Nobody's Story: The Vanishing Acts of Women Writers in the Marketplace, 1670-1920
Exploring the careers of five influential women writers of the Restoration and eighteenth century, Catherine Gallagher reveals the connections between the increasing prestige of female authorship, the economy of credit and debt, and the rise of the novel. The "nobodies" of her title are not ignored, silenced, or anonymous women. Instead, they are literal nobodies: the abstractions of authorial personae, printed books, intellectual property rights, literary reputations, debts and obligations, and fictional characters. These are the exchangeable tokens of modern authorship that lent new cultural power to the increasing number of women writers through the eighteenth century. Women writers, Gallagher discovers, invented and popularized numerous ingenious similarities between their gender and their occupation. The terms "woman," "author," "marketplace," and "fiction" come to define each other reciprocally.
Gallagher analyzes the provocative plays of Aphra Behn, the scandalous court chronicles of Delarivier Manley, the properly fictional nobodies of Charlotte Lennox and Frances Burney, and finally Maria Edgeworth's attempts in the late eighteenth century to reform the unruly genre of the novel.
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actress allegory Anglo-Irish anonymity Aphra Behn Arabella Atalantis audience authorship become Behn's body booksellers Burney's called Castle Rackrent Cecilia century changeling chapter character Charlotte Lennox Charlotte Lennox's claims comedy commodity critics cultural daughter debt Delarivier Manley difference discourse economic eighteenth eighteenth-century emotional English Evelina example exchange Fanny Burney father Female Quixote feminine fiction Frances Burney Gayman gender genre Harrington Hence heroine History idea identified identity imagined Imoinda implied invention Irish Johnson Julia kingship Lady Lennox letter libel literary marketplace London Manley's Maria Edgeworth metaphor moral moreover narrative narrator Nobody's novel novelists Oroonoko Oxford paradox patronage play playwright plot political Press productivist prologue prostitute published quoted readers reading relationship representation rhetoric Richard Lovell Richard Lovell Edgeworth romance satire scandal seems sense sentimental sexual Statute of Anne story stressed sympathy textuality tion Univ woman women writers writing