Living by the press. Women, work and the Victorian periodical

Start - End 
2019 - 2019 (completed)

Tabgroup

Abstract

This project deals with Victorian women’s work and the Victorian periodical press. Weekly and monthly magazines proliferated in the nineteenth century, opening up new opportunities for female employment. Women from a variety of social backgrounds pursued careers in the press, selling stories, poems or essays to the magazines. Others established their own journals or sought employment as illustrators or typesetters. This project seeks to present a comprehensive overview of the different types of work that Victorian women undertook for the press in a career context. In addition, it will consider women’s periodical work in relation to their life trajectories, examining why and at what particular moments in their lives women decided to embark on a career in the periodical press. At the heart of the project is the
hypothesis that there is frequently a gap or discrepancy between what women wrote in the magazines and the lives they were leading. Often struggling to make ends meet, women created fictional voices and sold norms and ideals to which they themselves did not always adhere. This project will examine how women reinvented themselves in the press, and consider what they gained and lost in the process. In doing so, it will shed light on the functions of the press in the personal and professional lives of Victorian women, and conversely on the ways in which they as individuals, leading their own unpredictable lives, contributed to that massive body of texts known as “the Victorian periodical press.”

People

Co-supervisor(s)