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Introduction: Re-evaluating the minerva press

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Show simple item record Neiman, Elizabeth Morin, Christina
dc.contributor.editor Anthony Mandal 2020-11-30T14:53:11Z 2020-11-30T14:53:11Z 2020
dc.identifier.citation Neiman, Elizabeth and Christina Morin (2019) 'Introduction: Re-evaluating the Minerva Press'. Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780-1840, . en_US
dc.identifier.issn ISSN 1748-0116
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract The April 1845 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book, an eminent women’s magazine published in Philadelphia between 1830 and 1878, contains a short story by ‘Miss Mary Davenant’ called ‘Helen Berkley; or, the Mercenary Marriage’. In it, the heroine’s potential lover is assessed by comparison to the hero of Regina Maria Roche’s 1796 Minerva Press novel, The Children of the Abbey: ‘But you know well enough that you never had such an admirer as he is; so handsome, so genteel—just like Lord Mortimer in the “Children of the Abbey”’.1 The reference is an intriguing one, suggesting not just the long-lasting and geographically far-reaching appeal of Roche’s most celebrated novel but also the similar persistence of the London-based Minerva Press itself. With modest origins in the publications of liveryman-turned-printer-and-bookseller William Lane (1738 or 1745/46–1814) in the 1770s and ’80s,2 the Minerva Press was officially founded in 1790 and quickly established itself as Britain’s leading publisher of popular fiction. It enjoyed particular success amongst readers—and, correspondingly, attracted the special ire of critics—in the last decade of the eighteenth century and the first few years of the nineteenth, by which point it was principally categorised and contemptuously dismissed as the purveyor of cheap, unoriginal and thoroughly forgettable circulating-library fictions. By 1845 and the publication of ‘Helen Berkley’, the Minerva Press had apparently been consigned to the annals of history (and bad literature): Lane himself had retired in 1809, handing the business on to his former apprentice Anthony King Newman (d. 1858), who began publishing with Lane in 1801. Under Newman’s guidance, the press began to focus more heavily on children’s literature and remainder publication and, in 1829, omitted ‘Minerva’ from its name altogether, possibly in recognition of its new specialisations and its inability to compete with now more prominent and respectable publishers of popular fiction. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Cardiff University Press en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Romantic Textualities;23, pp. 11-23
dc.subject Minerva Press en_US
dc.title Introduction: Re-evaluating the minerva press en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US 2020-11-30T14:45:22Z
dc.description.version PUBLISHED
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 2910027
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.identifier.journaltitle Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780-1840
dc.description.status peer-reviewed

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