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Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900sThe Victorian Period$
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Alexis Easley, Clare Gill, and Beth Rodgers

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474433907

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433907.001.0001

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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: 28 March 2020

Constructing the Mass-Market Woman Reader and Writer: Eliza Cook and the Weekly Dispatch, 1836–1850

Constructing the Mass-Market Woman Reader and Writer: Eliza Cook and the Weekly Dispatch, 1836–1850

Chapter:
(p.413) 25 Constructing the Mass-Market Woman Reader and Writer: Eliza Cook and the Weekly Dispatch, 1836–1850
Source:
Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s
Author(s):

Alexis Easley

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433907.003.0026

In this essay, Alexis Easley points to the significance of the marginal space of the ‘facts and scraps’ column for women writers and readers alike. As a precursor to the women’s columns and the dedicated women’s press that proliferated in the final decades of the century, the ‘facts and scraps’ columns of cheap Sunday newspapers are here shown to have ‘provided opportunities for women to publish poetry aimed at a mass-market reading audience’ (p.413). The exposure provided in this context, as well as through the practice of poems being reprinted in other newspapers, was a double-edged sword for women writers in professional terms: on the one hand, this practice ‘did not make writing newspaper poetry a lucrative enterprise’ while on the other, it ‘provided a means for women poets to establish recognisable public identities in the popular press–a visibility that sometimes led to book publication’ (p.414). The example of Eliza Cook (1812–89), a contributor to the ‘facts and scraps’ column of the Weekly Dispatch (1795–1961), shows ‘how women writers could capitalise upon opportunities that arose with the formation of new publishing media in order to establish themselves in a male-dominated literary marketplace’ (p.414).

Keywords:   Eliza Cook, Weekly Dispatch, women’s columns, facts and scraps column, Sunday newspapers, cheap newspapers

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