In 1788, the Catalogue of Five Hundred Celebrated Authors of Great Britain, Now Living forecast a form of authorship that rested on biographical revelation and media saturation as well as literary achievement. This collection traces the unique experiences of women writers within a celebrity culture that was intimately connected to the expansion of print technology and of visual and material culture in the nineteenth century. The contributors examine a wide range of artifacts, including prefaces, portraits, frontispieces, birthday books, calendars and gossip columns, to consider the nature of women's celebrity and the forces that created it. How did authors like Jane Austen, the Countess of Blessington, Louisa May Alcott, Alice Meynell, and Marie Corelli negotiate the increasing demands for public revelation of the private self? How did gender shape the posthumous participation of women writers such as Jane Austen, Ellen Wood, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Christina Rossetti in celebrity culture? These and other important questions related to the treatment of women in celebrity genres and media, and the strategies women writers used to control their public images, are taken up in this suggestive exploration of how nineteenth and early twentieth century women writers achieved popular, critical, and commercial success.

chapter |12 pages

Introduction: Women Writers and the Artifacts of Celebrity

ByMaura Ives

chapter 7|18 pages

Women Writers and Celebrity News at the Fin de Siècle

ByAlexis Easley

chapter 9|20 pages

Presenting Alice Meynell: The Book, the Photograph, and the Calendar

ByCalendar Linda H. Peterson

chapter 11|14 pages

Commodifying the Self: Portraits of the Artist in the Novels of Marie Corelli

ByMarie Corelli Lizzie White