Loughborough University
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Vanished authors and invisible women: the reputations and networks of George Eliot, Frances Milton Trollope and Frances Eleanor Trollope

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posted on 2021-08-11, 11:34 authored by Eleanor Dumbill

If I were to distil this thesis into a single question it would be: what are the circumstances that have led to the neglect of authors who were once central to the literary field? Recovering the work of lesser-studied women writers enriches our appreciation of the Victorian literary field as a whole. That is, it does not simply broaden our understanding of nineteenth-century women’s writing but of nineteenth-century writing in its entirety. Jean Arnold and Lila Marz Harper write that George Eliot’s ‘afterlife of fame and literary reputation tells an informative story about the ongoing culture of her readers.’ My own assessment is based on the belief that this ‘ongoing culture’ is itself shaped by the material conditions of production and the networks of professionals including author, editors, publishers, and reviewers who interact with texts. I approach these writers, their work, and, most importantly, their reputations from a perspective grounded in book history, prosopography and social history. By studying the networks within which these three authors worked, their material access to the literary marketplace, and their framing for later readers, I show the importance of these factors to the author’s lasting reputation.



  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • English


Loughborough University

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© Eleanor B. Dumbill

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A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en


Wim van Mierlo ; Anne-Marie Beller ; Sarah Parker

Qualification name

  • PhD

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

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