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If you’ve ever taken an undergraduate English class on the Romantic period, you have probably encountered Mary Wollstonecraft, author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman. A widely read and controversial writer of political treatises, fiction, travel writing, and other works during her lifetime, she has been variously vilified and mythologized since her death in 1797, and has long been a staple in the literary canon. But can we ever really know Wollstonecraft?In the newest episode of The WPHP Monthly Mercury, hosts Kate Moffatt and Kandice Sharren are joined by Professor E.J. Clery, General Editor of a new edition of The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. We consider not only her canonical works and her reputation as a philosophical “powerhouse,” as she is so often thought of, but also how myth can write historical figures larger than life—and as a result, sometimes obscure their lived reality. We delve into her life, both the highs and the lows, and how thinking about the ways in which many of the issues that afflicted Wollstonecraft, like precarious employment, labour, and challenges to women’s rights, are present in her writing. We think about how considering these challenges both for their own sake, and within the framework of her philosophy, can serve to humanize this massively influential Romantic figure.Guest:E.J. Clery is Chair Professor of English Literature at Uppsala University. Recent publications include Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister, (Biteback Press, 2017), and Eighteen Hundred and Eleven: Poetry, Protest and Economic Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2017), winner of the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay Prize. Research for these publications was supported by a Leverhulme Trust major fellowship. She is currently working on A Very Short Introduction to Mary Wollstonecraft, a new paperback edition of Wollstonecraft’s fictions, and, as General Editor, the new Collected Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, forthcoming with Oxford University Press.If you're interested in learning more about what we discussed in this episode, you can find resources and suggestions for further reading here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/110  
By the Author of...

By the Author of...

2022-06-2901:07:52

Our inaugural episodes of each season have thus far begun with beloved canonical authors: Jane Austen in Season One, Frances Burney in Season Two. This season, we’ve turned to an anonymous author—one whose identity is still a mystery. In 1808, The Woman of Colour was published, with its byline simply reading “By the author of "Light and Shade," "The Aunt and the Niece," "Ebersfield Abby", &c.” Those titles link to more titles, which link to more titles, which link to—! In this first episode of Season 3, Kandice dives into this tangled attribution chain, asking, which titles are attached to which? How many times? Who published them? What layers of influence do they reveal? Featuring audio from a podcast brainstorming session, this episode invites listeners behind-the-scenes and into the delightfully messy reality of research (and podcasting!) to kick off Season 3 of the WPHP Monthly Mercury.  If you're interested in learning more about what we discussed in this episode, you can find resources and suggestions for further reading here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/108
Season 2 in Review

Season 2 in Review

2022-06-2736:49

As we prepare to launch Season 3 of the The WPHP Monthly Mercury later this week, project director Michelle Levy takes a look back at Season 2. Putting it into conversation with Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein's Data Feminism (2020) and Katherine Bode's A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History (2018), Michelle thinks about the work our podcast has engaged in over the last year. 
Throughout the month of March, the WPHP  has been posting Spotlights about women philosophers in print in the WPHP as part of our Women & Philosophy Spotlight Series to celebrate Women’s History Month. Contributors to the series include research assistants Angela Wachowich, Belle Eist, Isabelle Burrows, Tammy T., and project director Michelle Levy, who wrote about the anonymous ‘Sophia, a Person of Quality,’ Margaret Cavendish, Harriet Martineau, Anna Letitia Barbauld, and Ann Williams.Finding women philosophers in the WPHP is not necessarily a straightforward task: we don’t include philosophy as a genre, as research assistant Angela Wachowich, organizer of the Series, discovered during some of her work on early feminist writing last year. Turning to Lisa Shapiro’s New Narratives Bibliography of Works by Women Philosophers of the Past, Angela identified a number of women philosophers who we do, indeed, have in the WPHP—but that she had to use the New Narratives Bibliography to find them illustrates how the WPHP data model does not (and cannot) render visible every genre. It also, however, demonstrates how digital humanities projects from different disciplines can speak to each other. And that is precisely what we did for this month’s episode: we invited Lisa Shapiro, director of the Extending New Narratives Partnership Project, to chat with us about women philosophers, the difficulty of genre, the narratives in entrenched canons (and the cross-disciplinary urge to name a canon), and the importance of discipline-specific recovery efforts.Lisa Shapiro is Professor of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. Her research is focused on accounts of human nature in the 17th century, along two general tracks. She has been interested in the place of the passions in accounts of the relations of human beings to the world around them, and their understanding of that world. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the SSHRC-funded Extending New Narratives Partnership Project, which aims to retrieve philosophical works of women and individuals from other marginalized groups and sustain the presence of these figures in the history of philosophy, and part of that project includes the New Narratives Bibliography of Works by Women Philosophers of the Past. If you're interested in learning more about what we discussed in this episode, you can find resources and suggestions for further reading here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/105 
In July 2020, project lead Michelle Levy and lead editor Kandice Sharren attended a virtual workshop hosted by Amy Tims at the American Antiquarian Society titled “Searching the AAS Catalog: Keyword & Browse.” This workshop introduced them to the many specific and useful headings of the American Antiquarian Society catalog, including some that we were particularly excited for given that we see them in resources so rarely: “women as authors” and “women as publishers and printers.” In November 2021, the WPHP used these headings to import more than 6000 title records from the American Antiquarian Society. Our thrilling plunge into titles printed in the United States is something we’ve been anticipating, and started preparing for over the last two years: we added a ‘copyright statement’ field, for example, so that we could capture the copyright information located on the verso of the title page of many American titles. While our team of research assistants works diligently to clean up these imported records and make them available to the public, we have been starting to think about what having this data in the WPHP might tell us about the transatlantic reprinting of women’s writing during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the process, we have had to grapple with new questions about how to best represent American titles within our data model. Thankfully, WPHP contributing scholar Dr. Melissa J. Homestead came to our rescue!In Episode 9, “Transatlantic Trajectories,” hosts Kate Moffatt and Kandice Sharren introduce listeners to some of the joys and hiccups of the recent American import by way of a lively chat with Dr. Melissa J. Homestead about women’s American and transatlantic publishing. In it, we discuss transatlantic authors Susanna Rowson and Catharine Maria Sedgwick, as well as American copyright and its intricacies during the period, how studying book history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries can inform similar research in the twentieth, and the altar of chronology (with a special focus on Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, too!). Melissa J. Homestead is Professor of English and Program Faculty in Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Having worked on authors from Susanna Rowson to Willa Cather, she considers her field to be American women’s writing, authorship, and publishing history of the very long nineteenth century. She is the author of American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869 (Cambridge University Press 2005) and The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis (Oxford University Press 2021). She is Associate Editor of The Complete Letters of Willa Cather: A Digital Edition (ongoing), has collaborated on bibliographies of the works of Catharine Maria Sedgwick and E. D. E. N. Southworth, serves as President of the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Willa Cather Center. Cather expressed less than complimentary opinions in print about Southworth but, alas, she evidently never heard of Sedgwick. If you're interested in learning more about what we discussed in this episode, you can find resources and suggestions for further reading here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/96 
In 1803, Mary Hays published the six-volume work Female Biography, a substantial work of scholarship that relied on more than one hundred sources to write biographies about more than 300 hundred women. But how did Hays, a Dissenting writer of moderate means, access all of those books? To find out, we invited Dr. Timothy Whelan to talk all things Mary Hays, but especially her literary environs, which included relationships with Dissenting booksellers, connections with the Godwin circle, a number of the biggest and most successful circulating libraries of the time, including the Minerva Press and Hookham’s, and residences across London that were never more than a five-minute walk from a library or a bookshop. And we meander through London itself, where Dr. Whelan tracked more than just where Hays’ likely found her sources for her History: he mapped Hays’ residences, the residences of her large extended family, the booksellers and circulating libraries around her locations, Dissenting booksellers, and the chapels of Dissenters in London—a variety of networks that, as it turns out, are far more interwoven than one could have anticipated without the help of Dr. Whelan’s seven-by-seven foot map.Dr. Timothy Whelan is a Professor of English at Georgia Southern University. He works in the area of women’s studies and at the intersection of religion and literature in the lives of British and American Nonconformist women writers between 1650 and 1850, with a particular focus on various Romantic writers, both men and women, and their interaction with religious Dissent. He was the general editor for Pickering and Chatto’s eight-volume collection of Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720–1840, and some of his recent publications include an article in Publishing History called, “Mary Lewis and her Family of Printers and Booksellers, 1 Paternoster Row, 1749-1812” and an article in Women’s Writing called “Room[s] of her Own”: Libraries and Residences in the Later Career of Mary Hays, 1814–1828.” To learn more about his work on Mary Hays, you can visit his website https://www.maryhayslifewritingscorrespondence.com, and to learn more about his work on Non-Conformist women, including booksellers, visit his website https://www.nonconformistwomenwriters1650-1850.com/.If you're interested in learning more about what we discussed in this episode, you can find resources and suggestions for further reading here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/95
The Business of Gossip

The Business of Gossip

2021-12-1531:52

In Episode 7 of Season 2 of The WPHP Monthly Mercury, “The Business of Gossip,” hosts Kate and Kandice follow the highly successful Henry Colburn, leading publisher of fiction in the early nineteenth century, across his three main business addresses in London—and in so doing, explore how the publisher prompted, encouraged, and engaged with gossip. The subject of much gossip himself, Colburn’s origins are unknown (although rumoured to be noble), his less-savoury business practices are disparaged by his partners (with good reason), and his reputation, even into scholarship until very recently, is extremely poor. Drawing on research from John Sutherland and Veronica Melnyk, this episode explores the timeline of Colburn’s 47-year career and how, exactly, certain narratives about him were established, and have since been corrected. Featuring such authors as Sydney, Lady Morgan, Lady Caroline Lamb, and Letitia Elizabeth Landon, and such publishers and book trades members as Saunders and Otley, and Richard Bentley, we traipse through the landscape of Colburn’s publishing practice as it moved through London (and, briefly, Windsor), sharing what each new address wrought or signified for the publisher and what such considerations of business and gossip might tell us about the role of gossip in the book trades more generally. If you're interested in learning more about this topic, we've posted a blog post with links, resources, and suggestions for further reading on the WPHP site: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/93
The Witching Hour

The Witching Hour

2021-10-2001:06:39

In last October's episode, “Of Monks and Mountains!!!” Kate and Kandice each read a gothic novel found in the WPHP, and it was so much fun that we simply had to do it again. For Season 2, Episode 5, “The Witching Hour”, we read books about witches — almost every book that mentions witches in the title in the WPHP, in fact! (There are only five.)But within that small sample, we found a full spectrum of representations of witches and witchcraft, from the fantastical (and silly) woodland witches in Alethea Lewis’s The Nuns of the Desert (1805), to Joanna Baillie’s spine-tingling play, Witchcraft (1836), which is set against the backdrop of the Scottish witch hunt—and everything in between.Join us for the fifth episode of Season 2, “The Witching Hour,” to learn more about why we only found five titles, what those titles told us about the role of witchcraft in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century cultural imagination, and (most importantly) which title we awarded the coveted label of “bonkers.” But be warned—recording this episode gave Kate nightmares.If you're interested in learning more about what we discussed in this episode, you can find resources and suggestions for further reading here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/89 
In 1794, Ann Lemoine’s husband, Henry, who was an author and publisher, went to debtor’s prison—this led to their separation, and the following year, Ann Lemoine began her own publishing business in White Rose Court in London. Between 1795 and the early 1820s, it is estimated that Ann Lemoine published, printed, and sold more than 400 titles, and explored new and inventive ways of packaging and reselling the cheap print she was known for publishing: chapbooks. In this episode, hosts Kate and Kandice are joined by WPHP Research Assistant Sara Penn, who undertook entering the many titles Lemoine produced into the database and has become our resident Lemoine expert. We share some of Sara’s conversation with Dr. Roy Bearden-White, explore the history of the chapbook — including the difficulties of defining the term itself — and the significance of cheap print, the challenges of including it in the database, and chat about the labour involved in working with female publishers, printers, or booksellers, or forms of print that are lacking in bibliographical sources. You can find more resources and information about this episode, including a bibliography and suggestions for further reading, on the WPHP site: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/88 
Throughout the month of August, we’ve been sharing Spotlights on the WPHP site as part of the “Around the World with Six Women” Spotlight Series on travel writing. In this month’s episode, hosts Kate Moffatt and Kandice Sharren are joined by the authors of the Spotlight Series, who share what they have learned during their vicarious journeys through France, Italy, Germany, India, Chile, Rome, China, the Red Sea, and the Scottish Highlands. Along the route we touch on the stakes of travel writing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly in terms of British imperialism and colonial forces, and how considering these stakes can help us contextualize the genre. Our conversation also prompted us to consider the stakes of our own travel, now that the world is opening up and travel is once again becoming a possibility.You can find more resources and information about this episode, including a bibliography and suggestions for further reading, on the WPHP site: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/84 
In 2016, Dr. Kirstyn Leuner shared data from her project, The Stainforth Library of Women’s Writing, with the WPHP — in particular, the Virtual International Authority Files she and her team had attached to their person records. This month, she joins us to chat all things Stainforth, databases, and cataloguing, including the kinds of data her team has been working with and collecting, the project decisions that have had to be made along the way, the hidden and not-so-hidden gems the Stainforth catalogue contains, and the many commonalities our projects share in their efforts to recover women writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Stainforth on!You can find more resources and information about this episode, including a bibliography and suggestions for further reading, on the WPHP site: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/80
Welcome back! In the first episode of Season 2 of The WPHP Monthly Mercury, hosts Kate Moffatt and Kandice Sharren delve into the publication history of Frances Burney’s first two (and most popular) novels,  Evelina (1778) and Cecilia (1782). Although both were regularly reprinted well into the nineteenth century, we recently realised that the WPHP was missing the post-1800 editions of these works (although it did already hold all of the editions of her two far less popular novels, Camilla (1796) and The Wanderer (1814) — thank goodness!). In this episode, we explore why these titles were missing and our subsequent task: creating an as-comprehensive-as-we-can-make-it bibliography of Frances Burney’s novels up to 1836. As always, you can find more resources and information about this episode, including a bibliography and suggestions for further reading, on the WPHP site: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/76
Season 1 in Review

Season 1 in Review

2021-06-1425:38

As we get ready to launch the second season later this week, WPHP Primary Investigator Michelle Levy reviews some of the highlights from our first season.
In the final episode of Season One of The WPHP Monthly Mercury, hosts Kate Moffatt and Kandice Sharren celebrate Women’s History Month by interviewing Dr. Kate Ozment about the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century writer, Delarivier Manley. Famous for her scandalous semi-autobiographical ‘secret histories,’ which satirized important Whigs in Queen Anne’s courts, Manley inspires us to consider the relationship between eighteenth-century women and history, and how they—and we!—capture, create, and record it (and sometimes make things up along the way). 
In Episode 9, “Bluestockings in Print,” hosts Kate Moffatt and Kandice Sharren are joined by Dr. Betty Schellenberg, Bluestocking expert, to talk about the learned ladies of the informal eighteenth-century society and their complex relationships with print — along with some musings about puddings, friendships, and dirty laundry. Put on your blue stockings and join us for our penultimate episode of Season 1 of The WPHP Monthly Mercury!If you're interested in learning more about this topic, we have compiled a list of resources and suggestions for further reading, available here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/62 
Ramble. Ambulate. Wander. What are the words you use for walking? In our eighth episode, we’re looking to the words that women used to describe walking in print and manuscript during the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, when a surge in pedestrian activity for leisure and pleasure occurred. An interview with guest Dr. Kerri Andrews, author of Wanderers: A History of Women Walking, has us grappling with women’s involvement in that pedestrianism surge, and explore how the language they used (in manuscript and in print) illustrates the age-old tradition of women’s walking that is so often left out of the history books. If you're interested in exploring this topic further, a blog post containing links to all WPHP records referenced and our suggestions for further reading is available here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/60
As 2020 draws to a tumultuous close, join hosts Kate Moffatt and Kandice Sharren as they look back—all the way to 1816. Often remembered as the cold and fog-laden year in which an 18-year-old Mary Shelley came up with the idea for Frankenstein, 1816 was a year of catastrophe more generally, known colloquially as “The Year Without a Summer” or “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death.” This double episode, peer reviewed by Romanticism on the Net, explores how the bibliographical metadata contained in the WPHP can help us uncover a wider range of voices and genres, including political writing, travel memoirs, and poetry. These works reveal the lived experiences of women in a time of upheaval, but also provide an opportunity to meditate on the nature of literary production during catastrophe, especially how our own experiences during the upheavals of 2020 shaped our response to the books that we uncovered.If you're interested in learning more about this topic, we have compiled a list of resources and suggestions for further reading, available here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/58 
Mind the (Data) Gaps

Mind the (Data) Gaps

2020-11-1829:23

Have you ever wondered, “Where does all the WPHP data come from?” Well, look no further than this month’s episode of The WPHP Monthly Mercury! From missing Frances Burney and Ann Radcliffe editions to ESTC imprint-specific searches, our sixth episode identifies data gaps and explores our superstar resources, the wide variety of print and digital sources we use, and the data limitations we wrangle on a daily basis while working on the WPHP.
What do two of our favourite Gothic titles from the WPHP have in common? Banditti, the name ‘Clementina,’ and abducted women, for a start! Join hosts Kate and Kandice for this Halloween-themed episode of The WPHP Monthly Mercury as they discuss how you can identify works that align with the ‘gothic’ mode in the WPHP, chat about little-known women authors, and share their experiences reading two gothic novels: Elisabeth Guenard’s The Three Monks!!! and Catherine Cuthbertson’s Romance of the Pyrenees (both published in 1803 and both delightfully strange).  If you're interested in learning more about this topic, we have compiled a list of resources and suggestions for further reading, available here: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/47 
In the fourth episode of The WPHP Monthly Mercury, “A Bibliographical Education”, hosts Kandice Sharren and Kate Moffatt wander through the works categorized as “Education” in the WPHP, exploring its variety of formats and styles, as well as its many adjacent genres—not least of which is the considerable “Juvenile Literature” genre, which past RA Reese Irwin cheerfully (and almost single-handedly) entered into the database. In this episode, Reese joins us to speak about the process of entering the majority of our 3200+ Juvenile Literature titles, Kate and Kandice do suitably dramatic readings of excerpts from educational texts from notable eighteenth-century authors, and we speak to the ways in which the many forms teaching has taken this year during COVID-19 echoes eighteenth-century educational practices and their challenges.If you're interested in learning more about this topic, we've posted a list of links, resources, and suggestions for further reading on the WPHP site: https://womensprinthistoryproject.com/blog/post/35 
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