew Grenby has argued that by the end of the eighteenth century the reviews saw themselves as a type of ‘literary police force’, charged with ensuring that the literature ‘avoid[ed] any explicit or implicit clash with “decency”’ (2001: 176–7), but as Grenby also shows, the reviews’ emphasis on ‘purity’ and ‘morality’ meant that women as well as men could win lavish praise for energetically polemical work, as long as its politics were sufficiently conservative. Given the highly loyalist, even reactionary, review culture that Matthew Grenby outlines, the positive critical reaction to Grant and Hamilton is, on one level, easy enough to explain. Grant was a proud, lifelong Church-and-King Tory, and while as Claire Grogan (2012) has shown, it is difficult to pin Hamilton down to any single school of political thought, she was associated with the anti-Jacobins even before she launched a literary war against Mary Hays and the Godwin circle with the publication of Memoirs of Modern Philosophers (1800). Both Grant and Hamilton inaugurated their careers with books that the British Critic or Anti-Jacobin audience would unquestionably have found politically congenial. Translations of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah is an unapologetic contribution to debates about imperial politics in which, among other things, Hamilton takes up the defence of Warren Hastings against Edmund Burke and energetically supports the East India Company’s intervention in a controversial 1770s war between a British-allied ruler and an Afghan tribe whose territory had been annexed. Grant’s unambitiously titled Poems on Various Subjects (1803) is less overtly polemical, but the volume is dominated by The Highlanders, a major work in five books of heroic couplets, which, if one includes the substantial historical notes that Grant appends on the history and culture of the region, runs to nearly 120 pages. In addition, the volume features translations from Gaelic and an essay on James Macpherson and Ossian, making it, by any standards, a serious attempt to contribute to contemporary debates about national culture. Yet what is striking about the reviews is that they do not content themselves with simply endorsing the political agendas of the books in question, but also take some pains to absorb the very obviously ambitious, politically minded authors into a discourse of genteelly feminine literary achievement. This creation of a version of ‘feminine’ fiction and poetry that allows for both creative ambition and energetic political engagement is clearer in the initial response to Grant, who was read, from the beginning, in terms of her qualities as a woman as well as of the qualities of her verse. If the critical commentary never followed the predictable route of eroticising her through a close focus on her ‘elegance’ or her ‘sensibility’, that might have been in part simply because she began her career too late to be assimilated into the role of the literary ingénue. When she published her first book in 1803, she was a 48-year-old widow with eight surviving children: as Christian Johnstone rather unkindly observed in a review of a posthumous collection of her letters, Grant had thus always belonged to ‘the dowager division’ of Edinburgh literary society (Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine 11 (Mar 1844): 175). Johnstone was not alone in this assessment; four decades earlier, Grant’s original, anonymous, reviewers had first brought her to public attention by finding in her poems an evocation of the homely, unpretending virtues of respectable middle age. The British Critic envisions her as a kindly matron, ‘affectionate to her family’, ‘warm in her private friendships’, and

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‘respected’ in her ‘own country’ and concludes that the poems will be ‘a lasting monument of female genius and good sense, exerted without any neglect of the humbler tasks of middle life’ (22 (Sep 1803): 292, 297). The Anti-Jacobin (which took Grant seriously enough to open its October 1803 number with a review of her book and to continue it the following month) also singles out ‘GOOD SENSE’ as ‘the most prominent feature’ of Grant’s ‘intellectual character’, and, while deprecating some aspects of her ‘expression and stile’, praises her for her dignity, respectability, and ‘rectitude of judgment’ (16 (Oct 1803): 116). In foregrounding Grant’s personal qualities, especially as a wife and mother, in this way, the reviews establish her as an unequivocally feminine writer, despite her refusal to limit herself to decorative occasional verse. That focus on modest respectability might have been reinforced, at least in part, because in the hopes of easing some of the financial difficulties she faced after her husband’s death, Grant had chosen to launch her career by publishing a subscription volume. Precisely because of a contemporary assumption that such collections were little more than a decorous cover for soliciting charitable donations (‘one naturally has a prejudice against a subscription-book’, one contemporary reader sniffed (Clark 1895, vol. 3: 171)), it was a mode of publication that could be read as downplaying any potentially unfeminine literary ambitions. While Grant herself does not highlight her widowhood or her financial straits, critics at the time had no difficulty in sketching a narrative around books published by subscription by previously unknown or little-known writers. Two months after its review of Grant, the British Critic noted, in reference to a collection of poems by Mary Young Sewell, that when ‘a clergyman’s widow’ chooses to bring her verse into print by subscription, ‘the necessary inference will be drawn by every benevolent reader’ (22 (Nov 1803): 553). Such benevolence was frequently, however, only one step away from condescension. The British Critic might assert that the circumstances that led Sewell to publish gave her ‘a very forcible claim to our respect and attention’ (22 (Nov 1803): 553), but that ‘respect’ was manifested there and elsewhere by the critical equivalent of a dismissive pat on the head. The British Critic reviewer contented himself with a few polite compliments on Sewell’s ‘refined feelings and correct taste’ (22 (Nov 1803): 553) while the Monthly Review offered some general commentary about the ‘softness and sensibility’ of the verse (44 (May 1804): 101), and the Annual Review did little more than call attention to the ‘just sentiments’ presented in the ‘elegant little volume’ (2 (1803): 591). Even as the reviewers were gentle with Sewell, the terms of their praise thus make clear that they were more interested in her as a deserving object of charity than as a poet, a move that gives her little grounds for carving out a place for herself as a writer. The generically minimalist commentary on Sewell is fairly typical of the response by reviewers to women using a subscription volume to seek charity while maintaining an impeccably feminine persona: they get sympathy and a few kind words but little in the way of serious critical engagement. Grant, perhaps inevitably, received some of this politely conventional dismissiveness as well; the Annual Review notes that the volume was published under ‘circumstances which excite interest and bespeak indulgence’ (2 (1803): 560), while in one of the few capsule reviews that Grant received, the Monthly Mirror offers merely a passing glimpse of the ‘simple and pleasing’ verse of the ‘fair authoress’ (17 (Mar 1804): 182). Yet most reviewers go well beyond this positioning of Grant within the feminised world of the subscription volume, and the very marked contrast between Grant’s and Sewell’s receptions points to the

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willingness of at least some critics to accommodate ambitiously polemical work within this safely and conventionally feminine mode of publication. In particular, neither the Anti-Jacobin nor the British Critic appears to have any difficulty in seeing Grant as both a respectably unthreatening object of charity and a redoubtable ally in their political battles. The Anti-Jacobin approvingly contrasts her with the ‘WOLLSTONECROFTS and WILLIAMSES of the age’ (16 (Oct 1803): 123), while the British Critic excuses some moments of what it considers splenetic satire on the grounds that it is directed against those who ‘adopt modern philosophy, and follow the false lights of France’, (22 (Sep 1803): 293) then links Grant with ‘its darling, Jane West’ (Grenby 2001: 199) as a pre-eminent exemplar of ‘female genius’ (22 (Sep 1803): 297). Both the Anti-Jacobin and the British Critic are, of course, unequivocally partisan. Grenby places them at the forefront of the movement that had made politics ‘inextricably a part of what was still ostensibly literary criticism’ (2001: 177), while Hayden notes that they can be trusted to provide ‘competent appraisals’ only of ‘non-political works’ (1969: 7). Yet their willingness to give Grant lengthy, detailed reviews, while being politely dismissive of Sewell’s contemporaneous work in the same mode, cannot be explained simply by a tendency of both reviews to celebrate uncritically all things conservative. On the contrary: even while approving of the general ideological drift of her work, reviewers were prepared to take issue with Grant as both a polemicist and a poet, making clear that they were not reading her in merely ideological terms. Most significantly, by engaging with both the content and style of Grant’s commentary on Highland culture and society, the reviewers demonstrate what might be a surprising willingness to read her work as something other than sweetly feminine verse, on the one hand, or straight-up propaganda on the other. The British Critic stepped back from ideology and into something approaching a critical analysis of her scholarship as it discussed her use of Highland oral culture to assess the authenticity of Ossian. Likewise, both the Monthly and the Eclectic (in a review of the second, retitled edition of Poems) summarised then disputed Grant’s conclusions about the impact of emigration (44 (July 1804): 273–4; 4.2 (Nov 1808): 1035). Even the Annual Review, though somewhat sceptical about Grant’s implicit demands to be read ‘as a philosopher or politician’, pointedly refused to single out that ambition as a major blemish (2 (1803): 560). Finally, the Anti-Jacobin places Grant’s ‘bold, but faithful’ picture of Highland society (16 (Oct 1803): 120), one ‘not less distinguished by political and moral wisdom than by good poetry’ (16 (Nov 1803): 237), among the works that it sees as rescuing British literature from the ‘melodious insignificance’ of the popular verse of the previous decade (16 (Oct 1803): 114). This is more than just a predictably anti-Jacobin dig at 1790s radicals: in effect, the reviewer is claiming that Grant’s serious intellectual and cultural interests make her both more admirably feminine and a better poet than writers who limit themselves to pleasingly ‘melodious’ occasional verse. Rather than simply deploying Grant as a (willing) weapon in their ideological battles, in other words, the Anti-Jacobin is using her work to make an aesthetic argument about the relative importance of content over style in poetry. A preference of this sort for robustly intellectual content over smoothly harmonious versification is particularly noteworthy in the context of a critical discourse that, as the reviews of Sewell suggest, tends to define ‘femininity’ in terms of such stylistic qualities as ‘elegance’ or ‘softness’. That tendency makes it all the more striking that even as reviewers were willing to read Grant as working within the decorously feminine mode

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of the subscription volume, they are nearly unanimous in what they see as her major flaw: her prolixity and her occasionally ‘harsh’ and ‘prosaic’ lines (Monthly Review 44 (July 1804): 279). On one level, of course, this criticism of Grant’s language can in itself be read as a return to a gendered mode of criticism. As Olivia Smith has demonstrated, at the turn of the nineteenth century conservatives attempted to undermine the substance of writing by disempowered groups, including women, by attacking their supposed failures of style (1986). Even if Grant was saying things that conservative reviewers wanted to hear, in other words, they were still prepared to check her intellectual ambition by murmuring doubts, as did the Anti-Jacobin, about whether or not Grant understood the ‘genuine import’ of all the words she used (16 (Oct 1803): 116), or, like the Annual, by proclaiming that despite the ‘indulgence’ demanded by Grant’s circumstances, it had a ‘duty to the public’ to point out failures in diction and prosody (2 (1803): 561). Yet what is going on in the reviews of Grant is something a little more complicated than a reflexive mockery of a woman writer’s non-standard English. The Anti-Jacobin gives the game away in its observation that many of Grant’s alleged verbal failures betray traces of the ‘vicious provincial utterance’ and ‘depraved pronunciation’ to be found ‘to the North of the Tweed’ (16 (Oct 1803): 116–17). ‘Elegance’ or ‘softness’ of the sort that Sewell was praised for is, in this context at least, opposed not to unfeminine ambition but rather to Scottishness. As the reviewer brackets off linguistic flaws as a matter of national, rather than gendered, identity, he leaves open for Grant the possibility of developing, even as a properly feminine woman poet, a ‘professional life story’ that privileges sense over sound. While it is difficult to measure the direct impact of reviews of this sort on any literary career, Grant, who wrote to a friend that affecting to ignore criticism ‘betrays hardihood, insolence, and indeed some hypocrisy’ (1807, vol. 3: 183), seems to have quickly and readily incorporated a more positive version of these critical observations about her linguistic ‘harshness’ into her self-construction as an author. In a letter dated before the publication of her Poems, but not printed until years afterwards, she cheerfully admits that her verse lacks the ‘Elegance’ demanded by readers in ‘these days of universal polish’, contrasting her work with that of successful female contemporaries such as Mary Robinson and Anna Seward, whose poems she imagines as overdressed coquettes, ‘bedizzened’ in ‘spangled plumes’ and ‘pompous trains’ (1811, vol. 1: 272, 297–8).2 As Grant rhetorically transforms what the reviewers see as inelegant provincialisms into an unadorned and specifically Scottish simplicity, she simultaneously challenges and expands their version of properly ‘feminine’ poetic style. Indeed, even though Grant waited until the end of her career to publish a second volume of poetry, turning instead to autobiographical letters and essays, when she did so, she re-embraced the forcefully socio-political subject matter that the reviewers had concentrated on in their commentary on Poems on Various Subjects. With its titular allusion to Anna Laetitia Barbauld’s final poem, Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, Grant’s Eighteen Hundred and Thirteen (1814) was arguably even more provocative in its intervention into national affairs than The Highlanders had been. Barbauld’s critics were (in the words of Adriana Craciun) ‘shocked’ that ‘a woman had dared to speak so critically of British imperial ambitions’ (2005: 24). In contrast, Grant’s poem was welcomed for the ‘new and forcible lights’ in which were presented the ‘excellencies’ of the British political system and for the ‘poetic powers’ it displayed in evoking ‘this annus mirabilus of Europe’ (Gentleman’s Magazine 84.2 (Nov 1814): 459; British

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Critic 2 (Sep 1814): 326, 324). Even the relatively unenthusiastic reviewer for the Eclectic was far more concerned about its length than its politics. The fact that Grant was praising British imperialism might of course seem sufficient explanation for the contrast between the reception of her poem and Barbauld’s. Yet as Orianne Smith notes, it was not just Barbauld’s politics, unpopular as they were, but also her ‘vatic stance’ that attracted the ‘extreme opprobrium’ of the critics (2013: 187). Grant mirrored this stance – in Smith’s phrase, she ‘assumed the mantle of a rival prophet’ (2013: 187) – but in her case, critics read it as a measure of properly feminine warmth and enthusiasm rather than as an inappropriate move into political analysis. As Grant wins critical praise and maintains a reputation for impeccable femininity while writing poetry that is prolix, strongly political, and self-consciously unadorned in its style, she implicitly expands, even overturns, conventional ideas that ‘feminine’ verse is sweetly and charmingly unassuming. Elizabeth Hamilton’s work in fiction makes a good counterpoint to Grant’s work in poetry, and not just because the two were almost exact contemporaries who, after a late start as published authors, enjoyed substantial, immediate success. Like Grant, Hamilton also received engaged reviews for a politically and intellectually ambitious literary debut in a conventionally feminine genre, although the praise in her case was tempered less by concerns about style than about her satiric asperity (that was the main concern of Hays’s Analytical review) and her somewhat top-heavy focus on Indian politics, culture, and religion. Yet just as with Grant, the seriousness and the detail of the critical response to her first publication offers Hamilton a basis for constructing a more complex version of her own role as an author than would have been available to contemporaries who were doing similar work but received only brief, superficial praise. Whatever the reason that these two middle-aged Scotswomen attracted such an unusual degree of critical attention – whether it was their conservatism, the fashionable nature of their subject matter, or something else entirely – their reception demonstrates that ‘femininity’ could encompass a range of styles in fiction as well as in poetry. Admittedly, there were far fewer women writing fiction set in India than were publishing subscription verse. The Hindoo Rajah is generally accepted as being only the third Anglo-Indian novel to appear in print, and neither of the previous two – one of which was by a woman and one of which implied that it was, although the European Magazine reviewer was sceptical (12 (July 1787): 40) – had received much in the way of substantive criticism. Reviewers of the first of those earlier novels, The Disinterested Nabob (1787), generally found it unconvincing, with the Monthly lamenting the author’s apparent lack of first-hand knowledge of the country and consequent inability to provide useful information. Two years later, Phebe Gibbes’s Hartly House, Calcutta fared somewhat better, ‘arous[ing] much interest’ in the press (Brown et al. 2006–16), yet the original reviews have remarkably little to say about the specifics of the book and, again, seem mainly interested in whether or not it offers any practical guidance to travellers. After dismissing Gibbes’s ‘extremely feeble’ plot, the European Magazine and London Review observes temperately that the book might afford ‘solid and useful information’ for ladies going to India, while in the single sentence that comprises its review, the Town and Country Magazine, notes merely that ‘much information is conveyed in these volumes’ (17 (Feb 1790): 118; 21 (Sep 1790): 416). William Enfield, in the Monthly, was even less enthusiastic: while he found the novel ‘lively and elegant’,

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he didn’t think that it contained ‘any thing sufficiently novel’ to remark upon (Enfield 1 (ns) (Mar 1790): 332). Even Mary Wollstonecraft, whose review in the Analytical is by far the longest, at just under two pages, devotes much of that space to extracts and confines her remarks to general praise of the ‘animated account of Eastern manners’ (Wollstonecraft 4 (June 1789): 147). A woman writing fiction about India might have had the appeal of novelty, but as Gibbes’s polite but brief reviews indicate, the critical engagement with Hamilton cannot be attributed simply to her relatively unusual subject matter. Even if, in writing an information-heavy novel about India, Hamilton can be seen as following the precedent set by Phebe Gibbes, she goes well beyond the sort of domestic practicalities that earned Gibbes her sentence or two of praise from the reviewers. What Hamilton offers is something far more ambitious, even as her framework allows her to maintain a foothold in the critical discourse on the acceptably ‘feminine’ genre of the novel. The reaction of one of Hamilton’s more critical reviewers, the writer for the Monthly, is particularly illuminating on this point. Even while admiring Hamilton as a novelist – he concludes that she offers her readers ‘much entertainment’ (21 (Oct 1796): 179) – he clearly finds the non-fictional content on India a key component of the book and devotes a substantial portion of his review to a critical analysis of Hamilton’s ‘epitome of the religious and political opinions of the Hindoos’. In general, he is unimpressed, but the grounds for his complaints highlight Hamilton’s swerve from the relatively utilitarian traveller’s tale that Gibbes was praised for providing. ‘In assigning the Barampooter as the eastern limit of Hindostan, she cuts off some of its richest provinces’, he grumbles; likewise, ‘in bestowing on its antient government a federative form, she has embraced too readily a most questionable hypothesis’ (21 (Oct 1796): 177). In effect, the Monthly presents Hamilton as writing a treatise with a novel tacked on, rather than as enlivening a novel with some unfamiliar local colour. (Perhaps significantly, in the 1818 general index of its first eighty-one volumes, the Monthly placed its review of the Hindoo Rajah not under fiction but in its miscellaneous category, between two of Hamilton’s non-fictional sources.) The Monthly reviewer might not have agreed with Hamilton’s observations about Indian geography and political history, but in taking them seriously enough to dispute, he helps shape the groundwork of a ‘professional life story’ that envisions Hamilton as much as a geographer or historian as a novelist. Just as Grant encloses her polemics on emigration and other Scottish subjects within the framework of a poem, Hamilton is able to use fiction to sweeten her didactic message about India. The Monthly reviewer was not alone in reading the Hindoo Rajah in this way. Both the British Critic and the Critical Review establish Hamilton as a respectably feminine novelist but then rapidly jettison the sort of anodyne praise that might conventionally be expected for woman’s fiction, concentrating instead on meditations about the wider intellectual currents in which she is working. The Critical, for example, approved at least as much of Hamilton’s take on controversies ‘agitated in the last session of parliament’ (quoting at length her satiric commentary on the misapplication of game laws) as it did of her ‘pretty and pathetic’ forays into sentimentality (17 (July 1796): 242, 248). The British Critic likewise made a conventionally vague gesture of approval toward Hamilton’s ‘delicacy of taste’ but spent the bulk of the review focusing on what it saw as the ‘sound judgement’ that it felt Hamilton had displayed in choosing the appropriate ‘machinery’ to ‘impress moral and political truth on the mind’

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(8 (Sep 1796): 241, 238, 237). The message in the reviews is clear enough: even if (like the Monthly) reviewers were not always convinced that Hamilton was successful in living up to her ambitions, what interested them most in her work was the attempt to use fiction as a framework on which to hang her political and philosophical views. This was true even of Mary Hays’s review, whatever her distaste for Hamilton’s politics. According to Hays, the main value of the book lay in its appeal to ‘cultivated understanding’, and her main regret was that Hamilton ignored ‘the proper method of making rational converts’, relying on ‘abuse’ rather than ‘candid and calm discussion’ (Hays 24 (Oct 1796): 431). Hamilton also parallels Grant in her decision to pursue, in her later work, some of the more ambitious and unconventional elements of her literary debut that had been singled out for discussion, if not unanimous praise, in the periodical reviews. What is remarkable about this move is that even as Hamilton forfeited some popularity through this display of intellectual ambition, she maintained and even improved her critical reputation. Notoriously, Hamilton doubled down on the ‘abuse’ for which Mary Hays criticised her when, in her highly successful Memoirs of Modern Philosophers (1800) she created the foolish, ugly, and utterly self-absorbed Bridgetina Botherim, who was immediately recognised as a caricature of Hays. Yet her third ‘novel’, Memoirs of the Life of Agrippina, Wife of Germanicus (1804), can be read as a subtler engagement with the commentary by her original critics. Like the Hindoo Rajah, Agrippina offers readers information about a distant culture, framed through the conventions of fiction. In this case, however, Hamilton insists that history and moral philosophy are the primary focus of the book and that the novelistic elements are there merely to fill out the gaps in the biographical record. Agrippina did not enjoy the popular success of Hamilton’s two previous novels, but it nonetheless received substantial attention in the press, much of which focused on its treatment of early Imperial Roman history, thereby reinforcing the critical narrative about Hamilton’s serious intellectual interests that had been launched with the reviews of the Hindoo Rajah. Yet strikingly, even while assessing Hamilton’s abilities as a classical historian, critics continued to read the book in the context of domestic fiction. The Monthly reviewer is representative in taking pains to point out that Hamilton was not offering any ‘elucidation of obscure passages’ or ‘new light on disputed facts’ of classical history while, at the same time, taking for granted that Agrippina was intended for ‘the circulating libraries’. (He concluded, regretfully, that it was ‘too didactic and too moral ever to become a favourite’ there (50 (July 1806): 275, 278).) Anybody reading the reviews of Agrippina might have had doubts about whether to run out and obtain the book, but they would not have had any doubts at all that Hamilton was an innovative, ambitious author – and one who also somehow managed, simultaneously, to be writing admirably feminine fiction. In the last few years, assumptions about the more or less rigidly masculine world of the Romantic-era periodical reviews have begun to change. As David Stewart has recently argued, the perception that the early nineteenth-century periodicals were ‘divided . . . from each other in terms of gender’ (2011: 56), with the ‘serious’ reviews falling solidly on the masculine side of that divide, misrepresents the way that the periodicals were read. Grant and Hamilton provide support for Stewart’s arguments about women’s consumption of the supposedly ‘masculine’ reviews: they were, after all, both enthusiastic readers of the Edinburgh Review. Yet the trajectory of their

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careers also points to their engagement with the reviews as writers, as well as readers, and thus suggests some of the other potential complexities of this ‘masculine’ reviewing culture. Even as the receptions of Gibbes, Sewell, and numerous other writers bear out perceptions of critical indifference and condescension, the critical narratives built around Grant and Hamilton, and their tacit embrace of those narratives, make clear that not every Romantic-era woman writer was destined to be a hapless victim of critical violence or a passive object inscribed within a narrowly prescriptive and trivialising version of literary femininity. While there is no question that the conservative elements in Grant’s and Hamilton’s work influenced their positive reception, politics alone are not a sufficient explanation for the sophisticated and detailed critical engagement with their work. That engagement in turn makes clear that our own critical narratives have tended, so far, to underestimate the complexity of the roles played by periodicals in shaping early nineteenth-century concepts of gender and authorship.

Notes 1. According to Stephanie Eckroth, ‘50.1% of the novels reviewed in the Monthly in the years 1789–1823 were written by women or by authors who presented themselves as women’ (2012: 17). Eckroth’s assumption that at least some male novelists were engaging in a form of literary cross-dressing reminds us that there could in fact be some perceived advantages, at the time, to publishing fiction as a woman. 2. Robinson and Seward were not identified by name until the letter was republished in the 1845 edition of Letters from the Mountains.

Works Cited Analytical Review. 1788–99. (1st ser. 1788–98; 2nd ser. 1799). London. The Annual Review. 1804–9. London. The Anti-Jacobin Review. 1798–1821. London. Benger, Elizabeth, ed. 1818. Memoirs of the Late Mrs. Hamilton with a Selection from her Correspondence and Other Unpublished Writing. 2 vols. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown. The British Critic. 1793–9. London. Brown, Susan, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, eds. 2006–16. ‘Phebe Gibbes: Writing’. The Orlando Project. (last accessed 18 Aug 2016). Clark, Alice, ed. 1895. Gleanings from an Old Portfolio: Containing some Correspondence between Lady Louisa Stuart and her Sister Caroline, Countess of Portarlington. 3 vols. Edinburgh: Privately Printed. Craciun, Adriana. 2005. British Women Writers and the French Revolution: Citizens of the World. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. The Critical Review, or Annals of Literature. 1756–1817 (1st ser. 1756–90; 2nd ser. 1791–1817). London. Curran, Stuart. 2002. ‘Women and the Edinburgh Review’. British Romanticism and the Edinburgh Review: Bicentenary Essays. Ed. Massimiliano Demata and Duncan Wu. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 195–208. Dale, Amelia. 2014. Review of Romantic Women Writers Reviewed. Ed. Ann R. Hawkins. The BARS Review 44. (last accessed 19 Aug 2016). Donoghue, Frank. 1996. The Fame Machine: Book Reviewing and Eighteenth-Century Literary Careers. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

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Easley, Alexis. 2004. First Person Anonymous: Women Writers and Victorian Print Media, 1830–70. Aldershot: Ashgate. Eckroth, Stephanie. 2012. ‘Celebrity and Anonymity in the Monthly Review’s Notices of Nineteenth-Century Novels’. Women Writers and the Artifacts of Celebrity in the Long Nineteenth Century. Ed. Ann R. Hawkins and Maura Ives. Farnham: Ashgate. 13–32. The Eclectic Review. 1805–68 (1st ser. 1805–13; 2nd ser. 1814–28; 3rd ser. 1829–36; 4th ser. 1837–50; 5th ser. 1851–6; 6th ser.1857–8; 7th ser. 1859–61; 8th ser. 1861–8). London. The Edinburgh Magazine, or Literary Miscellany. 1785–1803 (1st ser. 1785–91; 2nd ser. 1793–1803). Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Review. 1802–1929. Edinburgh. The European Magazine and London Review. 1782–1826 (1st ser. 1782–1825; 2nd ser. 1825–6). London. The Gentleman’s Magazine. 1731–1922 (1st ser. 1731–1833; ser. 2–4 1834–68). London. Grant, Anne. 1807. Letters from the Mountains. 3 vols. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown. —. 1811. Essays on the Superstitions of the Highlanders. 2 vols. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown. Grenby, Matthew O. 2001. The Anti-Jacobin Novel: British Conservatism and the French Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Grogan, Claire. 2012. Politics and Genre in the Works of Elizabeth Hamilton, 1756–16. Farnham: Ashgate. Hawkins, Ann R., ed. 2011–13. Romantic Women Writers Reviewed. 9 vols. London: Pickering & Chatto. Hayden, John O. 1969. The Romantic Reviewers, 1802–1824. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. The Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex. 1770–1832 (1st ser. 1770–1819; 2nd ser. 1820–9; 3rd ser. 1830–2). London. The Monthly Mirror. 1795–1811 (1st ser. 1795–1806; 2nd ser. 1807–11). London. The Monthly Review. 1749–1844 (1st ser. 1749–89; 2nd ser. 1790–1825; 3rd ser. 1826–30; 4th ser. 1831–44). London. Parker, Mark. 2000. Literary Magazines and British Romanticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Powell, Manushag. 2012. Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. Siskin, Clifford. 1998. The Work of Writing: Literature and Social Change in Britain 1700–1830. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Smith, Olivia. 1986. The Politics of Language, 1791–1819. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Smith, Orianne. 2013. Romantic Women Writers, Revolution, and Prophecy: Rebellious Daughters, 1786–1826. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stewart, David. 2011. Romantic Magazines and Metropolitan Literary Culture. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine. 1832–61 (1st ser. 1832–4; 2nd ser. 1834–61). Edinburgh. The Town and Country Magazine; or Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Entertainment. 1769–96. London. Walker, Gina Luria. 2006. Mary Hays (1759–1843): The Growth of a Woman’s Mind. Farnham: Ashgate. Wilkes, Joanne. 2010. Women Reviewing Women in Nineteenth Century Britain: The Critical Reception of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and George Elliot. Farnham: Ashgate.

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17 ‘Full of pretty stories’: Fiction in the LADY’S MAGAZINE (1770–1832) Jenny DiPlacidi

Mrs. Radcliffe’s romances will be entitled to rank highly in the scale of literary excellence . . . The works of this ingenious writer . . . are also distinguished by a rich vein of invention, which supplies an endless variety of incidents to fill the imagination of the reader; by an admirable ingenuity of contrivance to awaken his curiosity, and to bind him in the chains of suspense; and by a vigour of conception and a delicacy of feeling which are capable of producing the strongest sympathetic emotions, whether of pity or terror. Monthly Review 15 (1794): 278–9

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ontemporary reviewers of Ann Radcliffe, the highest-paid, best-selling novel writer of the 1790s, praised the quality and originality of her writing, positioning her Gothic works as the benchmark to which other authors of the genre could only aspire. The Monthly’s review of The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) commends Radcliffe’s ‘literary excellence’, ‘invention’, and ‘vigour’ – terminology that prevails in the critical lexicon characterising her novels from the eighteenth century to the present. Nineteenthcentury critics including Walter Scott argued that no one else writing in Radcliffe’s ‘style of composition . . . approached the excellencies of the original inventor’ (1833: 68) and modern scholars note Radcliffe’s ‘powers of enchantment’ and descriptions that are capable of ‘conjuring an emotional terrain’ (Miles 1995: 15). While Radcliffe’s reputation as an ingenious and innovative novelist has been reaffirmed throughout various shifts in the history of literary criticism, her predecessors in the periodicals have not fared nearly so well. The long-forgotten, anonymously authored serial novel ‘The History of an Humble Friend’ (Lady’s Magazine Sep 1774–Supp 1776) is almost entirely unknown to us today, yet it deploys what would become standard Gothic tropes often ascribed to Radcliffe.1 The work portrays, for example, the heroine’s reclamation of the missing mother that is often noted as a Radcliffean convention: it does so not only early on in traditional chronologies of the Gothic genre, but also decades before Radcliffe’s novels were published. The serial also presents the figure of the sentimental orphan, prefiguring later representations popularised in novels by Frances Burney and Charlotte Smith. In her first steps into the world beyond the protective confines of her boarding school, Harriot West faces the vulnerability of her position: ‘detached, as it were, from every human creature, I felt myself a solitary being, in the wide world, without a parent, without a friend, without a protector: a girl, whom nobody knew – for whom nobody cared’ (5 (Nov 1774): 578).

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Abducted and conveyed to a convent in France to prevent her from receiving the addresses of a wealthy young man, Harriot meets an older woman also imprisoned in the convent. On hearing Harriot’s sobs, the woman comforts her and an instant sympathy grows quickly into an intimate bond, with Harriot’s new friend revealing her personal history and details of the boarding school where she was forced to leave her daughter. The revelation that follows this disclosure, much like one that Radcliffe would write in The Italian (1797), is one of mother-daughter reunion. Harriot’s mother exclaims ‘Gracious God! Is it possible! Do I then see my long-lost child? My Harriot! Come – come to my arms – to my heart – my dearest daughter’ (7 (Apr 1776): 193). Harriot shows her mother ‘a crystal heart, set in gold, which I had at times worn about my neck, and on which there was my name in a cypher. My mother immediately recognising this trinket, told me that my real name was Constantia Darnley’ (193). The anonymous Lady’s Magazine author participates in a long tradition of staged recognition scenes such as those found in The Mysterious Mother (1768) by Horace Walpole, Richard Steele’s The Conscious Lovers (1722) and Samuel Richardson’s Pamela (1740). The scene is more akin to the sentimental family reunions of Steele and Richardson than those of Walpole or Matthew Lewis and it prefigures by some twenty years two of Radcliffe’s iconic moments of recognition in The Italian. The first is that between the heroine Ellena and the nun with whom she instantly sympathises during her imprisonment and who is revealed to be her mother, Olivia; the second is that in which the monk Schedoni, moments from stabbing the sleeping Ellena, recognises the miniature portrait worn on her neck and identifies her as his kin. Such genealogies between magazine and mainstream fiction are rarely noted. Indeed, the very terms employed to express approval of Radcliffe appear inversely in scholarship on periodical fiction: Robert Mayo, for example, argues that ‘most new magazine fiction published between 1740 and 1815 was lacking in vigour and permanent value’ (1962: 2); criticism that is pointedly gendered in its indictment of the fiction’s perceived deficiencies in strength, force, and endurance. Yet the thematic, stylistic, tonal and psychological sophistication that scholarship has ascribed to the form of the novel is prevalent in magazine serials; such continuities reveal both forms to be part of a larger, generic tradition of prose fiction. Magazine fiction in eighteenth-century periodical publications such as the Lady’s Magazine (1770–1832) has, on the whole, been left out of literary surveys of the development of prose fiction in the eighteenth century. Mayo’s vast survey of fiction in English periodicals was undertaken to correct the neglect of periodicals in traditional literary histories of the eighteenth century; as he argued: ‘there is a considerable repository of prose fiction which seldom figured in the publishers’ lists and which was rarely mentioned in the reviews, but which nevertheless enjoyed a wide currency in eighteenth-century England, and was both “pre-romantic” and “popular”’ (1962: 1). Mayo’s goal, however, was not to redress critical misconceptions about the role of periodical fiction in shaping eighteenth-century prose fiction; rather, he believed that ‘the chief value of periodicals for the study of prose fiction’ lay in their ability to ‘provide a more accurate picture of the amorphous character of the eighteenth-century reading audience’ (1962: 3). For Mayo, the fiction is a means to an end rather than a body of work worthy of study on its own literary merits. In spite of some recent reevaluations, such as Edward Copeland’s analysis of the popularity (if not the quality) of the periodical’s fiction and illustrations in Women Writing about Money: Women’s

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Fiction in England, 1790–1820 (2004), the magazine’s tales and serials remain largely overlooked and undervalued. When they have been the focus of scholarship, they have been disparaged as unoriginal and derivative work. Gillian Hughes’s recent essay on the subject tends to maintain the critical status quo that dismisses the fiction’s potential value or permanence, describing it as ‘typical’ and authored by ‘amateurs’ and ‘hack writers’ (2015: 465, 461). Yet as this chapter will demonstrate, and contrary to the conventional perception of the fiction’s ephemerality and inferior status, it, like the Lady’s Magazine itself, was designed to last, with the monthly issues and yearly supplements annually bound into volumes intended to be read and reread. As Jennie Batchelor has argued of the periodical, ‘its influence extended beyond the years of its publication to inform a new generation of professional authors’ (2011: 262). That the fictional content of the Lady’s Magazine was a large part of the periodical’s immense and lasting popularity is noted by a reader who described her satisfaction in receiving a miscellany so ‘full of pretty stories, and other fine things’ (6 (Oct 1775): 530). It was a valued commodity, making the journey across the Atlantic to the American colonies where it was read by George Washington’s stepdaughter Patsy, for one. In the spring of 1772 Martha Washington and Patsy ‘had a happy time unpacking a late order George had sent for the previous summer. It was a treasure chest of pretty things for Patsy’ that included, among many other items, ‘a new prayer book with silver clasps, silk stockings, and Lady’s Magazine, together with more workaday items such as thread, pins, hairpins, and laces’ (Bryan 2002: 170–1). The magazine circulated among a range of readers and locations not only as intact copies but also in excerpted form. Several early American periodicals republished tales and serials from the Lady’s Magazine, usually without acknowledgement of the original source. The June 1792 edition of the Philadelphia Lady’s Magazine, and Repository of Entertaining Knowledge (1792–3), for example, reprinted the moral tale ‘The Infant Rambler, or Distressed Mother’ that had first appeared almost ten years earlier in the Lady’s Magazine (14 (July 1783): 399–400). Likewise, the Gothic serial novel ‘The Two Castles’ by E.F., first published in the Lady’s Magazine from June 1797 to November 1798, was reprinted in its entirety the following year in the Philadelphia Dessert to the True American (1798–9) and New York Weekly Museum (1791–1805). British periodical fiction, often with no provenance and appearing under the pretext of originality, was ubiquitous in the early American magazines; though the extent of such fictional influences on American literature is beyond the remit of this chapter, it bears further scrutiny. The original fiction in the Lady’s Magazine ranges from sentimental, Gothic, and epistolary novels, to moral tales, experimental offerings, and children’s literature. Its influence can be discerned in the productions of respected writers such as Charlotte Smith, Jane Austen, and Frances Burney, as well as in expanding audiences for newly emergent genres like the Romantic fragment and the domestic novel. This chapter will examine a range of texts from the Lady’s Magazine to demonstrate the crucial role that periodical fiction played in the development of the novel in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. ‘The History of an Humble Friend’ (1774–6), ‘The Governess’ (1778–80), ‘The History of Lady Bradley’ (1776–8), ‘The Motherin-law’ (1785–6), ‘Harriet Vernon; or, Characters from Real Life’ (1807–9) and many other contemporary periodical fictions are preoccupied with issues such as women’s education and work, the laws regarding marriage and inheritance, threats to female

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bodies and reputations, and the conflict between duty to family and self-autonomy. The thematic, stylistic, and tonal complexities of magazine serials are analogous to those of novels printed in volume form; these continuities reveal the instability and permeability of generic and formulaic boundaries. In other words, magazine novels reflect concerns that were central to eighteenth-century society and that featured prominently – and similarly – in later now-canonical novels. Scholarly misrepresentation of periodical fiction as unoriginal and derivative has significantly distorted our sense of the development of prose fiction in this key literary historical moment. Magazine fiction such as the novels and tales prevalent in the periodicals such as the Lady’s Magazine and Lady’s Monthly Museum (1798–1828) was, in the main, innovative and original. Far from being ephemeral, this fiction was an enduring and significant cultural form that helped to establish and shape eighteenth-century popular literature.

Criticism and the Marginalised Magazine One of the challenges of accepting the originality of magazine fiction is that doing so contests traditional chronologies around which the rise of the novel was once structured. Part of the critical denigration and neglect of the magazines and their fiction has its origins in Ian Watt’s influential survey of the history of the English novel The Rise of the Novel (1957). Watt’s summary of the novel’s development pays scant attention to the second half of the century, arguing that most fiction produced from 1770 to 1800 ‘had little intrinsic merit; and much of it reveals only too plainly the pressures toward literary degradation which were exerted by the booksellers and circulating library operators in their effort to meet the reading public’s uncritical demand for easy vicarious indulgence in sentiment and romance’ (1957: 290). Such critical assumptions have come under increasing scrutiny from literary scholars, including scholars focusing on Gothic fiction who have objected to the linking of romance to literary degradation. Michael Gamer convincingly demonstrates that ‘Watt here takes his cue from more than two centuries of literary criticism that share the assumption that higher demand for fiction and marked departures from established novelistic techniques of realism leads to “literary degradation”’ (2004: 62). Watt thus reproduces the long tradition in literary criticism of viewing popularity as synonymous with inferiority. That 1770, pinpointed as the year that booksellers and consumer demands caused the onset of literary degradation, is also the year that the Lady’s Magazine began production seems no mere coincidence. While Watt prizes earlier periodicals such as the Spectator (1711–12; 1714) as cultivating the public’s taste for literature and being ‘produced by the best writers of the day’, later miscellanies such as the Gentleman’s Magazine (1731–1922) are pointed to as symbolic of ‘an important change in the organisation of the reading public’ (1957: 52). The change, Watt contended, was for the worse. In addition to arguing that the magazine’s founder, Edward Cave, was ‘an enterprising but ill-educated journalist and bookseller’, Watt further claims that its ‘contributions were mainly produced by hacks and amateurs’ (1957: 52). This view of the Gentleman’s Magazine and its contributors has long dominated the scholarly conversation surrounding eighteenthcentury magazine writers and the fictional content many produced, although in recent decades studies have moved away from some of Watt’s assumptions. Clifford Siskin, for example, notes ‘a steep decline’ in the publication of novels in the 1770s before ‘the output jumped – more than doubled’ in the 1780s, linking this surge to the increasing

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number of periodicals published from the 1770s. Siskin establishes the periodical’s importance to eighteenth-century literary culture in creating ‘new kinds of audiences – desiring readers who proved crucial to the quantitative rise of prose fiction’ (1999: 28). Despite such revaluations, however, the critical perception of the magazine as a popular genre designed to exploit the demands of an uncritical public – produced and sold for maximum profits by avaricious booksellers and penned by second-rate writers – has been an enduring misconception. Viewing the decades following 1770 as a period of literary inertia allows Watt to argue that earlier male writers such as Defoe provided the model for Austen’s interest in ‘the social and moral problems raised by economic individualism and the middleclass quest for improved status’ or that ‘she follows Richardson in basing her novels on marriage and especially on the proper feminine role in the matter’, and so on (1957: 298). Yet more convincingly, Edward Copeland and Jennie Batchelor have made compelling cases for Austen’s familiarity with the magazine; Copeland notes connections between Austen’s characters’ names and those in the Lady’s Magazine tale ‘The Shipwreck’ (25 (Supp 1794): 681), such as Charlotte, Brandon, Willoughby (1989: 170–1) and Batchelor (2016b) points to commonalities of plot points and thematic concerns between Austen’s Emma (1815) and the earlier Lady’s Magazine tale ‘Guilt Pursued by Conscience’ (33 (Nov 1802): 563–5). It is more fruitful to examine Austen in light of the magazine writers, who, during and beyond the productive period between 1770 and 1800, published dozens of novels focusing on just those social and moral concerns that Austen would later take up in strikingly similar ways. The anonymously authored ‘The History of Miss Butler’ (1777–8), for example, opens by sketching out the details of the heroine’s family and birthplace before outlining the disastrous consequences of primogeniture for herself, her sister, and their mother. Miss Butler describes herself as ‘the second daughter of a country gentleman who possessed a considerable estate in a pleasant village in Lincolnshire’ and of how, at age eleven, she was ‘robbed of one of the best of fathers by the cruel hand of death . . . he had not time to make a will, nor settle any family affairs whatever; but left a large family unprovided for. As my eldest brother of course inherited the estate, my mother was therefore scarcely able, with the greatest oeconomy, to support her family in the manner she wished’ (8 (Mar 1777): 144). When Miss Butler is sixteen, while collecting wild flowers in the countryside, she is startled by the sudden appearance of a Mr William K–, who becomes the story’s love interest, and she suffers a potentially dangerous fall. Mr K– half-carries her home, seemingly a gallant rescuer and the parallels to Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1811) continue when, much like Willoughby, Mr K– proves himself unworthy of the penniless heroine’s love when he marries a young woman of large fortune. ‘The History of Miss Butler’ is just one of many examples that make clear that Mayo’s argument that ‘writers of original magazine fiction in the eighteenth century tended to imitate one another more than they did the English novelists’ (1962: 4), like Watt’s, rests on a false distinction between ‘writers of original magazine fiction’ and ‘English novelists’. Another intriguing example of a writer who explodes this distinction is the anonymous author of ‘Memoirs of a Young Lady’ (Apr 1783–Nov 1786), who appears to have moved from the magazines into a lengthy career as a novelist in volume form. The epistolary novel is a well-written and absorbing account of the heroine, Lucretia Bertie, and the constant persecutions she faces at the hands of the primary villain, Lord

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Belton, and his wife, her former friend Sophia. The novel’s more outrageous plots and schemes are located within a longer narrative that focuses on the heroine’s mundane struggles to find gainful and respectable employment – she works variously in a milliner’s shop and as a companion – and her witty observations expose some of the absurdities of the social circle in which she moves. The work appeared three decades later in volume form as Vicissitudes of Life; Exemplified in the Interesting Memoirs of a Young Lady, in a Series of Letters (1815) by J. West. Jane West, born in London as Jane Iliffe, was a self-confessedly prolific teenage writer. Yet until now the first published work attributed to her is Miscellaneous Poetry (1786). In her influential Jane Austen and the War of Ideas (1975), Marilyn Butler examines the influence of West’s novel A Gossip’s Story (1796) on Sense and Sensibility, an analysis that considered in conjunction with the discovery of West’s early publication in the magazines, further erodes the critical distinction between established fiction writers of the period and magazine novelists.

Magazine Fiction and the Domestic Ideal From its inception, the Lady’s Magazine published fiction that anticipated the concerns, form, and tone of popular novelists such as Burney and Austen without receiving the critical acclaim of the works of these later writers. One such work is the anonymous serialised novel ‘The History of Lady Bradley’ (Supp 1776–Aug 1778), which offers a first-person account of the eponymous heroine and her sister’s experiences in courtship and marriage. Lady Bradley’s parents have chosen husbands for their daughters solely to advance their fortunes and position without consulting the girls’ desires, but the livelier sister, Maria, determines to make her own choice. Observing her sister’s clandestine courtship, Lady Bradley cautions Maria regarding her behaviour and urges her to obey their parents. Maria replies: ‘“Do not tell me of propriety,” replied she;— “that is properest which pleases us best:— I am to live with the man I marry, not my father and mother”’ (8 (Feb 1777): 84). In Austen’s Sense and Sensibility Elinor similarly advises her impetuous sister Marianne to behave with more restraint during courtship, to which Marianne replies ‘if there had been any real impropriety in what I did, I should have been sensible of it at the time . . . and with such conviction I could have had no pleasure’ (2002: 52). Maria, like Marianne, confuses the relationship between pleasure and propriety, and the portrayals of the sisters in both novels draw on a device typical of the period’s conduct literature by highlighting the appropriate model for emulation via contrasting traits. Yet ‘The History of Lady Bradley’ resists categorisation as a didactic work: while Maria’s elopement leads to an abusive marriage that hints at the possibility of a moral lesson, the text moves away from such a simplistic conclusion. Lady Bradley, who marries her parents’ choice, describes the ‘odious character’ of the man she wed as brutal, disgusting, and severe, and her marriage as ‘a state of captivity’ (8 (Oct 1777): 525). Both sisters are left young widows – Lady Bradley an extremely wealthy one – and despite many opportunities to remarry, they choose to remain widows and reside together overseeing the education of Lady Bradley’s daughter, Fanny, assisted by their faithful servant Anne. Although Mayo claims that magazine writers were ‘preoccupied with genteel subjects’ and unconcerned with problems such as social justice (1962:

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352–3), the anonymous author of ‘Lady Bradley’ is engrossed in just these questions of equality and injustice, exposing and negotiating the varying legal rights of women as daughters, wives, mothers, and widows in terms of property, settlements, inheritance, child custody, and spousal abuse. The narrative entertains the prospect of promoting a female utopia akin to that achieved in Sarah Scott’s Millenium Hall (1762) until Fanny marries Mr Frampton, the nephew of Lady Bradley’s first lover, Mr Summers, who thereafter becomes a constant and welcome presence in the sisters’ household. Providing the protagonist with a loyal love interest she refuses to marry allows Lady Bradley to retain her fortune and freedom and to maintain her sister – all of which had been forbidden by her husband – while enjoying the pleasure of Mr Summers’s company. The ‘History of Lady Bradley’, like much magazine fiction, fails to conform to scholarly expectations of the genre and not just those that compare magazine fiction to the novel. Comparisons to earlier periodical fiction are equally (and equally unfairly) unflattering. In her examination of the Female Spectator (1744–6), Kathryn Shevelow asserts the crucial role of fiction within Eliza Haywood’s essay-periodical, arguing both that the magazine’s editor, a reformed coquette equipped with hindsight and at times interrupted and corrected by other characters, comments on a series of anecdotes espousing disparate moral perspectives to ‘suggest the relativity of moral judgement’ and that ‘the periodical offers an illustration of the subjectivity of moral pronouncement’ (1989: 171). According to Shevelow, essay-periodical fiction should be distinguished from fiction in miscellanies such as the Lady’s Magazine on the grounds that women’s submissions to the Lady’s Magazine were subject to editorial acceptance or rejection ‘consistent with the periodical’s newly adopted position as a course of education in what Steele called “the arts and sciences of female life” (Tatler No. 75). Those arts and sciences included writing, just as they included instruction in embroidery and fashionable dress, and as such were subject to the regulation of the periodical’ (1989: 190). Fiction in the Lady’s Magazine, Shevelow suggests, became an extension of the magazine’s presumed mission to create an ideal of femininity and ‘train’ its readers to correspond to it (1989: 190). Yet the fiction submitted to the Lady’s Magazine eludes any simple classification as part of a ‘specifically feminine’ curriculum (1989: 190): it is diverse and heterogeneous. The first-person narrator in ‘The History of Lady Bradley’, for example, resembles more closely the editorial voice of experience and hindsight that offered a range of subjective positions on questions of morality and conduct in Haywood’s essay-periodical than it does a project of ‘explicit instruction in feminine behaviour’ (1989: 190). ‘Lady Bradley’, like many of the works of fiction published in magazines, focused on depicting and addressing the tenuous position of women in eighteenth-century society; as such, it explicitly works against the ideal, domestic paradigm of woman that the later eighteenth-century magazines are said to have constructed and circulated. Another magazine writer similarly invested in exposing the dangers of patriarchy is the ‘young lady’ who anonymously authored ‘Harriet Vernon; or, Characters from Real Life’ (Jan 1807–Mar 1809), a serial that represents the damaging consequences for women dispossessed under the system of primogeniture and that are exacerbated by the social and class constraints prescribing women’s work. ‘Harriet Vernon’ earns a mention in Mayo’s study by virtue of its length – ‘Harriet Vernon’ is the longest magazine novel at 113,000 words (1962: 332) – but this is its least interesting feature. This

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epistolary novel shares many similarities to Austen’s works and particularly to Sense and Sensibility, including key character names (‘Harriet Vernon’ has a Mr Wentworth, Jane, Susan, Marianne), character profiles (it includes a middle-aged career colonel stationed in the East and a parsimonious older half-brother), and plot devices (it follows two financially distressed sisters who were the product of a second marriage and a first, failed relationship in which a libertine lover weds an heiress). The novel details the lives of two young women, Harriet and her sister Maria, as they navigate through various courtships, betrothals, and disappointments. In the end, both sisters marry – Maria marries Mr Charles Wentworth after his marriage to an unfaithful, Catholic cousin is annulled, and Harriet marries Mr Johnson, who plays a pivotal role in exposing her lover’s marriage for money. The serial novel opens with a letter from Miss Harriet Vernon to Miss Susan West in which she describes her life in London with her sister Maria and their miserly older half-brother, Mr George Vernon: A difference nearly of twenty years in our ages precludes, in some degree, that pleasing freedom and familiarity that should mark the fraternal conduct. I believe he loves us better than any thing on earth, his darling money excepted: that he regards in a superlative degree is a notorious fact, and were you to witness our manner of living, you would consider us labouring under the inconveniences of a narrow income; but the world speaks him a man of a very large fortune, and he does not contradict the report but by his actions. (38 (Jan 1807): 25–6) Mr Vernon is frugal to an extreme, and much like John Dashwood, he views his halfsisters as a financial burden. George Vernon writes about his half-sisters to his friend of twenty-one years, Colonel Ambrose, deploring his father’s second marriage: ‘He left them very young: a foolish man, to marry so late in life, unless he could have provided for them! They are quite dependent on me. I had thought of apprenticing them to milliners or mantua-makers; but they ask such high premiums . . . I e’en determined to keep them at home, as perhaps they might get husbands’ (38 (Jan 1807): 28). In providing for his half-sisters in their dependent situation, Mr Vernon, like Fanny Dashwood who limited her husband’s financial assistance to Elinor and Marianne, offers minimal monetary support. When writing to Colonel Ambrose, whom MrVernon has not seen since he left England for the East Indies years earlier, Mr Vernon displays his pennypinching by delaying sending his letter until a free conveyance is available because he refuses to spend a shilling on postage. Such stingy behaviour creates mortifying situations that Harriet describes in her letters; Mr Vernon’s introduction of Mr Wentworth to Colonel Ambrose is one such moment: ‘“I give him thirty pounds a year and his board, and he is not contented.” To describe the confusion of poor Charles is impossible. Maria’s face was suffused with the deepest crimson, and, I believe, mine was the same hue’ (38 (Jan 1807): 30). The financial strictures the sisters face drive much of the novel’s plot that is frequently narrated through Harriet’s often ironic voice that exposes the foibles of herself and those in her social circle. The author of ‘Harriet Vernon’, attuned to what Watt describes as the connection between the novel’s liability to weakness and unreality and ‘the dominance of women readers in the public for the novel’ (1957: 299), plays with the contemporary discourse condemning modern novels and their fraught relationship with gender and consumerism.

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Harriet humorously rejects the alignment of popular romances and sentimental novels with degradation when she describes her subscription to a circulating library as a consolation for being unable to afford attending the lord mayor’s ball: I have subscribed to a circulating library, and have set myself down to study novels. This was much against the approbation of Maria, whose superior prudence I have ever acknowledged. From this kind of reading I have imbibed a romantic idea of love; and unless a swain will die for me, I believe I shall never think him worthy my concern. I know nothing of the world, or of love; but if the descriptions given in these books are just, it must be the most charming thing in nature to see the world, and obtain admirers. I think I will read no more of them, for I begin to be very discontented with my lot. (38 (Jan 1807): 26) The tongue-in-cheek reflections Harriet provides of her views of love engage with the ongoing debates over the potentially dangerous influences of novels on women readers, acknowledging and poking fun at the notion that novel reading made women unfit for domestic life or that romances gave women unrealistic ideas of love. While she claims to have ‘imbibed a romantic idea of love’ she is, unlike Austen’s Marianne who cannot understand the ‘polite’ affection of Elinor and Edward, keenly attuned to love that appears less overt and intense. Harriet writes about her sister’s love interest, Mr Charles Wentworth, revealing to Miss West that she has discovered ‘an attachment to him on Maria’s part; but, with all my penetration, I cannot determine whether she holds an equal place in his affections’ (38 (Jan 1807): 26). Harriet, although a great reader of novels from the circulating library, knows that love and attachment are often readily concealed or set aside to abide by the dictates of prudence or financial necessity. Oliver MacDonagh, following Watt’s association of the realist novel with gritty economics, argues that Sense and Sensibility may be ‘the first English realistic novel, and that getting and spending is the ground floor, if not the very foundation of realism. Moreover, in a book which set out to face the material facts of contemporary marriage, it was most effective as well as artistically right to be economically specific’ (1991: 65). Such specificity is, however, demonstrably not unique to Austen; the anonymous author of ‘Harriet Vernon’ pays close attention to the details of income, debts, and the costs of carriages and clothes. Harriet experiences first-hand the betrayal of a man who, as Austen would later describe, ‘learned to rank the innumerable comforts of a clear estate and good income as of far more importance, even to domestic happiness, than the mere temper of a wife’ (2002: 249). Her fiancé marries secretly ‘an heiress of not less than thirty thousand pounds’ so that he can pay off the debts contracted through a dissolute lifestyle and which his inheritance of £300 per annum is insufficient to cover (38 (Dec 1807): 634). Likewise, when Miss Susan West writes to Harriet of the affection between the penniless Maria and Mr Wentworth she opines that: there is little comfort to be expected in a marriage where there is a lack of money on both sides; unless, indeed, your brother could be prevailed on to draw his purse-strings, which, from your account of his disposition, I fear is not likely. Prudence cannot always direct in the choice of a lover; but it is surely in our power

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to conquer an imprudent passion, though we may not be able to transfer our affections to another. (38 (Feb 1807): 68) The economic tensions within the novel underlie romantic relationships and are fraught with emotional and social embarrassments and disappointments that are at times represented through the giving, receiving, and refusal of gifts. When the Colonel sends the sisters dresses so they can attend a masquerade, a luxury in which they have been unable to indulge, Maria tells the excited Harriet: ‘We have, it is true, every reason to think highly of Colonel Ambrose, but I conceive it highly improper to put ourselves wholly in his power; to say nothing of the obligation we shall lie under to his generosity, for these masquerades are expensive amusement’ (38 (Feb 1807): 67). The debate between the sisters continues for the remainder of the letter and continues into the next instalment of the novel where it is presented from the perspectives of Charles Wentworth and Harriet Vernon to offer multiple analyses of the gift, its motives and what is revealed through the sisters’ responses to it. This type of conversation is, as Linda Zionkowski has shown, familiar from the novels of Samuel Richardson, Burney, and Austen, who also offered sustained, detailed, deliberate discussions of the complex interactions between the cultures of the gift and the market and in featuring these interactions as the conceptual focus of their fiction as a whole. . . . [T]hese three authors exhaustively analyse the sentiments of donors and recipients in light of the matrix of gendered social power in which gift practices occur. (2016: 18–19) The author of ‘Harriet Vernon’ also details a range of gifts throughout the novel, signalling a variety of shifting social, familial, and romantic relationships via the giving and receiving of clothing, jewellery, charity, settlements, and money. In a particularly revealing scene, the sisters are with a rich but stingy distant relation, Mrs Meadows, who is applied to for a donation to assist a family whose house was destroyed by fire. Harriet and Maria immediately offer Mr Rogers half-a-crown each to help the family, which he refuses, judging correctly that they can ill afford such generosity. The wealthy Mrs Meadows only reluctantly gives the same amount, ungraciously asking ‘Will that do, sir?’ Mr Rogers replies that ‘any thing will be accepted’ but makes a note of the amount in his ledger: ‘“Let me see,” said he – “Mr. Jackson, five guineas; Mr. Perkins, three guineas; Mrs. Morris, three guineas; Mrs. Francis, one guinea; Miss Francis, half-a-guinea; Master Francis, five shillings; a gentleman unknown, one guinea; John Long, the beadle, who also assisted at the fire, five shillings; Mrs. Meadows, twoand-sixpence. Good morning to you; I must speed away, or my fifty pounds will not be made up this morning”’ (38 (Supp 1807): 692). The author presents the giving and receiving of charity through a detailed, comparative list that locates gifts within a range of attributes including the donors’ gender, occupation, marital status, age, social status, and/or abode. The minute list of pecuniary details works to subvert the ideal of the beneficent patroness and sentimental charity while nonetheless portraying the sisters’ moral virtue through their sympathetic response to a charitable appeal. The anonymous author’s examination of gift practices, reading and writing, and their links to the economic realities of social life draws on similar, earlier analyses identified by Zionkowski as the conceptual focus of Burney’s and Richardson’s works. The author’s

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deployment of this focus within ‘Harriet Vernon’ as underlying the courtship and marriage plot following two financially disenfranchised sisters both prefigures and provides a model discernible in Austen’s engagement with these concerns in Sense and Sensibility.

Periodical Fiction and Writers Beyond the Magazines After 1800, over thirty years into the lifespan of the Lady’s Magazine most of the magazine’s popular fiction continued to be published anonymously, pseudonymously, or without an authorial signature of any kind. This culture of anonymous and pseudonymous publication has contributed to scholarship’s failure fully to appreciate the influence of periodical authors’ fictional output. Mayo describes these contributors as ‘amateurs or semi-professionals whose identity outside the miscellanies is a matter of pure speculation’ (1962: 299) and points to the financial appeals of writers such as Miss E. Yeames (Elizabeth Yeames, or Clabon after her marriage) in the Lady’s Magazine and D. P. Campbell in the Lady’s Monthly Musuem (both in 1814) as proof of their status as ‘graduate amateurs [who were] more typical of miscellany writers from 1785–1815 than were genuine professionals. Most of them were never heard from again’ (1962: 300). This is, however, far from the case. D. P. Campbell of the Lady’s Monthly Museum is better known as Dorothea Primrose Campbell, who would go on to publish a novel with A. K. Newman in 1821 and her poetry, published in editions in 1811 and 1816, was not only praised in contemporary reviews but has also been the subject of scholarship by Isobel Grundy (2004–14) and more recently Constance Walker (2014). Batchelor’s recent discoveries regarding Elizabeth Yeames reveal that she wrote prose and poetry for the Lady’s Magazine for decades, with her fiction being republished in American journals long after her death (2016a). Mayo’s examples, indeed, give the lie to claim that magazine fiction and its writers were usually confined to the miscellanies, and are rather proof of the magazine writers’ enduring legacies beyond the periodicals. Many other magazine writers did publish outside of the magazines as professionals in the literary marketplace and works first printed in the magazines were later published in volume form.2 For instance, E.F.’s Gothic novel ‘De Courville Castle’ (Feb 1795–Apr 1797), in addition to being conveyed to a transatlantic audience via its pirated publication in multiple American periodicals, was published in volume form in 1801 and another of E.F.’s novels, ‘The Two Castles, a Romance’ (1798), was published in multiple editions after it appeared in the Lady’s Magazine. A review of George Moore’s novel ‘Grasville Abbey’ (Mar 1793–Aug 1797) states that the novel, originally published in the Lady’s Magazine before being reprinted by the magazine’s owners, the Robinson family, is reprinted . . . at the request of the subscribers to that publication. It is not often that such requests indicate merit, or confer honour; yet the present may be allowed to be an exception. . . . The story is interrupted by digressions, and the interest it creates is powerful. The situations, likewise, have the merit of being new and striking. (Critical Review 21 (1797): 115–16) Though derisive in tone toward the magazine, the language of the review indicates that such reprintings were not in themselves unusual. Likewise, the Gothic Serial novel

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‘Derwent Priory’ (Jan 1796–Sep 1797) was subsequently published as Derwent Priory; or, Memoirs of an Orphan with the subtitle ‘In a Series of Letters, first published periodically; now republished with additions’ (1798). The novel, attributed later to the obscure A. Kendall, is described in its prefatory material as being the author’s ‘first attempt’ (1798: 4). Reviews were generally favourable; one reviewer in the Monthly Mirror found ‘characters to amuse and instruct, and such as are to be found daily in the beaten and busy road of life’ before giving ‘a specimen of the author’s talent for poetry’ (5 (May 1798): 290), and the European Magazine claimed that Kendall ‘advocates the interests of virtue, and blends agreeable amusement with moral instruction’ (33 (1798): 392). Such reviews echo the Lady’s Magazine’s oft-repeated mission to ‘combine amusement with instruction’ (29 (Jan 1798): iii). A. Kendall would go on to publish The Castle on the Rock; or Memoirs of the Elderland Family (1798), Tales of the Abbey (1800), Tales and Poems (1804), Moreland Manor, or Who Is the Heir? (1806) and The School for Parents (1810?). An important indication of Kendall’s success in her own period is that her novel The Castle on the Rock was translated into French by L. F. Bertin as Éliza, ou Mémoires de la famille Elderland (1798).3 Neither authors nor the works of fiction that debuted in the magazines simply disappeared from literary history, then, but played an ongoing role in experimenting with and defining popular literature for a diverse and broad readership. One such author is C. D. Haynes, who published her first Gothic novel, ‘The Castle of Le Blanc, A Tale’ (1816–19) in the Lady’s Magazine; Miss C. D. Haynes or Catharine Day Haynes, later Mrs Catharine Day Golland (Shattock 1999: 930) would go on to publish several novels with the popular Minerva Press. Her Lady’s Magazine novel ‘The Castle of Le Blanc’ blends genres and forms, opening in conventional Gothic style with a young bride, Clara, travelling to the castle of her new husband. On the journey the Marquis le Blanc seems unaccountably agitated and cold but when Clara presses him to explain his distant behaviour he forbids her to question him. Reaching his ancestral home ‘the ponderous gate of the castle opened to receive them—a cold shivering ran through the frame of Clara; she viewed it as the grave of the departed happiness’ (37 (Oct 1816): 439). The novel takes on an increasingly Radcliffean tone of threatening, patriarchal power when Clara, pregnant and alone in the castle with her husband, is desperately unhappy and feels trapped, ‘distant from all her relatives, in the power of a man in whom she now had no confidence’ (38 (Aug 1817): 357) and regrets her decision to wed him rather than Carlos, her childhood companion. Then, drawing on conventions from The Romance of the Forest (1791) and The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), Clara hears the strains of a lute accompanied by a song that offers comfort in her despair. Far from merely reworking familiar Gothic tropes, however, Haynes weaves an unusual amalgamation of sentimental and moral tales into the novel via an inset courtship narrative that provides background on Clara’s parents. The inset tale introduces comic elements and feminist undertones when the virtuous heroine Julia cross-dresses as a gamester and, assisted by the faithful Selena, successfully wins her lover’s fortune from him before he loses his estates to his enemies, persevering despite his seeming preference for a beautiful siren, Camilla. Haynes apparently did not view her paid work for the Minerva Press as a move beyond writing for the Lady’s Magazine, but rather as contiguous to her work for it. First, Haynes’s novels The Foundling of Devonshire, or Who is She? (1818) and Augustus and Adeline, or, the Monk of St. Barnardine: a Romance (1819) were printed

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with the Minerva Press/A. K. Newman while ‘The Castle of Le Blanc’ was still being serialised in in the Lady’s Magazine, indicating a potential overlap between the production of Minerva and magazine novels. Second, in 1822, after Haynes had published at least three novels in volume form (in addition to the aforementioned two, she published Eleanor, or the Spectre of St. Michael’s: a romantic tale (1821, tr. Fr. 1841) she sent the editors of the Lady’s Magazine another manuscript. Her offering, however, was rejected by the Lady’s Magazine editors who, although aware of Haynes’s paid work for the Minerva Press, did not seem to view the mantle of professionalism implied by publication in volume form as a basis for publishing more of her works in their magazine. The editors note that they received her tale, the ‘Single Gentleman, or a Flight of Fancy’ before sarcastically opining ‘that this produce of her fancy does not suit our new arrangements or our present system: the manuscript, therefore, will be returned by our publisher on demand’ (53 (Nov 1822): 640). Haynes would publish at least another four novels in the decades to follow. Though her fiction in the magazines is not the most original or skilled work to be found in contemporary periodicals, it is for precisely that reason that her professional career is so fascinating. An average writer for the magazines, Haynes was nonetheless a paid novelist with over half a dozen titles in some of the most popular presses of the day. This hints at the intriguing possibility that the writers of magazine fiction who were the most original and skilled (such as the anonymous authors of ‘Humble Friend’ or ‘Harriet Vernon’) may also have been publishing novels in volume form at a far greater rate than previously imagined. In the Lady’s Magazine the culture that fostered novelists and created a thriving environment in which they could publish lengthy prose fiction largely dried up after 1819. The editors of the magazine notified those Correspondents who are in the habit of supplying us with occasional Tales, that no Tale can, in future, be admitted into our Miscellany which extends longer than three of four numbers: and the authors of all the Novels now in progress are particularly requested to bring them to a conclusion as early as possible; as we have plans in perspective for the amusement of our readers, which we cannot mature till we have a little more space. (50 (Mar 1819): n. p.) In light of such restrictions, contributors such as the author of the ‘Castle and The Cottage’ (June 1818–Feb 1819, uncompleted) left the magazine and took their works elsewhere. The prolific, anonymous writer of the ‘Castle and The Cottage’ moved to the Lady’s Monthly Museum, where the entirety of the unfinished novel was published from 1822 to 1823, along with several other serial novels throughout the remainder of the decade. Mayo writes of the original miscellany fiction that ‘there is nothing in the over-all picture from which the eighteenth-century apologist can take heart’, describing it as ‘trashy, affected, and egregiously sentimental. Judged as literary art, it was devoid of imagination and wretchedly written’ (1962: 351). One need not, however, be an apologist to take heart at the wealth of magazine fiction that was well-written, original, and fundamental to the development of the novel, the ongoing popularity of Gothic, revitalisations of the epistolary form and highly attuned to the social and legal injustices of its contemporary society. Magazine fiction refutes traditional literary criticism that judges it to be unoriginal and unprofessional and its contributors a mob of scribbling amateurs. Rather, the magazines can be understood as

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both a medium through which emerging writers reached a wide audience, to view and respond to the reception of their work by the magazine’s readership and a space in which professionals continued to publish in and return to. This is perhaps unsurprising; as literary historian Edward Copeland points out about the immense popularity of the Lady’s Magazine, ‘everybody’ read the periodical (2004: 121).

Notes Research for this chapter was generously supported by a Research Project Grant awarded by the Leverhulme Trust, entitled ‘The Lady’s Magazine (1770–1818): Understanding the Emergence of a Genre’ for which the author was Research Associate between 2014 and 2016. 1. Radcliffe’s most popular novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), was published by George Robinson’s immensely successful family-run firm. The Robinsons also published the Lady’s Magazine and had a reputation for publishing innovative and popular fiction that sold well. In addition to publishing popular novels and periodicals, Robinson also published political works such as William Godwin’s expensive Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793). His commitment to radical literature caused Robinson to be fined in 1793 for selling Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man (1791); JoEllen DeLucia’s excellent essay examines Radcliffe’s writings in light of her relationship with Robinson and his radical circle (2015). 2. Mayo argued that much of the fiction ‘was not considered worth publishing in separate form’ (1962: 2) and Hughes suggests that the women’s magazines could rarely ‘serve as a starting point for the professional novelist’, citing only C. D. Haynes as such an example (2015: 467). 3. The title page of the 1798 edition of Derwent Priory states that the work is ‘by the author of “The Castle on the Rock”’, referring to the 1798 novel The Castle on the Rock; or, Memoirs of the Elderland Family. This novel was reviewed in the Monthly Mirror, immediately preceding a review of Derwent Priory, as having ‘no affectation in the style of this well wrought fable; its sentiments are those of purity; its characters those of nature; and its moral unexceptionable’ (5 (May 1798): 290).

Works Cited Austen, Jane. 2002. Sense and Sensibility. Ed. Claudia L. Johnson. New York: Norton. Batchelor, Jennie. 2011. ‘“Connections, which are of service . . . in a more advanced age”: The Lady’s Magazine, Community, and Women’s Literary Histories’. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 30.2: 245–67. —. 2016a. ‘Confessions of a Periodicalist’. (last accessed 20 Dec 2017). —. 2016b. ‘Jane Austen, the Lady’s Magazine and what if Mr Knightley didn’t marry Emma?’ (last accessed 20 Dec 2017). Bryan, Helen. 2002. Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Copeland, Edward. 1989. ‘Money Talks: Jane Austen and the Lady’s Magazine’. Jane Austen’s Beginnings: Juvenilia and Lady Susan. Ed. J. David Grey. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press. 153–71. —. 2004. Women Writing about Money: Women’s Fiction in England, 1790–1820. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DeLucia, JoEllen. 2015. ‘Radcliffe, George Robinson and Eighteenth-Century Print Culture: Beyond the Circulating Library’. Women’s Writing 22.3: 287–99.

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Gamer, Michael. 2004. Romanticism and the Gothic: Genre, Reception, and Canon Formation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Grundy, Isobel. 2004–14. ‘Dorothea Primrose Campbell’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (last accessed 10 Dec 2016). Hughes, Gillian. 2015. ‘Fiction in the Magazines’. The Oxford History of the Novel in English: English and British Fiction 1750–1820. Ed. Peter Garside and Karen O’Brien. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 461–528. MacDonagh, Oliver. 1991. Jane Austen: Real and Imagined Worlds. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. Mayo, Robert. 1962. The English Novel in the Magazines, 1740–1815. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Miles, Robert. 1995. Ann Radcliffe: The Great Enchantress. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press. Radcliffe, Ann. 1794. The Mysteries of Udolpho. London: G. G. and J. Robinson. —. 1796. The Italian. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies. Scott, Sir Walter. 1833. The Complete Works of Sir Walter Scott; with a Biography. Vol 6. New York: Conner and Cooke. Shattock, Joanne. 1999. The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, 1800–1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Shevelow, Kathryn. 1989. Women and Print Culture: The Construction of Femininity in the Early Periodical. London: Routledge. Siskin, Clifford. 1999. The Work of Writing. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Walker, Constance. 2014. ‘Dorothea Primrose Campbell: A Newly Discovered Pseudonym, Poems and Tales’. Women’s Writing 21.4: 592–698. Watt, Ian. 1957. The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding. London: Chatto & Windus Ltd.

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18 ‘This Lady is Descended from a Good Family’: Women and Biography in British Magazines, 1770–1798 Hannah Doherty Hudson

If the morning of the present age was . . . rendered brilliant by . . . men, a constellation of female genius, no less splendid, illumines the evening. . . . To indulge immediate curiosity, as well as to furnish authentic materials for subsequent biography, we shall make it an object of our peculiar attention to record the memoirs of such of our contemporary authors as shall be distinguished by public approbation, more especially of those females, whose writings reflect so much lustre on themselves and their country. ‘Biographical Memoirs of Mrs. Inchbald’. General Magazine 1 (Oct 1787): 115.

B

iography, in many guises, features largely in the periodicals of the late eighteenth century. Publications like the New London Magazine (1785–93) – by its own modest proclamation, ‘A Work far Superior to other Monthly Publications’ – specifically name ‘Biography’ as one of the features on which their superiority depends (July 1785: title page). Others, like the European Magazine (1782–1826), include many different kinds of content yet begin virtually every issue with a biography of an influential figure. Explicitly biographical magazines sprang up every few years in the last quarter of the century, including the Historical, Biographical, Literary, and Scientific Magazine (1799–1800), the Literary and Biographical Magazine (1791–4), and at least three different short-lived Biographical Magazines (1776; 1791; 1794).1 Despite its near ubiquity, however, the magazine biography was not an equal-opportunity genre: through much of the eighteenth century women were largely excluded from its purview, although I discuss some important exceptions to this below. As I will suggest in this essay, the axes of ‘genius’, ‘curiosity’, and ‘public approbation’ laid out by Elizabeth Inchbald’s biographer in the epigraph above made it peculiarly difficult for many women to fit within their confines.2 Gender informed eighteenth-century periodical biography in both implicit and explicit ways. ‘Sketches of Female Biography’ (1776–7), an occasional feature in the Lady’s Magazine; or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex (1770–1832), for instance, implies that ‘biography’ was male-focused unless otherwise specified; such an assumption is borne out by the marked predominance of male-centred biographical pieces in most magazines of the period. The Biographical Magazine launched in 1794, for example, contains 138 profiles of luminaries ranging from Chaucer to Christopher Wren to Jonathan Swift – not a single woman, however, is included. One might expect

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men to outnumber women in this sort of historically based line-up, given the disproportionate number of men who were famous, but the complete omission of even such well-known women as Queen Elizabeth or Mary, Queen of Scots clearly seems to indicate a programmatic exclusion rather than a simple imbalance of representation. Indeed, looking across the range of magazines in the 1770s, 1780s, and 1790s reveals this to be largely the case. To take a characteristic example, in the New London Magazine’s October 1785 issue there are eighteen biographies.3 Just one is of a woman, the balloonist Mrs Sage; not only is she outnumbered, but her biography itself is minimised, featured alongside that of her fellow aerialist (a man) and focusing almost entirely on her famous ascent, not her life (1: 178). Similarly, the first volume of the European Magazine (Jan–June 1782) features sixteen biographies; only two are of women. If the brief ‘Anecdotes of Authors’ included in most issues are counted, the ratio decreases still further; no women at all are included, while several men are discussed each month. Women are seldom featured in magazines like these – and when they are, the exceptionality of the circumstance is often highlighted: it is unusual, noteworthy, requiring explanation or defence. Yet, even readers who expected biography to be masculine by default were clearly interested in the lives of women – at least, certain women, in certain circumstances. Female magazine biographies increase in frequency and scope in the final decades of the eighteenth century, culminating in the launch of several new magazines – in particular, the Lady’s Monthly Museum in 1798, La Belle Assemblée in 1806, and the New British Lady’s Magazine in 1819 – that featured illustrated biographies of contemporary women on a near-monthly basis.4 In this essay I broadly consider the state of female magazine biography prior to the dramatic reshaping and growth of the genre that followed the first publication of the Lady’s Monthly Museum in 1798. I offer two case studies to illuminate the discussion: first, an account of all the headlining biographies of women in the European Magazine during this period, and second, a comparative close reading of a group of biographies of Elizabeth Inchbald, one of the very few women to feature in multiple lengthy and high-profile biographies before 1798. By and large, the inclusion of women in periodical biographies in this period seems to depend on two considerations. First, is the woman in question sufficiently interesting? This ‘interest’ might derive from genius or talent, from social connections, or from other kinds of accomplishment. Considered from this angle, it is unsurprising that relatively few women are featured: women were unlikely to be bishops, generals, explorers, barristers, or to intervene in world events in the way that men in these professions, who were frequently profiled, could. The other consideration is more slippery: is it appropriate for a woman to be featured publicly, and if so, what can be revealed about her? Depending on a woman’s occupation and status, the answer to this question seems to vary considerably. Magazines at times adopt an almost protective tone toward their subjects, implying that it would not be ladylike for certain facts about them to be revealed. The very scarcity of contemporary women in magazine biographies may thus be due in part to an editorial reluctance to exploit and potentially harm women by featuring them as subjects – or, more cynically, a reluctance to alienate readers who might find exposés of women unseemly. Different authors and different magazines adopt a variety of approaches to this problem, but a central paradox must always be accounted for: a female biographical subject must be admirable, yet for a woman there seems to be something profoundly not admirable about being featured so publicly.

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Varieties of Biography A discussion about magazine biographies of women must begin first of all with defining what we mean by ‘biography’, a more complicated problem than one might anticipate, given the wildly rich and various troves of information contained within the pages of these publications.5 I have identified biographical essays headed in various magazines as ‘Some Account’, ‘Memoirs’, ‘Sketch’, ‘Biographical Anecdote’, ‘Life and Writings’, ‘Biographical Memoir’, ‘A Genealogical Account’, ‘The Life’, ‘Genuine Memoirs’, ‘Authentic Memoirs’, ‘Literary and Biographical Anecdotes’, and ‘An Account of the Life’; even this list is not exhaustive. Moreover, pieces with exactly the same kind of titles as previously identified biographies often prove not to be substantial biographies. Inconsistency rules, and the reproduction of identical pieces under different headings in different magazines seems to confirm that biographical terminology was used in a variety of ways by different publications. Thus, indices and tables of contents, while theoretically helpful, conceal many biographies under misleading subheadings and label other pieces as biographical which turn out, under closer inspection, to be primarily anecdotal, fictional, or merely so brief as to provide virtually no useful information. Simply paging through every issue of each magazine, while obviously the most time-consuming approach, is also the most rewarding: doing so reveals the wealth of biographical material belied by the scarcity of long-form, prominent biographies of women. There are biographies of women labelled as ‘female biography’ and those that are not. There are biographies of women masquerading as book reviews, as obituaries, as gossip items, and biographical titbits sprinkled throughout articles on all sorts of other topics. Magazine biography, in short, takes many forms. Given the by-definition miscellaneous quality of eighteenth-century magazines, it is unsurprising that the kinds of women’s biographies we find within them would be varied: this holds true for biographies of men as well. The fact, however, that women appear with relative frequency in some kinds of biographical writing (obituaries and historical biographies, particularly) and much less frequently in others (substantial contemporary profiles) also has something to do with the genre of biography itself. Periodical biographies necessarily walk a line between repetition and revelation: their subjects usually must be well known enough to spark readerly interest; at the same time, periodicals must promise (if not always deliver) new information to merit reading, month after month.6 This tension is especially marked for women subjects, for whom a place in the public eye, however purposefully established or artfully maintained, often carried a risk of perceived impropriety, unfeminine self-aggrandisement, or worse.7 Thus, a three-sentence ‘Biographical Anecdote’ of an aristocratic woman, focused entirely on her lineage and jointure, escapes most negative associations – obviously, however, such an approach also forecloses the biography’s role as vehicle for critique or publicity, and much of its potential interest as well. Similarly, a ‘memoir’ of a long-deceased woman, such as Catherine de Medici or Boadicea, may more freely discuss (or invent) its subject’s facts and foibles than might a work describing a still-living powerful woman. Claims about ‘biography’, then, must first be carefully delineated: which biographies, exactly, are being discussed? While noting the incredible diversity of biographical pieces in eighteenth-century periodicals, for the remainder of this essay I focus on what might be termed ‘feature biographies’: substantive pieces, primarily concerned with the life-to-date of

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the subject, often with an accompanying portrait. In particular, I attend to the prominent illustrated biographies that are found on the first pages of many of the period’s magazines. These rare biographies that write at length about contemporary women are, I suggest, of particular interest for their carefully orchestrated portrayals of their subjects’ accomplishments and vulnerabilities. Hinting at titillating details while maintaining (at least ostensibly) the excellence of the women they describe, the biographers resort to various stratagems to carry out their delicate task. Many deploy genealogy – a standard ingredient in eighteenth-century biography – strategically, using claims about the virtue or importance of a woman’s family as implicit justification for her inclusion in the magazine as well as assurance of her good character. Naturally, this strategy is most noteworthy when either the importance of the family or the morals of the lady seem somewhat in question, as in the quotation from my title, which is the first line of a biography of the admired – but undeniably scandalous – actress and author Mary Robinson (Scots Magazine 56 (July 1794): 403). Magazine biographers are also no strangers to the art of the delicate evasion, as when the Lady’s Monthly Museum, after a one-sentence allusion to Robinson’s infamous and highly publicised affair with the Prince Regent, continues primly, ‘Our remarks will now be confined to Mrs. Robinson’s literary pursuits’ (6 (Jan 1801): 2). As authors were among the most commonly profiled female subjects, the strategy of ‘confin[ing]’ discussion to ‘literary pursuits’ – focusing on work, rather than personal lives – provided one simple means of bolstering the subject’s celebrity without crossing the line into infamy. In 1774, the Hibernian Magazine (1771–85) gave Madame Du Bocage, ‘This celebrated authoress’, top billing in their August issue, featuring an ‘Elegant Portrait of that Lady’ along with a substantial two-anda-half-page ‘memoir’ in the magazine’s opening pages (4: 431–3).8 A closer inspection, however, reveals that this length is deceptive: only the first paragraph contains biography, and that is limited to a positive remark on her ‘elegant writings’ and ‘lovely form’, and a brief recitation of her lineage, marriage, and travels. The rest of the piece comprises a list of her writings (accompanied by the remark that ‘not to have heard of her works, argues a person to be quite a stranger in the republic of letters’ (431)) and the reproduction of a poem and a letter written by her. Nothing untoward is revealed in such a recital, and the lady’s reputation seems unlikely to be harmed by it; on the other hand, a reader hoping to learn something actually new about the subject may well be disappointed. Actresses are the other group of women most frequently featured in biographies. While the tone of these pieces, like those about authors, is nearly always positive and full of praise (at least overtly), there seems to be a greater willingness on the part of the biographer to expose the personal foibles or past missteps of the subject, who has, after all, already placed herself conspicuously in the public eye. Thus, while actresses are often lauded for their talent in terms nearly as strong as those used to describe female authors, their presence on the stage seems to indemnify the biographer, to some extent, from charges of violating feminine modesty. The moral tone, accordingly, is rather different: what would not be acceptable in a discussion of a novelist or poet, the content of these biographies suggests, is already taken for granted in the portrayal of an actress. As Laura Engel suggests in her essay in this volume on celebrity periodical portraiture, the portraits that so often accompany these biographies heighten the sense that their subjects are at once ‘distant objects and . . . available commodities’ (469);

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they are lovely, unreachable, and admirable, but also available for visual consumption and personal critique.9 In ‘Some Memoirs of Miss Hughes’, another Walker’s Hibernian Magazine first-page feature from June 1788, we see these differences illustrated from the title onwards. Whereas Madame Du Bocage’s portrait was described as that of a ‘Lady’, Miss Hughes’s (which shows her full body, as opposed to just her face) is characterised as showing ‘that much followed Actress’ (281). The slight backhandedness of this description – is she talented, or merely ‘much followed’? – echoes through the piece, which, after describing the various performances in which Miss Hughes has acted, concludes with another ambiguous declaration: ‘Of her theatrical abi[l]ities, it would be needless to enlarge, as most of our readers must have seen her perform, and of course, have already formed a judgment of them’ (281). This statement sounds relatively similar to the claims about universal familiarity with the writings of Madam du Bocage above, yet coupled with the rest of the biography – which details Miss Hughes’s ‘taste for splendor, elegance, and polite dissipation’ and refers to her multiple love affairs as ‘common fame’ – it leaves a less respectful impression (281). A Walker’s Hibernian Magazine biography of the actress Miss Farren in July 1794 occupies a middle ground. The biographer describes her ‘great merit and superior talents’ (1) in apparently sincere terms, and spends considerable time listing the different performances in which she appears, but also details her troubled financial history and the ‘most sincere attachment’ of her suitor Lord Derby, suggesting, most damningly, that ‘It is probable . . . that her own merit . . . would never have raised her to the eminence she now holds; or, at least, would never have attracted so much public attention, had she not kindled a flame in the breast of the Rt. Hon. C. J. Fox’ (2). While talent is generally a precondition of biographical subject-hood (though, as we shall see below, there are exceptions), it is often presented in these pieces as inversely proportional to another desirable quality, the ability to satisfy readerly curiosity. Another actress, Miss Brunton, who was profiled in the opening pages of the Westminster Magazine (1773–85) in November 1785 in much kinder terms, illustrates this point. This biography begins with the unpromising line: ‘Of the life of an actress so young much cannot be expected as a biographical sketch’ (13: 563). And indeed, the article contains very little to satisfy an enquiring reader: it discusses her father’s finances, lists the theatres in which she has appeared and the roles she has played, and takes the tone of a faintly condescending review when praising her ‘sweet and powerful’ voice and her ‘not very expressive, but pleasing’ face (13: 563). But the biographer’s overall impression is unequivocally positive: calling her a ‘prodigy’, the profile goes on to declare, ‘Genius, only, could have made Miss Brunton what she is’ (13: 563, 564). Strikingly, even as this praise bolsters her credibility as a biographical subject – she possesses the outstanding qualities, genius in particular, that merit biographical coverage – the biographer’s minimal treatment of the rest of her life suggests that more interesting revelation here would likely dilute or detract from the positive portrait. She is at once a genius and ‘perfectly feminine’ (13: 563). The actress’s youth may indeed mean that the biographer hasn’t much to work with; however, deliberate brevity is also a strategy, which here functions protectively to highlight the subject’s accomplishments. A biography of a woman may praise her moral qualities, laud her genius, or be long and interesting – but only in a few rare cases can all three characteristics coexist.

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The European Magazine’s Female Subjects The European Magazine, as one of the longest-running monthly magazines from this era to feature a biographical profile and engraved frontispiece at the front of nearly every issue,10 provides a fascinating longitudinal study of the ways that women were represented in feature biography in the 1780s and 1790s. The magazine began in January 1782; it was not until March of 1786 – more than four years and nearly fifty opening biographies later – that a woman graced the first page.11 ‘Mrs. Anna-Lætitia Barbauld, formerly Miss Aikin’, was the woman who received this honour, and the magazine acknowledges the novelty of the choice, beginning the profile with a description of the ‘universal’ and ‘absurd’ ‘aversion which used to prevail against female claims to literary reputation’ (9: 139). Fortunately, the author suggests, ‘present times’ have banished such prejudices, and now the contributions of women to ‘science . . . human knowledge, and . . . the innocent and improving amusements of life’ can be freely appreciated (139). The magazine’s progressive stance mirrors attitudes seen in other publications around this time;12 as we shall see, however, the editorial decision to include more women did not necessarily obviate problems in writing biography about them. Barbauld, or ‘Our authoress’, is praised as ‘no less celebrated for her intellectual than her personal endowments’ (139). She ‘had the advantage of an excellent education from her respectable father, and seems early to have shewn her poetical genius’ (139). A large proportion of the biography is spent reproducing several specimens of Barbauld’s poetry, as well as describing her other publications. The tone is interestingly ambiguous: the admiration of her work seems wholehearted, but also predicated on a belief in Barbauld’s stereotypically feminine modesty. While the ‘excellence’ of her poems is praised, the biographer also remarks approvingly that ‘Since her marriage, she seems to have devoted her attention to the initiation and improvement of children in letters’, producing ‘several little pieces . . . useful and unambitious performances’ (140). While the praise of Barbauld’s ‘genius’ and the choice to represent her, in her portrait, in classical guise – she appears in profile, as in a Roman frieze, wearing classical garb and a wreath – hints at a timeless and non-gendered intellect, the admiration is in fact strongly inflected by gendered expectations. In closing, the biographer cites one of Barbauld’s own poems as ‘not inapplicable to herself’, and the choice of work is not coincidental: the poem speaks ‘Of gentle manners, and of taste refin’d’ and a subject whose ‘ready fingers plied with equal skill / The pencil’s task, the needle, or the quill’ (140). Barbauld is admirable for her genius, yes, but only because that genius comes in a pleasingly feminine, retiring, and domestic package, as skilled at needlework as in poetry. Barbauld’s purported lack of ambition, her willingness to marry and thereafter dedicate her work to such a typically ‘feminine’ pursuit as the education of children, paradoxically authorises the biographer to write about, and praise, her. By deliberately avoiding the public eye, Barbauld becomes an appropriate subject to be lauded in the public venue of biography. However conflicted the European Magazine’s updated thinking on the matter of female accomplishment may have been, the appearance of Barbauld’s biography does seem to mark a shift in gender representation in their most visible biographies. While it had taken over four years for their first illustrated profile of a woman subject to appear, the next one, of Mrs Fitzherbert, famously the mistress and secret wife of

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the Prince of Wales, was published the very next month, in April 1786. Only a few months later, in July, another woman, Hester Thrale Piozzi, was featured in the top position, and the following April, the Duchess of Devonshire took the spot. After this initial rush, however, whatever energies inspired the shift seem to have slowly dwindled again, rather than gaining momentum. From 1787 to 1789, one or two issues per year feature women on the frontispiece; from 1790 to 1792 three women were featured, all in 1791. The 1793–5 issues feature just one woman per year, and 1796–7 saw no women at all, with the next one appearing in March of 1798, the final year of my analysis and three years after the last front-page female biography. Who were these women? Unsurprisingly, the majority of the women profiled in these biographies fit into the two categories I discuss above: by and large, they are authors or actresses (or, in a few cases, both). The occupations of the fourteen subjects break down as follows: eight authors; five actresses; and seven women who are especially notable for their social rank or aristocratic associations – four duchesses, Mary Robinson, the Chevalier D’Eon,13 and Mrs Fitzherbert, royal mistress and secret wife. Two of the authors, Elizabeth Inchbald and Mary Robinson, were also actresses (and, in Robinson’s case, a royal mistress as well), and the Chevalier D’Eon was known for writing as well as social connections and numerous other exploits. All have been included in my counts in all relevant categories. Elizabeth Inchbald, who was featured on the first page of the January 1788 issue, is a particularly interesting subject, largely because of her dual identities as scandalous actress and respectable author; I discuss her European Magazine biography as part of my analysis in the next section. Mary Robinson’s profile, which is similarly intersectional, appeared in January 1793, and is notable for its efforts to establish the already (in)famous Robinson as a retiring and sensitive author. It begins, ‘This lady, whose literary talents we have had frequent occasions to celebrate, is descended from a good family’, employing the same appeal to family respectability used the next year by the Scots Magazine, but simultaneously making it clear that ‘literary talents’, not Robinson’s other accomplishments or escapades, are to be the grounds on which she is here assessed (23: 3). One column is spent discussing her ‘ancient family’ and the excellence of her early education, with her theatrical career summed up in less than a paragraph, attributed to her father’s ‘embarrassed . . . circumstances’ (3). Three seasons of performances are listed in a single sentence, and her role as Perdita (the one in which she famously captured the heart of the Prince Regent) is mentioned only as follows: ‘In the latter character she attracted the notice of a distinguished personage, which occasioned her secession from the Theatre’ (3). Thereafter the piece discusses only Robinson’s writing, and though the biographer declares, ‘Of a lady whose name is so well known, it will be expected we should gratify our readers with some further particulars’, these particulars consist only of the claim that her European Magazine portrait is the ‘best celebration of her exquisite beauty’ and a quote from a source that speaks of her ‘exquisite sensibility and tenderness of mind, blended with a vivacity of temper that has frequently led her into hasty decisions’ (4). The piece closes with a tacit assurance that these kinds of hasty decisions are unlikely to occur again, noting both that Robinson educates her daughter ‘with the cautious exactitude of the most rigid governess’ and that the author has been ‘for near six years . . . a victim of rheumatic attacks’ (4). All hints of past disreputa