Woman’s Work: Labour, Gender and Authorship in the Novels of Sarah Scott

  • Jennie Batchelor


Writing to Samuel Crisp as she made final revisions to the ill-fated Witlings (1778–80), Frances Burney strikingly aligned her literary labours with the commonly degraded employments undertaken by labouring-class women. Angered by Crisp’s suggestions that her newfound literary fame had plunged her into an unproductive round of ‘incessant and uncommon engagements’, Burney asserted the labour-intensity of both her domestic and professional employments:

Caps, hats, and ribbons make, indeed no venerable appearance upon paper; — no more do eating and drinking; — yet the one can no more be worn without being made, than the other can be swallowed without being cooked; and those who can neither pay milliners, nor keep scullions, must either toil for themselves, or go capless and dinnerless.1


Labour Market Late Eighteenth Century Monthly Review Woman Writer Philanthropic Activity 
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© Jennie Batchelor 2005

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  • Jennie Batchelor

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