The Women of Grub Street: Press, Politics, and Gender in the London Literary Marketplace 1678-1730

Paperback | June 1, 1998

byPaula McDowell

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The period 1678-1730 was a decisive one not only in Western political history but also in the history of the British press. Changing conditions for political expression and an expanding book trade enabled unprecedented opportunities for political activity. The Women of Grub Street argues thatwomen already at work in the London book trade were among the first to seize those new opportunities for public political expression. Synthesizing areas of scholarly inquiry previously regarded as separate, and offering a new model for the study of the literary marketplace, The Women of Grub Street examines not only women writers, but also printers, booksellers, ballad-singers, hawkers, and other producers and distributors ofprinted texts. Original both in its sources and in the claims it makes for the nature, extent, and complexities of women's participation in print culture and public politics, it provides a wealth of new information about middling and lower-class women's political and literary lives, and shows thatthese women were not merely the passive distributors of other people's political ideas. The central argument of the book is that women of the widest possible variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and religio-political allegiances in fact played so prominent a role in the production and transmissionof political ideas through print as to belie simultaneous powerful claims that women had no place in public life. R The first full-length study to suggest the degree of involvement of women in the entire process of print creation at this important moment, The Women of Grub Street supports a numberof important revisionary arguments with a broad range of literary and archival evidence. It will be of interest to readers of literature, social and publishing history, women's studies and feminism, and the history of democracy and public discourse.

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From the Publisher

The period 1678-1730 was a decisive one not only in Western political history but also in the history of the British press. Changing conditions for political expression and an expanding book trade enabled unprecedented opportunities for political activity. The Women of Grub Street argues thatwomen already at work in the London book tra...

Paula McDowell is at University of Maryland at College Park.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.91 inPublished:June 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198184492

ISBN - 13:9780198184492

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsNote on Primary SourcesAbbreviationsIntroduction: `Strange and Unheard of Revolutions'Part I. `To Run One's Self Into Danger': Women and the Politics of Opposition in the London Book Trade1. Women in the London Book Trade2. Making, Tracing, and Erasing Seditious IntentionsPart II. `Telling the King His Faults': Religio-Political Polemicism and Women's Public Expression3. Oral Religio-Political Activism and Textual Production4. Metaphors of Being and Modes of EmpowermentPart III. `I Take Truth with me When I Can Get Her': Delarivier Manley and the Reproduction of Political Intelligence5. Delarivier Manley's Public RepresentationsConclusion: The Antidote to these Women's Poison'?BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Cogently argued... this very interesting and well written book.'Patricia B. Craddock, Albion