Wolverhampton BTW

News & Events

8 May 2017: New Publications

Two recent publications by Benjamin Colbert showcase the Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840 database under development in the Communities of Authorship project:

'British Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840: Bibliographical Reflections', Women's Writing 24.2 (May 2017): 151-169.

Abstract: Launched online in 2014, the Women's Travel Writing database provides full and accurate bibliographical records for all the known books of travel published in Britain and Ireland by women between 1780 and 1840. This article critically and statistically reflects on these 204 titles, the authors who wrote them, and the patterns and trends that they suggest when considered together during the period in which women first gained a firm foothold in a genre traditionally considered men's territory. The database reveals patterns of women writing on the generic borders between scribal and print culture, conforming to and manipulating rhetorical conventions in prefaces and advertisements, while striking a balance between assertions of authorial independence and expressions of gendered reticence. Overall, the database reveals a sharp upward trend in the rate at which women published travel writings during the census dates, with 74 titles appearing in the 1830s compared to 5 in the 1780s. In considering the bibliographical nuances of women's increasing presence in the travel-writing marketplace, this article also poses questions about the insights and limitations of statistical approaches to cultural analysis.

‘"Our observations should not be disunited": Collaborative Women’s Travel Writing, 1780-1840', Viatica, no. 3 (Mars 2016), online, n. pag. [Écrire le voyage à deux – Travel Writing in Partnership]

Abstract: This article and the checklist that follows it present a survey of the different authorial roles undertaken by women in travel writings written in collaboration and published in Britain and Ireland between 1780 and 1840. As women began to establish themselves in a market dominated by men, collaborative work gave them an opportunity, on the one hand, to evolve the genre in response to the expectations of readers and critics, and, on the other hand, to engage in radical experiments in the fields of genre, narrative and voice.