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New Media and the Rise of the Popular Woman Writer, 1832-1860$
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Alexis Easley

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474475921

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474475921.001.0001

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(p.242) Coda
New Media and the Rise of the Popular Woman Writer, 1832-1860

Alexis Easley

Edinburgh University Press

In the conclusion, I reflect on the resonances of early and mid-Victorian popular media practices in our own time—the questions they raise as we consider the ways our experience of Victorian women’s writing is mediated, remediated, and cross-marketed in digital formats. My case studies for this investigation are Eliza Meteyard and Rose Ellen Hendriks. Writers like Meteyard and Hendriks were able to take advantage of changing media technologies—e.g., the expansion of cheap newspapers and transnational press networks—to promote the recirculation of their work in ways that made it seem continually fresh and relevant. For some, subsequent changes in media practices led to de-canonization, yet an exploration of their afterlife in new media of our own time demonstrates the temporary, contingent nature of any writer’s or textual object’s disappearance from the historical record or from public view. The recirculation and serendipitous recovery of Victorian women writers’ texts, portraits, book covers, and ephemera in social media de-contextualize and repurpose these materials for a variety of social, commercial, and artistic ends. An investigation of the afterlife of early and mid-Victorian women’s writing reminds us of the mobile, shifting relationship between popular writing and new media, both past and present.

Keywords:   Eliza Meteyard, Rose Ellen Hendriks, new media, digital media, cheap press, newspapers, periodicals, serendipity, social media, portraiture

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