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edited by Joan Bellamy, Anne Laurence, and Gill Perry; pp. xi + 250. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 9000, 47.00 [pounds sterling], 16.00 [pounds sterling] paper, $74.95, $32.00 paper.
This is a collection with a difference. It is truly collective. Group work in a common workplace and an editing process that began with the project have produced a volume of discrete pieces that fully cohere. Even the book's editorial apparatus, such as a common bibliography and biographies of selected subjects, function as part of the reading experience. The postscript refers the reader to an available database. Altogether, the conception and contents of the volume are professional, thought through, and fully realised--editorially, pedagogically, and intellectually.
The announced topic of women and nineteenth-century scholarship and criticism is a rich cake that may be cut in a variety of ways. The book's coverage of authors is wide and original, including figures well known to twenty-first-century readers--of literature (Augusta Webster, Margaret Oliphant, Maria Edgeworth, and Mary Shelley), of art history (Anna Jameson), of theatre history (Sarah Siddons and Mary Robinson), of the history of education (Emily and Maria Shirreff), and of the history of religion (Catherine Booth)--as well as many more obscure personages. The volume includes a valuable representation of women's writing across …