Authorship: The Development and Legitimation of a Literary Profession

  • Marrisa Joseph


The chapter begins with the historical context of professional authorship, highlighting the impact of copyright on an author’s ability to earn money and control their literary property. The narrative moves to explore the practice of frequenting gentlemen’s clubs to do business as authors used clubs to socialise with their professional network and find new opportunities. The chapter then addresses one of the defining features of Victorian publishing, serialisation—discussing how the format of journalism underpinned authorship in particular demonstrating how Charles Dickens used serialisation to reach a wide readership. The chapter closes with a study of the practices used by women such as publishing under male pseudonyms or anonymously. Through an analysis of letters written by Charlotte Brontë in relation to the publication of Jane Eyre, this chapter demonstrates how women circumvented gender stereotypes to get published.



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marrisa Joseph
    • 1
  1. 1.Henley Business SchoolUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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