This year is the year of the book.

As an early career academic currently not teaching, I’ve been focusing on researching, writing and publishing for the last year or so. My PhD (awarded 2014, from Queen Mary, University of London) focused on how Victorian women novelists and activists were influenced by literature about female missionaries. I’ve since published on female missionary biography and newsletters and on the college principal and religious writer, Constance Maynard. I’ve also given conference papers in the UK and US on Constance Maynard, Olive Schreiner, Sarah Grand, and Margaret Harkness.

Now though, it’s time to get my thoughts in order and get on with turning my thesis into a book. I’m hoping that blogging will help me do this. I have reason to be optimistic: there are other blogs out there that were started for this same purpose – and at least some of them have resulted in a book.

(I found inspiration in https://tricksterprince.wordpress.com/ – especially his post https://tricksterprince.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/on-not-writing-again/)

At the very least this blog is a place for me to get down some ideas, think through some thoughts about aspects of history and literature, and reflect on the writing and publication process. It’s also a place for me to publish blog-versions of my conference papers, and some reviews. Another goal I have is to expand my library of links to other blogs and websites related to nineteenth-century studies, academia more generally and the writing process.

I’m very keen to get some reader-participation going too. Please, let me know if you have any questions about my work, any comments or advice, or if you have a particular favourite blog or website that you think I should know about. Thanks in advance!


Why ‘A Woman’s Thoughts About…’?

The title of this blog is taken from a work by Dinah Craik A Woman’s Thoughts about Women, which was a sort of advice manual she wrote for single women, made up of essays that she wrote in 1857 and published in book form in 1858. I came across this book when I was in my second or third year at Exeter university, thanks to Angelique Richardson and Exeter’s wonderful Hypatia Collection. However, Craik has been under-studied in recent times and her books rarely appear on course reading lists. We know much of what we know about her thanks to Sally Mitchell’s biography and study of her works: Dinah Mulock Craik (Twayne, 1983), online version: http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/craik/mitchell/1.html. Mitchell’s introduction to A Woman’s Thoughts about Women is here.

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