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Title: Feminist Types: Reading the Victoria Press
Authors: Marraccini, Miranda
Advisors: Nord, Deborah
Martin, Meredith
Contributors: English Department
Keywords: Book History
Digital Humanities
Subjects: English literature
European history
Women's studies
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: My dissertation centers on the Victoria Press, a feminist printing enterprise where women worked at every level of print production to create multi-vocal texts that debated women’s rights and roles. Emily Faithfull founded the Press in 1860 to employ women as compositors. I analyze Victoria Press publications for their nuanced expression of nineteenth-century feminism, expanding our understanding of women’s authorship by considering the impact of paratextual elements and material features. Each chapter exposes conflicts in the material form and content of a specific publication genre—periodicals, pamphlets, and anthologies. In the English Woman’s Journal (1858-1864), poetry by Isa Craig, Bessie Parkes, and Adelaide Procter commends middle-class domestic life, pushing back against the journal’s prose focus on women’s employment. In Victoria Press pamphlets, middle-class female authors recommend institutional homes for working-class women, while the residents of the homes rebel against the manufactured domestic environment. In anthologies, particularly The Victoria Regia (1861), prominent male authors promote a nostalgic, imperial vision, while anonymous female engravers dissent in the form of decorated initials adorned with critical mottoes. I incorporate results from my digital project, The Victoria Press Circle, to understand how Faithfull exploited masculine celebrity and patronage to build social and commercial networks.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:English

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