Over the past few weeks we have been publishing a series of blog posts highlighting some of our favourite Ashgate Women’s History books (we’re very proud of our Women’s History publishing!).
Our fifth pick is from Whitney Feininger, Assistant Editor for Literary Studies, and is The Literary Manuscripts and Letters of Hannah More, by Nicholas Smith:
“A thorough and extensive resource that provides direct insight into a woman’s experience in literary production, philanthropic activity, and political debate.”
The result of meticulous research done by Nicholas Smith, this survey collects and describes for the first time the extensive correspondence and manuscripts of the celebrated Bluestocking writer and Evangelical philanthropist Hannah More (1745-1833). This compilation is a major achievement in the study of Hannah More, but and it also participates in the ongoing recovery of eighteenth-century women writers. The primary sources collected here show insight into eighteenth century women’s conduct and education, as well as women’s participation in the book and publishing trade, and reaction to the abolition movement, French and American revolutions, and the Napoleonic wars.
About the author: Nicholas D. Smith is an archivist at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
Review from The Year’s Work in English Studies:
“This is a wonderful addition to textual scholarship and an important reference work for those interested in the writings of Hannah More and her circle. It consists of a catalogue of all known and many newly discovered letters by More in both public and private collections, as well as a catalogue of drama, prose, and verse manuscripts, including those translated by and attributed to More. Smith’s introduction provides well-organized accounts of his discoveries and investigations into the libraries and repositories surveyed here.”
Other great resources for the study, discussion, and promotion of women writers include the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, the British Women Writer’s Association, and the Society for the Study of American Women Writers.