Charlotte Lennox: An Independent Mind

By Susan Carlile

© 2018

Charlotte Lennox (c.1729-1804) was an eighteenth-century London author whose most celebrated novel, The Female Quixote (1752), is just one of eighteen works published over forty-three years. Her stories of independent women influenced Jane Austen, especially in her novels Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility.

Susan Carlile’s biography places Lennox in the context of intellectual and cultural history and focuses on her role as a central figure in the professionalization of authorship in England. Lennox participated in the most important literary and social discussions of her time, including debates concerning female authorship, the elevation of Shakespeare to national poet, and the role of periodicals as didactic texts for an increasingly literate population. Lennox also contributed to making Greek drama available for English-language audiences and pioneered the serialization of novels in magazines. Carlile’s work is the first biographical treatment to consider a new cache of correspondence released in the 1970s and reveals how Lennox was part of an ambitious and progressive literary and social movement.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 528 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.7in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED APR 2018

    From: $33.71

    Regular Price: $44.95

    ISBN 9781442626232
  • PUBLISHED MAY 2018

    From: $33.71

    Regular Price: $44.95

Quick Overview

Charlotte Lennox (c. 1729–1804) was an eighteenth-century English novelist whose most celebrated work, The Female Quixote (1752), is just one of eighteen works spanning a forty-three year career. Susan Carlile’s critical biography of Lennox focuses on her role as the central figure in the professionalization of authorship in England.

Charlotte Lennox: An Independent Mind

By Susan Carlile

© 2018

Charlotte Lennox (c.1729-1804) was an eighteenth-century London author whose most celebrated novel, The Female Quixote (1752), is just one of eighteen works published over forty-three years. Her stories of independent women influenced Jane Austen, especially in her novels Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility.

Susan Carlile’s biography places Lennox in the context of intellectual and cultural history and focuses on her role as a central figure in the professionalization of authorship in England. Lennox participated in the most important literary and social discussions of her time, including debates concerning female authorship, the elevation of Shakespeare to national poet, and the role of periodicals as didactic texts for an increasingly literate population. Lennox also contributed to making Greek drama available for English-language audiences and pioneered the serialization of novels in magazines. Carlile’s work is the first biographical treatment to consider a new cache of correspondence released in the 1970s and reveals how Lennox was part of an ambitious and progressive literary and social movement.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 528 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.7in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "This biography…gives the fullest account of [Charlotte Lennox’s] life yet…and conducts readers through all of her major works. It arrives as a handsome, substantial volume, complete with full scholarly apparatus and a proselytizing zeal of application…It is undoubtedly a good thing that we have a new biography of Charlotte Lennox, and this is an industrious and likeable contender."


    Min Wild
    Times Literary Supplement, August 15, 2018

    "Susan Carlile’s Charlotte Lennox: An Independent Mind describes in vivid detail a skeptical, ambitious, and spiky eighteenth-century woman of genius. Carlile provides a fascinating, original account of Lennox, who grew up in America, found herself alone as a teen in England, married a ne’er-do-well, and raised challenging children, all the while living, writing, and publishing in near poverty. This is the literary biography of the pioneering author of The Female Quixote that many of us have longed for."


    Devoney Looser, Department of English, Arizona State University

    "Susan Carlile has proven herself to be the world’s foremost living expert on Charlotte Lennox. Charlotte Lennox: An Independent Mind represents a watershed moment in Lennox studies and in studies of the eighteenth-century culture more broadly. Drastically reshaping the dominant understanding of just what kind of writer Lennox actually was, Carlile highlights Lennox’s translations and critical work, moving them to the center of Lennox’s story."


    Manushag Powell, Department of English, Purdue University

    "Charlotte Lennox: An Independent Mind is a valuable autobiography of a major figure, and brings together fascinating new material to construct a new view of professional authorship in the mid- and late eighteenth century, all from the unusual angle of the female writer."


    Isobel Grundy, Department of English, University of Alberta
  • Author Information

    Susan Carlile is a professor in the Department of English at California State University, Long Beach. She has published on the literary marketplace of the 1750s and on the works of numerous English authors in the long eighteenth-century.
  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations

    Acknowledgments

    Chronology

    Introduction

    The American

    1. New World Thinking

    2. An English Sappho

    3. Making a Trade of Her Wit

    4. Uniting the Laudable Affections of the Mind

    The Professional

    5. Debating “Genius”

    6. Prospering in a Patronizing Profession

    7. “The Same Darling End…By Different Means”

    8. Recasting a Career

    The Celebrity

    9. “The Law of Custom”…or of “Fools”?

    10. “Work Upon That Now!”

    11. Friendship, Marriage, and Motherhood

    12. “A Pen that Conferred Immortality”

    Lennox’s Afterlife

    Notes

    Publications, Editions, and Reprints

    Bibliography

    Index

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