History of Libraries Seminar - 'Circulating Libraries and Private Networks: Locating Sources for Mary Hays’s "Female Biography", 1795-1803'

History of Libraries Seminar - 'Circulating Libraries and Private Networks: Locating Sources for Mary Hays’s "Female Biography", 1795-1803'
Date
2 March 2021, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Type
Seminar
Venue
ONLINE
Description

Timothy Whelan (Professor of English, Georgia Southern University): 'Circulating Libraries and Private Networks: Locating Sources for Mary Hays’s Female Biography, 1795-1803'

This paper attempts to answer a question posed often by scholars of Mary Hays (1759-1843), the Romantic novelist, essayist, and life writer: How did a single woman of average means gain access to more than 100 works of history, politics, and biography, in English and French, published between 1650 and 1800, to compose the 300 biographies found in her 6-volume work, Female Biography (1803)? A careful analysis of ten circulating and subscription libraries operating at that time in London not only answers that question but also expands our knowledge of Hays’s reading habits as well as the strategic locations of her residences in central London and the social and familial connections she developed and nurtured as a professional writer between 1795 and 1803.

This seminar series concentrates on examining all aspects of the provision of libraries during all periods of history and all countries. Talks are based on substantial original research and are usually by established researchers; but we do encourage new students to present their research as well. The seminar can be found on Twitter: @HistLibraries

Organisers: Giles Mandelbrote (Lambeth Palace Library); Dr. Keith A. Manley (National Trust); Dr. Raphaële Mouren (Warburg Institute); Professor Isabel Rivers (Queen Mary)

FREE VIA ZOOM


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