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Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690-1820sThe Long Eighteenth Century$
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Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474419659

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419659.001.0001

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John Dunton’s Ladies Mercury and the Eighteenth-Century Female Subject

John Dunton’s Ladies Mercury and the Eighteenth-Century Female Subject

Chapter:
(p.327) 21 John Dunton’s Ladies Mercury and the Eighteenth-Century Female Subject
Source:
Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690-1820s
Author(s):

Slaney Chadwick Ross

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419659.003.0022

Highlighting the role that surveillance culture and rhetoric plays in early periodical writing, Slaney Chadwick Ross argues that women’s surveillance activities and the contributions of female correspondents were a crucial element to the periodical eidolon’s emergent authority. Through the provocative pairing of John Dunton’s Ladies Mercury (1693) with Joseph Addison and Richard Steele’s Spectator (1711–12), Ross unspools how conventions of which forms of female representation would come to be championed in periodical culture, arguing in the process that Dunton’s venture was the more radical of the twain. In the Mercury, women are allowed to testify to their own experiences, and they are believed when they do so: this was not at all in keeping with the broader the legal or literary trends that would emerge in the decades that followed.

Keywords:   John Dunton, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, Athenian Mercury, Ladies Mercury, Spectator, women writers, epistolary periodicals, surveillance, women readers

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