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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Woman behind the Man behind the World: Mary Wells and the Feminisation of the Late Eighteenth-Century Newspaper

The Woman behind the Man behind the World: Mary Wells and the Feminisation of the Late Eighteenth-Century Newspaper

Chapter:
(p.393) 25 The Woman behind the Man behind the World: Mary Wells and the Feminisation of the Late Eighteenth-Century Newspaper
Source:
Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690-1820s
Author(s):

Claire Knowles

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419659.003.0026

The rediscovery of the Della Cruscans, a late-eighteenth century poetic coterie, has helped to revive an interest in papers of “elegance” such as John Bell’s the World, which established a successful template for the late eighteenth-century newspaper, one that was exploited by many of the papers that followed in its wake. In this chapter, Claire Knowles examines the contribution made to this paper not only by women in general, but by one woman in particular, Mary Wells. Wells was a popular actress and the mistress of the paper’s proprietor, Edward Topham. She was implicated in the paper’s establishment and played an important role in its daily running. By examining Wells’ largely unacknowledged role at the World alongside the work of the female poets that the paper encouraged, Knowles suggests that the paper can be seen as an important example of the increasing feminisation of print media in the late-eighteenth century.

Keywords:   Della Cruscans, Mary Wells, Edward Topham, World (John Bell), newspapers, female poets, women editors, feminisation, print media

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