Women's work

Labour, gender, authorship, 1750–1830
Author(s): 
Batchelor, Jennie
ISBN: 
9780719095580
Date published: 
May 2014
Paperback
Price: 
£14.99

Women’s work challenges influential accounts about gender and the novel by revealing the complex ways in which labour informed the lives and writing of a number of middling and genteel women authors publishing between 1750 and 1830. This book provides a particularly rich, yet largely neglected, seam of texts for exploring the vexed relationship between gender, work and writing. The four chapters that follow contain thoroughly contextualised case studies of the treatment of manual, intellectual and domestic labour in the work and careers of Sarah Scott, Charlotte Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft and women applicants to the writer’s charity, the Literary Fund. By making women’s work visible in our studies of female-authored fiction of the period, Batchelor reveals the crucial role that these women played in articulating debates about the gendered division of labour, the (in)compatibility of women’s domestic and professional lives and the status and true value of women’s work that shaped eighteenth-century culture as surely as they shape our own.