‘Some uncalled-for revival of by-gone scandals’?: editing women’s court memoirs

Culley, Amy (2017) ‘Some uncalled-for revival of by-gone scandals’?: editing women’s court memoirs. In: Editing women's writing, 1670-1840. Chawton Studies in Scholarly Editing . Routledge, Oxford and New York, pp. 124-138. ISBN 9781848935914

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Women’s court memoirs of the Regency period could inspire hostile reactions in their early readership. For nineteenth-century readers, these works were unseemly (if fascinating) violations of privacy that revivified Regency scandals perhaps best forgotten in the Victorian era. But for a twenty-first century editor, engaged in reviving such ‘uncalled-for’ works for a contemporary readership, court memoirs present rather different pains and pleasures on which this essay reflects. Editing court memoirs provides a welcome opportunity to explore the interactions of women’s life-writing texts with the social, political, literary and commercial contexts of their day. Such work also invites us to reconsider women’s experiments with pseudonymous and anonymous authorship and the relationship between gender and genre in order to address the implications of this for editorial practice. Furthermore, tracing the processes of textual transmission of these works, from the early nineteenth century to the present day, highlights the contingency of the editorial process and the influences of a critical and cultural moment on editions of women’s writing within a broader history of recovery.

Keywords:scholarly editing, textual criticism, Queen Caroline Affair, Lady Charlotte Bury, Catherine Cary, pseudonymity, anonymous authorship
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q321 English Literature by period
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
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ID Code:30355
Deposited On:12 Mar 2018 11:08

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