The period 1678-1730 was a decisive one not only in Western political history but also in the history of the British press. Changing conditions for political expression and an expanding book trade enabled unprecedented opportunities for political activity. The Women of Grub Street argues that women already at work in the London book trade were among the first to seize those new opportunities for public political expression. Synthesizing areas of scholarly inquiry previously regarded as separate, and offering a new model for the study of the literary marketplace, The Women of Grub Street examines not only women writers, but also printers, booksellers, ballad-singers, hawkers, and other producers and distributors of printed texts. Original both in its sources and in the claims it makes for the nature, extent, and complexities of women's participation in print culture and public politics, it provides a wealth of new information about middling and lower-class women's political and literary lives, and shows that these women were not merely the passive distributors of other people's political ideas. The central argument of the book is that women of the widest possible variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and religio-political allegiances in fact played so prominent a role in the production and transmission of political ideas through print as to belie simultaneous powerful claims that women had no place in public life. R The first full-length study to suggest the degree of involvement of women in the entire process of print creation at this important moment, The Women of Grub Street supports a number of important revisionary arguments with a broad range of literary and archival evidence. It will be of interest to readers of literature, social and publishing history, women's studies and feminism, and the history of democracy and public discourse.
`McDowell adds another absorbing chapter to ... feminocentric history ... fascinating ... wealth of detail.' Albert J. Rivero, The Age of Johnson (2000). `McDowell's account of Manley's career and works is supberb and should become the indispensable starting point of any future work on this complex and fascinating woman. For that alone, The woman of Grub Street is worth our attention.' Albert J. Rivero, The Age of Johnson (2000). `cogently argued ... very interesting and well written book.' Patricia B. Craddock, Albion. `a contribution to cultural materialism in arguing that women were involved not only in the printing and distribution of books (which is well known) but were also responsible for the subversive political ideologies that such books expressed ... her formulations are crisp and authorative.' Braen S Hammond, Review of English Studies Vol 50 no 199, August 1999 `Paula McDowell's valuable book is both rich and strange - strange in the sense that it challenges some comfortable theories (and theorists) about what happened and why ... she is splendid at breaking new ground ... For those of us who read this intelligently conceived and gracefully executed book, she will indeed succeed in reinserting the figure into our own consciousness of the period, and in alerting us to areas like the evolution of a single public sphere (if such there be) and the evolution of woman's conception of her gendered position, which deserve additional consideration and adjustment.' Betty Rizzo, The East-Central Intelligencer, October 1999 `Cogently argued... this very interesting and well written book.' Patricia B. Craddock, Albion
Number Of Pages: 360
Published: 1st March 1998
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.64 x 2.26
Weight (kg): 0.5