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Time and TideThe Feminist and Cultural Politics of a Modern Magazine$
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Catherine Clay

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474418188

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474418188.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 31 May 2020

‘The Enjoyment of Literature’: Women Writers and the ‘Battle of the Brows’

‘The Enjoyment of Literature’: Women Writers and the ‘Battle of the Brows’

Chapter:
(p.177) Chapter 6 ‘The Enjoyment of Literature’: Women Writers and the ‘Battle of the Brows’
Source:
Time and Tide
Author(s):

Catherine Clay

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474418188.003.0007

This chapter picks up and extends arguments advanced earlier in the book regarding the status of women’s writing and criticism during the years of modernism’s cultural ascendancy and academic institutionalisation. In the contexts of (1) a newly configured ‘University English’ which took an authoritative new role in the cultural field against an earlier belle-lettres tradition, and (2) the unprecedented prestige of middlebrow fiction in the 1930s, the chapter explores how Time and Tide navigated increasing tensions between ‘highbrow’ and ‘middlebrow’ spheres and succeeded in straddling both. First the chapter discusses the introduction in 1927 of a new ‘Miscellany’ section of the paper – home to E. M. Delafield’s popular serial ‘The Diary of a Provincial Lady’ – and argues that these columns created and legitimised a place for the ‘feminine middlebrow’ and amateur writer as the periodical increased its orientation towards the highbrow sphere. Second, with reference to the appointment of Time and Tide’s first two literary editors, the chapter discusses how the periodical negotiated a widening gap in this period between intellectual and general readers, and between amateur and professional modes of criticism.

Keywords:   Time and Tide, battle of the brows, middlebrow, highbrow, University English, belle-lettres, amateur, professional, E. M. Delafield

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