Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: A Hall of Mirrors: Multi-biographical Transfigurations of Pre-Twentieth Century British Women Writers (12/1/2015)

George_Eliot_at_30_by_François_D'Albert_DuradeCall for Book Chapters

Proposed manuscript title: A Hall of Mirrors: Multi-biographical Transfigurations of Pre-Twentieth Century British Women Writers

This manuscript will investigate the biases, contradictions, errors, ambiguities, gaps, and historical contexts in biographies of twelve controversial feminist British women who published prior to the twentieth century. Such discrepancies have run rampant, many of them incomprehensively left unchecked and perpetuated from publication to publication. A Hall of Mirrors analyzes the agenda, problems, and strengths of biographies, highlighting the flaws, deficiencies, and influences that have distorted scholars’ understanding of the following women: Margery Kempe, Aphra Behn, Mary Astell, Margaret Cavendish, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Mary Wollstonecraft (assigned), Mary Hays, and Catharine Macaulay, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Sarah Grand, and George Eliot, a chapter devoted to each. Others will be considered as well. Besides exposing warped portrayals of these particular provocateurs, this study seeks to demonstrate that biographies often reveal more about the biographer than about the biographee and often reflects the time in which the biography was written instead of the time in which the biographee lived.

Interested authors are invited to submit a 500-word abstract and a list of prior publications to bayres@liberty.edu by Dec. 1, 2015. First drafts of full chapters (no more than 7,000 words each) are due by May 1, 2016, and final versions by July 1, 2016. Please do not submit abstracts for previously published works.

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